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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The political cartoon published Wednesday, Oct. 13, tells it all. Do we really think that corporations that have increased their profits, after having downsized, are going to create jobs when they have profited without them?

What if they used their profits to put people to work instead of buying excessive campaign ads? Give the stimulus money and programs time to work.

Luana Olson



Glenwood Springs

The issue that I find most compelling in this election is the tax issue. In the 1950s, most families survived on one income. They were able to own a home, and two or more cars. Many had a boat. Many in the southwest region owned a vacation cabin in the mountains here. The economy was much better than it is today.



At that time, 9 percent of taxes were paid by 99 percent of our population. The other 91 percent of taxes were paid by the wealthiest 1 percent of the population. The only way these people were able to avoid paying this tax, was to invest money that was then deductible. That kept our economy strong, and created jobs. Now there is little to force them to invest, therefore, they just horde money, and what they do invest creates jobs outside this country for less cost, or is just paper. During Nixon’s administration, the 91 percent tax of the 50s had fallen to 70 percent. By the time the Reagan/Bush administrations were through, Clinton raised it back to 39 percent, and was able to balance the budget; however, the largest burden of taxes were on us. This is what Obama wants them to pay, 39 percent. It is now at 36 percent. All of the whining is over 3 percent. Considering what the rest of us make, and the percent that we are paying, I think that they can afford it.

When I was eighteen, in 1978, I was earning more than $22 per hour and working eighty hours a week. The cost of living, from what I can see, is more than 10 times what it was then. How many people just out of high school can find a job paying $20 per hour now? I do not know one person that has a job who is allowed to work overtime. Considering that the largest part of our government’s budget goes for defense. Who has more property and investments to protect? You or Forbes? And now the Republicans want us to pay 23 percent more in sales tax. Why?

Gregory Sisk

Glenwood Springs

In response to John Korrie’s letter advocating that the Re-1 school district suck it up and tighten its belt, all I can say is “been there, been doing that.” I taught from 1992 until 2005 and have been employed part time in the district since. In that time period, we went through five different years of salary freezes, and those were salaries that didn’t remotely approach parity with the private sector or teacher salaries in other states. I taught in a dilapidated building that is still being used for the same classes.

Coincidentally, 1992, my first year of teaching, was the same year Colorado modified our Constitution with the TABOR amendment. Schools, and other public services, have been gradually strangled since then.

Did you ever wonder why (or perhaps were you not aware that) Colorado faded from the middle of the pack nationally in per pupil school funding down to the bottom of the heap, competing with far poorer states for the dubious honor of being last in the nation?

Have you noticed that our roads usually sport dual wear grooves in each lane before CDOT gets around to repaving them these days? Were you aware that from April 2001 to October 2002, funding got so low that the state had to suspend its requirement that school children be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough because Colorado could not afford the vaccine?

And while the 1990s and pre-recession 2000s saw soaring gains in income for local construction related business like John’s, the school district got disproportionately paltry increases in funding, all because of TABOR. Amendments 60 and 61 and Prop 101 will simply increase this disparity.

While many people during this recession are, indeed, having to make harsh monetary decisions, I, for one, would rather eat beans over steak, and leave the funding for public education alone, or, better yet, increase it to pre-TABOR days. A well-educated electorate is the foundation of functioning democratic society.

Bob Shettel

Redstone

Wilderness Workshop is absolutely responsible for polarizing user-groups and our communities. Wilderness Workshop had no intention of engaging the public.

Rather, the Workshop chose to only reach out to potential supporters of their cause. Wilderness Workshop doesn’t care what the public thinks and would have gladly shoved the first draft down our throats without it being fully vetted. One would think, with all the academia in their camp, that one of them would have the decency to fully engage other user-groups in a systematic and inclusive manner.

Wilderness Workshop is the farthest thing from a grassroots organization. Grassroots organizations typically do not have staff lawyers, paid employees, paid supporters and paid meeting attendees. Wilderness Workshop is a highly-organized and highly-funded environmental lobbyist group that pushes Wilderness bills all over the U.S. Wilderness Workshop is not just a few hippies from Carbondale trying to save the world, as they would like you to think.

Pitkin county commissioners are a disgrace. They seem to be in bed with Wilderness Workshop and are ready to rubber stamp the proposal while the public is not supportive. Pitkin County caters to all but the working class citizens by holding public meetings with little more than a days notice in a local newspaper at times when nobody can make it. Pitkin County could learn a little something from Eagle County; hold a public meeting when the people can make it. Public officials need to pay attention to the people and not your personal interests.

Finally, to all of you wilderness-only extremists, most of the opposition to this proposal is not against “Wilderness” designation. We just don’t want it where it doesn’t belong. For instance, Wilderness does not belong at the very edges of our towns, over existing roads and trails, in areas where people have been working and recreating for decades, or where the terrain doesn’t meet the “Wilderness” standards.

Also, most of us are against oil and gas development in many of these areas. Most of us want land designations applied appropriately, logically, and in a manner best for our communities. Wilderness is not our only option, as the Workshop would lead you to believe.

Joe Hiltquist

Rifle

I have been following the election in Garfield County for Sheriff. Why hasn’t anyone mentioned the indictment of two TRIDENT (Garfield County’s Drug Task Force) members that happened under Lou’s watch?

Under Lou’s command of TRIDENT, TRIDENT has been investigated by the state for misconduct by a number of their officers and deputies. One of the former TRIDENT members that was investigated now works for the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

TRIDENT also couldn’t work any cases without DEA support because they were on probation. I then have heard of and seen members of TRIDENT working out and playing golf, all while on the clock. How is playing golf protecting our community from drug dealers?

I believe with Tom Dalessandri’s leadership TRIDENT will be made up of motivated individuals, not people who play golf and are criminally charged. With the right leadership TRIDENT can have a impact on drug dealing and protect our children from that poison.

I am voting for Tom Dalessandri and encourage you to do the same.

Brad Gonazlez

Glenwood Springs

Sheriff Vallario, I am troubled by the numerous lawsuits brought against you and your employees as well as lawsuits by your employees against you. Why are so many people dissatisfied with the way you are running your office? Outside of the usual frivolous lawsuits brought by bored prisoners, these lawsuits exceed the norm.

A supervisor should be aware of sexual harassment situations in his office long before it reaches the lawsuit stage. Why are the taxpayers being burdened by the expense of defending you in court time after time? It was indeed a great favor the judge gave to you by postponing your trial until after election. It begs the question, what are you trying so hard to hide from us, the voters?

You have had the great advantage of the extra money allocated to your department by the recent boom of oil and gas funds, unlike Mr. Dalessandri who had a strict budget without that benefit. You made a big to-do about background checking the Search and Rescue volunteers and then dialed down when election time came.

Apparently, you have money in your budget to let your deputies drive home county-owned trucks everyday. What does this cost us the taxpayer? Let’s see a breakdown of your budget in the paper and let the voters decide if you have been prudent in spending our money.

Shelly Kuersten

Rifle

I would like to address the issues surrounding the All Hazards Response Team. The claim is that we are going to dissolve the Team. This is simply untrue.

If you were to listen to what Tom Dalessandri has said, he stated that there were other options from surrounding counties to utilize a “Bear Cat” type vehicle instead of making the $236,000 purchase. There is no intention to “dissolve” AHRT. We want to utilize the team to its intended function, being a resource to needs in wildland fire suppression, the local search and rescue group, support for local fire departments in hazardous material incidents and SWAT operations.

Another statement to clarify is from Silt’s Mayor Dave Moore (letter to the editor on Oct. 13). He states Lou gave back $2 million from his (Lou’s) 2009 budget. This is true. However, if you look at Lou’s budget, there is some misleading information. Keep in mind, this is public record and anyone can request a copy.

If you looked at Lou’s 2009 adopted budget, his budget was a little more than $14 million. Then, throughout the course of 2009, Lou requested an additional $3 million. This is out of our pockets. This brings the amended budget to more than $17 million. Then, at the end of the year, Lou gave back $2.1 million, which looks great.

Here’s the one misleading point, Lou’s final budget for 2009 was over $15 million, or $1 million more than his adopted budget. And Mayor Moore is now comparing Lou to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. If Mayor Moore would have researched Sheriff Arpaio’s budget, he would have noticed Sheriff Arpaio is being investigated for over spending his budget by $50 million. Similarities? I’ll leave that for you to decide.

What Tom wants to do is to cut spending. Given our current economic situation the community deserves a fiscally responsible Sheriff who puts the safety of the citizens first by managing an appropriate budget without compromising public safety. We will do that. Please get out and vote on Nov. 2. Please vote for Tom Dalessandri for Garfield County Sheriff. Thank you.

Doug Winters

Rifle

I am always discouraged as elections draw near. It seems that opinion gives way to fear mongering with questionable statements of so called “fact.” I right now get most of my entertainment from letters written by people of “retirement age” who on the one hand say, “leave my social security benefits alone,” while the other side of their mouth screams we are being forced into a “communist” or “socialist” type of government by the current administration. Right after the statement of leave my social security and Medicare alone, they whine about the cost of the health care reform.

So, my proposal: How about those of you whining about how socialist our current administration is, and who are on social security, receiving medical care through a “socialist” based Medicare system, give up your “socialist government based” social security income and your right to health care through the “socialist” based Medicare, and let that money be used to give an uninsured young, single mother some income (Social Security) and health care coverage. Then she won’t have to get food stamps, and medical care from the emergency room – an issue that you so disdain.

Remember, when you say you want to return to the Constitution that was “intended” by our forefathers, first and foremost was “love your neighbor.” They knew we would never survive unless we became one cohesive society. So if you don’t like socialism, send your Social Security check back to Washington and use private insurance instead of Medicare. Let those funds help a young person get a foothold so they and their children can become good, contributing members of society.

Brad Gates

New Castle

During the last two months, Tom Jankovsky has walked more than 100 miles in Garfield County neighborhoods to speak first hand with voters. He has listened to your concerns and shared his position on the issues that we face as residents of this County.

Tom’s business and leadership experience make him the candidate that understands what needs to be done in order to create jobs, diversify our local economy and balance Garfield County expenditures in the face of declining revenues.

Unlike his opponent, Tom Jankovsky has truly “walked the talk” and therefore is best suited to represent all of us as our next Garfield County Commissioner.

Phil Long

Glenwood Springs

Well it’s election time again and I’m sure we’re all getting a little tired of all the politics, but I must, out of good conscience, draft this letter regarding an issue that will be before all of us as Garfield County voters.

Frankly, I’m surprised that there have been no letters to the editor, or any publicity at all that I have seen, concerning the prohibition of medical marijuana in our County. I can say a lot of things about this issue but here is the crux of the matter as I see it.

I know that the growing, manufacturing of products and marketing thereof will not be good for Garfield County. I will further unequivocally state that I know this is definitely not good for the youth of our County. Therefore, I urge all voters to vote yes for the prohibition on all three ballot questions concerning the growing, the manufacturing of, and the selling of marijuana.

Mike Samson

Rifle


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