Montezuma County Commissioner Larry Don Suckla took a step back Monday from his use of the term “fake news” to describe the board’s recent vote to defund the county’s Colorado State University Extension Office.
At a special meeting Wednesday with the western region director for the extension office, Suckla said the final budget was not set and the vote was a ploy to bring C. J. Mucklow to meet with the commissioners in person. Suckla said the board had tried unsuccessfully for years to persuade him to hear their concerns about the local extension office and 4-H program.
But during the public-comment period at Monday’s commission meeting, Dolores-area resident Ellen Foster criticized Suckla for the “fake news” action. She said although some of his constituents would find it entertaining, the phrase now calls into question every future comment the board might make. She asked how the public will be able to tell whether the commissioners’ actions are genuine. Suckla responded that he should have used the term “negotiating tactic” instead. He said the board had exhausted all other avenues to attract Mucklow’s attention – something Mucklow denied at the special meeting. Suckla added that there are three years remaining in his final term as commissioner and he does not want to simply “cruise to the finish line” but to “go out in style.” He said, “I’d advise you to hang on.”