Letter: Glenwood’s City Council must re-earn voters’ trust
A question for Glenwood Springs taxpayers: If you had a financial manager who mismanaged your funds for decades, then asked you to invest more money with the promise of doing better in the future, would you do it? If not, then why would you vote for Glenwood’s new street improvements tax proposal?
For years our City Council has grossly mismanaged taxpayer funds by, among other things, squandering millions of dollars on a few prominent downtown streets and sidewalks while letting other essential roadways crumble from neglect. The condition of South Midland Avenue, for example, goes beyond mismanagement. It’s been nothing less than gross negligence. In recent years the city has flushed away tens of thousands of dollars applying temporary, band-aid repairs until it no longer has the resources to maintain even the band-aids.
Yes, Glenwood’s infrastructure desperately needs repair and maintenance. It would be irresponsible, however, to entrust this task to a city government that has proven itself unable to meet its fiduciary responsibilities to this community’s residents.
Instead, voters should reject the proposed streets tax and request that the city come back at the next election with a revised proposal for a five-year sales tax to fund a specific list of street improvements projects. The new tax should include legally binding constraints that ensure the funds raised can only be used for repair and maintenance of existing infrastructure. After five years, if the city can show it has complied with these constraints while completing all the projects on its list of promised improvements, it could then ask for a five-year extension of this tax.
The next city council will have to earn back the confidence of the people who have entrusted them with leadership. If they can manage to do this, I’m sure they will have no trouble getting an extension of this tax.
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