Opinion | Susan Knopf: Judges and propositions

For the record, there has never been a more important time to cast your vote.

You may want to consider what’s coming, your fruits not yet harvested.

The Biden infrastructure bill will improve our roads and transportation system and bring good paying jobs. The Inflation Reduction Act caps insulin costs.

Republicans are talking about slashing Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid — and making abortion illegal.

Our legislators, Reps. Julie McCluskie and Dylan Roberts helped pass the biggest Affordable Housing bill in Colorado history, along with fire protections, law enforcement funding and protections for our water. If you vote for conservatives who don’t believe in government spending, all that goes away, along with publicly-funded kindergarten.

The person challenging Summit County Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence promises to reduce the size of government. Which of your services would you like cut?

Vote yes on County Measure 1A

We have an opportunity to let our Summit County visitors help pay for affordable housing and child care for our workers. This measure levies a temporary 2% tax, only in unincorporated Summit County, on short-term rentals of less than 30 days. Most locals won’t pay this tax. Our workers will reap the benefits. We need to improve our workforce environment to attract and retain workers that make our tourism economy work.

Vote yes on County Measure 1B

This is a tax renewal. You won’t feel a thing. You’ll like the continued funding for public safety, wildfire protection, 911 communications, safe drinking water.

Vote yes on amendments D and E

D requires the governor to assign judges from the existing 18th Judicial District to the new 23rd Judicial District. Why is D necessary? Apparently, if we don’t create a legal mechanism for the governor to staff the new judicial district, there will be legal chaos. Reportedly, many of these judges already live in the new 23rd District, so it’s just procedural.

E extends the Homestead Exemption to gold-star Spouses. I agree with Bruce Butler — we should do everything we can to support our qualified seniors and Gold Star families who will benefit from Amendment E.

Vote no on Amendment F

Our state takes bingo really seriously. Too seriously for my taste. But if we’re going that way, it takes five years to grow an organization with the kind of accountability Colorado requires.

Vote yes on propositions FF and GG

Vote yes for healthy school lunches and more transparency on the ballot.

Vote no on Proposition 121 — Cut the income tax rate

We would all like to cut our tax bill. Would you also like to cut your kid’s school or the police department, even just a little?

Proposition 122 — I’m leaving magic mushrooms to you

One law enforcement friend told me he didn’t think there’s enough structure to insure public safety. For-profit drug centers, what could go wrong?

Vote yes on Proposition 123 — Dedicate revenue for affordable housing

The number one thing that could stop our growing economy is the rapidly rising cost of housing. We know we need affordable housing to attract and retain workers.

Vote no on propositions 124, 125 and 126

124 increases liquor store locations — Kiss goodbye your favorite mom and pop liquor store. No limit on locations by 2037? Yeah, a national chain liquor store on every corner. 

125 allows grocery and convenience stores to sell wine. Same thing. If everybody sells beer and wine there won’t be any family liquor stores anymore. Liquor stores need those sales to make a viable business. Liquor sales aren’t enough.

126 opens up third-party delivery of alcoholic beverages. How would you know if a minor ordered alcohol delivery? No way. I’m a mom.


In your Blue Book, all judges earned “meets performance standards.” Most votes were unanimous. Two judges had dissenting votes.

Rio Blanco County Court Judge Joe Fennessy in the 9th Judicial District got a vote of 6-3, with one recused. Both the district attorney and public defender offices “expressed reluctance to take cases to trial, indicating that they are so afraid of judicial error, they enter settlements in his court that they otherwise might not.”

Larimer County Court Judge Thomas Lynch in the 8th Judicial District got a vote of 7-3. The Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation interviewed 63 people and Judge Lynch. The commissioners recommend the judge be a little more flexible outside the courtroom and listen to well-intended suggestions for streamlining courtroom processes.

For candidate recommendations, see last week’s column. Please, vote!

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