Instead of voting for Amendment 34, give the current bill a chance to work
Dear Editor,Amendment 34, the construction lawsuits initiative, scraps the current system that emphasizes using courts as a last resort for setting people’s differences and replaces it with a system that rewards people for going to court as a first resort. This bill is primarily being sponsored by two law firms, Vannatta, Sullan, Sandgrund & Sulland, and McKenzie, Rhody & Hearn.The sponsors of the amendment would have you believe property owners in Colorado do not have rights in the current system, which gives property owners the right to sue and to recover damages. There are caps on the amount that can be collected for pain and suffering. The construction professional has to have the opportunity to correct the problem first.Without question, it will dramatically increase the cost of our homes, capital improvements to our places of business and homes. The cost of business litigation is certain to go up commensurate with the escalation in lawsuits being filed; Amendment 34 exposes anyone involved in the construction business to an increased risk of being sued for projects where they are only remotely or tangentially involved.For businesses, insurance rates are certain to go up. Prior to HB 1161, several of my construction clients could not get quotes from the insurance companies for their businesses. One client’s insurance went from $1,600 to $13,000 per year. One client had to close his small construction business because he could not get insurance that he could afford. The insurance companies are just now starting to offer construction related insurance in Colorado again. Let’s give the current bill a chance to work.Sandy CrabtreeGlenwood Springs Against Amendment 36:Selection of Presidential ElectorsDear Editor,From “Arguments Against: Analysis of the 2004 ballot proposals,” published by the legislative council of Colorado.”Colorado will likely become the least influential state in presidential elections because our current nine electoral votes will always be split 5-4. By awarding nine electoral votes to the winner, the current system encourages candidates to campaign in the state on issues of importance to Coloradans. In contrast, the proposal reduces the incentive to campaign in Colorado when a candidate might only pick up one or two additional electoral votes.”By making it easier for minor-party candidates to win electoral/votes in Colorado, the proposal could lead to a situation where no candidate wins a majority of the electoral vote nationally. If this happens, the presidency would be determined by the U.S. House of Representatives with each state getting only one vote. Smaller states then would have disproportionate power, further weakening the popular vote by increasing the chance that the U.S. Congress, not the public, will elect the president.”Amendment 36 was written, produced and funded by Jorge Klor de Alva and his rich California friends.Daryl RichardsonGlenwood SpringsVote yes on RFTA- or people will get back in their carsDear Editor,Please vote YES on RFTA. A few weeks ago I had a preview of what will probably happen if this ballot issue fails. To save money, RFTA only runs its buses on the hour on weekends in the offseason rather than on the half-hour. The Saturday 4:15 bus was full and standing-room-only after a few more stops. I suspect that many of you voting could care less because you drive and don’t use RFTA. But even this group should vote yes at least for the following reason:You may not ride RFTA but I bet your kids do, and you certainly don’t want them standing unrestrained in the aisle on an old, worn-out bus going 60 mph on Highway 82.People will find another means of transportation if they can’t get on a bus because it is full or if they have to stand in the aisle for an hour or more. You guessed it, these people will get back in their cars, trucks and jalopies and cause a lot more congestion on Highway 82. Even with the new four lanes in Old Snowmass Canyon, it just might be a longer rush our commute to and from Aspen with more traffic backed up at the worm holes at Buttermilk going in and the S-curves coming back. And where are all these additional vehicles going to park in Aspen?Finally, any increase in your taxes will be sales taxes and not property taxes. The people that ride RFTA will be paying their fair share.Please vote YES on RFTA.Ed Simonson Basalt
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Roaring Fork School District Superintendent Rob Stein announced his resignation Friday, effective at the end of the school year, saying he will take “a personal sabbatical” next year.