Summit Daily letters: Summit County wrong to bundle funding in one ballot question
September 25, 2018
County wrong to bundle funding in one ballot question
My hat is off to Ken Gansmann for absolutely nailing the "grab bag" tax issue on the Summit ballot in November. Our county commissioners have learned their lesson well by watching the national politicians.
Oh, you want funding to maintain National Parks to a functional level? Then approve $20+ billion for a big, beautiful wall.
Here's the Summit County version. We need to fund $1 million for wildfire prevention. How can you be against that? You know the problems we've had this year! By the way, you also have to vote for $1.7 million for infrastructure maintenance and improvements. What is that to be spent on, exactly? Lay it all out for me. Note the 70 percent differential.
We need $2.5 million for early childhood care and learning. How can you possibly not vote for that? How will it be spent, exactly? How will the program be implemented? What are the ongoing costs if this is granted? Will this tax be enough to support it going forward in perpetuity or will you be back for more? You already know the answer to this one.
The SDN on Aug. 20 said property valuations are up an average of 20-40 percent over the last two years, depending on where you live. Don't worry, says the assessor's office. "Just because property value jumps 20 percent in the reappraisal process, doesn't necessarily mean that person's property taxes will rise by the same rate." Let's say it's only half that figure. You do the math.
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In bad times, mill levies increase to maintain services. In good times, mill levies go up because consumers are doing well and they won't notice. We do notice and we do mind. Ever see a mill levy go down or a "temporary" tax sunset? It gets put on the ballot for extension. After all, it's not a tax increase you're already paying this!
Not a month goes by that record sales tax revenues aren't reported by every town in the county, compared to the same time last year.
County Commissioners take note. If you want my support for any of these issues and I would support some, separate each one on the ballot so it can stand or fall on its own merit. You package the five issues in this bill together for a blanket vote and there's no alternative, NO TO ALL OF IT.
Support Julie McCluskie for state house
I am supporting Julie McCluskie for Colorado House of Representatives because I believe her leadership experience and passion for the communities in House District 61 make her the most qualified candidate for this seat. Julie was born and raised in Colorado, raised her family in Summit County, has experience at the State House working for Lt. Governor Joe Garcia and most recently has been an instrumental member of the leadership in our local School District. Julie's husband, Jamie is a small business owner, bringing her an important first-hand knowledge of the challenges small businesses face operating in our mountain communities.
After talking current issues with Julie, I believe she will bring a balanced collaborative approach to the House. She will support small business through common sense approaches to workforce development/training programs, employee housing and affordable health care to mention a few. She will also work hard to strike the, at times tough, balance of protecting our environment without severely impacting our business community. Unlike her opponent, Julie does believe in global warming and understands the significant impacts it is having on our communities.
Her experience in our schools will be invaluable in leading the House to an improved K-12 education system as well as continued support for higher education. She is acutely aware of our infrastructure issues including I-70 as well as roads and bridges all over the state. I believe her leadership in the House can help us tackle some of these ongoing challenges.
Julie has spent the past year preparing herself for the state Legislature role by traveling the five counties of this district and meeting with local residents to better understand their hopes, needs and concerns. Her background in education combined with her passion for improving the lives of working families has equipped her with the necessary skills to meet the challenges faced by our residents.
Come November, please get out and vote and help us elect Julie McCluskie for Colorado House District 61!
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