Letters to the editor: Candidate endorsements, paid parking and voter information
October 30, 2016
Why I voted for Amendment 69 even though it will hurt me
A week ago, upon coming home from a road trip to Utah to explore the glories of our National Parks, I was excited to find my ballot in the mailbox. What a wonderfully progressive state that allows us to vote from the comfort of our own home. The next day I dutifully filled out my ballot and proudly voted in favor of Amendment 69 even though ColoradoCare will not benefit me and will cost me money each and every year. Why would I do that?
As a retired veteran, I am fortunate to have TriCare as a secondary insurance to Medicare so I am well taken care of from a medical perspective — in fact I am one of the groups exempted from ColoradoCare coverage, although still required to pay the premium. Although maybe not perfect, ColoradoCare provides the residents of Colorado the opportunity to CARE for each other. Our society has become more and more "I" focused than "we" focused. Way to often those at the very top seem to care more about how they can make more money than they care for the most vulnerable in our society, and how we can help them. Trickle down wealth has not worked in the past as is evidenced by the growing gap between the very rich and the poorest of the poor.
Although my wife and I are not rich, we are blessed in our retirement with a nice home, a car, enough money to pay our bills, good medical care, the ability to travel and some left over every month. Why would I not be willing to pay bit more in taxes so that those who have less than we do could have good medical care. It seems a worthy place to start to make life a bit better for my neighbors. It seems insane that in the richest country in the world, with the most expensive medical system in the world we would be the only country of the top 25 wealthiest not to have universal health care. Colorado has a chance under this amendment to encourage true health care reform in the United States.
And lastly and maybe most important, my faith calls me to care for my neighbor — Amendment 69 is one way in which I can do that. I encourage you to consider supporting Amendment 69 and become a good neighbor with me.
The Rev. Robert Anton Franken
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Retired Episcopal Deacon
Re-elect Thomas Davidson
I am proud and honored to support Thomas Davidson for county commissioner. Commissioner Davidson understands the challenges we all face in making Summit County an affordable place to live, work and play.
As your current county commissioner, Thomas works tirelessly to increase access to affordable and quality child care as well as attainable workforce housing. In addition, Commissioner Davidson has an excellent track record of working in partnership with local nonprofits, municipalities, businesses and other community organizations to solve problems and advance the success of our rural and resort community. It is because of Commissioner Davidson's shared vision and commitment that we now have the Summit County Right Start Early Care and Learning Program as well as Head Start, two programs that make it possible for parents to go to work while our youngest citizens learn and grow.
As the executive director of Early Childhood Options, I know that Commissioner Davidson's leadership on behalf of local families is relatively unique across the state. Commissioner Davidson represents Summit County well by serving on the State Board of Human Services and previously on the Colorado Early Childhood Leadership Commission.
I have had the good fortune to work with Commissioner Davidson on child care and other issues since 2000. I know firsthand that he came to the job of commissioner with a passion and love for the people who make this community so special. In his tenure as commissioner, Thomas guided us through a recession, making difficult, but fiscally responsible choices to ensure long-term growth and sustainability.
It is Commissioner Davidson's passion and intelligence that today drives him to be a strong leader and advocate for local, working families here in Summit County. Please join me in a resounding show of support and re-elect Thomas Davidson for county commissioner.
Lucinda W Burns
become a necessity
Few people would argue that America has always been a land of choices. It's ingrained in the system. People should have choices, whether it's a brand of SUV or access to the broadband service provider of choice. However, there are times when decisions made with the best of intentions limit these choices. That has been the case with Colorado's Senate Bill 152 since its passage in 2005.
This is more than a question of local government versus corporations. Broadband service is to the 21st century what electricity was to the 20th century. Not a luxury, but a necessity. SB152 prevents local governments from using their broadband for services, other than government operations such as traffic signals, unless there is a local vote to do otherwise. The law also prohibits local governments from competing with mega-giant corporations to provide high-speed internet to residents and businesses. As a result, those corporations often gained a monopoly for their services and didn't always make good on their promises of reliable, high-speed internet for everybody.
In Centennial in 2013, I helped pioneer that city's move to partner with the private sector in providing faster, better and less expensive broadband. Since then, 50 cities and counties have passed an exemption to SB152, freeing them to simply explore improved services and in partnership with the private sector to become so-called gigabit cities. This Nov. 8, voters in at least 22 cities and counties have an opportunity to make the same choice.
Technology is the key to any community looking to grow and fast, reliable internet heavily impacts the overall economic development of a community. Broadband that can reliably accommodate large amounts of data, graphics and video mean the difference between the growth that major job-providing companies and telecommuters can bring and population decline.
For more than 100 years, HR Green has provided engineering, technical and management solutions that help communities achieve success, including a number of communities here in Colorado.
Vote for Woodman to keep the sheriff's office drama free
Since moving to Summit County in 1979, I have appreciated the essentially nonpartisan election of our county sheriffs, who have fairly enforced our laws to preserve our somewhat unique free-spirited resort community. Our sheriffs have traditionally used their authority to maintain a largely drama-free law enforcement community; remember how John Minor even kept cool when Denver Water Board shut down and attempted to vacate our use of the Dam Road. The current election has produced a politically motivated firing of a career law enforcement officer, an unreliable audit, and a lame attempt to publicly smear the clerk and recorder, contrary to our sheriff's drama-free traditions. Derek Woodman knows this community well and has capably served in many roles from jailer to undersheriff for more than 30 years. Please vote for Derek Woodman for sheriff.
Please be informed Mr. Galgas
This letter is in response to Mr. Galgas' letter published Oct. 24. Mr. Galgas, I understand change can be hard and our Town's Transit and Parking Management Program being rolled out now will certainly fall in this category. I do, however, find it unfair and frustrating that you have chosen to call out personally Mayor Mamula and assistant manager Haynes with an enormous amount of misinformation. Mayor Mamula's statements are accurate and I think when you see the initial rates for managed (paid) parking in the core of town and look at the capital outlay as well as the on-going expenses involved in managing a net increase of 658 paid parking spaces you will see it is truly a parking management strategy and not a net income generating "tax." In-town employees have had parking passes available for years and as this new program has rolled out, those businesses have had many opportunities to be part of the process which many of us have taken advantage of. The town has recently sent an extremely informative piece to the businesses describing the two options for in-town employee parking passes (free and $100 version), how to get them and where they allow our workforce to park. As a business owner with our own private parking, we have been patrolling our lots for years — I view this as a private sector responsibility and not government's. I understand there will be a learning curve with some of the in-town lots like the BGV Community Center, but I must say, I personally have never had a problem finding parking there — we may have been there at different times. And, finally, I must defend assistant manager Haynes, she has worked tirelessly for two years with the Parking & Transit Task Force she put together back when she was our police chief. She has been patient, inclusive and incredibly informative in her efforts to facilitate our business community, the general public, our town staff working with consultants, while the whole time taking direction from our town council. Not an easy task to say the least! She has facilitated 30 Parking & Transit Task Force Meetings, hosted three community forums/open houses — all open to the public and advertised in the paper, through social media, email and on the town's web site. I personally would like to thank Ms. Haynes for her hard work on this issue and look forward to seeing our town continue to make progress on our parking and transit challenges. I would also like to thank Ms. Haynes for listening and acting on the positive, and often negative, opinions (some of which were mine) of our community throughout this process. Mr. Galgas, I suggest you spend some time on our town's website and inform yourself — there is a wealth of information with regards to parking & transit as well as the town budget.
Don't wait! Vote before Nov. 8
In the 2012 presidential election, 93 percent (15,430) of Summit County electors turned out to vote. Many of them waited over three hours in line to cast their ballot on Election Day. In 2016 numbers, that means potentially 19,000 Summit County electors will vote in this election. The 2016 General Election ballot contains 10 candidate races, 15 judge retention questions and 12 ballot questions and is three pages long, which could mean extremely long, long lines on Election Day.
Here in Colorado each active voter is mailed a ballot to their address of record. I would like to encourage Summit County electors to complete and return their mail-in ballots. Take your time to prepare to vote. Study the blue book, research the candidates and judges. Once you have finished voting, mail the ballot back to us (.68 postage required), drop it off in the clerk's office or put it in one of the five 24-hour drop boxes located throughout the county. If you want the "In-person" experience, drop your ballot at a voter service & polling center on Election Day.
Let's have 100 percent turnout this year. And let's do it before Election Day.
For more information on voting, ballot replacement and drop off locations go to co.summit.co.us/126/Election-Information
Summit County Clerk and Recorder
Vote for a first time candidate in House District 61
I know a man from Colorado who travels to underdeveloped countries and volunteers his orthopedic surgeon skills to assist poor, young children in need.
This man lives in Crested Butte, has been married for 46 years and has three grown children who are all practicing physicians.
He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy and served his country as a combat fighter pilot, and later as an orthopedic surgeon.
This man has never run for any public office in the past. But he does have an experienced and educated understanding of our economy, our environment, and the health care crisis.
Bob Schutt is this man's name and he is a candidate for House District 61 of our state Legislature. Bob cares deeply about our kids. He is an experienced educator and was a tenured professor at a university medical school.
For many years, Bob Schutt was an orthopedic surgeon in private practice and he understands, firsthand, the challenges facing both businesses and their employees today.
In short, Bob Schutt is the kind of smart, common sense person that we need in our state government. This election, I'm voting for Bob Schutt to serve as our representative for House District 61.
ColoradoCare fine print
Please read the fine print concerning ColoradoCare, also known as Amendment 69. Non-payroll income is taxed at 10 percent in addition to the employee tax on payroll for employees and employers. The payroll tax has been covered very extensively by the press.
Non-payroll income includes a 10 percent tax on — but not limited to — dividends, interest, social security, capital gains, farm income, pensions, individual retirement accounts (IRA) and business income. To define income, the drafters used the Internal Revenue Service Form 1040 (an individual income tax return for 2014) lines 8 through 21, with the exception of lines 11 and 19. Income excluded is for alimony received and unemployment compensation.
There is an apparent limitation on the amount of taxable income for those who elect to file as an individual or married, filing jointly. The amendment does not contain provisions for those who elect to file as married, filing separate, or head of a household. This amendment does not cover entities, including corporations, that do not file a Form 1040.
Amendment 69 allows for a 21 member elected board, who are not subject to recall. This amendment is not subject to Tabor restrictions and this board may increase the 10 percent tax on a majority vote.
In 35 years of tax practice I have never seen a piece of legislation written so poorly regarding tax provisions.
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