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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

What is the definition of “hero”? Mr. Kerry, who could have taken the George Bush route and found a comfy and safe stateside post but chose not to, received five medals, including the nation’s fifth-highest award, the Silver Star.

Recent anti-Kerry letters cite Kerry’s post-service Vietnam War opposition as “proof” he isn’t a hero; it seems you can only be a hero if you don’t criticize the government. I disagree. Kerry is a hero because of his service in the Vietnam War.



Thomas Jefferson once wrote: “What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that its people preserve the spirit of resistance?”

Bush and Co. are merely brief caretakers of our country. We need the high-profile John Kerrys and Richard Clarkes and John McCains to remind us, and the government, that we are a country of citizens who will endure far beyond a particular presidency.



Mr. Foster and others will continue to argue that Kerry is not a hero; anyone who was not seriously wounded but received a medal is not a hero; and any ex-military person who criticizes the government is not a hero by their definition. I embrace another standard: action under fire.

John Kerry is a hero, and old Thomas had it right.

Jerry Fields

Rifle

Dear Editor,

We, the Friends of the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District, would like to remind voters of the upcoming vote May 4 for the fire protection district bond and mill levy. We urge a “yes” vote on Issue 4A for the operating mill levy increase and Issue 4B (for the $6.75 million bond issue).

The fire district board of directors has taken a long, serious look at the long-term trends facing the district beginning in 2001. While undertaking this strategic master plan, the board came to the conclusion that they would have to ask the voters to approve a bond issue for the purpose of upgrading and modernizing their facilities. Specifically, proceeds from the mill levy and bond issue would be used for:

– Training facilities

– Districtwide communication upgrades

– An addition and upgrade to the Westbank fire station

– Purchase of the Smith property next to the existing fire station

– Construction of paramedic and firefighter housing, operations centers and station remodel at the Carbondale fire station

– Replacing outdated fire trucks and ambulances.

Everything comes with a price, but the board has tried to minimize any tax increase to our residents. The increase to the residential homeowner would be $86 per year or $7.16 per month (based on a single-family residence valued at $350,000).

And what do we get out of all this? A strong volunteer fire training program, faster response time and continued involvement from a committed core of 70 volunteers who take time away from their businesses and families. Our properties and families will be better protected, and this will help keep insurance premiums low.

Please vote “yes” on Issues 4A and 4B.

Respectfully submitted,

Jeff Wadley, Doug Davis, Toni Cerise, Carol Farris

and Mark Chain

Dear Editor,

On May 4, an election will be held at the Battlement Mesa Consolidated Metro District office. We will be asked to vote for two people to fill the upcoming vacancies on the board. These people seem to be good candidates for the job. This is not really the most important issue facing us.

I find the second part of this ballot totally unacceptable. As I understand the law now, any increase in the fee level above the current $205 annually for each property or dwelling is to be voted on by the legal residents of Battlement Mesa. The board in question has seen fit to relieve us of our voting right on this issue.

A not-too-careful examination of ballot issue A reveals that someone is trying to change that law. They want us, the voters, to sign away any control we might have over the expenditures of the metro district.

This is a total disregard for the rights of the voting public! I don’t know who is responsible for trying to get this measure passed, but I am sure they must think we are totally ignorant. If the present metro board is responsible, they need to be replaced immediately. If a voter recall is appropriate, let’s “get to it.” Above all, please vote on May 4.

Harold Graves

Battlement Mesa

Dear Editor,

The Consolidated Metro District on Battlement Mesa is holding an election on Tuesday, May 4. No notice was given to residents, contrary to accepted procedure. The election is for two directors to a board which controls water and sewer facilities and the activity center.

The critical part of this election involves giving this board a raise in activity center fees of almost 5 percent for the year 2005. Fair enough. However, after 2005, the board has the power to raise fees an unlimited amount to support the activity center or other recreational facilities at the board’s discretion.

Not only will homeowners’ fees be raised, but also rents and lease rates. Obviously, the Battlement Mesa Co. won’t pick up this increase.

Reasonable user fees are currently being charged for meeting rooms and to nonmember users. This could be extended to a nominal fee for each use by a member.

By the way, two of the candidates for director work for the Battlement Mesa Co. which, if elected, is a conflict of interest.

Hopefully, the outcome of the election will not result in the necessity to get it voided with the resultant bad publicity for our community.

Jack E. Blankenship

Battlement Mesa


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