Letter | Gansmann: Enough is enough on county requests for blank checks
September 21, 2018
Enough is enough on county requests for blank checks
We applaud Rob Phillippe's Aug. 25 letter for "outing" our county manager and commissioners for their $1.75 million purchase of 44.8 acres of land (a.k.a. Lake Hill) along I-70 near Frisco Exit 203 in 2016 for the stated purpose of building 400-450 affordable housing units there. They have now dropped this "potential" housing project into the lap of the citizens of Frisco. Our county is "drunk" with 5A tax monies they have secured from Summit County residents for affordable housing via taxation. They find it so easy to spend money they do not earn.
Any developer in his right mind would not have touched this property with a 10-foot pole because they would have known the potential infrastructure (electricity, sewer, water, etc.) costs, in addition to the overwhelming traffic issues, would have made this project unaffordable.
Now the county commissioners are back asking for $8.8 million a year on the ballot in November for funding what they term "critical" things like wildfire prevention ($1.0 million), mental health and suicide prevention services ($2.0 million), recycling and waste diversion ($1.7 million), county infrastructure maintenance and improvements ($1.6 million) and affordable early childhood care and learning ($2.5 million). Only one or two of these are needs. The rest are wants. Someone should explain to our county commissioners the definition difference between needs and wants.
Sales tax revenue in Summit County is up vs. 2017 and continue to grow. And we are about to see substantial increases in our property and real estate taxes in 2019, 2020 and beyond.
As a good start in corralling our county commissioners "wants" spending list, I suggest our first step is to vote against their 4.7 mill levy for $8.8 million a year ballot measure in November 2018.
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We should ask them what their "back up" plan is if their proposed ballot measure fails. Which of the above will they decide to finance?
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