It takes a village
Joni Mitchell said it best, “you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone” … or in Glenwood Springs’ case eliminated, cut, or “laid off.”
I’m referring to the proposal to city council that the new city manager, Jeff Hecksel, has “drafted for consideration by the council at its Sept. 15th meeting.”
It’s my understanding that Mr. Hecksel is proposing the elimination of many programs that I feel help make Glenwood Springs the caring community that it is. I believe having had Mr. Hecksel living in Glenwood for only one year makes it difficult for him to truly grasp the deep sense of responsibility that Glenwood reflects in its programs for adults, youth, and senior citizens.
As a special education teacher for the past 30 years, I know how valuable community support for our children is. It, indeed, takes a village to raise a child in today’s world. By offering these programs, (softball, soccer, volleyball, baseball, Kids’ Camp, afterschool programs, and teen outdoor activities), kids develop strong morals, a respect for self and others, a feeling of pride in their community, and effective uses of their time.
In addition to these programs being eliminated, the positions that help organize and run these programs are in danger of being eliminated as well. The coordinators of these positions have been living in Glenwood, and contributing to the successes of our youth programs for many years.
Mr. Hecksel has resided and contributed (?) to our community for only one year.
Our school district, RFSD Re-1, has adopted the following philosophy by Spence Rogers, renowned educator, author and consultant …
“Our kids are worth whatever it takes.”
Perhaps City Council and Mr. Hecksel would be wise to do the same, rather than considering our kids to be our lowest priorities.
Over the past couple of months I have begun to see more and more “gang” sign graffiti on sign posts, including work signs.
What really irks me, however, is when I woke up this morning and went to my car, which was parked in the parking lot behind the new fire station on Eighth Street. There, spray painted on the back of the station in the right-hand corner was one of these gang signs. Is nothing sacred anymore? It’s rude, inconsiderate and uncalled for, and it’s about time it stopped!
Even if no one knows who is doing this, I think we as a county can do something ourselves, like pitching in and cleaning the graffiti ourselves. The best thing would be to find the culprits guilty of doing the painting and get them to clean up their mess, but I believe if we take our own measures and start cleaning this graffiti, it might give them the idea that we aren’t going to take it anymore.
But if we don’t do something, Glenwood is going to become another Chicago, where graffiti abounds and spray paint is banned because these people can’t do something useful instead of destructive.
City Manager Jeff Hecksel is right to expect a public outcry over proposed cuts to youth programs. He has a tough job, and has said that he is basing his recommendations on council members’ list of priorities. The sad irony lies in the fact that working families adversely affected by youth program cuts are least likely to have time to protest.
I have a few questions for council:
Why do you place such a low priority on supervised youth activities while today’s economy forces most households to have both parents working? Have you considered the consequences of having kids grow up in our area with “nothing to do”?
Why, after all these years, is it not okay to transfer funds from the Landfill and Electric surplus? Can we do it for one more year until we get the net effect of the projected 19.3 percent increase in sales tax proceeds? Whose idea was it to offer $200,000 in economic incentive rebates to big box retailers that were clamoring to get in here anyway? Rifle just approved a 1-cent sales tax increase for recreation ” do you think people will stop shopping there? Why was the recreation district idea scrapped, and can we revive it before we lose youth programs?
I’m sure that council’s intent is not to pick on working mothers, but the proposed cuts lean too far in our direction.
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