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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Now that the oil and gas companies are claiming if we eliminate the tax credit subsidy it will be directly added to our gas bills, I am asking the state legislators to look at getting a refund for all the past years. Our taxes are only one-fifth (about 1.5 percent) of the surrounding states like Wyoming, New Mexico, Oklahoma and oh, yeah, Alaska’s is 25 percent. So I figure, because we’ve been paying the same or higher prices for our gas here in Colorado than these other states for years, we deserve a refund from the companies for all these overcharged taxes.

By the way, I’m voting “yes” on Amendment 58. It’s time we stop subsidizing the oil and gas industry with our tax dollars.



Jeneane Schlotthauer

Battlement Mesa



You’ve read about the Road to Nowhere, that is, County Road 204 ” to nowhere, except Chevron’s gas field up Roan Creek, north of DeBeque, past the homes of maybe 100 people? Chevron offered to have the road improved to gas-field service road standards at a cost of $24 million. This would be a legitimate write-off as a cost of doing business in anybody’s book. Then, for whatever reason, a compliant Garfield County commission voted to offer Chevron a severance tax credit over 10 years of $24 million, the work being done ostensibly for the county’s benefit.

The credit was approved by the reliable two-to-one majority of commissioners John Martin and Larry McCown over the objection of Commissioner Tresi Houpt and without serious public discussion. If a severance tax credit were approved by the state, the company could arrange the improvement, write off the expense, and recover the expense from the severance tax credit. Not illegal perhaps, but not cool.

What remained “in it” for county government was the prospect of a $2.4 million-a-year virtual debit that would, over 10 years, absorb $24 million of severance tax revenue.

The revenue could have been available to Garfield County for improvements benefiting thousands of citizens instead of a hundred or so, plus a petroleum giant. The field service trucks could have continued to roll on a good road written off appropriately as a business expense, without the gift from Garfield County.

Fortunately, this is not a done deal. The state has not approved the tax credit. Citizens may have a shot of seeing $24 million put toward, say, an I-70 interchange at

Parachute instead of a county road, to name just one of many projects for which the county needs money.

This road to nowhere gambit stacks up as yet another reason to vote for Stephen Bershenyi for Garfield County commissioner. He opposes the $24 million severance tax-credit gift to Chevron, and he remains mindful in general about prudent, honest expenditure of the public’s money.

Jerry Rankin

Glenwood Springs

Re: John Getty Oct. 17. The current Republican administration has done so much to dismantle our sacred constitutional rights and allow a train wreck in the financial sector, bringing us closer to Mr. Getty’s “end of our country,” that his letter goes beyond ironic to comical. Unless Mr. Getty is a defense contractor or a Wall Street chief executive officer or hedge-fund manager, he is not better off today than he was eight years ago, four years ago or four months ago. Neither is he safer. His letter repeats the typical cynical sneering some Republicans are currently reduced to in the face of heartfelt sentiments of Democrats like Mr. Krizmanich.

Like Mr. Krizmanich, I believe Mr. Obama is our last big remaining hope, and it will take all of Sen. Obama’s intelligence and diligence to get us out of our current trouble. We can count on him not to merely surround himself with loyal advisers, but with wise ones.

Please read these words I wish were mine. “Obama, a man of mixed ethnicity, at once comfortable in the world and utterly representative of 21st century America, would at a stroke, reverse our country’s image abroad and refresh its spirit at home. … It could not help but say something about the country, about its dedication to tolerance and inclusiveness, about its fidelity, after all, to the values it proclaims in its textbooks. At a moment of economic calamity, international perplexity, political failure and battered moral, America needs both uplift and realism, both change and steadiness. It needs a leader temperamentally, intellectually and emotionally attuned to the complexities of our troubled globe. That leader’ s name is Barack Obama.” ” The editors, New Yorker magazine, Oct. 13, 2008.

Disagree with that, Mr. Getty.

Barbara Coddington

Glenwood Springs

I’m asking all Silt residents to please vote “yes” on the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) referendum. Please support the dozens of your friends and neighbors who ride this valuable service to and from work on a daily basis.

Yes, fares could be raised so that the riders pay for added services, and I would gladly pay this higher fare, but this won’t do the riders of Silt any good if RFTA decides to discontinue services to the town of Silt entirely because we don’t support them. I have been using this valuable service for the last three to four months and on an almost daily basis the bus is packed to standing-room only.

So please, vote “yes” on 4A and the referendum before the Silt voters. Thank you.

Audrey Thornton

Silt

Today I spent one to two hours casting my mail-in ballot. I studied the blue information booklet with its 15 amendment issues, four referendums and judge reviews. I decided on candidates running for president, senator, school board, county commissioner and other forgotten positions. I tried to make decisions based on objective information while keeping propaganda in the recycling bin/trash.

The mail-in ballot tells how to blacken the boxes, return the ballot in its privacy sleeve, meet deadlines, and deliver the ballot to where it needs to go. However, it says very little about our rights and/or obligations to cast votes, or not cast votes, for all the items.

As an educated person with many years of voting experience, I wonder how younger and/or less educated voters deal with the task. I wonder if the directions should clearly state that a vote is not required on all items. It is certainly OK to leave items blank. It is better to not vote than to cast an uninformed vote. If someone wants to simply vote for a single candidate or issue and not the entire four pages of items, that is OK.

Things to consider:

Does it make sense to cast a vote for someone who is running unopposed? I think not. An unopposed candidate who casts a single vote for himself/herself will win.

Is it a good idea to vote for something because it sounds like a good idea on the surface? Is it a better idea to read the fine print to determine how that issue could impact us all in the future, including governmental costs and administrative or legal issues?

Can you feel good about voting for something which is complicated and confusing? Might it be better to abstain from voting on that item?

Is it better to vote for a single item or candidate rather than to opt-out of voting because the whole ballot is overwhelming? I believe every informed vote counts.

I encourage everyone to vote, and vote responsibly. (It’s not easy.)

Beth McCafferty

Glenwood Springs

The voters are faced with the very heavy burden of electing leaders who can guide America out of the devastating mess created by more than 20 years of self-serving, passive leadership. I find it difficult to believe that, in spite of this burden, voters still prefer to listen to the slanderous stories spread around by incompetent candidates.

I am an unaffiliated voter and always will be. This gives me the freedom to thoroughly investigate each candidate. And I do. I have discovered over the years the more unqualified the candidate, the more political dirt he has to spread in order to make himself look good.

This is the case with McCain and his nanny, Palin. Those two are totally unqualified to lead this country. The “dirt” they spread around is fine for the tabloids and gossip mongers, but should not be allowed to further contaminate the political system.

Most homes have a computer and Internet access. For those who don’t, the libraries do, or more than likely, a friend. It is quick and easy to check out the candidates’ voting records, position on issues, biographies, etc.

Politicians do answer mail and tell you everything you need to know. If you do come across a politician who just gives you a bunch of senseless double-talk, write him off. He more than likely has splinters in his backside from sliding side to side on the political fence.

Please voters, leave the cheap gossip to the gossipmongers and vote on the facts.

Annie Fruetel

Silt


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