Citizen Telegram Letters to the Editor: Rec center sales tax, city council candidates, Highway 82
A bright future
I have lived in Rifle all my life, and I know how much the Metro Park pool blessed our children. I am in favor of building the recreation center. I believe it would be a great blessing and a draw for much-needed enterprise, not to mention all the other values. However, I understand why some will vote against it, and I respect that decision.
I encourage us all to look at the big picture:
1. The voters of Rifle will decide whether or not the recreation center will be built. It is not up to the City Council.
2. Yes, it will cause the city to go into bonded indebtedness. But how could any municipality of our size take on such an endeavor without that obligation?
3. The major supporters of the recreation center need to work with the industry giants of this region and get their financial help.
4. Look at the big picture when it comes to your City Council members. Don’t vote for or against someone based on a single issue, such as the recreation center. Look at each of the candidates and decide for yourself: Are those the four best people to represent this city for the next four years?
I think whoever sits on that council will make many, many important decisions that will affect our lives, possibly much more than the recreation center. And here again, that’s not their call. It’s our call as the voters of Rifle.
I hope voters support the recreation center, that it is built and we go forward. But if it doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world. Above all, let’s keep all discourse civil and positive. We have a great past, a wonderful present, and a bright future. Let’s continue to work together.
Taxation without representation
The rural and agricultural members of the Rifle community are being left out of the debate over the recreation center, since we have no vote.
We get to sit on the sidelines and watch while the city racks up debt for a $25 million water treatment plant, get to watch while the city reserves drop from $7 million in 2009 to $4 million now. (Why were the reserve funds not used on the water treatment plant instead of a slush fund for continued overspending?)
The city of Meeker residents love their recreation center; they decided that was the one thing their city and surrounding area wanted. We did the same thing with new schools, passing a $21 million school bond measure. This “have all, have now” mentality cannot be sustained.
I urge Rifle voters to vote no on ballot question D and to vote for Dirk Myers and Hans Parkinson for Rifle City Council. They are the only two candidates that seem to realize that the community I spent all 12 years of school in and lived by for all of my 53 years is in trouble. There are already enough taxes to pay for a recreation center; we need a city council that can make the hard choices to see that it is done.
Rec center expensive, Vallario lost votes
Did you all get your letter from the City Clerk of Rifle? It is broken down just how much a recreation center would cost. A $21 million center on a 30-year loan could be a whopping $42 million, double the price. Don’t you think that is a pretty big price to pay for a swimming pool with meeting rooms? Isn’t a no vote the best way to go?
I am disappointed in the sheriff’s office for letting their expensive vehicle be used as a float for political use in the parade. All those hanging out all over with signs wasn’t a good example for kids. Shame on [Sheriff Lou] Vallario for allowing it. Guess he doesn’t want to be sheriff again, for that lost him a lot of votes.
Choose your leaders carefully
As we embark on our city election day, we should remember what this means to us as citizens. Rifle City Council members are very important, as they will decide many of the issues that will effect all of us. Don’t make your choice based on single issues or because they may be popular. Get to know the candidates and find out their visions on how our city should look like. This is an important decision, don’t take it lightly.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing City Council members for their care in leading our city in the right direction. These three members have a combined 32 years of service on City Council. They will be sorely missed. It is often times a thankless job, but they have dedicated themselves to giving their time to make Rifle a better place to live.
Take time to thank Jennifer Sanborn, Alan and Keith Lambert for all they have given us.
All I hear are crickets out there
I have heard that there are seven candidates for Rifle City Council. It wouldn’t appear that way from what I have heard or seen. All I hear is crickets.
There only seems be one candidate that is actively campaigning, getting his voice out there and meeting the public. That would be candidate Dirk Myers. He is tirelessly talking to the public, placing campaign materials and informing everyone about his views and vision for the future of Rifle. He has the experience and ability to get the job done and is truly committed to making Rifle a better place for all of us to live.
He doesn’t want to see the city go deeper in debt and opposes the increased sales tax, he understands a balanced budget and how the city will have a difficult time developing a budget for 2014 with sales tax declining and businesses leaving the downtown area. He wants to revitalize downtown, keep our essential services stable, and work with the people of Rifle for their ideas and suggestions.
There are seven candidates, but I’ve only heard from one. That will be the one I vote for, Dirk Myers. I’ll keep listening to the crickets for my other choices.
Too many taxes, no on D
Has anyone figured what the interest would be on a $21 million loan to build the “wreck us” center? Over a period of 30 years, with interest, it will be our kids and grandkids who will have to pay the loan off. Yes, the swimming pool provides a cool place for the kids in the summer. The pool is open from when school is out to when school starts again. That indicates it is specially for the kids.
I understand the rec center would have meeting rooms. Doesn’t the library and the hospital also have meeting rooms that aren’t used that much? Even the proms are taken out of town for their dinners and dances.
If you check your bill when you shop City Market or Walmart, you will see three different taxes: 4.25 percent, 3.9 percent and 2.9 percent for a total of 11.05 percent. That equals 11 and a half cents on the dollar. See your dollar shrinking?
This isn’t all about money, though. This is a question of how many will be paying for this monster that will never benefit from it? Many will be denied before the doors even open.
Here’s another question: Does the city of Rifle need to own and control all of Rifle? Did anyone notice that the tax income for the city had been less again? Where is the goose that lays the golden egg? It is us, the taxpayers, to be known as the geese that lay the golden eggs of Rifle.
A no vote on D is very important to all of us. As a matter of fact, a no vote straight down the line is a good idea. We, the people, have lost control of government. Let’s be the majority and vote D down.
Highway 82 bypass important to Rifle residents
Recently, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent published my letter to the editor, urging the citizens of Glenwood Springs, if they want a Highway 82 bypass, to get up off the couch, circulate a petition to schedule a vote on the issue, and then stir up the voters to get out and vote.
In this letter, I am addressing the citizens of all the communities surrounding Glenwood Springs to get engaged with the question of whether or not to build a Highway 82 bypass around Glenwood Springs.
Not long ago, I measured the length of Highway 82 through Snowmass Canyon. This portion of the highway is fully divided and partially elevated between the Roaring Fork River and the hillside on the west. It is about five miles long.
If the Colorado Department of Transportation has been able to afford this sort of solution in a relatively uninhabited portion of Pitkin County, then surely it can afford the same sort of solution to bypass Glenwood Springs. An elevated highway along the lower slopes of Lookout Mountain from Buffalo Valley to I-70, or a tunnel from just south of Walmart to I-70, are both entirely feasible.
It is time to call a halt to planning for the building of an unnecessary new Highway 82 bridge over the Colorado River, as has been proposed by the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Citizens trying to get home to Rifle and Gypsum, or Carbondale, Basalt and Aspen, should not have to drive through the heart of downtown Glenwood Springs.
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