There and gone

Website claiming to represent Valley citizens and raise questions appears and disappears over the weekend

 


On Friday afternoon, a Facebook page popped up on social media called “Platte Valley Citizens.” The page, along with a website, claimed to represent citizens of the Platte Valley who are concerned with the recent actions of Saratoga mayor John Zeiger. As was reported previously (see “Presentation consternation” on page 3 of the May 29 Saratoga Sun), Zeiger invited Memorial Hospital of Carbon County to the May 21 meeting of the Saratoga Town Council but failed to inform two council members. This was not the only concern raised by the page “Platte Valley Citizens,” whose administrator is still a mystery.

A message to the page went unanswered. However, an email sent to [email protected] received a reply in which the person, or persons, behind the Facebook page and website declined to identify themselves.

“We’ll revisit our position after Tuesday’s council meeting,” the email read, in part.

Following its creation, both the page and a link to the website were spread across Facebook through the Messenger app and in private groups. At that time, the page had 53 likes.

The page and the website both list the concerns raised by “Platte Valley Citizens”, beginning with the dissolution of the Saratoga Airport Board, reading “He dissolved the Airport Board without involvement of anyone from the Board, or from the Community. He had no transition plan. The resolution to dissolve the Board was prepared without any public mention or disclosure–almost identical to his attempt to eliminate the functioning Valley Healthcare.”


This is not the only mention of the airport, as another concern expressed is that of “one hangar owner appealed to the Town Council to have an exception for his lease” and states that Zeiger allowed the conversation to be one-sided, without conferring with the airport board. The Saratoga Municipal Code in regards to the airport, before being replaced, read “Any person aggrieved or any taxpayer affected by any decision of the airport board may appeal to the town council.”

Another issue brought up by “Platte Valley Citizens” was the recent removal of Chia Valdez-Schwartz from the Recreation Commission.

“One Recreation Board Member had been absent from meetings for an extended time. Without calling for the Board and the Board member to have a discussion, the Mayor allowed the removal of the Board member to be approved. The Board member did not have an opportunity to address the issue with the Board,” the text reads.

As was reported previously (see “Saratoga unbound” on page 1 of the May 15 Saratoga Sun), Valdez-Schwartz was removed from the commission following a recommendation from the Recreation Commission due to an extended absence. According to section 2.24.030 of the municipal code, any member can be removed by recommendation from the commission and approval of the town council. According to section 2.24.070, any recommendation must be made in writing, which had been done during the May 7 meeting of the Saratoga Town Council.

Additionally, the website for “Platte Valley Citizens Unite” features a cropped photo of the Platte Valley Community Center (PVCC) logo. The Sun reached out to PVCC joint powers board Chairman Joe Glode to ask if permission had been granted for the logo to be used. Glode informed the Sun that the joint powers board had not granted permission for Platte Valley Citizens to use the logo. The Sun also reached out to joint powers board Vice-Chairperson Stacy Crimmins and PVCC Executive Director Joe Elder, who also stated that no permission had been given for the use of the logo. Without permission to use the logo, taking it and using it on the website could constitute intellectual property theft.

The creation of Platte Valley Citizens, along with a column written by Keith McLendon; editor and publisher of the Sun, prompted a public response by Zeiger on his Facebook page. Comments on Zeiger’s post included speculation on who started both the Platte Valley Citizens page and the website.

As of press time, those behind Platte Valley Citizens remain a mystery and the Facebook page has been removed.

The website has been updated to read that none of the following were involved in the creation or management of the website: Health Management Services, Corbett Medical Foundation, Memorial Hospital of Carbon County, the Healthcare Sustainability Project Subcommittee, South Central Wyoming Emergency Medical Services, Platte Valley Clinic or the Saratoga Care Center.

Under updates, the moderator of the website wrote “This site is closed to further comment.”

 

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