Molly Radecki went before town trustees at last week’s monthly board meeting to speak about two different issues she scheduled in advance for the agenda. First, she broached the subject of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
She’d told the board during the September meeting she was interested in establishing a MADD chapter in Norwood. She received the support of board members, especially Candy Meehan who knew the original founder in Fruita.
Radecki told trustees that Norwood folks “need to feel safe” in the community. She said she’s trying to understand the structure in Norwood, and how the law enforcement functions. She said it’s not always obvious, and she would like to get various entities together to “have a real conversation.”
She said she’s spoken to town marshal Kattie Neesham, who reported to her one in seven drivers are intoxicated. Neesham, who was at the meeting, confirmed she did say that, but that it was also an old statistic.
Radecki said she was passionate about potential drunk driving problems and didn’t want the issue to be “swept under the rug.”
Mayor Kieffer Parrino thanked her for her work.
“I applaud you. Keep moving forward with it,” he said.
Parrino asked other board members if they wished to comment. Trustee Shawn Fallon said he had concerns about some of Radecki’s recent behaviors in working against the issue of drunk driving. He told her that some citizens have come to him and have accused Radecki of taking photographs of people or vehicles at the local bar.
Radecki said Fallon’s claims were unfounded and that she was greatly upset by them.
After some contention, Meehan suggested the mayor call the meeting back to order.
The mayor told Radecki that it’s true citizens often come to trustees with their complaints, some of which are not always legitimate.
“We are public figures,” he said. “We … get cornered at the grocery store.”
Parrino added that an argument over accusations which may be unfounded couldn’t take place during the town meeting.
Meehan suggested a work session and requested town administrator Patti Grafmyer organize it. Radecki agreed to meet in the work session, which is also open to the public.
“I am trying to be a constructive, positive community member,” she said.
She said her concerns went beyond local businesses. She said many people in Norwood are suffering from mental health issues or substance abuse problems.
“To say that we don’t have a community without a drunk driving problem is just not true,” she said.
Grafmyer said the work session could take place Wednesday, Oct. 20. Radecki suggested Kim Fischer serve as mediator. Radecki said Fischer, a local high school teacher, has studied restorative processes and communication.
Meehan said those in attendance must come to the table with their passions put aside.
“We can throw rocks and stones all day long,” Meehan said. “(Can we) come to the middle for a step forward? Let’s bring this neutrally to the table. Nobody is sweeping this under the rug. Come in and bring facts.”
Later, Radecki invited the town to join her in establishing a revolving rural loan program, specific to Norwood. Trustees said they didn’t know if that was possible, since they work with Region 10 already, along with the West End Development Corporation (WEEDC).
Makayla Gordon, a representative of WEEDC, told Radecki it would take two to three people on paid town staff to oversee a rural revolving loan fund in Norwood. She suggested Radecki work with WEEDC or Region 10.
Radecki said she already has and those agencies are not specific enough to Norwood or San Miguel County.