Red Feather not solution to affordable housing problems
I moved to Glenwood Springs 27 years ago. I served as a volunteer on Glenwood’s Housing Commission to create affordable housing in Glenwood. For 14 years my husband and I have lived in a small home in the downtown area, a house we could not afford to buy today.
We’ve watched many longtime residents who worked and volunteered in Glenwood move downvalley because of a lack of affordable housing.
So why do I oppose the Red Feather Development, even as they claim to be the answer to solving our affordable housing problems?
First, the valley’s Affordable Housing Initiative, dated July 21, 1999, mentions the importance of cooperation of local and county governments in creating successful affordable housing. Unfortunately, at this juncture there seems to be more animosity than cooperation between our city and county representatives.
Although I hope this will change, at the council meeting I attended when Red Feather was approved, I witnessed mostly acrimony and little desire by several city councilmen to work with our county commissioners regarding how that property should best be developed.
Second, affordable housing must be transit friendly and demonstrate pedestrian walkability and ease of mass transit use. None of these criteria would exist at the Red Feather development, which would, by the mere nature of its location, greatly exacerbate traffic problems down Four Mile Road all the way through Glenwood.
Third, residential development never generates enough tax and economic benefits to offset its costs to local government. You and I will be expected to pay for the services and infrastructure this development will generate.
Vote no on Red Feather.
Sheila R. Markowitz
The method of financing the proposed golf course, kayak park and part of the Community Center pool should be a community concern. The certificates of participation being suggested to finance these facilities is a method of avoiding Colorado’s TABOR act and will saddle our community with a debt payment of around $1 million a year for the next 20 years. (Post Independent, April 18.)
The golf course, kayak park and the pool will not generate income for years; they may never generate the $1 million a year needed to make the payments on the COPs.
If the city budget has a surplus of $1 million, then build the pool this year, the kayak park next year and save money in the following years for the golf course. Paying cash for these recreational amenities will save the residents of Glenwood Springs $6.3 million in interest payments.
If the city does not have the surplus $1 million a year, then how is it going to make the payments on the COPs for the next 20 years? Is it reasonable to believe that city sales tax collection will jump $1 million a year just because we have a second pool, a second golf course and a kayak park?
Mayor Vanderhoof stated in a Post Independent article (April 18) that if the public was adamantly against using COPs, they have time to challenge the idea at the May 1 council meeting. I hope members of this community attend the meeting and voice their opinion.
Instead of a golf course, how about a community garden, orchard and greenhouse?
For the record, I acknowledge and abhor Saddam’s human rights abuses. Iraqis had many freedoms under secular Ba’ath party rule, but political dissent was not among them. Human rights abuse against political prisoners is common in many countries, but it has never been justification for “liberation.”
When did this war become about liberation anyway? “Regime change” for any reason is a crime under international law. Every sovereign nation has the right to self-determination. The United States committed a crime by invading Iraq and deposing its government. But with no weapons of mass destruction to be found, the demonization of Saddam Hussein and the clever motto, “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” became a last desperate attempt to justify an illegal invasion.
Meanwhile, the once civil and orderly society I observed in Baghdad has been reduced to chaos. While the press announces the end of the war, Iraqis are caught in an endless cycle of disruption, devastation and agony. Children are not attending school, adults are not going to work, the electricity and water are gone, the money is gone, the city is in shambles.
Yes, there are some Iraqis who view this as an opportunity to be taken advantage of. But there are many more, never shown on network TV, who are suffering the loss of their homes, families, limbs, and vital organs. This is no liberation. This is murder and mayhem.
The illegal U.S. invasion has been successful only in devastating an entire culture and paving the way for civil war.
The purpose of this correspondence is to bring some words of comfort to those who opposed or oppose our country’s actions to remove Saddam Hussein from leadership in Iraq.
During the past several weeks, I have read in the Post Independent articles and statements written by Fudd, Gray, Sundin and others of like stripes. Boy, did their words bring back memories of the dissenters during my two combat tours in Vietnam.
Although not original (by me), there was a saying used by the troops to comfort those who could not understand combat actions. Recipients of these words were usually war dissenters such as those who were afraid to fight, draft card burners, bong-smoking hippies, movie stars and others who said they supported the troops but not the war.
So, for the aforementioned group(s) who seem to have their undies in a wad over the success of our troops in Iraq, I now pass the saying along as I say to them:
“Sorry about that!”
James E. Foster
LTC U.S. Army RTD
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