Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Weld County, Wyoming

A long rambling, perhaps incoherent rant, about the place I live and the political scene. You may want to skip it.

Weld County, CO is located East of the Continental Divide , somewhat North Central, and abuts Wyoming to the North.  It is the third largest county in Colorado by square miles (4,017) with a population of around 340,000. That population is about 80% “white” counting the approximate 25% “hispanic”. Much of the ”hispanic” population is third and fourth generation.

In recent years the line between anglo and hispanic has receded, thankfully. I have acquaintances of my age that have deep, and justifiably bitter, memories of the Greeley of their youth.

There is an ongoing desire to break away from the deep blue parts of Colorado and join Wyoming going back to 2013. Currently, an effort is being made to put it on the 2022 ballot.

From Wikipedia.
In 2013, conservative Weld County commissioners began a campaign to secede from the State of Colorado and a state ballot measure regarding the issue was put on the November 2013 ballot. The legality of this initiative has been questioned by local attorneys.[9] On Nov 5th, 2013, 6 out of 11 Colorado counties voted no for secession, including Weld County. Elbert, Lincoln, Logan, Moffat, Sedgwick, and Weld counties voted no, while Cheyenne, Kit Carson, Phillips, Washington, and Yuma counties voted yes. "Weld County voters said this is an option we shouldn't pursue and we won't pursue it," said Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, "But we will continue to look at the problems of the urban and rural divide in this state."[10]

I’ve yet to read any opinions from Wyoming residents as to if they want us. It will increase their population some 40%.
Our local sheriff is a strong 2nd Amendment advocate and if often at odds with the mandarins in Denver. This is a recent press release
1h · 
Weld County Sheriff’s Office stance on face mask mandate
We understand sometimes a message can get lost in translation in a 60-second newscast or a 10-inch news story, so the Weld County Sheriff’s Office would like to make clear where we stand on Gov. Jared Polis’ executive order mandating the wearing of face masks in public.
Our comment last week about whether we would "enforce" the mask mandate stemmed from a question we received from several media outlets asking if residents should expect to see the sheriff's office issuing fines or arresting people for not wearing a face mask. The answer to that question is no.
An executive order is not the same thing as a law passed by the state legislature. There is no citation in Colorado’s Criminal Code that states a person is breaking the law by not wearing a face mask in public. We therefore don’t think we have the authority to fine or arrest someone for not wearing a face mask.
Last week, we heard from a lot of people both in Weld County and throughout the state who think it is our job to lock anyone up who is not wearing a face mask. We don't think that is a reasonable response to the governor's executive order, which is why our deputies are going to encourage people to voluntarily comply with the order when we see them in public not wearing a face mask. We think it is more reasonable to have that conversation with people and ask them to do the right thing not only for their health, but also for the safety and well-being of others.
Weld County businesses are required to adhere to the face mask mandate or run the risk of losing their license, which is issued and controlled by the state. We are asking residents, regardless of how they feel about wearing a face mask, to give their local businessowners a break and comply with the order when shopping in their stores. It’s not their fault the mask mandate was issued. Anyone who fights with a businessowner or an employee, refuses to leave a business when asked or in some other way causes an unlawful disturbance will be arrested.
Furthermore, holding a valid Concealed Handgun Permit and carrying a concealed weapon is not a valid excuse for not wearing a face mask. Nowhere in Colorado law does it state one cannot wear a face mask and lawfully carry a concealed weapon at the same time.
Even though law enforcement agencies are exempt, Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams made the decision to comply with the order after it was issued last Thursday. Residents can expect to see our deputies wearing face masks when they interact with the public and in situations when social distancing isn’t an option.

More from Wikipedia.

Weld County also holds the distinction of having more confirmed tornado sightings than any other U.S. county from 1950–2011, with 252 confirmed reports.[11]
On March 6, 2019, the county declared itself to be a Second Amendment sanctuary.[12]
Weld County is Colorado's leading producer of cattle, grain and sugar beets, and is the richest agricultural county in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, and the fourth richest overall nationally. It is also becoming more important as a milk producing county, with close to half of the state's cattle.[22] [3] Weld County is also an important area of oil and natural gas production in the Denver-Julesburg Basin.

Weld County is the number one producer of oil and gas in the State. 88% of all crude oil production and 40% of all natural gas production in Colorado comes from Weld County!
Some accounts peg the county as the 20th largest petroleum producer in the country. Lots more tax dollars flow from Weld into the State Treasury than flow back from the State to the county. The (P)regressives might find themselves in an even deeper hole, just saying.

IMO, the only reason the state isn’t CA, IL, NY, NJ, etc. is TABOR. We are the only TABOR state.

The TABOR Amendment, which was approved by voters in 1992, limits the amount of revenue the State of Colorado can retain and spend.1  The TABOR limit “base” is equal to the lesser of the prior fiscal year’s revenue limit grown by Colorado inflation and population growth, or the current fiscal year's revenue.  Referendum C, which was approved by voters in 2005, allows the state to retain and spend an amount of revenue above the TABOR limit base.2  This amount is limited by the Referendum C “cap,” which grows by inflation plus population growth from FY 2007-08 revenue.  Surplus revenue in excess of the Referendum C cap must be refunded to Colorado taxpayers.  The money is refunded from the state’s general operating fund, known as the “General Fund.”
The TABOR Amendment requires voter approval for tax increases.  Fees, which are not addressed in this handbook, can be increased by the state legislature without voter approval.  Voter approval is also required to increase the TABOR limit, which constrains state revenue from both taxes and fees.
The (P)regressives froth at the mouth over TABOR and continue to find ways around it. The current favorite is “fees” instead of a tax. It is keeping lawyers busy as things are fought out in court.

From the outside looking in, the county looks to be quite conservative. The county seat, Greeley, is home to UNC, once founded as the Teachers College, and still produces more teachers than any other Colorado higher education institution.

The Greeley area consistently voted for Dave Young, as liberal as they come, for State Representative. He is currently Treasury Secretary, part of the blue tsunami of the last General Election.

 The Southwest corner is home of many commuters in the technology fields and tend to vote more “progressive”. A former co-worker, Sister Kink, recently won the GOP primary for District 3 County Commissioner by 27 votes.  She was term limited as a State Representative.

The last time a Democrat Presidential candidate carried the county was LBJ vs Goldwater.

If you have read this far, I thank you. There is a small, yea minuscule, group of Colorado centric readers of this blog. This post is for them.

My apologies for the many fonts and sizes. I'm a Latter Day Luddite.


LL said...

Weld County would seem to have a lot of promise, a lot of human and natural resources and determination not to be swayed by the mob.

Anonymous said...

Entirely off topic; thank you for your comments at Every Blade of Grass, specifically the recent discussions on car buying. They were very timely, as my husband and I are considering a new car purchase. We visited a dealership yesterday, and I saw it partly through your eyes. Our young salesman was friendly, earnest and talked far too much, trying to sell us features before he knew what we were interested in. Anyhow - thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

I don't usually comment on anonymous remarks but, in this case, you are welcome.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Overall, it is well governed and is in far better financial condition than the state as a whole.

Sisty probably won't agree. We have agreed to disagree without being disagreeable.

Old NFO said...

Sounds like y'all REALLY need to get that on the 2022 ballot... And get out before the idjits run over y'all.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

I'm taking part. Fallback plan to COLOEXIT.

Fredd said...

Weld County is a kissin cousin to the rest of Red State America, or 'Fly-over Country.' The rift between urban communism and rural capitalism has never been greater. It's far easier to be poor in an urban area that has mass transit, tons of multi-family dwellings and lots of politicians handing out free cheese on every corner of town (in exchange for these loser's votes, of course).

I, too, reside in a rural Illinois county that is Beet Red, but all of our input into how Illinois is run falls on deaf ears. We have a commie retard socialist Chicago Mayor that is now speaking for all 22 million people in Illinois: "don't bring your storm troopers into Chicago, we actually LIKE all of the murders going on here. Puts us on the map."

Your Weld County experience reflects that red/blue electoral map by county of the last general election. We rural types own 90% of the real estate, and get 10% of the say in how our governments are run.

Just hope the electoral college survives, otherwise we are all toast.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Just hope the electoral college survives, otherwise we are all toast.

Probably the main reason we are still a constitutional republic. The urban/rural divide has always played hardball in our country. The principal difference today is the lack of decent paying jobs in the cities. The companies needing blue collar workers are fleeing as fast as they can.

Any new factories being built in urban area? Damn few, I bet.

LSP said...

I'm with Fredd on this.

Good luck in Weld. And, looking further afield, in November.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

I'm reminded to the Chinese curse, "May you life in interesting times".