Monday letters: Nonprofit questions, yes for 2C and worker housing

Where’s the money?

Something just doesn’t add up. After listening to our current appointed County Treasurer describe her experience in helping veterans with her own nonprofit, I wanted to look into her claims more closely. 

Seeing how former White House advisor Steve Bannon has been implicated in defrauding donors who wanted to build Trump’s wall, digging deeper into how Republicans are using nonprofits has become a hobby of mine.

It’s easy to look up Rocky Mountain Hunts and Excursions, Inc., Mrs. Couey’s registered nonprofit, and search for the associated tax filing for tax year 2019. I encourage all Garfield County voters to do the same and look up this public document themselves. 

This is the only return published for Rocky Mountain Hunts and Excursions, Inc., apparently because the status of the nonprofit was only in good standing for one of the four years it has held nonprofit status.

During that time, it has taken in over $22,000 and only served three veterans giving out grants totaling a mere $1,400. There is no detail on what has happened to the remaining $20,800.

Mrs. Couey owes it to the people of this county, and the veterans she claims to want to serve with her organization, to show where the money went! If not her, then maybe Commissioner

Tom Jankovsky, District Attorney Jeff Cheney or State Representative Perry Will can shed some light on where this money has gone, as they are all listed as board members of Mrs. Couey’s charitable organization. 

David Mead, Rifle

2C for Glenwood’s workforce future

Glenwood Springs residents are poised to make a decision in November that could make or break our community.

Our community’s biggest threat is a lack of workforce housing — we commonly see restaurants, stores and attractions understaffed or completely closed as businesses struggle to hire and retain employees with the ever-increasing cost of living. The struggle to retain employees is a critical issue that will certainly have detrimental impacts on both the local community and the tourism industry. 

If there are no employees to work at the businesses in Glenwood Springs, tourists will seek other destinations. I have been in this valley for over 20 years and this is as hard of a housing market as I have seen during that period.

With rent hovering around $3,000 for a 3-bedroom in Glenwood, that equates to a family having to make around $80,000 a year to afford a place to live. If prices continue to climb on rent-it impacts the cost of everything we do in this valley.

We have a great opportunity to help solve this problem by approving Measure 2C this fall. Measure 2C will tax the tourists a modest 2.5% on lodging, a tax similar to other mountain communities. The funds raised, an estimated $1.2 million to $1.5 million per year will go directly to the newly established Workforce Housing Fund. This is by no means a slush fund for the City of Glenwood Springs. It will be managed by an independent board and will fund workforce housing by utilizing creative solutions such as incentives for ADUs, motel conversions, public — private partnerships, down payment loans and affordable units within existing developments. The funds will be leveraged and help determine the future of workforce housing in our community.

We all have a duty to preserve our community for the present generation and ones that come and the opportunity to adopt Measure 2C will use proven methods to invest locally so we can continue to enjoy living here, in a thriving and gorgeous mountain town.

Mike and Kristi Picore, Glenwood Springs

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