Pikes Peak Newspapers letters to the editor


I have a 17-year-old daughter that went missing Tuesday, Jan 5. She has had a medical history of passing out and short term memory loss so obviously I was afraid of something bad happening.

After frantically searching myself for her, I contacted Woodland Park Police Department. After filing a report the WPPD started searching for her. I then spoke with a Teller County Sheriff and filed another report. They put out a “Be On the Lookout” for her and starting searching, also.

Many people, friends, family, police, all searched all day from Ft. Collins to Cripple Creek. Finally around 9 p.m., a Teller County sergeant located her. She was dazed and confused and sent to the hospital for in medical check-up. She was physically fine but had total amnesia. She couldn’t even remember her mom and dad. Huddled up and crying all she wanted was to talk to the sergeant who found her. After being released from the hospital I took her home, which she did not recognize.

Two days later, she was still with total amnesia and looked very depressed. She wanted to talk to the Teller County sergeant. I called him up he said that he would come talk to her. I think he was off duty. He asked if we could meet a little while later because he needed to change back into police uniform. After coming to my house and talking with her for hours, she did feel much better. He said we can call him anytime day or night if we needed to.

I know we still have a long ways to go with her but I want to thank both Woodland Park Police Department and Teller County Sheriff’s Office for bringing her home safely. Especially the Teller County sergeant who went above and beyond making her feel comfortable helping in any way that he could. The police don’t get enough credit for the good they do. They are true heroes.

And I really don’t know if this is newsworthy but in my mind I think everyone should know what a difference the police make.

Donald Sand

Woodland Park



Councilman Jim Pfaff has created a divisive tension in the Woodland Park Council Chambers. At every City Council meeting he’s attended, Councilman Pfaff has taken the opportunity to spread his anti-government/anti-taxation ideology. His diatribes appear to be encouraged by Mayor Val Carr and Councilman Robert Zuluaga.

Councilman Pfaff specifically calls out Councilmen Rusty Neal as a “scoundrel” (Guest Column, Jan 6). He makes demonstrably false statements against the councilman as being an organizer of a Block Vote agreement with several other councilmen. Pfaff then further denigrates him through ad hominem attacks. On what grounds does Pfaff forge this chasm from his fellow Council member?

My perspective: As the 2020 Campaign Chair for Councilman Rusty Neal, I received notice that Mayor Pro Tem Val Carr (now Mayor) pressured Council candidates to commit to a block vote agreement. The creed of Mayor Carr’s block vote is anti-government, anti-taxation. Candidate Rusty Neal would not pledge his loyalty to any Block Vote agreement, certainly not in partisanship with Candidates Carr, Pfaff and Zuluaga.

Councilman Neal explained that his duty as an elected councilman is “... to vote according to the thoughts and wishes of his/her constituents, tempered with his/her own judgement, towards the best outcome for the citizens.” The voting records of the Block Vote Trio prove a block vote exists, and Councilman Rusty Neal is not a part of it. The constant outbursts from Councilman Pfaff against Councilman Neal are attributable to Neal’s rejection of the Block Vote Trio’s destructive, anti-government creed which is antagonistic to the common good.

Councilman Pfaff also publicly denigrates former City Manager David Buttery for being the sole cause of the City’s debt incurred during the past decade. Surprisingly, Councilman Pfaff has never even spoken with Mr. Buttery to clarify the circumstances which led to the debt. Unlike Councilman Pfaff, I took the opportunity to read the actual debt agreements, then discussed the debt load with Mr. Buttery. I learned the debt was citizen-driven, citizen-supported, and approved by documented votes of City Council. That stands in stark contrast to what Councilman Pfaff touts as debt being entirely “David Buttery’s fault,” or “created by David Buttery.”

The Block Vote Trio’s plan for Woodland Park hasn’t been fully revealed, but now appears to include the destruction of the good things created by prior councils and city administrators. The Trio’s Block Vote is an example of the detrimental “cancel culture.”

There will be “... a hard rain gonna fall …” (Bob Dylan) onto the citizens of Woodland Park if the Block Vote Trio continues to dominate Council. By his documented actions and platform which is clearly hostile to this community, I support recalling Councilman Pfaff.

Patricia Stinner

Woodland Park



For an elected official to claim those who oppose him are scoundrels and jerks is immoral and unethical.

When an elected official claims taxes are evil when the very building of a city or town, building and maintaining roads and bridges, paying for fire and police responders, and all other public services, from which all the people benefit, including all businesses, is frankly absurdly ridiculous. Taxes cannot be evil because evil must have intent to harm and taxes have no means of intent.

When that elected official does this for completely and totally self-serving political reasons it demonstrates that his immoral and unethical claims are sickeningly pathetic and sad. Who died and made Pfaff the only determinant of what, or who, is evil in the City? Is the built City made greatly possible through taxes evil? Are roads and bridges evil? Are firefighters and police evil? And who gets to decide that taxes are too high, or spending too much? Surely not just one person like Pfaff!

David Buttery served the city of Woodland Park with distinction, wanting only the very best for its citizens, and never once did I observe, in all the time I worked with him, anything that could even come within Pluto distance of immoral, unethical, or in the realm of being a scoundrel or jerk in his work, let alone evil.

I disagreed with him and he made mistakes — principally agreeing to help Charis exist as it does — because it requires significant City resources without paying for them, and is a cult-like group (I have significant expertise in cults and cult-like groups). But to call David a scoundrel and a jerk is as wrong as wrong can ever be! He worked to build the Aquatic Center (a high priority for decades), and how truly good it is, only after the voters of the city voted to have it built. He worked to build the City Park, how beautiful and useful it is, only after it had been approved by City Council, and paid for by certificates of participation as a loan, and is being paid back.

And to quote Mark Levin, who is right of Attila the Hun, as a source for anything worthwhile when he has supported the insurrection against our government, and all manner of absurdly ridiculous conspiracy theories, demonstrates the complete and total worthlessness of any argument being made by Pfaff. He should not only be recalled he should never be allowed to run again.

Rodney Noel Saunders, United Methodist Pastor, Retired




The guest column by Councilman Pfaff has compelled me to respond to what I believe to include inaccurate, incomplete, and inflammatory information about the ballot question for a sales tax designated to Woodland Park School District in 2016.

The inaccuracy is attributing this to David Buttery, who was the City Manager at the time. Mr. Buttery did not propose the sales tax. As Mr. Pfaff is aware, an elected Board of Education would address the elected City Council, not the employed City Manager. At that time, I was serving the community as President of the Board of Education. An initial letter was sent to the City Council providing basic information on 12/10/2015, we had an initial meeting with the City Council on 12/27/2015 asking the City Council for their support, and on 3/3/2016 the City Council voted (with 1 vote against) to place the question on the ballot on April 5, 2016. At no time did we address comments to Mr. Buttery, rather to Council and Mayor. I do not recall the council asking Mr. Buttery’s opinion or allowing him to vote.

Mr. Pfaff needs to do a little more research on the sales tax Ballot Question, as he reported incomplete and misleading information. He failed to communicate that the Ballot Question stated that the 1.09% increase would provide funds to allow the Woodland Park School District to eliminate its existing debt service Mill Levy by refinancing it’s general obligation bond debt thus reducing property taxes. This provided an approximate decrease in 6.72 mills or an annual savings of approximately $162 for a $300,000 residence or $979 for a $500,000 business. At that time, it was projected that an average family spent $14,193 in Woodland Park per year. The average home was valued at $300,000. That family would not see more taxes, rather a savings of $7.30 per year. So, Mr. Pfaff was not correct in stating “residents are paying more taxes.”

It is inflammatory in the statement prior to discussion about the sales tax, Mr. Pfaff said “if that weren’t evil enough”. I take great offense to this statement as should all council members and 60% of the residents at the time. There is nothing evil about supporting our local schools and the tax was approved by 59.8% of voters. Perhaps Mr. Buttery was one, but according to the Gazette there were 1,362 others.

I am unaware of why a letter rises to the status of Guest Column; however, it does concern me that it is viewed as factual rather than opinion. In a day that the general public has difficulty trusting media, my hope is that the Courier would be more careful in the future to provide facts and complete information.

Carol Greenstreet

Woodland Park



The Founding Fathers set up as best of a government as has been conceived, not perfect, full of flaws, but better then what was known or has been known. This was largely influenced by the people already living in “America” and their systems of society that had been in place for far longer then we have been a country. The checks and balances the founders sought to put in place do the best to limit government control and insure PERSONAL freedom. This system isn’t perfect as they well knew.

Today we are constantly exposed to opinions, mass media, conspiracy theories, and propaganda from many sources, including our own government. The founders understood that change takes time and scientific reason to take hold. AS WELL AS a belief in something greater then ourselves and that a certain natural law governs all peoples. My hope is that today (Jan. 6) showed how divided we are, how influenced we are from outside sources, and how we need to come together and realize that difference is what makes our country great.

I don’t need to agree with you, but at the same time you need to respect my ideas and beliefs. This is a concept that is being removed from America because you can’t hurt anyone’s feelings anymore. I could care less if you’re gay, white, Asian, Black, poor, rich, Arab, Irish, an immigrant (legal or not), short, tall, blue eyed, or transgender. The point is, don’t force your opinions or ideals on me and I won’t treat you any different then the next human. The rhetoric being pushed now is that you have to take a side and that there are only two sides. There are over 320 million people in this great country and no one should have the exact same beliefs, and that’s OK.

We need to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing, thinking, promoting, and FOCUS on ‘What do I actually believe?’ What are your values? It is OK to disagree!

After today’s events, I support the police who tried to keep a peace, I support the congressmen (yeah that’s what they are called regardless of gender), I support the protesters, the media, and I support the president of the United States of America, Donald Trump and the next president, Joseph Biden. AMERICA, come together! Continue to work to make this the greatest county in the history of the world. We have a long way to go but a hundred years from now maybe we will be closer to a better society then in 1776.

PS: I’m pro-gun, anti-abortion but pro-choice, support the working class, pro-environment, pro-jobs, against socialist health care, tired of hearing about LGBTQ+, because apparently heterosexual doesn’t have a place in the alphabet, I work for the government, but constantly bad mouth its inefficiencies, voted for Trump, support Biden. Also, my family helped found this country (a quick Google search is accurate and will give a small bit of information). I don’t care if you agree with me or not, please share your opinions if you’d like. I won’t be back on social media for a long time. Come together America and let’s reunite for the long haul.

United we stand, divided we fall...

Jake Ellsworth

Woodland Park


LETTERS POLICY: Letters to the editor are published on a space-available basis, first-come, first-served in The Courier. Email letters to michelle.karas@pikespeaknewspapers.com. (Please no hand-written letters!) Priority goes to letters 250 words or fewer. Letters should have the author’s full name, address and phone number for verification purposes. The Courier reserves the right to edit submissions.

Load comments