Statement by Stacey Rogers
Castle Rock citizens were deceived; as a petition circulator, I was deceived repeatedly: before I started when I was told "you can't put a price on democracy" and "no deal" (paraphrasing); during the five weeks I worked daily to gather 779 signatures, research the zoning, research incentives ordinance, and work to compile documentation that would contribute to a campaign for the referendum, and the weeks until the petition was withdrawn on June 2.
On the cover the petition, it states: "Summary of Ordinance No. 2015-09, which is the subject of this referendum petition". On April 21, Deanna Meyer responded to Mayor Donahue's question: "what are you hoping to accomplish now with the referendum? What's the whole purpose of this now?" with " My main concern with the referendum is to get people to become more empowered in making decisions in their community; that is the biggest thing."
On my second day of my circulating the petition, I emailed Brian Ertz three pages of signatures (61-90). He responds with "This is wonderful!!! Keep it up!!" Exhausted and sunburned, I reply " I am fried! wink emoticon" to which Brian, of WildLands Defense, responds "That burn you feel is what democracy looks like wink emoticon" Is it any wonder that I am angry that I defended this petition regarding zoning, as stated on the cover, only to find that I, along with just under 3000 Castle Rock citizens who wanted to have a say in their town will not because they too were pawns for a deal for prairie dogs? Apparently, there was a separate petition for prairie dogs and that failed. I know I never signed a petition that was about prairie dogs because I read what I sign; this one was about zoning. In fact, during the weeks that I gathered signatures every single day, many people asked "is this about prairie dogs?" and I told them no, displaying the petition for their review. Accepting this deal made a liar out of me and many others.
For me, the worst part of this entire experience is the lack of integrity of the representatives of WildLands Defense, specifically Deanna Meyer. If I had not trusted her, I would not feel as deceived and manipulated as I do now. Brian Ertz wisely and quite vocally maintained that his position was advisory and that he wanted to see this petition either rescinded or on a ballot, defending himself vehemently and excessively against those he believed to be questioning his motives. Deanna Meyer wrote "The reason I created this group and the reason I fought so hard was to protect prairie [dogs] and their habitat into the future. That has always been my goal and the goal of WLD. The referendum would not have saved any land and wouldn't have secured the safe removal of the remaining prairie dogs.
Through these actions, Castle Rock voters were duped. It is nothing short of disingenuous...and corrupt.
NOTE FROM BOLD VISIONS:
Wildlands Defense (WLD) waged an extensive campaign against us, accusing us of selling out, and used inflammatory phrases like "blood money" when we secured a $100,000+ deal to rescue prairie dogs and to help establish a permanent prairie dog advocacy group in Colorado. From DAY ONE, we stated that a referendum would NEVER pass in that conservative community and that they might cause irreparable harm.
Instead of participating in the deal we brokered with Alberta Development, WLD chose to fight a fight they couldn't win, while deceiving their followers and settling for a fraction of the potential gain.
Remember, the $100K settlement was EARLY in this process; with WLD's participation, not only could those funds been available, but a much greater settlement reached. They chose to vilify and berate us instead.
Conservation is difficult enough; petty infighting makes it impossible at times.
Bold Visions Conservation