Summit Daily letters: Support CMC — vote yes on Measure 4b
October 9, 2017
Vote yes on Measure 4b
Colorado Mountain College district voters will be asked in November (Measure 4b) to give the college permission to adjust their mill levy bi-annually to avoid potential large revenue decreases associated with a 35-year-old state law related to property taxes (Gallagher amendment). Through measure 4b, CMC is requesting relief from the explosive growth in Front Range property values which is causing downward adjustments in the Gallagher Amendment residential tax rates. CMC is not asking for an unlimited tax increase. Rather, Measure 4b allows CMC's elected board to recover only those revenues lost by CMC due to these adjustments.
For the 2017-2018 budget, CMC experienced a loss of $2.8 million in tax revenue. Based on projections of the Front Range growth rate, CMC can expect an additional tax revenue loss of $3.6 million in 2019-2020. If these downward adjustments continue it will compromise the ability of CMC to continue to be financially sound into the future, ensuring future generations of students have access to affordable postsecondary education in their local community. The cost to an individual home owner for this adjustment, if approved, would be $3 per $100,000 of assessed value in 2019.
Why as a community, I believe we should support CMC's ballot measure and vote "YES" on 4b:
• CMC was created as a locally funded college 50 years ago and it remains the only institution of post-secondary education in the communities it serves.
• CMC maintains the lowest tuition rates in the state and has the third-most affordable bachelor's program in the nation.
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• CMC is the primary provider of police officers, fire fighters, nurses, early childhood educators and hospitality workers in our mountain communities.
• CMC provides free college courses to more than 1,200 high school students in the mountain communities.
• CMC offers each in-district graduating high school senior automatic admission to college and a scholarship to go with it.
• CMC is a community asset we cannot afford to have compromised by the impact of Front Range growth.
Joe and Joyce Yob
This land is your land: Do something
We are incredibly lucky. We live in a community with some of the best skiing and riding, mountain biking, fly-fishing and hiking in our backyard. Most of these activities take place on public lands. But, I worry that we're taking our public lands for granted and not doing enough to protect what we love.
On Saturday, Sept. 30, our country celebrated National Public Lands Day.
While it was a day of celebration, it was also a reminder that now, more than ever, we have the obligation and the responsibility to protect our public lands. The Trump administration is considering shrinking or reducing protections to some of our nation's most iconic public lands — our national monuments.
Even though we don't have any national monuments in Summit County, we still need to do more than just like a post on social or nod our heads in agreement. Now is the time to take action and fight for the public lands that you love here in your backyard and across this great country of ours.
Get involved locally; we have so many nonprofit groups and organizations that need your help. Take a moment to talk to your elected officials. Make a call. Write an op-ed piece. Get political.
Public lands are critical to our wellbeing. They provide clean air and water. They help us stay active and healthy — physically and mentally. And, they're a big contributor to our state's economy. Outdoor recreation in Colorado generates 229,000 jobs and $28 billion in consumer spending annually.
People like me choose to live, work and run businesses in Summit because of the proximity to places like the Continental Divide and access to skiing, hiking and biking. We owe a lot of gratitude to our towns and our county for protecting our public lands through open space programs and funding. And, we need to give a huge high five to groups like the town of Breck, Friends of the Dillon Ranger District, Summit Fat Tire Society and other towns, organizations and nonprofits for building and maintaining our trails.
I want to encourage you to support these efforts and our elected officials. In addition, we need to encourage Congressman Polis and Senator Bennet to continue fighting for public lands, including the reintroduction of the Continental Divide Wilderness and Recreation Act.
Join in the fight because this land is truly your land and the time to act is now.
The GOP's weak defense of Trump
A response is needed to Kim McGahey's letter of Oct. 4. I understand the current administration is in need of some good P.R. and, as local party chairman, Mr. McGahey is only trying to do his part. His letter, however, is nearly farcical.
While I agree that the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch is a win for Republicans; it comes at a cost. How many years has it been since a Supreme Court justice was confirmed with less than 60 votes? How much more radical will justices be now with only 51 votes needed and the parties becoming more polarized?
The president has kept Americans informed with his well-advised tweets? I think most Americans, including many Republicans, would substitute the word "ill" for "well." I can't repeat here what I've heard said about Kelly Anne Conway and her "alternate facts."
As for cabinet appointments, the president, unfortunately, doesn't have a clue. He is further behind in nominating people to posts that need Senate approval than any president in recent memory. As for appointing more women and African-Americans; I don't think so! President Obama's appointments were 35.3 percent women and 14.4 percent African American through September 2015 per the Washington Post. Those numbers are double the George W. Bush administration's and significantly higher than in Bill Clinton's.
What Mr. McGahey also fails to include in his letter is that Colorado Republicans would have much rather had Ted Cruz as their nominee.
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