Summit Daily letters: 1A – not right for our community
I attended the candidate and ballot issue discussion at the Summit Senior Center on Oct. 3. It was pleasing to see a standing room only audience. To say it was informative and entertaining would be an understatement. Issue 1A was discussed with both pros and cons presented. Pro — “We are in a crisis. It’s right for our community. Working people can’t afford childcare. We don’t have the money to build the needed infrastructure. It’s cheaper to bundle all these issues together than to separate them. The county is growing and people can’t afford to live here. We are losing people to suicide.” Con — “It’s not necessary. Separate the issues so we can vote on their individual merits. They should be individual initiatives. The county currently has a $20M surplus. We don’t need a new tax.”
While I have paraphrased the actual comments somewhat from my notes, this was the gist of each side. A little was said about wildfire control, but nothing about funds for the recycling program and the infrastructure and maintenance initiatives also included with this bill. The focus was on the emotional portions of 1A, mental health and childcare. After the meeting ended I approached the Pro 1A spokeswoman, who was pleasant and passionate. My question was: “You talked about funds needed to build infrastructure. This includes a building, staff, program development and the infrastructure to support it.” “Yes, we don’t have the money currently.” “What happens to the staff, participants and infrastructure after the tax expires in 10 years?” Another member of the team had responded they hoped they could prove the value of this “test” program so it would be reapproved in 10 years. “Then why not say what you propose to do? You wish to install new programs that will require taxpayer funds to support on a growing basis.” The impassioned response, “Would you let someone die from suicide?” “People die. It is a worthy issue as several on the ballot are as observed by the opposing speaker. But I will not hold my nose and vote for issues I don’t like to get support for the ones I do. The issues need to be separated and not presented in one package.” We agreed to disagree and parted company amicably. There are five issues on 1A. Funds for: mental health and suicide intervention, early childcare and learning, wildfire mitigation, revamping the recycling program and county infrastructure and maintenance. While some are worthy, you must vote for all or none. There’s no such thing as a “temporary 10 year tax.” Once these five get approved, they will be like vampires. When the “sunset” goes down they will be back. Vote for one. Vote for all. I will vote for none.
Chris Dorton Silverthorne, CO
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