Letter to the Editor: Summit County’s issues go beyond workforce housing concerns | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the Editor: Summit County’s issues go beyond workforce housing concerns

Chris Dorton

This is Part 1 in a two-part letter. Part 2 is available here.

This will not be a popular letter, but it needs to be said. We know we live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. It’s also very expensive. We’re privileged to live here due to doing good things in our working careers and saving like crazy. It wasn’t an accident. Those that know me know I am a “D” — fiscally conservative Democrat. I believe in a hand up, but not a hand out.

I have worked, lobbied, pushed and nagged the Summit Board of County Commissioners and all the local housing authorities over the last 30 months regarding workforce housing. In order to keep our community a robust one — and not just a revolving door of tourists — we must have a local resident population. We must do everything within reason to make that happen. But we can’t afford the unreasonable.

Workforce issues don’t end with housing. That’s merely the start. Think childcare, medical care, dental care, food security and schools. Summit voters have been very generous in their support of mill levy ballot issues approving them by big margins. I voted for 70% of them.

My property tax bill arrived today: $4,276. When we bought in 2012, it was $2,066. My October Excel Energy bill was $206.31. In December it was $416.93. Merry Christmas from the public utilities commission, rubber stamping anything Excel demands. I’m preparing a letter to Gov. Jared Polis on this “affordability” issue.

The lead article in Summit Daily on Jan. 25 was “Benefit reduction stokes concern.” The federally supported SNAP program is now going back to pre-pandemic levels. This will impose hardships on local families with many mouths to feed, think eggs, during high grocery prices.

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