LAKE MONTEZUMA - The Ranch House Coalition held its semi-annual meeting Saturday on the deck behind the closed Ranch House Restaurant. In the rain.
Expressing a desire for both the Ranch House Coalition and the Beaver Creek Community Development Corporation's Board of Directors to come together for a solution, coalition organizer Kala Pearson spoke to nearly 40 members at a gathering she says was open to the BCCDC's board of directors.
"All board members were invited to this meeting," Pearson said. "They chose not to be here. I was hoping that the board members would have attended the meeting, rather than make it difficult for the membership. Had they been here, we could have found out why they're doing what they're doing.
"It was a disappointment that they were not here," Pearson continued. "There may have been legitimate reasons why, but they didn't communicate to us. The members are not being listened to. There is a divided membership. The majority of the membership is upset with what has transpired."
"In order to assess the community's intentions, you've got to bring them together," Beaver Creek resident Charlie Fillmore said. "But I don't know if they want to work together. What I see is egos and aspirations. Mostly egos."
"The tail should not wag the dog," Pearson says. "This group is the dog. If there was no coalition, there would be no board. The board is the working group to steer the course and to reach that end."
According to Lake Montezuma resident Terry Weissinger, the struggle between the coalition's members and the board has left the members perplexed.
"I don't understand why the board is the way they are," Weissinger says. "The board decided to take over this situation and to shut down the restaurant. People are confused. They don't know what's going on. I wish everybody would get together and solve this situation."
The BCCDC board of directors closed the restaurant on June 20. It has not reopened.
During the meeting, Fillmore asked Pearson, "How am I going to get my stuff out of my restaurant?"
Fillmore, a dishwasher at the Ranch House until the closure, says his tools, organ, piano and guitar are locked inside the restaurant. Fillmore says he wants his belongings back. Fillmore also says he wants his job back.
"I don't know what to do at this point," Fillmore says. "I made $75 a week here. I was not here for the money. I was here to be involved in something. I'm not bitter. I'm just disappointed."