While I disagree entirely with the opinions expressed in Laura Hillyer's Aug. 12 letter in the Pine River Times, she is to be commended for one simple thing: putting her name on what she wrote. While this might sound like a "who wouldn't" kind of thing, I'll tell you who wouldn't: the La Plata County Republican Party.
Many Times readers no doubt saw and read the flyer at the LPC Republican Party fair booth that attacked county Commissioners Gwen Lachelt and Julie Westendorff with a string of ugly lies and innuendoes. Yet, where Ms. Hillyer had the guts to own what she said, the Republicans could not count enough hair among them to say who wrote this piece, and I can understand that because it was a piece of garbage.
Now, maybe the Fair Flyer Fairy left it on the table for them to discover and distribute and wonder, "Gee, who wrote this?"; and if you believe that, you will believe what the flyer said.
Example: "Killed local jobs and businesses: Over 2,000 oil and gas jobs lost," and while it does not say why, the implication is because of county regulations. This is an ongoing industry myth, in the tradition of "If you say it often enough and loud enough, it becomes true."
I would like anyone to show me any county regulation that killed jobs. I'll help you out here: the answer is none. There has never been a well permit denied by La Plata County under its regulations. And even industry spokesperson Christi Zeller is quoted as saying that the reason there is little drilling (and fewer jobs) here is because the natural gas price is so low.
I remember a time when the local Republican Party (while misdirected, in my humble opinion) had integrity, and would say what they meant and stand by what they said. There was no hiding. That evidently is no longer the case.
So Laura, keep demonstrating how a principled person expresses opinions: by saying "I wrote this."
Josh Joswick is a former La Plata County commissioner and Bayfield mayor.