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Scuffle Disrupts Montezuma County Commissioners Meeting

By Dexter Gill

Montezuma BOCC News Bits 11-2-21

The meeting today covered several items of interest, including such things as the new bridge over Alkali Creek on road “N” is set to be bid out for work to begin in May. Then it was good to know the Landfill now has a new weight scale in place to replace the old one that was literally falling apart. Then there was the news that the BLM finished the new Parking Lot of the public access to the BLM lands in the Summit area, that the Horseback people were eager for. Looks real nice.

NOW one area was very disconcerting at the meeting. Soon after the opening and part way through the first Planning and Zoning hearing and actions relating to Land Use issues, a large male subject entered walking down the south aisle while answering his phone and talking in a very loud and boisterous voice, even overpowering the PA system. The Chairman asked the subject to take his call out of the room, which resulted in a refusal and several escalating verbal exchanges. A Sheriff Deputy in the room intervened and a physical scuffle resulting, shutting down the meeting and involving the Commissioners and others before the subject was subdued and resulting in damage to parts of the facility. What was going on? As an observer on the opposite side of the room, it “appeared” that the subject had come to the meeting with the sole purpose and intent of causing a disturbance, and he succeeded. What was he there to be disturbed about? Due to the timing where land issues are being resolved, one can only assume that may have been the area of concern, however his actions certainly did not help benefit his cause whatever it may have been. Having the Sheriff Deputy in the room was excellent, and with help from the BOCC and Staff the matter was resolved rapidly and well done.

The question we need to ask is “Why did this happen at all?”. Then “What are we, as Montezuma County Residents going to do about it?”. The “Anger” exhibited today was not only toward the BOCC Commissioners, as the Commissioners and Staff represent ALL of us as residents. The Anger was addressed to ALL OF THE RESIDENTS of the County and the Constitution and Laws we try to live peaceably with each other under. Just last week, Dolores County Court house was locked down due to threats against officials. What will be next if this is not stopped? If we want to stop the violence, we need to first identify what the underlying problem is that is causing the violent reaction. Today's' violent reaction is not the problem, it is evidence of an unseen or unidentified problem or issue.

I would like to suggest each of us compile our thoughts on what each of us is concerned with affecting or potentially affecting our lives here in Montezuma County. Hey you in Dolores County can comment also as we are really one community, in all areas of life. As food for thought, one common concern I hear at BOCC meetings is how some land use project will “ruin my property value”. What is YOUR big number 1 and 2 etc. concerns that get you “stirred up” about? Let’s sort them out and ALL work together on resolutions, not leave it to the BOCC to solve our problems. That would make us one of the problems.

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