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Letter to the Editor: Rick Pelton

By Rick Pelton

May 22, 2024

My name is Rick Pelton and I’m running for Commissioner of District 3 of Cheyenne County. I’ve been married to my wife Beth for 42 years and raised two children in Cheyenne County. I have lived in Cheyenne County for all but three years of my life. In that time, I have owned a seed cleaning business and farmed north of Cheyenne Wells. I operated the cleaning business cleaning in this area and traveling as far as Southern California until I was forced to sell to take over the family farm after my father’s death. I farmed with my brother until he stepped away, then took over along with my wife and farmed until we decided to step away and lease the ground to Campbell Farms. I currently serve on the Cheyenne County Shooting Sports committee and in the past, I served on the Cheyenne County Planning Committee and served as President of the CW Car Club and also was a member of the Colorado Seed Conditioners rules committee. I farmed until 2017 when Beth and I decided it was time to step away. As a business owner of a seed wheat cleaner and farmer I have an understanding of budgeting and understand what it is like to have employees and how to work with them.

I’m asking for your support for the Seat of Commissioner for District 3. I don’t have any big changes in mind because it takes time to learn all the ins and outs of the position but there are some things I would like to look at. I hear a lot of people talk about changes that have been made they aren’t happy about and I want to look into them. I want to make sure that we are getting the most revenue we can from the renewable energy projects that are being pushed in our direction. It is a strain on our resources from water usage to added traffic and wear and tear on our roads. There are other strains that we have no control over but some we do. There is talk that Polis wants to put together an Energy Commission that will push the renewable energy industry even harder. He wants to make Colorado the leader in this area. He has big plans and there is talk that he wants to be able to control where they put these projects. I will do what I can to keep that in not only the county’s hands but the landowner’s also. They already have used Eminent Domain on land in Prowers County because landowners didn’t want transmission lines on their property, and I will do my best to fight for them to not to do that here. Now there are new legal issues coming from companies saying the amount being paid to put these projects here is too much and I will fight to continue to get what is needed for these projects in our area.

The oil industry has been and continues to be a big part of Cheyenne County and helped make Cheyenne County a strong community to live in. We have a lot of interest in this area with companies talking about exploring for helium. Polis is proposing that there will be no more drilling in Colorado after 2032. You know as well as I do that we need to do what we can to stop that ideology. This country will need oil, natural gas and other products that can only be achieved by continuing to explore for oil. A large part of the County’s revenue still comes from oil so I will do my best to fight for the oil industry.

I was approached the last time I ran about water rights for irrigation farmers in our area. Was talk that farmers north of here were trying to push regulations that would hamper farmers in our area so they could pump as much as they want in counties in the northeastern part of the state. I will do what I can to help the farmers in Cheyenne County keep from losing their ability to irrigate without worry from outside influences. With all the regulations that get put on things from water to chemicals that they need to do what we can as cheap as they can I will help where I can. I have heard the owner of Weskan Grain has talked about a facility in the Arapahoe area. Maybe we can talk with him to see what can be done to bring another place to market the farmers’ crops to the area. Maybe it would be good if we tried getting on some of the Ag Committees at the State level to help the farmers have a voice.

As commissioners we need go to as many meetings and be on as many committees that we can at the State level to make sure our voice and our values are heard. It seems today our values in rural Colorado are so very different that we need to have a voice at the table. The people in control in Denver need to know we are here, and we deserve to be heard and will be heard. If we don’t make our voices heard, then there will be more of the crazy, off-the-wall, California type policies being pushed on us. It does us no good to just meet at the local level and not fight at the state level also. I’m friends with several Commissioners in surrounding counties and will reach out to them to try and make a stronger voice for us. If we work together, we can have a stronger voice with our concerns.

We need to make sure we get help with our human resource programs. These are very important to a lot of people throughout the county. They get slimmer with every budget cut the State makes. We need to maintain strong schools in Cheyenne Wells as well as Kit Carson. We need to do what we can to make sure we have a strong hospital. We also need to make sure our law enforcement has what they need to deal with anything that happens. Our EMS services and fire department need to have the necessary resources to deal with anything that happens. With the renewable energy coming we need the ability and equipment to handle everything that could happen.

I’m not afraid to look at the other side of a problem. If I don’t feel it’s right, I will do what I can to make it right. Sometimes maybe it’s best to step back and look at something from a different angle and not just go along with what’s proposed. I want to try and make it more transparent what we are doing as Commissioners. I feel we need to make the minutes from the Commissioner’s meeting available on the County website or in the Kiowa County Independent paper or both. I will push to put the monthly expenditures public on these same platforms, so you know where your money is being spent. It shouldn’t be a secret what we are doing because when it comes down to it, we do work for the people of Cheyenne County.

If I’m elected, I welcome anyone to call me and tell me what’s on their mind as that is my job. I want to make sure if you do call or come to a meeting, I will definitely listen to what is on your mind. Remember if you put me in there, I better be accountable for my actions or lack of actions. I shall bring strong ethics, accountability, strong financial practices and transparency to the position. I will work and listen to anyone no matter if you’re from the west side of the county or the east as if I’m elected, I work for all of Cheyenne County.

My views are conservative based along with Christian beliefs, in today’s world we need both of these! I believe in supporting friends, family and the community. I am here asking for your vote in the upcoming primary election to be your County Commissioner for District 3 to fight for Cheyenne County and its people!

Thank you
Rick Pelton

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