Daisy’s Story

I will begin with the end.

Pain, heartbreak and emptiness are all that I feel at this moment. The grief is deep, piercing and overwhelming. It comes in waves, then calms for a bit, only to be sparked again by a memory, an expectation, a or a routine that has been forever altered. It has been just over 24 hours since my universe shifted. I am missing a piece of my very existence.

DaisyMae our Angel 2That piece is my beloved companion, chief comforter and soul searcher, and best friend, my dog Daisy.  Actually DaisyMae Doodle.

All this emotion for a dog?  Absolutely!

It appears that Daisy had a hard start to her too short life. I have often looked into her eyes and wished she could tell me about her first months to year. But it will remain a mystery.

She showed up to our home as a stray. She came to greet my husky/chow mix and my son’s two huskies that were staying with us. A chain link fence separated them, but they ran back and forth. At the time, I wondered who she belonged to.  It was near the 4th of July, so I assumed a neighbor had visitors and she was just checking out the neighborhood.

After my son’s huskies went home, she continued coming back to visit my dog, Sweeney.  Sweeney, who was normally very territorial, seemed to like this newfound companion – even if they were only able to hang out with a fence between. My husband said not to feed her, but I would put a treat or two outside the fence. She was shy and very wary.  She would not take the treats from me, but would come when I was a safe distance away.

We put out seed in our driveway for the wild birds. We noticed that she would come after we put it out and eat it. Now we were concerned. The “do not feed” rule went out the window and we began putting food outside the gate.  She would eat it but would run away if anyone approached. She would not come to us. On a few occasions I watched as she napped in a shady, sheltered spot in our yard or near our daisy patch.

One day, after putting food out, which disappeared, my husband was walking down the driveway and felt a nudge at his hand.  He looked down to see this shaggy dog there. She let him touch and pet her. It was obvious she had decided to trust and would not be going away soon.

The effort began in earnest to coax her into our world. It actually did not take long from that moment. She had a collar, but no tags.  Once we coaxed her into the yard, we could see that she was skin and bones, covered with a very dirty, matted fur coat.  I gently set about giving her a warm bath, so we could bring her inside.  She allowed me to wash her and dry her off with towels.  She voraciously accepted any food we would offer.

The first trip inside our home was apparently a new experience.  I am not sure she had ever been inside a house. She startled and then stared at the television and seemed a little befuddled over furniture.  She quickly settled in.  We tried to figure out an appropriate name, but the picture of her by the daisies kept coming to mind, so we decided the name DaisyMae was a perfect fit.

Because I was unsure of how she would react to being left alone, I took her to work with me. Although I tried to cut some of the mats from her fur, she was still matted and somewhat disheveled looking. People still oohed and aahed over her, but when they would raise their hand to pet her, she would flinch and cower. I had to ask people to not raise their hands at all.  This, to me, was a sign that she had been hit or beaten.  One co-worker offered me $1,500 dollars for her on the spot.  I declined. I felt there was a connection and a reason she chose us.

Off to our veterinarian for an exam she went. We have a wonderful husband and wife veterinarian team and Dr. Lori took a look at her and exclaimed that she could be their dog’s twin.  She said she was sure she was a Golden Doodle – a mix between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. She said that she must be microchipped, so she spent thirty minutes or so carefully scanning for a chip.  There was none to be found. She surmised that she must have been about a year old. She may have either come into heat or just had a litter of puppies. Then she said that she had evidence that she had had fleas, which is something that dogs in our area normally do not have. She surmised that she must have come from a warmer climate.

So what was she doing in our yard and increasingly into our hearts?

I thought I should probably advertise, in case someone was missing her, so I placed an ad in our local newspaper as well as on a couple of on-line, nationwide lost pet websites. I did so sincerely hoping that no one would claim her.  Amazingly enough, no one did and DaisyMae became part of our family.  At that time, our family included our other dog Sweeney, two cats, two parrots and four cockatiels. She adapted well to her new family and seemed grateful that she no longer had to fight for her very existence.

One morning, a couple of months later, our other dog, Sweeney, who was the love of my life looked at me as I crawled out of bed. He attempted to get up, but it was evident he was weak and very, very sick.  I rushed him to the vet’s office, where they immediately intubated him and tried to figure out what was happening.  He died about 30 minutes later, as I waited.  I was devastated. We later found out he had internal bleeding due to hemangiosarcoma.

Daisy seemed to understand my pain with the loss of my beloved Sweeney. She would come and place her head in my lap and her soulful eyes would seem to gaze into my soul.Daisy - Angel Dog 2

As many dogs do, Daisy enjoyed car rides and the highlight of her week was running errands on Saturday and going out to get a Glenwood Post Independent with my husband. When I changed jobs over a year ago, she loved to be able to accompany me occasionally. I loved her companionship and the walks we took around town during the day. Even the noise of the trucks on Grand Avenue did not bother her, which made me wonder again, about her beginnings.

She hated thunder and would find a dark place to hide during thunderstorms. How did she survive outside, in July, with raging thunderstorms? It must have been terrifying for her. But now she had us to sooth and assure her.

Daisy Playing - still shotWhile she loved rides, she did not relish traveling in our RV.  It was much too noisy, with all the dishes and things rattling.  She actually did not seem to like going camping at all.  She seemed to look at us with eyes that said, “Why are we up here, in the dirt and bugs, when we could be home, with our grassy back yard and cozy house?” But still, she would rather be with us in the dirt than at home without us.

She could entertain herself for hours with a tennis ball or squeaky toy – until she shredded it to get to the squeaker. Often I would bring work home with me and sit outside on warm summer evenings to finish things up.  She was always by my side. When Chester, our son and daughter-in-law’s Cairn Terrier mix, who we had adopted, died quite suddenly, Daisy seemed to understand and tried to comfort me and my granddaughters who were visiting with us at the time.

And so was our life with Daisy, all nine years and eight months.

Two months ago, routine lab work discovered that her platelet count was low. This is serious. Without the proper platelet count she could bleed to death from a slight accident.  Had I missed something?  Should I have seen that she was slowing down? Should the fact that she was having a harder time climbing into the car for her rides have raised red flags? Tests were ordered, an ultrasound, and further lab work.  All came back negative.  A diagnosis of Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia (ITP) was made. She was started on a course of prednisone and antibiotics. The prednisone caused urinary urgency and she was sometimes not able to hold it if we weren’t immediately available to let her outside. I could sense her embarrassment at her accidents. We never scolded.  We just assured her that she was still a “very good girl.”

Weekly lab work now.  All the numbers were still declining. She is starting to refuse her car rides. Now I am really concerned. Another medication was added. Still more lab work.  Still not working.  Last week a stronger, chemotherapy drug was tried to bring things under control. That was Tuesday. She seemed to tolerate it well. But then on Thursday, I noticed a difference. She was more lethargic and was vomiting. I called the vet and our usual vets were not in the office. The other vet gave her subcutaneous fluids and an anti-emetic injection.

That evening, for the first time ever, she only ate a few bites of food and started refusing water. I knew we were starting into the end.  As the evening and night progressed, her breathing became more labored. I knew she could not survive this.

When the vet’s office opened in the morning, I called to let them know what she was experiencing and to say I thought it was time.  I asked if one of the vets could come to us. I received a call back a few minutes later saying they were on their way.

We were able to move her back onto her bed and took her outside, to the back porch. She loved being in the back yard and the cool air seemed to help her breathing. Dr. Bob and a young vet tech drove up within a few minutes and while we all gently talked to her and stroked her, as the medication was given, she took her last breath.  Very peaceful. No more pain.

Dr. Lori called about an hour later to say how sorry she was and to let us know that we had absolutely done the right thing.  She did a needle aspiration into her abdominal cavity and she said it confirmed that she was bleeding internally.  I will be forever grateful to Dr. Bob Thorson and Dr. Lori Pohm and all the staff at All Dogs and Cats Veterinary Hospital, in Glenwood for the very thorough, compassionate, loving care they have provided to all our fur family over the last 25 years.

Daisy - my office assistantSo now I find myself anticipating Daisy’s presence, whether it is stepping over her to climb into bed or hearing her come running when I open the refrigerator door.  There is no one there to save the last couple of French fries for, or to share a piece of cheese with. It is all the little things I miss; bending down to rub her belly, or hearing her bark as I drive into the driveway and greet me at the door. It is feeling this pain and not having her come to me, to lay her head in my lap as if to say, “I understand.”

But while the pain seems bottomless at this time, I will gladly feel this sorrow in exchange for all the wonderful, unconditional love and companionship she brought to me over the years. While I wish we could have had a few more years, she will always be part of the fabric of who I am. There is a saying, “Be the person your dog thinks you are.” Godspeed DaisyMae until we meet again. In the meantime, I will be trying to be the person you thought I was.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grand Avenue Pedestrian Bridge – What do you think?

The following is a press release from CDOT regarding the Grand Avenue Pedestrian Bridge

News From
The Colorado Department
of Transportation
http://www.coloradodot.info
Twitter: @coloradodot

Contact: Nancy Shanks, CDOT Public Relations
(970) 385-1428 or (970) 749-3579 mobile
Joe Elsen, CDOT Program Engineer
(970) 384-3332 office, (970) 379-9532 mobile
August 19, 2013
Grand Ave. Bridge EA – Enthusiastic Support for the New Pedestrian Bridge Type

Ped Bridge 1

Glenwood Springs City Council favors simple ped bridge design that complements surrounding environment

GLENWOOD SPRINGS –At an August 1, 2013, workshop with Glenwood Springs City Council, a pedestrian bridge that focused on historic elements consistent with downtown Glenwood Springs was unanimously favored. This was consistent with what the project team had heard from public comments on pedestrian bridge types and features at public meetings, Strawberry Days exhibits and Downtown Market events.

A new pedestrian bridge was not originally part of the Grand Avenue Bridge project. The concept was introduced as part of the overall solution last fall when the project team began looking at how to demolish and construct the highway bridge. There are numerous utilities under the highway bridge that will have to be relocated before the existing bridge can be removed and replaced. The most efficient way to relocate these utilities was to place them on a new pedestrian bridge. The new pedestrian bridge also facilitates accelerated bridge construction techniques, important on this project to minimize impacts.

As this concept was considered in the evaluation process, it became apparent that a new pedestrian bridge would address almost all of the project criteria, including multimodal connectivity; safety and consistency with regional planning. As well, it has the potential to offer better harmony within the community, have reduced overall construction costs, minimize impacts to private property, and reduce overall impacts.

Ped bridge 2

The benefits and issues to consider in replacing the pedestrian bridge were presented at a combined Project Leadership Team/Project Working Group meeting back in October 2012. In November, the project team asked the Stakeholder Working Group to comment on the advantages and disadvantages of a new pedestrian bridge and what the bridge might look like. After initial input from this group, the project team developed a list of 14 potential bridge types that could be considered.

Attendees at the January 9, 2013, Public Open House commented on the 14 bridge type options and how some of them would look when paired with different Grand Avenue Bridge options. In addition to improving on the functionality of the existing bridge, public input suggested that the new pedestrian bridge would need to complement the highway bridge, accommodate both pedestrians and bicycles, and incorporate the aesthetics and historic details that fit the historic context of Glenwood Springs.

The project team considered the public and stakeholder comments at a bridge design workshop held in February. The team’s bridge architect, engineers, and environmental experts discussed the merits and disadvantages of a wide range of bridge types. After two days of discussion, the project team narrowed the 14 options to three options to be considered in more detail. These options were: 1) a single-tower, cable-stayed symmetric span bridge (two equal spans); 2) a single-tower, cable-stayed asymmetric-span bridge (spans of different lengths); and 3) an arch bridge that spans from the south bank to north of I-70.

During the discussions and subsequent evaluations, the project team evaluated the bridge types using several criteria: environmental impacts, site constraints/opportunities, aesthetics, constructability/phasing, schedule, maintenance, cost, span, and other impacts.
Renderings and models were presented to the Glenwood Springs City Council, other stakeholders, and the public while conceptual design details were being developed. There was no overwhelming support for any one of the options. After feedback was received on May 30 from the Stakeholder Working Group and the City Council voiced concerns that the current options did not reflect the character of the community, the project team reset their direction and developed three bridge types to present to the City Council on August 1.

“All of the bridge types we have considered would meet the purpose and need of the project, and would work from an engineering perspective,” CDOT Region 3 Central Program Engineer Joe Elsen said. “The public process helped us come up with the best solution for the community. We listened, redesigned, and now have what we believe to be a winning option that will be cost-effective to design and build.”

The current bridge type is what is called a five-span, variable-depth girder bridge. The 16-foot-wide bridge would be supported by girders under the deck rather than cables and towers above the deck, features found to block the views of the mountains and the river. The bridge would also clear span the Colorado River and incorporate several shorter towers with architectural elements consistent with the historic character of Glenwood Springs. It would accommodate both pedestrians and bicyclists, with the potential for overlooks and other amenities.

Ped bridge 3

Gaining the endorsement of the City Council at their August 1st meeting and input from the individuals who have viewed the renderings at the Tuesday Downtown Markets means that the project team can start developing additional design details.

Ped Bridge 4

“Arriving at one solution from where we started was the result of the community’s vision for a context-sensitive design, an open and public process, and a talented group of bridge architects and engineers who were open to considering the range of options until we got it right,” Elsen said.

The public can see conceptual renderings in the lobby of the Glenwood Springs City Hall, 101 West 8th Street. The model will also be available every other week at the Downtown Market in Centennial Park Tuesdays from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Those wanting to receive project updates can sign up via CDOT’s free message system by going to http://www.coloradodot.info/ and clicking on green cell phone in the upper right hand side of the page. After signing in, scroll down to “Projects” and choose “SH 82 Aspen to Glenwood.”

The project is funded through the Colorado Bridge Enterprise, a government-owned business entity within CDOT. The Colorado General assembly created the statewide Bridge Enterprise via Senate Bill 09-108, also known as FASTER (Funding Advancements for Surface Treatment and Economic Recovery)

http://www.coloradodot.info/programs/transitandrail/resource-materials-new/TRACdocument-SB09-108(FASTER)/view.
http://www.coloradodot.info/programs/BridgeEnterprise

The purpose of the Bridge Enterprise is to complete designated bridge projects that involve the financing, repair, reconstruction and replacement of bridges designated as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and rated “poor” by CDOT.

WANTED: Community Leaders!

If you are reader of the Our Town blog, I bet you love Glenwood Springs, love being “in the know” about the issues facing our town, and want to make a positive impact in our community.  If any of those things are true about you, you really ought to consider applying for the upcoming Glenwood Springs Community Development Academy, a dynamic training program sponsored by the Sonoran Institute and the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association

What would you learn in this program?  Over eight weekly sessions, you will discuss choices and issues facing Glenwood Springs, as well as the role of effective leadership and decision-making in creating successful communities.  Have you ever wondered how transportation-related decisions affect business viability?  Or how housing choices are connected to economic development?  Or what a community can do to nurture leadership and public engagement for sound decision-making?  And what can we as a community be doing RIGHT NOW to address all of these questions?

You will be able to explore these pressing questions (and more!) with regional experts in the Glenwood Springs Community Development Academy. 

The course will take place on Monday nights in Glenwood Springs from 5:30pm – 8:00pm from September 16 to November 4.  The cost for the 8-week course is $100, which includes all materials and catered dinners.  Limited scholarships are available for the course, so don’t let the price tag scare you off if you are interested in participating.

Heads up – class size is limited and applications must be received by 5pm on Friday, September 6.  For further information, please contact Jillian Sutherland at the Sonoran Institute by calling 970-384-4364 extension 4002 or by email at jsutherland@sonoraninstitute.org.

Image

Participants from the 2012 Garfield County CDA explore redevelopment concepts with Chuck Perry, a nationally-recognized expert in community based planning.

Big Fuzzy Lap Dog

Daisy

For those of you who read my last post http://ourtownglenwoodsprings.com/2013/06/24/the-wolf-lurks/,
my monstrous wolf was more of a very friendly very big dog that wants to sit in your lap – kind of like my Goldendoodle.

I just wanted to give you a quick update. My hip surgery was a week ago today. Things are going well. Moving around on crutches I am not a patient person so I want the healing process to move quickly. I guess I over the next few weeks I will learn patience – like it or not!! I feel a bit out of the “community loop” but hope to catch up soon. Feel free to update me – easiest is email ktrauger@rof.net as I am having some difficulty with my cell phone. Best to everyone.

The Wolf Lurks

Councilors Edmonds and Leahy discuss the CDOT Model

Councilors Edmonds and Leahy discuss the CDOT Model

Many of us, given a choice, would go with status quo.  Let’s keep things the same. We want our town to be the same place we grew up in. Even my son said this just this weekend.  I touched on this in an earlier post FEAR, FACT and FRUSTRATION as well as SEEKING UNDERSTANDING.  There is a German axiom that states, “Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.”

This week, my personal wolf is fairly monstrous. I struggled with maintaining the status quo for a very long time.  The problem with the status quo is that it simply doesn’t exist.  Like it or not, things are always changing.  I am learning that I do not control the universe . . . darn!   While I would like to keep my body in the same shape as it was when I was 20- that just is not reality. Let’s just say that I am a bit beyond 20 and hereditary factors, age and wear are taking a bit of a toll.  This week I will have surgery for a right hip arthroplasty – a fancy term for a hip replacement.  Is my fear level up?  You bet.  I am reassured by numerous success stories, but still, the wolf lurks.

During a workshop with Council and CDOT Thursday evening, for which I was late . . .  there was significant discussion on mitigation factors for the Grand Avenue Bridge project.  If those that were there would like to comment more on that aspect, I would appreciate it   Council, and those of us in attendance, also got a chance to look at a scale model of the proposed bridge.  This model will be available for viewing at a booth at Strawberry Days as well as during the summer at the Downtown Market.  I would encourage everyone to take some time to look at it.  A word of caution – this is a model, made of white plastic and meant to show size and scale.  It is not meant to show design elements.  You will see a few of the initial design elements proposed by the designers for the pedestrian bridge.  However, those have been modified, in design drawings, to bring in more of the historical feel of Glenwood Springs.  I sincerely hope, as Council member Todd Leahy suggested, that CDOT brings those design boards along with the model to the public.  I think it will go a long way to alleviating some fears.

Also discussed at last night’s Council meeting was a proposal by Garfield County resident, John Haines, to bring an “advisory” ballot question to the residents of Glenwood Springs regarding the bridge.   The proposed language was as follows:

  1. Should the City of Glenwood Springs proceed with the replacement of the Grand Avenue Bridge as currently proposed.   YES or NO
  2. Or should the City of Glenwood Springs focus its attention on a master plan to relieve Grand Avenue of State Highway 82 traffic  YES or NO

John Haines, and three others, Jim Denton, Hal Sundin and Cheryl Cain urged Council to consider such a vote.  It was the contention of Mr. Haines that there is overwhelming public sentiment against a new bridge and Council does not have the pulse of the people.  Hal Sundin maintained that if Council is truly interested, then Council should let the public speak via a vote.  Cheryl Cain, a member of the City’s Transportation Commission said that citizens want to be involved and deserve to be involved.  She felt communication is better but still not what it needs to be.

Charlie Willman stated that he was speaking as a private citizen, not as a DDA member. Mr. Willman pointed out that such a vote would be a waste of funds because, in the end, it is CDOT’s decision, not the citizens of Glenwood Springs, whether a new bridge will be constructed. The bridge is part of State Highway 82 and it is within CDOT’s purview.  Additionally, he noted that the results of such a ballot would not be representative of the wishes of the people.  Generally, there is more impetus for those against something to cast a ballot than there is for those in favor. As alternatives, he suggested a straw poll or enlisting the services of a professional survey.

Mr. Denton countered Mr. Willman’s suggestion that a survey be done, stating that might have been a valid way to conduct a poll at one time, but now, due to cell phones, that is no longer viable.   He suggested a mail in vote allowing citizens from Rifle to Aspen a vote.

By and large, Council was not in favor of a vote. Council member Matt Steckler held that it could take months of argument about how the ballot question should be worded and who should be allowed to vote.     Mr. Steckler pointed out that, as a “representative democracy” City Council has been elected by the people to represent them in such decisions. He noted that if Council is not representing the wishes of the people, the people have the option to remove them from office.  He contended that the NEPA process gives Glenwood a voice in the bridge process.  He acknowledged that he is interested in providing a benefit to the citizens of Glenwood Springs and declared that he will not support any ballot question on this subject.

Councilor Mike Gamba observed that the question, as stated, was a false choice.  He emphasized that these are not alternatives that are available.  The city cannot take the $60 million offered by the State in the Bridge Enterprise Fund and use it to build a bypass.  He reminded the public that Glenwood has a 60 year old bridge that is deficient and unsafe.  Councilman Gamba stated that whether the bridge serves as Highway 82 or a connection to Grand Ave, Glenwood needs a new bridge.  He agreed that CDOT has a right to build a bridge, vote or no vote and acknowledged that CDOT has been very respectful in this process.

Councilman Ted Edmonds affirmed that he was also opposed to this suggestion by Citizens to Save Grand Avenue.   He noted that if a vote were put to the citizens of Glenwood Springs asking whether Glenwood should have a bypass, it would probably show that the citizens think there should be a bypass.  However he stated the “devil is in the detail.”  It could be argued that Midland is not a good location due to all of driveways accessing it.  The other popular suggested alternative is the river corridor, however, the problem is that the City of Glenwood Springs does not own the corridor.  Most of it is controlled by RFTA and has been rail-banked in order to preserve the potential of heavy freight on the corridor.

Councilor Edmonds recounted that a friend of his in had driven over the I-5 Bridge in Seattle just minutes before it collapsed in May.  That bridge, he confirmed was considered functionally obsolete, just as the Grand Avenue Bridge has been rated.  Every condition of that bridge, he stressed, applies to the Grand Avenue Bridge.  He stated that he considers the primary function of City Council to be safety and he is opposed to delaying this process, which he said has been a good bridge.  He emphasized that Glenwood  desperately needs a new bridge now.

Council member Stephen Bershenyi acknowledged that these issues cut across the community.  Taking the charge of the Citizens to Save Grand Avenue seriously, he stated he has spent much time talking with people in the community.  Overwhelmingly, he stated, the citizens believe we need a new bridge that safeguards both people and the economy of Glenwood.  He reiterated that CDOT has been much more collaborative than in the past.  He agreed that he was unwilling to spend $15,000 on a question that does not need to be asked and questioned whether the Citizens to Save Grand Avenue actually have a majority opinion.  He asserted that Council has done their due diligence in wrestling with this decision.

Councilman Dave Sturges said that he is interested in getting more citizen input and the city needs to do more to engage citizens.  He asserted that meetings do not leave room for dialog and are driven by agendas.  He observed that Glenwood is the midst of a decision. He questioned what the right solution is at this time. He acknowledged that the point that the current bridge is functionally obsolete is hard to argue but he does not think that the process is to the point of asking this question.  The question of whether Grand Avenue should be relieved of Highway 82 traffic is not an either-or question. Councilor Sturges also stated that he has concerns with the process and the transparency of the process. He encouraged citizens to stay involved, although he stated he could not support this proposal at this time.

Mayor Leo McKinney observed that if there was as much opposition to the bridge as the Citizens to Save Grand Avenue indicate, City Council chambers would have been packed. He recognized that this has been a lengthy, ongoing process.  He acknowledged that the bridge construction will be very painful but hoped it would be painful for only a very short period of time.

In the end Council did not need to take any action on this item, and it was clear that this proposal was not moving forward.  However, as Councilor Sturges stated, the citizens must continue to be involved in this critical process.  I would be interested in hearing your ideas about ways to foster citizen involvement in this and other important decisions in our city and in our region.  What could the City be doing and what, as citizens could we be doing to make this communication an ongoing thing? BTW – anyone interested in serving on the Planning Commission?  We could use some citizen involvement!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Momentum

8th and Grand 6-15-13

8th & Grand Ave, Glenwood Springs

I am a “play by the rules” kind of person.  I am the one in the office that loves the thought of creating policies and then developing procedures to follow.  Maybe this is one reason that I am drawn to serve on the local Planning Commission . . . that and I drive my family and a few others crazy with my never ending passion for planning . . . everything . . . gardens, vacations, dinners, cleaning  . . . whatever.  What I have learned over the years is that, for me, the planning is the fun and easy part.  Getting it done  . . . well that is another story.   Herein lies another problem.  I am also a bit of a perfectionist.  Ok, you may not know that from looking at my garden, or my home, or my blog.

The funny thing is that I am not alone – apparently.  In my short tenure – four years – with the Planning Commission and in working with other municipal committees, commissions, councils and personnel, I have come to realize that the planning, the visioning, the dreaming is the easy and fun part.  It is the roll-up-your-sleeves, grab a shovel, get your hands dirty putting those dusty plans into action that is infinitely more difficult.  Why is that?

Part of it is that we are all, to some degree, perfectionists.  We want whatever we do to be the Martha Stewart dinner party, the perfect vacation that our family will always remember, the garden that the neighbors oooh and aaah over.  For some of us, when the weeds start  taking over the garden, or the dust bunnies start reproducing in the corners, we throw up our hands and quit.  Things are not quite as easy as we envisioned.  We give up.

The other issue is that, whether you really want to admit it or not, we generally have a desire to be liked and to please people.  Face it, whether you are dealing with a family or a group of citizens, you are not going to make everyone happy all the time.  In fact, you will probably irritate almost everyone at one time or another.   Making decisions and taking a stand is quite frankly hard work.  My job as a Planning Commission member is aided by a few things, ordinances, codes, and laws – all those things I find comforting in their structure.  However, these same things  – and the beaurocracy that can be associated with it can be stifling to the most productive of those among us.

For many years I have heard the term “political will.”   “All it takes is political will.”  Maybe.  Is that the same as political power?   But “power” is a strong word that brings visions and potential of abuse.

Last week at the Glenwood Springs City Council meeting I heard another word – perhaps one more fitting to the events happening in Glenwood Springs right now.  That word is “momentum.”  Councilor Todd Leahy used it to describe what is happening in Glenwood Springs right now.  He is right.  Glenwood Springs is in a unique position at this moment in time.   I have rarely seen the synergy between entities that have never been at the same table before as I have in the last few months. We have CDOT, Union Pacific, RFTA, Garfield County,  city staff and city council, along with others,  in various stages of planning and doing . . . working on the hard stuff . . .  the stuff that forges long term agreements and clears the way for perhaps one of the most exciting times in Glenwood Spring history.  Will it please everyone? Not a chance.  But in my opinion, we would be negligent to miss this chance to get something done!