This summer there will be petition gatherers in our town trying to get any number of things on the November ballot. One measure I wouldn't sign for is Initiative 97. It basically makes all oil and gas development impossible by increasing the setbacks from 500 feet to 2,500 feet. Sure, oil and gas companies talk constantly about their ability to drill more than a mile horizontally underground, but if you make well pads 2,500 feet from the nearest occupied structure, you quickly render nearly the entire state unsuitable for drilling. I support strong regulation of oil and gas, but what I don't support is a wholesale ban on it. Our economy and our very lives run on the products they produce, and such a draconian measure would be a total disaster for the state. When they come up to you and ask for your signature to get 97 on the ballot, decline to sign.
Dr. Laurie Stein
The election results are in at the local, state and national level, and as expected, Democrats are doing well in state and national races. Colorado has elected Jared Polis as governor; nationally the Republicans appear to retain control of the Senate while Democrats now control the House of Representative.
With a ballot full of local and state measures, voter turnout in Delta County topped 71%, with 15,889 ballots cast. Statewide, voter turnout was just over 52%.
Of the three Delta County residents seeking state offices, Matt Soper won over Thea Chase in State Representative Dist. 54; Mike Mason lost to Julie McCluskie in State Representative Dist. 61; and Olen Lund lost to Kerry Donovan in State Senate Dist. 5.
Locally, in the City of Delta voters rejected a .5% sales tax increase to fund recreation, as well as recreational marijuana sales. The sale of medical marijuana and cultivation/manufacturing facilities was approved by a slim margin. Delta voters also gave the city the green light to move forward with selling or trading the Cottonwood and Riverbend Park, and to sell the old Municipal Light and Power Building.