Wednesday letters: airport, Carey for Re-2 board, yes on 5B, no on 5B, yes on fire district levy, Kuhlenberg and Teitler for RFSD | PostIndependent.com
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Wednesday letters: airport, Carey for Re-2 board, yes on 5B, no on 5B, yes on fire district levy, Kuhlenberg and Teitler for RFSD

We have to get airport decision right

Years ago, my wife and I participated in the Citizens Advisory Group regarding South Bridge. We were the only two with no ax to grind. We were not aviators and didn’t live by the airport. After many meetings, 34 routing options were whittled down to one.

The final decision was to provide a “cut-and-cover” tunnel so as to take a direct path across the airport without permanently impacting the runway. Significant funding was expended on engineering studies. Presentations were made to citizens who endorsed this selection. It is wrong to now waste this investment and ignore the findings of the citizens, the CAG and the studies.



If the cost of cut-and-cover is now too expensive, we should re-evaluate the 34 options that were originally considered, in particular option 16 that passes just south of the runway without impacting the airport.

There is an underlying concern that City Council would like to close the airport and presumably use the land for purposes such as apartments developed by out-of-state investors.



There is widespread support for the airport. Nearly 1,000 signatures were obtained on a petition to place on the November ballot a question requiring citizen approval for any change in usage of the airport.

Regardless of the fact that the city initially rejected 80% of the signatures on this petition, nearly all of the signatures were from valid Glenwood electors, and the spirit of the petition should be honored. Instead, we got 2A and 2B — unnecessary because the airport is self-financing.

Just as the recently defeated road improvement tax did not indicate lack of support for roads, failure of 2A and 2B does not indicate lack of support for the airport.

South Bridge is an independent project. A tunnel is only required to facilitate an economic and direct approach to South Bridge. Therefore, the cost of the tunnel should be borne by the South Bridge budget and not the airport enterprise zone.

The airport was built 80 years ago. South Bridge will be here for 80 more. We have to get this decision right.

Richard Todd

Glenwood Springs

Airport forever

I thought the land for the airport was donated by a family who requested it be used for an airport. Has the city disregarded it? Will the city sell land for houses and a school? And now want to close the airport so they don’t have to build a tunnel?

I wonder what the relatives of the family who donated the land think of Glenwood Springs?

I am 90 years old and a retired Navy lieutenant commander. I spent 28 years in the Navy. And I have a hangar with my Forney Ercoup in it at the Glenwood Springs Airport.

Now the council wants to deny me the right to fly. I hope the voters of Glenwood Springs will give me that right. I fought for freedom and justice, and closing the airport is not either.

Nor is it what the people who died wanted for their city.

They gave the land for an airport.

LCDR Leonard A. Sinclair

Gypsum

Carey for Re-2 board

A vote for Caitlin Carey for Garfield Re-2 is a vote for Latino children.

As the mother of a fifth grader in Garfield Re-2, I am committed to ensuring that our children get the education that they deserve to build bright futures. This is why we need to vote for candidates for school board who will fight for our Latino children and all families.

My family and I are supporting Caitlin Carey for Garfield Re-2 school board. She supports improving achievement rates for Latino students by implementing language access programs, adding Latino history in the school district’s curriculum, hiring teachers with diverse backgrounds and being inclusive of Latino parents in decision-making.

Latinos play a crucial role in the success of our region, but, unfortunately, our children still face barriers to education. The solution is to elect leaders like Caitlin who has a history of standing up for our communities and our kids.

Beatriz Soto

New Castle

Another teacher for 5B

Like 75% of the teachers in the Roaring Fork School District, I work two or more jobs in order to survive in our valley.

This is my fourth year as a teacher in RFSD. I came in with two master’s degrees my first year. Every year, I have studied after school and on the weekends to get 10 salary advancement credits to move up on the salary schedule. Regardless of this hard work, I am still struggling today to survive in this valley.

Every year, I work a part-time job during the school year and a full-time job over the summer. Every summer, I have had to take significant time to reflect on my situation.

Every summer, I have had to honestly consider if I want to continue putting myself in a position of financial stress before I sign my contract for the year.

I knew going into education that I would not be rich. I didn’t know going into education that I would have to take time away from lesson planning, grading and, most importantly, self-care, to work a second job to make ends meet.

Unfortunately, I am not alone as 75% of the teachers in RFSD are working two or more jobs in order to make ends meet.

For most teachers, this is not a matter of having some extra spending money. This is a matter of survival. Thank you for voting “yes” on 5B.

Wendy-Anne A. Hamrick

Silt

Council doesn’t listen

A little background. I’ve been on the Airport Advisory Board off and on since the late 1980s. I was chairman during the special election in the late 1990s — with the highest voter turnout at that time. The citizens overwhelmingly voted to keep the airport. Did that council take these results into consideration?

No. That council still took the position that the future of the airport was uncertain.

Déjà vu — guess this current council’s position: The future of the airport is uncertain.

I’m on the board again, and we were not consulted about the proposed improvements. The city and council magically came up with all these improvements that need to be funded by the taxpayers. “If they want to keep the airport, they should pay for it,” said our mayor, Jonathan Godes.

I don’t disagree with that concept, but the airport has suffered from benign neglect long enough. The list of improvements is so large because these items have been put off, because “the airport’s future is uncertain.” So the city refused to do any improvements.

I also actively collected signatures to add an amendment to the ballot to let the voters determine the airport’s viability. My signatures were thrown out. Why? I was told my petition had been disassembled. It wasn’t. I had a hard, clear plastic cover on it as well as two binder clips over the staples. It wasn’t disassembled.

This council is being disingenuous with us.

Vote no on 2A and 2B. Then call your council representative and tell them why. A no vote here doesn’t determine the airport’s future. It says that you are aware that council is asking for bogus funding for a project that hasn’t been funded yet.

As Ingrid Wussow said, “This is like asking for money for tires for a car that hasn’t been bought yet.”

Don’t buy into this council’s misdirection. The city lost grant funding for a part of this bypass project and now are asking the airport and the voters to pick up the tab.

Stephanie Stanfield

Glenwood Springs

Tired of saying ‘goodbye’

Today I received another farewell email from a fellow teacher. Over the past few years I’ve seen several of these, and they all say pretty much the same thing: “Everyone has been great to work with, but I just can’t make it here financially.” These messages are sad for any educator losing a colleague, but I feel guilty, because for eight years I’ve been involved in Interest Based Bargaining for teachers, and I wonder if I’ve disappointed my community by not finding ways to retain them.

We have tried, though. The last RFSD ballot initiative saw voters approve a bond issue, part of which launched a teacher housing program. I have no doubt that without it our current staffing shortages would be even worse. But bonds are for capital improvements, not salaries, so the IBB committee researched the issue and identified three factors restricting the competitiveness of our pay scale.

The first obstacle is health insurance costs, already addressed with local clinics specific to our provider. There’s not much else we can do about this widespread issue. Second is student-teacher ratios, so three years ago teachers sacrificed class size and instructional supports to have similar ratios to other districts. At the same time the district office moved $160,000 from its annual budget to teacher salaries. But still we don’t pay what comparable districts do, not to mention the valley’s high cost of living. The third factor holding us back is that those other districts have maximized their local mill levy override. So now we are asking you to vote yes on 5B.

After years of exploring and implementing various incentive programs and cost-cutting solutions, this is our last best hope, there are no better options. I worry that someday I might find myself saying goodbye to friends, colleagues and students because I can no longer ignore the financial strain of raising a family on a teacher’s salary in this valley. But my bigger concern is for the children of this community if programs have to be cut or quality educators are no longer here. Please vote yes on 5B.

Rob Norville

Glenwood Springs

Airport questions flawed

The ballot issues 2A and 2B linking the airport and the planned new South Bridge “tunnel” are flawed and should be “no” votes. While there are merits and benefits to both the airport and a South Bridge route, this referendum should be voted down.

First, it asks us to raise significant taxes without a lot of specificity as to the needs and use of the airport and, apparently without the Airport Commission’s input. In addition, there is still evidently a significant funding shortfall to get the South Bridge route, and 2A and 2B do not ensure that either a tunnel or an alternate route will be completed.

Second, a broad base of stakeholders, including the airport commission and Glenwood residents, need to be part of the planning and design of elements affecting the future land uses in the airport area. Glenwood is just beginning a year-long process to review and revise its Comprehensive Plan. This process will generate input from the community and help to determine the desired future land uses to meet needs of transportation, housing, open space, safety and parklands.

Public input and comprehensive planning with community outreach are the way to address the demands for sustainable future development and the future of Glenwood’s character. We are not ready to vote, because we have not yet done the work required to update the Comprehensive Plan. Let’s slow down. Vote no on 2A and 2B, and do not be fooled: A no vote may be the most positive step towards maintaining a sustainable airport and selecting the best alternative connection to Highway 82 from South Glenwood when comprehensive planning and community input is involved.

David Hauter

Glenwood Springs

Teacher/parent for 5B

As a teacher at Basalt High School, an employee at Colorado Mountain College, and parents of a Roaring Fork High School student, we are supporters of the Roaring Fork School District’s 5B ballot question because we know this is the best way to raise teacher and staff salaries to a living wage. We have lived in the valley for four years and have seen too many co-workers and some of our son’s favorite teachers leave our community because of the cost of housing.

As a mentor to first-year teachers, I have seen the excitement of a new teacher turn into anxiety when the reality of finding affordable housing sets in. Many of them take on extra duties or second jobs to make ends meet. I have watched math and science teachers leave for higher pay and a lower cost of living in other districts. This financial stress is not good for the health and well-being of our hard-working teachers and directly impacts the quality education our students deserve.

Every other school district in our region collects more from local mill levy overrides than RFSD, putting us at a competitive disadvantage for recruiting and retaining top talent. We see job announcements advertised a month into the school year looking to fill multiple teaching and staff positions. These vacancies are filled by teachers using their prep periods to fill in where needed and class sizes being increased.

If 5B were to pass, homeowners would pay $3.62 per month per $100,000 of a house’s value as determined by the assessor, not the value you can sell your home for. This is a small price to pay to strengthen our schools in service of our children. Please join us in returning your ballot by Nov. 2 and voting yes on 5B.

Becky and Sean Nesbitt

Glenwood Springs

Charter principal for 5B

I am the principal of Carbondale Community School, a charter school of the Roaring Fork School District. Like other schools in the Roaring Fork School District, we struggle to recruit and retain teachers and staff due to low pay and the high cost of living in the Roaring Fork Valley. Increasingly dire budget and staffing constraints are also pulling Carbondale Community School staff from their most important roles: forging enduring relationships and inspiring Carbondale Community School students to pursue lifelong learning.

Carbondale Community School is an intentionally small, district charter school located in Carbondale. We attract children and families that seek a personalized learning environment and an alternative educational experience. Having a choice of exceptional schools makes the Roaring Fork Valley an exceptional place to work, live and play. Yet, we can’t do school without our exceptional teachers. Not only do I worry that our highly effective and dedicated teachers will have to leave the Roaring Fork Valley and Carbondale Community School because they can no longer afford to live and work in the valley, I also worry that we will have to cut our programs and, potentially, lose our incredibly talented and creative teaching staff. Our community charter school is feeling this crisis firsthand.

Please return your ballot by Nov. 2 and vote yes on 5B. In order to offer the exceptional learning experiences Roaring Fork youth deserve, we must commit to supporting our exceptional teachers and school staff. The state is not coming to our rescue, and we’ve already allocated every available dollar toward salaries.

Sam Richings-Germain

Carbondale

5B supports teaching mission

Strong schools make strong communities, and our educators are the keystone. You can be part of making our community stronger by voting yes for 5B.

Currently, teacher wages are not representative of the required workload and do not match most teachers’ education or career experience. I understand this firsthand in my 15th year as a teacher in the Roaring Fork Valley.

The Denver Post reported in February 2021 that 40% of Colorado’s teachers are considering quitting based on a Colorado Education Association survey. Respondents cited low pay as top among reasons that they might leave. The Center Square recently reported that Colorado is 41st in teacher pay and RFSD ranks 23rd within the state. Currently, 75% of Roaring Fork School District teachers work a second job, and this not only leads to burnout but also takes away from quality teaching. Our students deserve better.

Although pay is not why myself or my fellow teachers entered the field of education, increased wages would both demonstrate appreciation and ensure that we attract and retain quality educators.

As teachers, we understand the mission of our work, and are honored to have the opportunity to serve students, their families and our community. We are now counting on you to support your community. Vote yes on 5B.

Guinevere Jones

Redstone

Unwanted, unnecessary, unrealistic

The proposed improvements for the Glenwood Springs Airport are just an opaque means to secure funding for the South Bridge. Of the recommendations put forth by City Council, none are necessary for the safe operation of the airport. The Super Unicom is not required by the FAA, and, according to the Airman’s Information Manual, when arriving at an uncontrolled airport, a pattern should be flown. All the information it provides are the barometric pressure and the wind direction and speed. It does not provide any information on other airplanes or traffic in the area. It is convenient but not required. There are times when the windsocks on the north and south ends of the runway are pointing in opposite directions.

The Glenwood Springs Airport is an enterprise fund where the airport users pay the costs of operating the airport with little funding from the city of Glenwood Springs. The enterprise fund has been in place for 20-plus years. Now, all of a sudden, the city wants to get involved in the day-to-day operation of the airport with these proposed safety recommendations, none of which are required or necessary. I wonder who made these recommendations to the City Council. Apparently none on the council talked to their own Airport Commission.

As far as spending $2.5 million for a FBO building, the Airport Commission has been waiting at least 10 years for the city to provide an airport plan in order to give the Airport Commission guidance as to how the land around the airport can be utilized. Still waiting.

There are pilots wanting to build hangars at the airport, but without an airport plan, it’s not going to happen. Where does the city propose to build this new unnecessary and unwanted FBO?

All of the costs on the recommended safety and improvements proposal put forth by the City Council are inflated and unrealistic. All council wants is a mill levy increase to generate funds to construct the South Bridge by whatever means necessary at the airport’s expense.

Jim Terry

Glenwood Springs

Yes on fire district levy

Please vote yes on 6A to protect lives and property in the Colorado River Fire Rescue District. We count on our emergency responders 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s money well spent and the right thing to do.

Ken Jones

New Castle

5B will ease teacher burden

This year marks my fourth year teaching at Glenwood Springs High School and my fourth year living in teacher housing in Cardiff. I feel incredibly lucky to be here and appreciative of everything the Roaring Fork School District has done to make working as a teacher here functional. They haven’t been an easy four years, and I’m proud of the hard work and determination I’ve put in to continue to bring quality education to students.

This year has been especially tough. I’m one of several teachers who are teaching an extra class because we’re understaffed. I also work two other jobs, one on weekends in the winter and another over the summer.

I’ve watched many of my friends and co-workers leave the valley after only a year or two here because, as a teacher who announced their resignation this week put it, they “just can’t make it financially.” RFSD ranks 23rd in teacher pay while our area ranks third in cost of living. Simply put, our ability to attract and retain quality teachers can only be helped by lowering the cost of living or by raising teacher salaries.

You have an opportunity to make a difference this November. Proposition 5B is a big step in the right direction, one which would provide the district with the ability to retain teachers who are passionate and dedicated to your community. Please support your schools and kids by voting yes on 5B.

Ben Roberts

Glenwood Springs

No to new property tax

Teachers absolutely deserve a large increase in pay. The problem with this issue is taxation on property taxes. To be fair and possibly bring more money for teachers is an exactly written retail tax that goes directly to teacher salaries (groceries, convience, liquor, etc.). Isn’t one of the biggest issues here the cost of housing? So now some want to add additional cost to homeowners and renters?

Reading 5B I don’t see that all this money goes to teachers. So maybe teachers get more money, but their rent goes up. Please stop adding money needs to property tax.

John Buscher

Carbondale

Another case for 5B

If you’re not sure how to vote on 5B, the Roaring Fork School District’s proposal to raise teacher and staff salaries to a living wage, consider this: I am one of the many teachers who has left the classroom for a higher paying, less stressful job this year. I consider myself well qualified and experienced, but more than that, I deeply cared for my students. It pained me to even consider leaving the teaching profession, but here I am. I found work which better suited what was necessary: a healthier paycheck with fewer hours, and far less stress.

The Roaring Fork Valley needs reliable teachers. Our students deserve high quality education, from the time they enter to the time they exit. The legacy of our community partly depends on this as well; strong education leads to thriving structure and stability. Low pay leads to high turnover, which threatens that structure and stability.

If we demand so much from our educators, we must reciprocate with a living wage and sustainable working conditions. Our beautiful little valley sits in an awkward bubble when it comes to educational spending. Roaring Fork Schools ranks rather poorly when it comes to per-pupil funding from the state. Paired with an enormous cost of living (which we all know to be very true), lackluster teacher pay doesn’t make sense.

The only way to achieve a better balance is to move forward with this mill levy override. Give teachers a chance to flourish; present them with a reciprocal statement. Vote “yes” on 5B.

Charlie Burns

Carbondale

Sneaky ‘airport’ tax

I’m confused …

We need South Bridge so we can escape from wildfires … but we don’t need the airport so we can fight wildfires?

This “airport tax” is a sneaky trick to make us choose. Vote no!

Maria Jacob

Glenwood Springs

No need for airport tax

The Glenwood Springs airport hasn’t needed special tax support since it opened in 1937. It doesn’t need it now.

But City Council is scrambling to come up with money for South Bridge, and the airport is an attractive target. Voters strongly support the airport, and council hopes they’ll approve $14 million for South Bridge “to save the airport.”

The airport wouldn’t need saving if council would stop attacking it.

Defeat the tax and send the City Council a message: No more attacks on the airport.

Vote No on Ballot 2A and 2B.

Bob Oddo

Glenwood Springs

Tired of airport attacks

Almost 90 years ago, George Summers sold the city 22.9 acres of land. The price was just $1, because the land would be used for the Glenwood Springs Airport.

The city wants to close the airport, and Karl Hanlon, the city’s attorney, says there is no binding agreement — the city doesn’t have to honor that deal. I believe Karl; his job is to tell the city what the law requires, what’s legal. He wasn’t asked whether it was right or wrong.

But a lot of us do care about right and wrong. We learned it growing up. You make a promise, you keep your word.

Maybe some of our City Council have forgotten. We can remind them on election day. Vote down this sneaky South Bridge tax, and tell the City Council we’re going to keep the airport anyway.

Daniel Guggenheim, hangar owner and aircraft sales business at the GWS Airport

Carbondale

Kuhlenberg and Teitler for RFSD

As a Basalt High School graduate and passionate advocate for public education, it’s disheartening to know that the academic achievement gaps for Latino students have not improved in the Roaring Fork School District. Our students deserve better.

This is why my organization, Voces Unidas Action Fund, is encouraging thousands of voters to elect and why I will personally vote for Kenny Teitler and Kathryn Kuhlenberg for the RFSD Board of Education.

Kenny and Kathryn are the right leaders at this time to champion policies to improve the academic experience of our Latino students. Both candidates support hiring teachers with diverse backgrounds, adding Latino history in the district’s curriculum, and creating plans to ensure Latino parents can participate fully in school decision-making.

Voces Unidas Action Fund feels strongly that Kenny and Kathryn can lead the fight for true equity and education justice in RFSD.

Alex Sánchez

Glenwood Springs

Pilot against airport tax

I am a pilot and own a plane that is based at the Glenwood Springs Airport. I feel compelled to weigh in on the current ballot initiatives 2A and 2B and urge voters to vote “no.” Why am I urging a “no” vote when I stand to benefit the most from the improvements? There must be something smelly going on.

In the recent Issues and Answers forum hosted by GWS Chamber, Mayor Godes offered a statement that was publicly read. As part of his statement, he mentions, “There are an additional $11 million dollars in upgrades and improvements that are specific to small private planes and their need for a runway. The improvements have been recommended by the airport users, the volunteer airport commission and city staff.”

This statement is a lie. As an airport user, I was never consulted about these improvements, and the airport commission was never consulted about them, either. A no vote on 2A and 2B is not a vote against the airport, but it is a vote against irresponsible ballot issues promoted by city staff for items the airport users don’t even want or need.

At last Thursday’s council meeting, Mayor Godes commented that, after the election, there should be a “listening session” with the city, the public and the airport commission. What the? Responsible governance would have “listening sessions” prior to drafting ballot initiatives that lack consultation with the persons most affected by the initiatives. Pathetic.

Regardless of the outcome of the election, I urge you to reach out to City Council and let them know your position on the future of our airport.

Joe Mueller

Glenwood Springs

Ex-CFO for 5B

Together, we can provide much-needed help to our local schools by voting yes on 5B.

As the former Chief Financial Officer of Roaring Fork Schools, I watched with frustration as the gap between education funding in Colorado and other states grew. In 1998, Colorado school funding lagged about $500 per pupil behind the national average. By 2018, that gap had grown to $3,000. This translates to significantly lower average teacher salaries in Colorado than in other states. And for RFSD, the funding gap is further magnified by having the third highest cost of living out of 178 Colorado school districts. This combination of low funding and high cost of living means RFSD cannot compete at the national or state level to attract and retain qualified teachers.

And it’s not just teachers who are impacted. From bus drivers to food service workers, substitute teachers to facility maintenance workers, nearly every support department in the district currently suffers from staffing shortages driven largely by wages that are no longer competitive.

Colorado laws provide one mechanism for local voters to increase funding over the amount generated by the state formula, and that is through a mill levy override. Our surrounding districts currently receive more per-pupil funding through voter-approved overrides than RFSD.

I hope you will join me in voting yes on 5B to provide this desperately needed funding for our local schools so they can attract/retain teachers and other staff members. Find more info at YesOn5b.com.

Shannon Pelland

Glenwood Springs

Paco’s for Kenny

I am writing to ask voters to join me in supporting Kenny Teitler for RFSD Board of Education.

I have known Kenny for pretty much the entire time that I have lived in the Roaring Fork Valley. His talented daughters were in my Folkloric dance program from the time they were in kindergarten, and I know how much Kenny has dedicated his life to the education of his daughters and to children throughout the valley.

Kenny started the bilingual program at Basalt Elementary, and I know that it has been a successful program. I know that Kenny looks out for the Latino community.

Kenny has had a lot of experience in the field of education, having taught in both Basalt and Carbondale and now at Colorado Mountain College. I know that as a member of the Roaring Fork School District Board of Education he will work to implement what our schools need, and he will positively impact our district.

Because of his experience as a teacher, he knows the needs of the teachers and the schools in areas such as employee retention, earning a fair salary, housing, student support programming, bilingual programming, after-school programming, etc.

Kenny will be an excellent school board member in supporting the Latino community and the entire Roaring Fork Valley. Please join me in filling out our ballots for Kenny Teitler before Nov. 2.

Francisco “Paco” Nevarez-Burgueño

Carbondale

Sleazy move

Don’t be fooled by city tax Issues 2A and 2B; they’re not a vote on the airport, instead a poison pill.

The city thwarted a citizen petition by dozens of supporters with 1,100 signatures to allow the community voters to decide what to do with the airport and South Bridge. Then the city inserted these last-moment tax issues to do the opposite.

If the voters turn it down, then the city will justify closing the airport. Some thought “clever lawyering,” but the rest of us thought “sleazy.”

Question 2A/2B are confusing. Maybe this analogy will help:

The GSHS football team is doing just fine, although the stadium isn’t perfect and may need work, three to five years from now.

School floats a $30 million bond for new Astroturf (oh, and a new high school)

Voters reject it.

School interprets, “See, voters hate football. Let’s bulldoze the stadium, today, so we’ll have land someday for something (not sure what).”

Don’t be fooled. Vote “no” or (like Councilor Hershey counseled) leave it blank. Then call your councilors about the sleazy part.

Steven Shute

Glenwood Springs

5B to keep good teachers

I am a teacher in the Roaring Fork School District, and I have two of my own children in middle school. Since moving here in 2016 I have been extremely impressed by every teacher my children have had. They are passionate, skilled, empathetic learners who truly care deeply about each and every student they have taught. They take their profession seriously, making sure each and every child succeeds to the best of their ability in all areas of life: academics, socially and emotionally.

I’m voting yes on 5B to ensure that our children continue to have a great education in our public schools.

We all know why we have moved here. This valley is surrounded by natural beauty and is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. We also all know it is expensive to live here. Because our district can’t currently pay teachers a living wage, many teachers work second or third jobs and have unstable housing. Students are impacted when their teachers are exhausted and financially stressed, preventing them from putting all their energy into meeting students’ needs. It is wearing on the teachers struggling to set roots. We have lost several excellent teachers at my school and across the district because they can’t afford to work and live in this amazing valley.

Due to the amount of turnover and lack of retention, RFSD has upward of 50 unfilled positions currently. 5B gives our community and school system an opportunity to shift our current pattern to one that retains the best educators that contribute to the community and our children. This benefits us all. Please vote yes on 5B and support our schools and community together.

Lauren Raymond

Carbondale

Former student for ‘Mr. Teitler’

Supporting Mr. Teitler for school board was an easy decision for me for several reasons. First, I was his student. Second, I have seen him outside of the school room and involved with his community. Last, I have witnessed Mr. Teitler with his family. All of these reasons have shown me through the years the kind, compassionate, educator, friend and father he is, which makes him the perfect fit to be on the school board.

I was 8 when I first met Mr. Teitler, and it’s been so long that I could probably address him by his first name, but to me he will always be Mr. Teitler. When you look back at your school years, there are always those couple of teachers that stick out to you. That is Mr. Teitler to me.

I can remember him being patient, kind and understanding. Just a great teacher. Mr. Teitler is bilingual and for me that made him so much more approachable, and not just for me but for Hispanic parents as well.

As I got older, I always remembered Mr. Teitler as my third and fourth grade teacher, but I got to see him in a different role when his daughters joined the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklorico group. He wasn’t just the parent of a student, but he quickly became involved with a parent association to help fund for the group. You’d also see Mr. Teitler at all the performances behind the scenes helping with costumes, students, etc. He was a team player and was always willing to help.

Though Mr. Teitler clearly showed to be a caring and helpful member of his community he also showed his love as a father and husband. I got to see how his wife and him unconditionally supported their daughters through the years. It was quite inspirational to see that he was as great a father as he was an educator.

When Mr. Teitler said that he was running for the school board I could not have thought of a better fit. I was truly excited for him and for the community, students, parents and teachers, because having him on the board would be an incredible asset.

Veronica Ulloa-Franquez

Glenwood Springs

More educators for 5B

We are writing in support of ballot question 5B to save our local schools. This is our 20th year working in local schools. We care deeply about our community, our schools, and our students. Our hearts are in this.

We are inspired by the work our students and colleagues do every day to create schools that are positive and effective. Multiple studies show that the most important factor in a child’s education is the quality of the teacher in the classroom. Our classrooms are led by truly amazing professionals, but we can’t take them for granted. Most of our comparable districts have already maxed out the amount they can ask of local residents, and can offer better pay, so it is becoming difficult and even impossible to convince the best teachers to work here. They fall in love with our valley, but when they can’t find housing or pay their bills, that love is not enough. Furthermore, we rely on an army of support staff to make schools function. Our district is one of the largest employers in the valley. We depend on bus drivers, office staff, substitute teachers, custodians, cafeteria workers, paraprofessionals and more. These people are heroes, and all are critically underpaid, understaffed and at risk of working elsewhere.

Attracting and retaining exceptional teachers has always been a challenge, but we have reached a critical breaking point. This year we have seen several well-qualified staff members turn down jobs because of low pay. Currently we are unable to fill many of these positions. Our schools cannot close or cut hours like other short-staffed businesses, so this work has been added to the already full workload of our teachers. In time, this will erode the quality of education we can provide. It is unsustainable.

Please show your support for our teachers and students by voting yes on 5B so we can retain our experienced teachers, attract great candidates, and provide the high level education our children deserve. Please take a few minutes today to fill out your ballot.

Adam and Cora Carballeira

Carbondale


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