Summit Daily letters: Stand strong against acts of hate
November 7, 2016
Questions surrounding 3A & 3B
I am all for supporting and voting for education. We continue to sponsor scholarships here in Summit County and back where I went to school. However, I have questions about the combined economics surrounding Issues 3A & 3B.
Issue 3A asks shall Summit School District RE-1 taxes be increased up to $1.8 million and such amounts thereafter by an additional mill levy not to exceed one mill. If I read this correctly, this is an additional $18 million in tax levies over the next 10 years.
Issue 3B asks shall Summit School District RE-1 debt be increased up to $68.9 million with a maximum total repayment cost of up to $107.3 million, and shall district taxes be increased not more than $5.4 million annually thereafter. This is an additional $50.4 million over the next 10 years.
During 2015, Summit County collected about $91.7 million in real estate taxes. When viewing my 2015 Summit County property tax, I noticed that about 37.5 percent of my taxes went to Summit County schools and CMC. By extension of these figures, about $34.39 million of our 2015 Summit County property taxes went to schools.
Due to increasing property values over the past two years, I think we can expect to see an approximately 5 percent increase in our property taxes for at least the next two years. Five percent of $91.7 million is $4.2 million. This means the 2016 property taxes (payable in early 2017) and 2016 property taxes (payable in early 2018) will increase to about $95.6 million. By extension of these figures, about $35.85 million of our next 10 years' property taxes will go to Summit County schools and CMC.
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If my math is correct, Issue 3A will raise another $1.8 million, Issue 3B will raise another $5.4 million per year for a total of $6.2 million more even before the additional $4.2 million, which will be raised by increasing property taxes. Will the schools "bank/invest" these extra funds or will they be back at the trough in two years asking for more?
I can understand one or the other, but not both.
Support stronger Summit schools
Election time is here again — the time when the ballot issues challenge you to decide what you can really stand behind. In this election season, that may seem difficult; however, one ballot issue should be simple. 3A and 3B deserve a "yes" vote according to the Summit County Education Association.
The Summit County Education Association, representing the vast majority of our teachers in our district, affirms that 3A and 3B are critical to the ongoing success of Summit School District. We, at SCEA, strongly endorse 3A and 3B in order to fund essential repairs, ease overcrowding, provide critical technology and safety upgrades, and improved access for our schools.
Over the past several decades, Summit County citizens have resoundingly responded to the needs of our students and staff by continuing to fund new schools and technology. Summit County has proven its commitment toward maintaining quality schools throughout substantial periods of population growth to the county. Again, this continued growth necessitates that voters recommit to our students and their futures.
3A and 3B will fund urgent needs to address the demands of aging facilities and the growth of our student population. Teachers can attest to the need for necessary repairs and upgrades to electrical, heating and plumbing systems and roofs for our facilities. Improving accessibility for visitors, staff and students with disabilities is also an essential capital improvement. Additionally 3A and 3B would fund critical expansion and renovation at Summit Middle School and Summit High School. Since SMS was last renovated and expanded, the student population has increased significantly. Our current elementary school population indicates continued growth at SMS. As our student population increases, classroom space is becoming limited, and crowded hallways cause growing safety concerns. At SHS, limited cafeteria space has caused scheduling and overcrowding issues. 3A and 3B will alleviate these strains on our facilities.
Finally, 3A and 3B will continue our commitment to invest in preparing our students for the ever changing workplace in the 21st century. Currently, Summit School District's One 2 World Initiative provides our schools incredible opportunities to integrate technology in dynamic, creative ways. To meet this educational transformation, Summit School District must respond by restructuring learning spaces to offer more flexibility for various educational experiences.
Summit County Education Association strongly supports the passage of 3A and 3B to maintain, improve and expand our facilities to meet the needs of growing student populations, aging facilities and 21st century learning. Please support this initiative with a vote "yes" for both 3A and 3B this election.
Summit County Education Association
Vote for ColoradoCare
Fact: The United States almost stands alone as the only developed country that doesn't have universal health care. Fact: Health insurance companies are businesses looking to make money. Fact: Summit County has the most expensive health insurance in the USA. Fact: Nearly 45,000 die annually in the USA from lack of health insurance.
We have the opportunity to vote on Tuesday for universal health care and yet it seems like most Coloradans don't understand what's on offer or what's at stake here. I've lived overseas for multiple years in a country with universal health care, and I can't comprehend why the USA doesn't and how some citizens don't think it's necessary? Why aren't we more enraged that the USA is one of the only first world countries that doesn't provide its citizens with this right? How can we sit back and let health insurance companies continue to increase their premiums? How can we let millions of our citizens be uninsured and thus unsure how they will cope if they get into an accident or get ill? And yet, when I've asked around town if people will vote, I hear that they won't and their reason is because they already have health insurance. Well guess what? If ColoradoCare is passed, you still will. Health insurance should be a human right that our country provides us. It's not only about the money, it's also about the uninsured. We need to stop being selfish, and instead vote to pass ColoradoCare, and provide every Coloradan with the right they deserve.
Support Hillary for President
It is with great pride and gratitude that I am able to vote for Hillary Clinton as President of the United States of America. Not only is she an incredible woman but an inspiring human being. We are of a similar age and I have dealt with sexual oppression throughout my life. Working in business has been a challenge. I can't imagine what Hillary went through in the legal and political arena. As hard as some people and organizations have tried, they have not been able to besmirch her integrity and honesty in a valid way. When she was a teenager, she formed a babysitting co-op for migrant workers' children. She was one of the first to call for women's rights to be recognized as basic human rights at the United Nations. She spoke out demanding the same for the GLBTQ community. She initiated, advocated for and supported the Children's Health Care initiative (CHIP), which today provides healthcare for more than 8 million children. She has been a model for bringing people together to solve problems. Her accomplishments are too many to name and much of it has been at a great personal cost to herself. She is a woman of true family values, forgiving betrayal and keeping her family together.
Thank you Hillary for being a beacon of light for all women, families, minorities, and oppressed people here in America and around the world.
Stand strong against acts of hate
On Friday, Oct. 28, at approximately 10 p.m. a large rock was thrown through our window in our home in Frisco. The rock had the word PEPE written on it. It shattered our window and spread glass all throughout our home.
The Frisco Police Department responded quickly and assisted us with blocking off the window. They took a report and the rock as evidence. They questioned our neighbors and are seeking any information that anyone may have.
In our front yard, there are signs supporting candidates and issues that are important to us in this election. Were we targeted because of these signs or was this a random act of violence? In Googling PEPE, the Anti Defamation League cites references to hate, white supremacy, the 2016 presidential campaign, and anti-semitism. It appears that the PEPE frog, once an innocent frog, has become a representation of a Nazi Trump supporter, a symbol of the Alt-Right movement, and has been adorned with swastikas. So, after much thought and research, we believe that this was not a random act of violence but actually a premeditated targeting of our home due to our beliefs.
As career educators, we value open discussion, compromise and working with people of the same and differing perspectives and beliefs. There once was a time when the great laws of our country were written in a bipartisan atmosphere with both conservative and progressive authors.
We appreciate the help of the Frisco Police Department; we are thankful that just things were broken and that we were not physically injured. We are saddened that in Frisco, a community in which we have lived and worked for 14 years, that this has happened. We hope that those of you who have signs posted in your yard or have written to the editor in support of your beliefs are safe. We respect that you have stepped forward for the candidates and issues in the 2016 election.
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