Q&A With the Governor

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During a weekend trip to the Western Slope, Governor Bill Ritter spent time Saturday talking with Grand Valley residents and answering their questions.

"I'm just going to say a couple of things and then I'm really going to open it up to questions," said Governor Ritter.

It was a full house at Trader's Coffee Saturday morning as the governor spoke to local residents about his plans on issues like education and drilling.

"We make a big effort to move around the state to talk to people and listen to people," said Governor Ritter.

After his speech, the governor opened up the floor to questions. He responded to concerns over his education plans, as well his controversial decision to freeze property taxes.

"I can sit and talk for a long time about why I felt it was necessary," said Governor Ritter. "Not unmindful, that it has had some impact on people's property taxes."

The governor was also asked about his decision regarding abstinence only sex education funding.

"I wanted to know from him, what his explanation was for the decision to reject that funding," said Jennifer Watson, who works for a local group called The Fact Foundation.

Although he may not have given some the answers they would have liked to hear, many say they at least appreciate that the governor took the time to give them a direct, honest response.

"I am honored that Governor Ritter would choose to stop in Grand Junction and have this informal discussion," said Watson.

The governor says events like are some of the most helpful in making important decisions.

"It really does make a difference to have a listening ear," said Governor Ritter.

State lawmakers agree.

"That's why the governor is doing things like this," said State Representative Bernie Buescher. "He's making sure he gets as much input as possible before decisions are made, so they are the best decisions possible."

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