We all should know better sometimes
Camp fire mole hill turns into mountain
Fruita Times General Manager Tim Merris first came to this newspaper as an advertising representative; he’s already reached the level of GM. Now he’s our lead news reporter writing some great stories.
While visiting with Tim in the office one day he remarked that he had taken some writing classes and always dreamed of being a writer. Well, that dream is coming true and he shows a real talent in writing. We’re all the beneficiaries of Tim’s new talent and it is never too late to pursue a lifetime ambition.
But, keep selling some ads, Tim, so we can pay our bills and meet the payroll. Use some of that skill to write clever advertising copy. If you like the vastly improving newspaper, time to join our list of subscribers. Newspapers are going to make it, and famed investor Warren Buffet is buying newspapers; that is a good sign for all of us. Life is more interesting when you have a good local newspaper in town.
Tim’s lead story last week was about county commissioner Craig Meis. Not only is “Craig” his first name, but my birthplace. Tim’s story is an interesting saga about the times in which we live, play and work.
History tells us about the pioneers who came Westward, some walking, pulling carts, driving oxen, mules and draft horses. They hunted for game without licenses along the way, built fires at night, had no license on vehicles; youngsters carried rifles and knew how to fire them. Whisky flowed freely without age limitations. America was free and there were no speed limits.
The settlers broke many of today’s laws while forging and founding a nation. Now a simple $3 campfire grill kit puts a county commission on the front page and demands a court appearance for lighting a fire in a restricted area. His other alleged violation was letting his 14 year-old son ride a wave runner at Highline Lake State Park. Hardly much of an offense and that landed Commissioner Craig Meis in court where he was found guilty and fined $78. He is no doubt feeling unloved at this time in his life.
I’m not sure the offenses rise to the occasion of court appearances. The commissioner on both occasions thought that “discretion” was in order.
That’s where our laws become “fuzzy” these days in selective law enforcement, whom do we charge, ticket, fine, jail or in some cases deport. It would be pretty easy to arrest a whole lot more people if some “discretion” wasn’t used.
During my term as mayor of Craig I advised our police officers to stop people who were intoxicated before entering their cars late at night. If they refused a ride and wished to drive while intoxicated they were ticketed, arrested, whatever. About every night in Craig police could lurk in the alleys and arrest many people leaving bars at 2 a.m. after some hard drinking.
The same could prevail in Fruita and other cites. After I left office and a few police chief’s later they did start lurking in the allies and arresting everyone they could catch. That police chief became very unpopular and quickly lost the support of the community. Bottom line is, “don’t drive drunk,” under any circumstances.
“Discretion” is a very hard term to deal with and of course when one starts to throw their weight around that can cause more trouble as with Commissioner Meis.
He’s still a good fellow and has served the county well; we should not think badly about him because he wanted to grill a hamburger on a tiny grill in a national forest.
Yes, he should have known better. But we all can make mistakes, even small ones, these days can lead to quite a bit of trouble.
Right now most folks are angry with a lot of issues and the political talk shows have us all riled up.
Time to take a deep breath, be thankful that we live in Colorado and that all of our beautiful forests have not burned up, at least not yet.
It’s just a matter of time before Mother Nature gets rid of most of those beetles her way.