Friday letters: Ballot question 2B confusing, Kuhlenberg is the choice, no on 5B, no on airport questions, Teitler excellent choice, vote blank on airport questions, Prop 119 a trick, not treat
Unclear ballot question
If ballot question 2B passes, which of the four projects has priority? Surely the possible $8 million in increased debt will not cover all four items?
Citizens passed around petitions to be on the November ballot, twice asking the city to amend its charter to include the airport as part of the properties and that it could not sell without the citizens’ approval. Both petitions staff/council found not to follow the proper guidelines and were also able to produce (questionable) reasons to void the petitions.
Issues that ask for increasing taxes/debt are not popular with the public and have a slim chance of passing. Council should have the county at the table on the South Bridge Project (Midland Bypass). The county is the biggest benefactor of this bridge project and should be the main contributor.
As if 2B is not enough, the city has 2A as a backup to get their funding for the South Bridge. I would hope that the city or county would request money from any developers up Four Mile to contribute toward this project. If ballot issues 2A or 2B fail, I hope that council does not take this to mean that the citizens of Glenwood are not in favor of keeping the airport.
There should be a separate ballot issue that asks if the citizens want to keep the airport. Do not “muddy the waters” or confuse the public by asking if it should be for housing or mixed use, thereby diminishing the value of the airport to only a “heliport.” Midland Avenue has too much traffic now.
The South Bridge and development up Four Mile will create way more traffic than we need, and any development at the airport will create even more. Let us not forget the part the airport plays in medical emergencies and fire suppressions in our area. This should be our highest concern.
Don “Hooner” Gillespie
Kuhlenberg’s your choice
Our task as voters is to put in place elected officials who can improve our communities and schools. There is nobody more qualified and eminently motivated to succeed on the Re-1 school board than Kathryn Kuhlenberg.
She has a juris doctorate with specialties in education policy and civil rights. She is a preschool owner and teacher. She interned at the U.S. Department of Education. She has taught special education. She has served on the Aspen School District’s accountability committee. Moreover, she has three young children who are part of the very schools she intends to work so hard for. Ms. Kuhlenberg has the credentials and the real-world experience to represent us on the school board. Check for your ballot in your mailbox, and be sure to vote for Kathryn Kuhlenberg for Roaring Fork School Board by Nov. 2.
No on 5B
It is with a sense of trepidation that I write this letter opposing Ballot Issue 5B, as I know I will be labeled as a person who is opposed to teachers and kids. With that in mind, let me state that in years past I have not only supported mill levy overrides, I have actively campaigned for them both in this district and in Summit County, where I chaired the District Accountability Committee for many years.
However, I cannot support the current proposal as written. Prior mill levy overrides lasted for a finite time period and then required voter approval to reinstate them. While this required extra work by supporters, I believe it gave voters a crucial opportunity to review how the funds were spent, the status of property values and tax rates at the time they were asked to reinstate the override, and the status of state and federal funds available to the district at the time.
This proposal will put the mill levy override and tax increase on auto pilot with no sunset provision and no opportunity for taxpayers to decide whether they want to continue it. The measure is to be indexed to inflation, which means the amount paid by taxpayers will increase each year. Given the current state of inflation and increases in local property values, such tax increases could be quite dramatic.
Voters deserve an opportunity to review any such increases at a set time in the future and determine whether they want to continue them or not. While I support increasing teacher pay, I do not believe this ballot measure, which provides a never-
ending blank check, is an appropriate way to accomplish it.
No on airport questions
The two airport ballot questions are a ruse spearheaded by Mayor Godes, designed to conflate the issues and confuse voters. The future of the Glenwood Springs Airport should not hinge on these ballot questions, as the Oct. 15 Post Independent headline asserts.
Those two questions are almost designed to fail, to allow a few councilors to say
there is no public support for the airport. Instead of an honest request for $5 million to $6 million for the tunnel, council has asked for an inflated $24 million.
The Glenwood Springs Airport has existed since 1937 on land that was specifically donated for that purpose. In all that time, it has operated within its self-sustaining budget, but now we are asked to believe it needs an additional $7 million in improvements? The narrative is that since the city had a “hands-off” approach, the airport has fallen into a state of disrepair and questionable safety. As a pilot who regularly flies in and out, I can emphatically state that is not the case. The runway was recently repaved, and the ground weather radio will soon be replaced, all from funds already available.
Ballot initiative 2A and 2B were hurriedly drafted, without council even consulting its own Airport Commission. This sleight of hand was in response to an attempted citizen’s initiative to require a vote of the people to close or modify the airport, the same protection given to city parks.
The City Clerk rejected this lawful citizens petition twice, on specious clerical grounds. Over 1,000 signatures were collected, when only 300 were required. This conduct was an abuse of municipal power, and it squelched the citizens’ rights to petition the government.
A new measure to protect the airport is currently being introduced for a spring election; however, it may be too late by then. I urge citizens to vote against current Ballot Issues 2A and 2B, and reach out to your councilors to let them know your position. It is imperative to stop any four City Council members from doing an end-run around the voters, as they are trying to accomplish now.
Eric A. Strautman
Excellent choice in Teitler
I cannot think of a stronger candidate for school board than Kenny Teitler. Kenny has spent a career of 26 years educating and inspiring children in the Roaring Fork Valley.
He has firsthand experience of the challenges and successes facing RFSD. He understands the unique complexities of this district and community. He possesses the education, experience, and demeanor to thoughtfully serve all constituents. He is exactly the type of local leader we need.
I am excited to cast my ballot this November in support of Kenny Teitler and urge you to do the same.
Vote ‘blank’ on airport questions
I applaud the Post Independent’s incisive and thorough editorial on the confusing airport ballot question(s). I went to law school, and I have no idea what the city is asking.
Having voted against putting this nonsense on the ballot, I would normally recommend a “no” vote. However, I have a better idea. Leave the questions “blank.”
That may send a message to the City Council and our mayor that while we might support the airport (or not), we don’t appreciate silly ballot questions that don’t make sense and don’t answer any questions or solve any issues.
Tony Hershey, City Council member
Prop 119 a trick, not treat
Halloween — what perfect timing for a deceptively disguised, wolf-in-sheep’s clothing proposal like Proposition 119. The Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress Program, Proposition 119 is no treat for Colorado’s kids, but a scam-bag of tricks to benefit wealthy, out-of-state backers and anti-public education schemers.
Here’s what’s in Proposition 119’s bag of tricks:
LEAP creates a whole new government bureaucracy with a budget twice that of the annual budget of the entire Colorado Department of Education.
It robs public schools of funds by unconstitutionally “reallocating” millions of dollars from the School Land Trust Fund, (which was legally formed in 1876 for the benefit of public schools). According to
the nonpartisan Legislative Council summary, this would cost public schools at least $21 million a year. The State Land Board voted unanimously to oppose LEAP.
It creates a nonelected board, answerable to no one but themselves. Incredibly, the board would be shielded from any lawsuit or oversight, opening the floodgates to fraud, corruption and misuse of public funds.
Undocumented students would not be eligible for the program, but home-schooled and private school students would be, making LEAP a quasi-voucher scheme.
There is no safe-guard against discrimination of any kind by the providers.
If the voters decide to raise taxes on marijuana sales, the additional funds should go directly to our desperately underfunded public schools, with supervision and accountability provided by CDE, which has an elected board, the majority of whom oppose LEAP. Other education groups opposing LEAP are the Colorado PTA, Colorado Association of School Boards, Colorado Association of School Executives, State Land Trust Board, American Federation of Teachers and Taxpayers for Public Education.
LEAP’s devious promoters have done an excellent job of disguising this Halloween monster of a proposition. Voters, don’t be fooled. Vote no on Proposition 119. It’s a LEAP of bad faith.
Michael Merrifield, Advocates for Public Education Policy
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Consider climate impacts of ice