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Last updated 12:29PM ET
December 17, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Hundreds Protest Archuleta Money Woes & More
(2007-10-14)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: Roughly 400 concerned Archuleta county community members joined together to
protest issues against the county this weekend.

Topics at the Saturday rally, ranged from county finances to trust in the county, issues
of approachability and accountability.

KSUT's Sarah Baumgartner reports.


SARAH: On a crowded Pagosa Springs street corner, Archuleta Counties community members speak out and hold picketing signs that read Where's the 2.8 mil? and We're taking our county back! as they march around Pagosa Springs downtown area.

The nearly 400 demonstrators wanted to remind the county officials who voted for them.

Leader of the demonstration, Rick Baker and publisher of the Pagosa Free Press says why.

RICK BAKER: WE ARE THEIR SUPERIORS! IS THAT RIGHT? (CHEERS: YAY) SECONDLY, WE DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY! OUR COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR BOB CAMPELL TELLS US IN AN ACCA MEETING THAT 2.8 MILLION DOLLARS WAS SQUANDERED, OK IT WAS SQUANDERED. WE WANT TO KNOW WHERE IT WENT! WE WANT TO KNOW WHO'S ACCOUNTABLE FOR IT! AND WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT BECAUSE WHO'S MONEY WAS THAT THAT WAS SQUANDERED? (DEMONSTRATORS: OURS! I WANT A RECEIPT!

Archuleta County Commissioner, Bob Moomaw believes that the county is held accountable and is currently working on an audit to help find where the loss of the $2.8 million came from.

BOB MOOMAW: WELL IT'S BEING ACCOUNTABLE, ONE IT'S WAS DISCUSSED RIGHT UP FRONT WAY BACK IN APRIL AND MAY. AND AT THAT TIME WE SAID WE DON'T KNOW WHERE IT WENT, THAT'S WHY WE'RE HAVING THE AUDIT. IF I HAD TO GUESS I WOULD SAY A LOT OF IT HAD TO DO WITH ACCOUNTING ERRORS. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE AUDIT WILL COME OUT WITH, BUT MY GUESS IS MOST OF IT STILL GOT SPENT ON ROADS IT WAS JUST NOT PROPERLY ACCOUNTED FOR, BUT I DON'T KNOW THAT FOR SURE I'M JUST GUESSING AT THIS POINT.

Moomaw says that the data processing portion of the audit being compiled by the firm Clifton Gunderson LLC should be gathered by the end of this week and estimates that the audit will be available to public in the coming weeks.

But protestors want answers to their questions now.


DEMONSTRATORS: WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO GO AND ASK QUESTIONS AND HAVE THEM ANSWERED RIGHT THEN AND THERE. IS THAT RIGHT? YAY!! THE TRUTH TOO! THE TRUTH SAYS ED!

But the public's questions varied.

PROTESTORS: (CHANT) WE WANT OUR COUTNY BACK! THE WHOLE CREW. WE'RE LOOSING BUSINESS/MONEY! WHERE'S THE 2.8 MIL MAN? THAT'S THE MAGIC QUESTION? WE WANT ACCOUNTABILITY WE WANT HONESTY AND INTEGRETY. WE'RE HERE BECAUSE NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW. BE ACCOUNTABLE!

Despite the questions and controversy Commissioner Moomaw believes the county is moving in the right direction.

MOOMAW: ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW I'M PRETTY PLEASED WITH HOW THE COUNTY IS MOVING RIGHT NOW. WE'VE GONE FROM WHERE WE WERE DEAD BROKE AND IN DEBT, WE'VE REDUCED, I THINK WE'VE ACTED PRETTY DECISIVELY IN DEALING WITH THE FINANCIAL CRISIS. AND I'M IN THE THE NICE SPOT OF BEING ABLE TO SAY I WASN'T PART OF CAUSING THE CRISIS. YOU KNOW, BECAUSE I DIDN'T GET IN OFFICE UNTIL JANUARY. SO MY MAIN FOCUS IS HOW DO WE GET OUT OF THIS CRISIS. I HAVEN'T WORRIED TOO MUCH ABOUT HOW WE GOT HERE. ONE BECAUSE IT'S WATER OVER THE DAM, I CAN'T ANYTHING ABOUT IT. YOU KNOW, THE ONLY REASON I WANT TO KIND OF KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IS SO WE CAN INSTITUTE THINGS SO IT CAN'T HAPPEN AGAIN.

Baker says that the Pagosa Free Press will be sponsoring another meeting for the public to share more of their concerns during the second week of November.

From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Sarah Baumgartner.


TAG: Text and audio of this story can be found online at ksut.org.
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