Summit Daily letters: Support for Woodman, Baumgardner and ColoradoCare
October 16, 2016
Woodman the top pick for sheriff
Back in May of this year our county commissioners had to choose an interim sheriff. They unanimously agreed to pick Jamie FitzSimons to serve as interim sheriff, over retired chief of police Mark Handschmidt, and undersheriff Derek Woodman. There is a great article about this decision in the May 28 edition of the Summit Daily News that I think every Summit County voter should read again. You can find it easily enough by choosing the archives tab from the e-edition at Summitdaily.com. Although the commissioners were quick to point out that political affiliation had nothing to do with their decision, I find that hard to swallow as I try to follow their decision-making process. I may be mistaken, but I thought the criteria for the position of sheriff was a bit more involved than "passion for the community" (showmanship) or the "dozens of letters that poured in on his behalf." The article didn't mention how many letters came in for Handschmidt or Woodman, I guess they didn't call all their friends to write in for them. I suppose they were counting on a decision based on actual knowledge, qualifications, experience, and a record of proven ability and job performance. These are the solid factors that I would expect a decision like this to be made on. For this reason I had to respectfully disagree with the commissioners decision. As election day nears, that interim is nearly up and Summit County voters must decide who will lead the sheriff's department. Summit County has been very fortunate to have an excellent law enforcement community. In the case of the sheriff's department, I'm sure Derek Woodman had much to do with the success of the organization. Not many people dedicate an entire career (35 years) to one organization like Derek has, and fewer do it with an exemplary service record. Derek Woodman's record speaks for itself, period. In the past, as an "unaffiliated" voter I've always cast my vote for the best man or woman for the job. I'll be voting for Derek Woodman in November because Summit County deserves the best man for the job.
An endorsement for Baumgardner
Senator Randy Baumgardner is a leader and spokesperson for all of rural Colorado and has been a staunch defender of his Senate district.
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He has earned respect from both sides of the isle on issues affecting transportation as he chairs the Senate Transportation Committee. Senator Baumgardner's leadership is also evident in the Colorado House as Randy also chairs the Transportation Legislative Review Committee which consists of both House and Senate members.
His leadership skills and conservative principles makes him an ideal chairman of the Capital Development Committee which is charged with overseeing the states assets. Senator Baumgardner's work to make sure the money allocated for property be prioritized to first be spent on maintaining our current buildings before building new assets has led to better management of the state-owned property.
Randy makes his living as a rancher so he understands what it is like to face the same issues as the people he represents and then uses that experience at the Capitol to be that strong voice his constituents expect. Just like on his ranch, Senator Baumgardner's work ethic is unmatched as he is normally at the capitol before anyone else arrives to make sure he is prepared for the day.
Very few legislative districts have the opportunity to support such a compassionate person that has proven he will give the shirt off his back and help those that need help, as well as being a conservative that has been recognized as a steward of your tax dollars.
The people of this district are educated voters and won't let the out of touch recycled message by former disgruntled candidates keep them from sending Senator Baumgardner and his leadership back to the Capitol.
Senate District 8 has the unique opportunity to re-elect a true advocate for his constituents in Randy Baumgardner.
Support for ColoradoCare
I would like to encourage people to vote for Amendment 69, ColoradoCare. I have some personal reasons and some which are more generic. First, my brother died last December of cancer. He was 57 years old, and had beaten cancer twice with radiation and surgery, but not this time. The first two times, he had health insurance; this last time, he was unemployed and didn't make it to the "poor people" clinic in time. I would like to think that, had he gone to the doctor earlier, he would be with us today. A friend had a cousin die from an infection that started in his foot. He didn't have insurance, so didn't seek treatment until it was too late. I don't know how many people die of infections, but it seems like something that would be more or less preventable, with timely care.
Most things I read are that ColoradoCare would be too expensive, lead to more taxes, etc. Nobody is pointing out that the money we pay now to private insurers would go away. That ColoradoCare would negotiate lower prices with pharmaceutical companies, like the Veterans Administration. I can understand why the insurance and pharmaceutical companies (and their stockholders) would be against ColoradoCare, but I have a hard time figuring out everyone else's objections. If you don't have enough money to pay your copays, so you don't seek treatment, why would you be against universal healthcare? (In the film "Now Is the Time," shown in Grand Junction a couple of weeks ago, a young Canadian woman didn't know what a copay was. I liked that.)
Isn't it time we did something to help "the least of these"? The money that families now give to the insurance and pharmaceutical companies could be invested in education, piano lessons, soccer equipment. Ensuring that every Colorado citizen has decent health seems like a gift to ourselves, our children, our families, our friends, our neighbors. If you have questions about the benefits of ColoradoCare, I encourage you to go to ColoradoCare.org. They have a blog with questions and answers.
Thanking Vail CEO for large contribution to Care Clinic
I was truly overwhelmed when I read the Summit Daily News on Thursday, Oct. 13. The announcement of a $250,000 contribution to the Summit Community Care Clinic from Rob Katz and Elana Amsterdam was stunning. That level of personal generosity is truly remarkable and beyond belief.
As many people in the community know, the Care Clinic has been overwhelmed due to the impact of unaffordable health insurance in our region. While the ACA provided life saving coverage to those eligible for Medicaid through the Medicaid expansion, the increase in premiums for individuals in our area has been dramatic and has left many families in crisis. The Summit Community Care Clinic has carried the burden of serving the uninsured and underinsured with pride, but not without significant risk to the organization as a whole. Despite significant financial challenges, the clinic continues to provide increasing levels of medical, dental and critical mental health services to Summit County residents.
It is my understanding that in the last 3-6 months, Summit County Government, the towns of Breckenridge, Frisco, Silverthorne and Dillon and countless others have stepped up to fill the void in heroic fashion. I cannot think of an organization more worthy and more needy of this support.
I would like to publically thank Mr. Katz and Ms. Amsterdam, along with our generous municipalities and county government (all of whom have supported the clinic for many, many years), for their unbelievably generous support of this important community resource. I am proud to call the Care Clinic the health care home for my entire family, and I am proud to live in a community where businesses such as Vail Resorts, their leadership, and our local governing bodies care so deeply for all of the residents who live here.
Assistant Summit County manager
Former executive director of the Summit Community Care Clinic
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