Summit Daily letters: School district thanks voters and recycling gets real
November 30, 2016
School district thanks voters
On behalf of the Summit School District Board of Education, Superintendent's office, district and school leaders, teachers, staff and especially students, we would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to the Summit County community for their strong support of our funding questions during this year's election.
The dollars from the Supplemental Capital Construction, Technology and Maintenance Mill Levy (Question 3A) and the Bond Issue (Question 3B) allow us to tackle serious maintenance and building deficiencies; to address overcrowding by adding much needed 21st century learning environments and classrooms at Summit Middle School and Summit High School; to improve the safety and security of all schools and facilities; and to expand access for all students to instructional technology that allows connections to global information and understanding.
We are committed to being good stewards of these financial resources and spending this money wisely. Our facilities team has already launched the process for selecting architectural design and construction firms. In the next few months we will invite our staff, families and community members to share their ideas as members of our design groups for the larger school projects. Our commitment to transparency is real — count on us to provide routine updates and communication on our progress as we enhance the learning environments and experiences of all students at each and every Summit County school.
While the State of Colorado provides operating funds to school districts on a per pupil basis each year for classroom instructional needs, such as teachers' salaries, curriculum expenses and other instruction programs; the funding is not adequate to meet all of a district's capital and infrastructure needs. To address these needs, the legislature has provided for school districts to seek funding through special mill levy overrides designed for capital improvement and technology. We didn't see asking for this support as a luxury — rather as a vital necessity for continuing a legacy of excellence in public education, provided in a safe and secure environment.
We believe it is our principal responsibility to ensure every child graduates Summit School District ready for the challenges of college or career. By supporting 3A/3B, our community has shown faith in our leadership to deliver on this promise. We are privileged to serve our students, families and community in leading a highly successful public education program in Summit County.
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Summit School District
Don't demonize Timberline
After reading the "Letters to Editor" section of the Summit Daily on Nov. 19 I'm appalled at the one-sided and biased nature of the paper towards Timberline Trash. As a property manager in Breckenridge I've seen trash costs cut in half since Timberline came into the county. Waste Management suddenly had competition and all owners and trash customers benefited from it. SCRAP has known for 2 years that Timberline would be setting up their own processing and transfer facility, this was not suddenly sprung on them. Before we start forcing private companies to use public facilities how about we ask that facility to review their own budget and business practices? They have had years to prepare for the decrease in revenue. SCRAP continues to limit what is recycled yet the tipping costs continue to rise…can you blame Timberline for going out on their own?
There are two sides to this story and I don't think most Summit County homeowners understand how much their trash and recycling costs will increase should all trash services be forced to use the Summit County landfill.
Recycling and profits
It seems everybody knows the recycling issue revolves around money. Of course. Everything does. But I believe I remember reading that it's not so much about money as it is the smallness on the return of the cost. The people involved aren't losing money, they're just not making enough profit. So, it raises the question "How much is enough?" To me, recycling is an undertaking that is important enough that it should be maintained. Even if the profits only return as 1%, that's still a profit.
I've been under the impression that this has specifically been the case with High Country Conservation for years. Their recycling centers only accepted #1 and #2 plastics, seemingly because heavier plastics didn't pay enough. That is not in line with what I consider conservation.
I also find it sad that the county is considering discontinuing recycling programs because of costs while giving 2 recently re-elected county commisioners whopping 30% raises. When was the last time any of us in the workforce received a double-digit raise? I don't want to begrudge Mr. Davidson and Ms. Steiglemeier a wage increase, but 30% seems excessive. It would be extremely nice to see them, as county officials, take a slightly smaller increase and a slightly higher road and extend some of those funds to what many of us feel is an important program.
The "silver buckshot" solution to our parking problems
It took our town many years of growth to get to where we now experience gridlock. I have been a participant in the town's Parking and Transit Task Force for two years. A group of vested, hard working citizens, including Vail Resorts, have concluded that there is no silver bullet to our congestion problems. It will take "silver buckshot" to make things better.
At first I was opposed to metered parking in the core of town. But as we continued to study and untangle the problems, it became clearer that paid parking on Main and Ridge would be one of the most impactful changes we could make. That decision was not easy. We all must accept change for the town to work better. Hopefully the next phase of the "silver buckshot" solutions will come soon, adding a new parking structure in the core of Town.
I suggest we continue working together and with flexibility to get this right. No one at the town or on the task force has backed away from working hard on this complicated issue to get to a better place. Ultimately, we need to do what is best for our town as we have always done, whatever it takes to make Breckenridge, a better Breckenridge. I encourage all members of our community to better understand the new paid parking and why it's an instrumental next step in a bigger plan for our town.
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