Since 2018, I’ve taken a step back from writing public opinion pieces, realizing life is too short to live with such heartache and malcontent. As a result, I have traded the ugliness that is social media for venturing abroad and enjoying the world with family and friends. Ultimately, however, I must come home to a political reality that causes such despair.
The April 5 edition of The Pueblo Chieftain featured some interesting opinions. One was an editorial from the Chieftain itself, titled: “Money and municipalization.” The other was Mayor Nick Gradisar’s spinning justification for a municipal takeover of the energy grid.
Follow politics in Pueblo and understand: Gradisar isn’t a man who simply does things out of the goodness of his heart. There’s always an angle to benefit to himself.
The fact that he even calls himself mayor should be the ultimate proof as we’re now into this mayor well over the $150,000 annual salary he set for himself, a taxpayer-funded New York City training seminar to teach him how to be a mayor (allegedly?) and a bonus sightseeing trip to one of Pueblo’s sister cities. I’m jealous.
One must ask: Why is this guy pushing so hard for municipalization? I suspect the answer lies within his words.
Gradisar leveraged his typing finger and used Councilwoman Lori Winner as his scapegoat to justify putting Pueblo on the hook to municipalize.
He said: “This (Winner’s) argument fails to understand the revolutionary change taking place in the generation of energy.” He then went on to praise the advancements of renewable energy, speaking as if it were inevitable.
This tells me that Gradisar likely is leveraging the position (which he invented, on our dime) to boost valuation in renewable energy companies likely to move into Pueblo. What would motivate such chicanery? I’ll leave that to voter logic.
In the end, Gradisar is the epitome of word “chicanery.” He does nothing on Pueblo’s behalf where there isn’t a direct personal and/or financial benefit. If I had such a record at my back, I’d die of shame if I turned around to look upon it.
As for Pueblo CARES, the Chieftain has it slightly wrong. Pueblo CARES is a group organized by John Morse. If that name sounds familiar, it should. He was one of two state senators who were recalled in disgrace in 2013.
Morse identifies as a progressive Democrat and advocates for Green New Deal type policies. Pueblo CARES isn’t necessarily “supporting” Black Hills. The road to 100 percent renewables has come to its fork.
Personally, I’m voting “no” on the takeover. However, I’d like to share a pesky, inconvenient fact about this effort.
The reality is that a fix cannot be done at the municipal level, but rather the legislatively. In the summer of 2018, I was congratulating state Rep. Daneya Esgar on her impending reelection.
I suggested abolishing the Public Utilities Commission, ending the energy monopoly and opening Colorado to competition that would allow ratepayers to choose how and who will power their properties.
She seemed receptive at the time, but went on to rubber stamp eight of Gov. Jared Polis’ “green energy” bills, making energy and electricity more expensive for you and I.
Why are energy rates are so high? Its not out of corporate greed, but rather the people we install into public office. There’s your problem.
Alexander Mugatu is a failed Republican candidate for the Legislature and the mayor’s office.