Delta County Master Plan consultant, Gabe Preston, was peppered with questions about the names of a handful of residents who had been selected to be personally interviewed during the process. More than 40 property owners attended the Hotchkiss drop-in Master Plan meeting, held on May 22, where Gabe was challenged by several residents about what was referred to as the “secret list.” Preston agreed that the one-on-one “interviews were a mistake” and that he regretted the suspicion it had raised about the Master Plan process.
Preston assured the audience that the interviews – done over the telephone — were being used to create “broad stroke” talking points and that community input would be the basis for the finished product.
County Administrator, Robbie LeValley told Citizen Report today, “Interviews are being conducted by the consulting team, to help educate the consultant team about the variety of issues and needs facing the County. The interviews themselves will not be the basis for formulating the master plan update, vision, or future land use map.”
“The list of interviewees was developed with suggested names from the Planning Commission, staff, and by reaching out to different organizations for suggestions. The goal was to develop a list that represented a cross-section of the County, and was balanced geographically.”
“The County will make available the comments received from the interviews as soon as they are available from the consultant, and will release the names of those interviewed once interviews are completed.”
To date, several people believed to be on the list have not yet been contacted causing continued concern about the purpose and impact of the interviews.