Friday letters: Halloween caution, support teachers, airport questions, Valley View thanks, support for Teitler, leave 2A blank, ACES for 5B, city’s airport closure plan, airport shakedown, Teacher of the Year for 5B, Godes talking in circles, Chamber supports 5B, and city trying to justify shutting down airport | PostIndependent.com
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Friday letters: Halloween caution, support teachers, airport questions, Valley View thanks, support for Teitler, leave 2A blank, ACES for 5B, city’s airport closure plan, airport shakedown, Teacher of the Year for 5B, Godes talking in circles, Chamber supports 5B, and city trying to justify shutting down airport

Halloween caution

Statistics show that the highest number of kid/pedestrian accidents and deaths occur over Halloween. Please continue to drive community supportive speeds (or lower), keep a sharp eye out for smaller-sized (possibly more unpredictable) pedestrians and drive with your lights on. 

Everyone on foot — consider carrying a flashlight to further alert drivers to your presence, be extra cautious as you move down our streets. May everyone’s weekend continue to deliver smiles and wonders. 



“Take A Minute — Slow Down in Town.”

Diane Reynolds, Imagine Glenwood committee



Glenwood Springs 

Adults are childrens’ present

You’ve heard it before: Our children are the future. But what is not often said is that adults are their present. The adult community is the only thing that stands between children and hunger, ignorance or injury. Providing protections from harm is not only the job of parents but the community at large. 

Which is why I hope this community will support (question) 5B, which approves funding for teacher and staff pay increases and supports the recruitment and retention of staff and students.

Colorado currently ranks 49th among the states in average teacher pay. We have the means to do better. This state also holds the dubious distinction of paying teachers 25% less than other careers that also require a college degree. The community’s efforts to recruit and retain qualified staff is further challenged, as a recent study found that area housing costs will consume at least 50% of their salary, challenging their ability to support their own families.

Given the hours teachers work to prepare and deliver instruction, to support school activities, to help individual students in need, and to continue their professional development, prorated teacher salaries pay less per hour than almost any job in the valley. Low pay for teachers and paraprofessionals results in critical vacancies and high turnover as school personnel realize they cannot afford to live in the Roaring Fork Valley. The resulting turnover affects the quality of education for all students, especially younger students who experience changing staff as a loss.

The health and well-being of our schools are a reflection of our community. We owe our students, teachers and staff more if we seek to develop and maintain a stable, quality educational environment for our children. Only then is our children’s future full of promise.

Kathy Sgambati

Carbondale

Start over on airport question

Looking at the editorial in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (Oct. 18), I think they have hit the problem right on the head. We have a City Council that appoints committees to do jobs and then doesn’t listen to what they have to say. The airport committee would certainly have never recommended the track council took to try and hoodwink the public into voting that humongous sum of money to solve a minor problem like putting the tunnel under the runway. 

When the city wasted millions tearing up Seventh Street three or four times, or putting all those stupid planters in the center of Midland Ave, or the millions they wasted on Municipal Operations Center, and then sold it at a huge loss, in the millions. 

Did they go ask the public to vote on a special bond issue? No way. They just handled it. Had they asked the citizens, I think they would have told them to go pound sand. They just need to handle the airport issue also. On a $40 million or $50 million project, what’s a 10% or 15% overrun? It’s just another day in the life of Glenwood Springs and some of our wasteful ways.

Do the people who looked at all those signatures that the citizens went out and got to put this item on the ballot really think they are fake and not original? Life is too short to waste your time doing something that stupid as trying to collect fake or false signatures. That’s something the folks in Washington would do.

I think somebody with some common sense should call foul play and disallow this whole issue and start over after next Tuesday and do it all the right way. Why doesn’t the rest of council think the way Tony did and just do what’s right?

John Haines

Glenwood Springs

Valley View thanks

On the evening of Friday, Oct. 15, I drove myself to the Urgent Care facility at Valley View Hospital feeling very, very uncomfortable. After about two hours I was moved to the Emergency Department for more specialized treatment. I was sent home some three hours later. And I was back in the Emergency Department on Saturday for a “tune up.” 

I have nothing but high praise for these night and weekend workers. Treatment was personal, kind, solicitous, terrifically professional and successful. Extreme kudos to the nurses, doctors, techs and all the VVH staff. 

Thank you so much,

Jim Austin

Glenwood Springs

Teitler’s the frugal candidate

You’ve probably read countless letters in support of Kenny Teitler for RFSD school board, but I write today to tell you about a little-known reason to support Kenny: his frugality. 

Yes, it’s true that Kenny taught in the Roaring Fork School District for 26 years. The reason he’s no longer teaching? He retired two years ago, at the ripe old age of 53. How did he manage to do it? He and his family of four minded their budget and wisely planned ahead. Many teacher-parents in this community are clamoring for Kenny to teach a master class called “How to Send Your Children to College and Retire While You’re Still Young.” 

If you want a board member who will ensure that your tax money is spent wisely, your candidate is Kenny Teitler, our frugal friend.

Lisa Dameron

Carbondale

Designed intent

Ballot measure 2A was crafted and put on the ballot for the express purpose of failing. The mayor has put together a list of “improvements” needed for continued safe operation of the airport. Why would we need taxiway lighting for an airport that is closed at night? The $300,000 fuel system the mayor mentions is not for use by small airplanes, it is almost exclusively for the medevac helicopter. There is no need for a fence around the airport. If the airport needs hangars, start by giving the existing hangars new leases. If the city wants more hangars, lease some ground and let them be built. The city does not need to build them. 

If the mayor and Mr. Hanlon actually cared about the airport and wanted it to remain, the best thing they could do is leave it alone. The airport is not in disrepair nor is it unsafe. It has not needed tax money in the past, and it does not need it now. Do not vote for or against 2A; leave it blank.

Sam Chambers

Carbondale

ACES for 5B

The solution to most of the challenges facing the world can be found through education. Here in Colorado, among eighth-grade students tested through the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) in language arts and mathematics, only 47 and 37 percent, respectively, met or exceeded expectations in the most recent test (2019). 

Here in our local school district, the Roaring Fork School District, we have the third highest cost of living of all 178 Colorado school districts, yet teacher salaries do not reflect this. This has created a hiring and retention problem. 

On behalf of ACES, we hope you will support voting yes on 5B, the mill levy override, to support our children, teachers and schools. Seventy-five percent of 5B funds will go directly to salary increases for all RFSD teachers and staff (excluding senior district leadership). The remaining funds will be used for retention and recruitment of more teachers and staff. 

Get your ballot in by Nov 2. We hope you will support our regional teachers. 

Chris Lane, CEO

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES)

Basalt

Tax question an airport closure plan

Our city manager and the City Council have a three-part plan to close the Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport that has saved many lives and property over the years.

Step 1: Propose a tax for the airport for items that are not wanted or needed.

Step 2: Make it so expensive that the citizens reject it.

Step 3: Claim the citizens don’t support the airport, and close it.

In my opinion, the city manager and council are doing what they want and not what the citizens of Glenwood Springs want. If the city would move the road for the South Bridge 3 degrees south (land the city owns) we would not need the tunnel or the added expense of $5.5 million. Many communities would love to have an airport that brings tourists and money in and is self-supporting.

City Council members Jonathan Godes, Steve Davis, Shelly Kaup and Paula Stepp voted for this tax.

Charlie Willman, Ingrid Wussow and Tony Hershey opposed it.

Darwin Raymond

Glenwood Springs

Airport ‘shakedown’

Am I the only one who thinks City Council’s recent treatment of the Airport Commission is despicable? Council recently did an end run around the Airport Commission and approved ballot issues 2A and 2B without so much as a by your leave. The commission was neither consulted nor informed of these ballot issues until just prior to the vote. 

Issues 2A and 2B seek to increase your taxes under the guise of an airport tax when no tax revenue is needed for the airport, and most of the tax money would go to reduce the financial shortfall of South Bridge. Many council members have threatened to close the airport if the tax doesn’t pass. That’s extortion. It’s a shakedown under the guise of a tax increase. 

Dave Merritt heads the Airport Commission. He is one of our city’s most highly respected former council members and citizens. He has served this city tirelessly for decades in a number of roles. He would never support this and said as much at last week’s council meeting. What he did not get was an apology. What he did not get was a promise to never have this happen again. What the mayor did not get was a smack down from council for orchestrating this end run. What Dave did get was a blank stare from council members, who said nothing. They are complicit by their inaction. 

But that’s no surprise. Council waxes eloquently about the value of our boards and commissions but often undercuts, disrespects, overrides or ignores them. Look at P&Z. Can you even count the number of times in recent years that council has overridden their recommendations? 

Being on a board or commission takes dedication, knowledge, time and heart. Commissioners don’t get appointed unless they have expertise in the matters that the commission oversees. Council members don’t have to hit that hoop. I honestly have to ask why anyone would volunteer to serve under this council and take that kind of abuse. But I am glad they do. They are the first line of defense against a rogue council.

Gary Vick

Glenwood Springs

Teacher of the Year for 5B

Friday afternoon I was called down to our school’s Media Center where, surrounded by family, state and district leaders, co-workers and students, I was announced the 2022 Colorado Teacher of the Year. It’s been a crazy last few days, and I am so touched by all the people, specifically former and current students, who have reached out. With this recognition, I look forward to advocating for teachers throughout our amazing state of Colorado.

While it is very honorable to win this award, it is even more special due to the fact that these last few years in education have been some of the hardest in my entire career. Many factors have contributed to this difficulty, but a major one is the lack of funding in education, specifically in Roaring Fork School District, as our per-pupil funding from the state is in the bottom third. 

As a teacher for almost 10 years in the valley, I have watched many amazing teachers come and go. It is hard to live in the third most expensive district in the state of Colorado when you are getting a paycheck that falls in the bottom third in district average pay. Of RFSD teachers, 75%, myself included, work more than one job in order to live here. That equates to energy that could be spent on my students, my classroom and my lessons is now spent on a different job. 

If 5B is passed, teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, secretaries, paraprofessionals, etc., will all see an increase in pay. This will allow the amazing teachers and staff in RFSD to stay and continue to make the Roaring Fork Valley one of the best places to live in Colorado.

When we invest in our schools to make them stronger, our community can only benefit. With stronger schools comes a strong community. That is why I am voting yes on 5B.

Autumn Rivera,
2022 Colorado Teacher of the Year

Glenwood Springs

Talking in circles

Does Mayor Johnathan Godes think the citizens of Glenwood Springs are stupid? If you peruse his Oct. 25 guest column in the Post Independent, it is easy to see Mayor Godes’ reasoning is circular. 

Circular reasoning is a logical fallacy in which the reasoner begins with what they are trying to end with. Circular reasoning is not a formal logical fallacy but a pragmatic defect in an argument whereby the premises are just as much in need of proof or evidence as the conclusion, and as a consequence the argument fails to persuade. 

Other ways to express this are that there is no reason to accept the premises unless one already believes the conclusion, or that the premises provide no independent ground or evidence for the conclusion. So, Godes’ argument is either a circular logic trap, or he is running a “bait and switch” on voting yes on the airport tax. 

In his op/ed, Godes warns that if you don’t vote yes on the airport tax, emergency helicopters and fire suppression aircraft will have to come from far away to save you. While in the same op/ed, Godes discloses the South Bridge needs you to increase your property taxes via improving the airport. 

Don’t forget, Mayor Jonathan Godes, Mayor Pro Tem Charlie Willman and council members Shelley Kaup and Steve Davis recently voted to approve the annexation and rezoning of 480 Donegan project. And now Mayor Godes is asking the people of Glenwood to trust him with a tax increase for the airport.

Wake up and smell the coffee; vote no on the airport tax increase and recall Mayor Jonathan Godes, Mayor Pro Tem Charlie Willman and council members Shelley Kaup and Steve Davis, before they completely ruin Glenwood Springs.

Carl McWilliams

Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Chamber supports 5B

At its Oct. 13 meeting, the board of directors of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association unanimously supported the Roaring Fork School District Ballot Issue 5B.

The mill levy override will result in an approximately 10-12% raise on average for teachers in the district. A maximum of
$7.7 million will be raised in 2022 and then will be adjusted annually for inflation. 

The GSCRA’s mission is helping business thrive, and our vision is making Glenwood Springs an ideal mountain community. High quality schools are an integral part of a strong community. Good schools train the workforce of tomorrow; good schools improve the community’s quality of life; and good schools are essential to our children and their future. High-quality teachers are what make schools successful. 

To attract and retain quality teachers, Roaring Fork School District must be able to offer competitive wages. Roaring Fork School District has the third most expensive cost of living out of all 178 Colorado school districts, yet RFSD ranks 23rd in average teacher pay across Colorado. The GSCRA board of directors supports 5B as a mechanism to help attract and retain quality teachers in the community. 

Angie Anderson

President & CEO, GSCRA

Need a direct vote

Whether or not one supports the continued existence of the Glenwood Springs Airport, it is important to understand Ballot Issues 2A and 2B. It is the opinion of this writer and of most well-informed citizens that City Council has placed these likely-to-fail issues on the ballot to justify shutting down the airport. 

The tunnel has been a part of the bridge project design for years; its cost should be included in the bridge funding.

The ballot issue listed improvements to the airport that don’t require a tax increase; they can be achieved, with city approval, by the existing airport enterprise fund and through already proposed private development. No one wants what’s in these issues, and no one expects them to pass.

If the people of Glenwood Springs choose to sacrifice their airport, let them make that decision directly.

Vote no on Issues 2A and 2B — but more important — tell your council representatives and the mayor that you want a direct vote on the fate of the airport.

Charles Knuth

Carbondale


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