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The following letter sent to Mayor Dan Shore and Salida City Council was shared with Ark Valley Voice:

Mayor Dan Shore and Salida City Council,

During the COVID-19 Panic, Salida City Council spent two years meeting in private on video screens. An “approved activity” promoted by the Chaffee County Public Health Nurse.  While you were meeting, the checker at Walmart was standing in front of every form of humanity working to keep Arkansas Valley families fed. At Safeway, the produce and chip aisles were all kept fresh and restocked every day.  My sons were at their logging sites, my daughters’ coworkers were repairing broken homes. Mechanics kept vehicles running, tires were changed, cattle were fed, children were taught, beer was poured. Nursing homes remained open despite the terrible toll.  This was another bump in the road.

When this Council, Planner, and Planning Commission emerged from their safe little Zoom Cocoon, there was an immediate change in the way business in Salida was done.  The developers had become Gods and anything they wanted was necessary for our little village.  Rules that existed prior to the pandemic were no longer important. Important was a promise for “Inclusionary units”.  Facts regarding the total inability for anyone who works for wages to afford those units was unimportant, only the promise mattered.

Brave citizens took note and worked like dogs to gather signatures on a petition to thwart the rule changes for the most egregious development at the corner of First and [the Monarch Spur] Trail. The checker signed the petition after he got off work, carpenters signed, truckers, and postal workers all signed.  The petition was presented with required signatures and that should have been that. Salida’s council is arrogant; so that was not that.  The petitioners were berated for not facing the abuse of council “In Person”. Signers of the petition were berated as “duped rubes who did not know what they were signing”.

This community needs affordable housing for housekeepers at Salida Bottling Company’s elite little downtown development.  The wealthy need servants!  Those workers who stayed on the job, kept their homes and families together during COVID will be shamelessly taxed to provide housing for those poorly paid but “essential” workers the newly arrived cannot live without.

Does Council really need a place that far above the rabble to rub elbows with high-caliber transplants?
You have harmed our community with your stubbornness and belligerence.

Kirby Perschbacher