Andrews: Breckenridge voters sent a message by rejecting child care intitiative
November 7, 2013
Now that voters have rejected question 2B I thought I would offer a few suggestions to the Breck Town Council. First, I would urge the council to respond positively to the message delivered by voters. This means moving back to the political middle on the host of town level social welfare programs being pushed by a few self-interested constituents. Part of the 2B message is that the town needs to be run as a cost efficient business and not as a lax social welfare agency.
Point forward, I suggest that the current tax payer paid day care program be frozen but funded and kept in place until the end of the current school year. Then next year cut funding by 50% by requiring participants to both work and live within Breckenridge town limits. In addition, reduce payments to day care providers until the current spare capacity of 20-25% is reduced by either facility consolidation or increased enrollments. Three years out the program should be shut down or maintained under a minimal cap and focused solely on the truly needy or indigent. Under any scenario an independent governance and oversight group should be formed, as already contemplated by the council, in order to support and enforce the council's policy direction. The council also might also consider inviting local business owners to offer child care benefits to their employees to the extent that such benefits might assist with attracting and retaining quality staff. At the same time, the council should make clear that business owners should not expect to shift their benefit expenses on to the backs of local tax payers.
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