Letters to the Editor

Posted 10/24/18

WPS ask for help with bond The Westminster community can make a difference this November. We have the opportunity to support a mill levy override, 4A, which allocates $9.9 million to our schools. …

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Letters to the Editor

Posted

WPS ask for help with bond

The Westminster community can make a difference this November. We have the opportunity to support a mill levy override, 4A, which allocates $9.9 million to our schools.

What is more important than the safety and security of our students? What is more important than enhancing our Career and Technical (CTE) programs that prepare students to graduate from high school and step into rewarding, high-paying jobs? These are two top targets of this additional funding.

It will also help attract and retain highly-effective teachers, mental health professionals and counselors, and create partnerships with organizations like the Boys and Girls Club to enable and enhance learning opportunities for community youth.

Colorado’s economy is booming. In a ranking based on employment, business environment and growth released in February, a U.S. News & World Report named Colorado the number one state in the nation. Our unemployment rate is at a low of 2.9 percent. To continue this successful growth, Colorado needs skilled workers. That means training and education — CTE programs designed to provide the unique skills necessary for our state’s industries to flourish.

Yet, statistics indicate that Colorado is 47th among our 50 states in funding for public elementary and high schools. None of the monies generated from marijuana taxes support our schools.

How sad that in this booming Colorado economy our students are not benefitting. We can do better. We have to do better. We must vote for 4A.

Ryan McCoy,

Westminster Public Schools Board of Education

Cities urge No on 74

Your local governments - the level of government most trusted by the voters — are under attack by special interest groups. Amendment 74 seeks to amend the Colorado Constitution, increasing our legal exposure and requiring costly litigation at taxpayers’ expense.

Every decision we make will be vulnerable to a lawsuit, affecting our ability to protect our communities. We will be unable to provide necessary services that our residents expect with their tax dollars.

The Colorado Constitution currently gives property owners the right to seek compensation from state or local governments, and justly so.

The new language reads: “Private property shall not be taken or damaged, or reduced in fair market value by government law or regulation for public or private use, without just compensation.” This vague language will remain in our state’s constitution forever creating questions that will be answered in court- using dollars that are better spent in our neighborhoods. What is the definition of “fair market value”? Does this only include new decisions or will it also pertain to previous decisions?

The decisions we make at the local level affect our citizens’ most basic needs. Requiring governments to pay for any reduction in fair market value will damage our ability to make these decisions with the financial burden and reduction in services being felt by taxpayers.

Vote “NO” on Amendment 74 and urge your friends and colleagues to do the same.

Signed by the following: Eva Henry, Steve O’Dorisio, Mary Hodge and Chaz Tedesco, Adams County Commissioners; Marc Williams, Arvada Mayor; Bob LeGare, Aurora Mayor; Royce Pindell, Bennett Mayor Ken Kreutzer, Brighton Mayor; Randy Ahrens, Broomfield Mayor; Sean Ford, Commerce City Mayor; Daniel Dick, Federal Heights Mayor; Carol Dodge, Northglenn Mayor; Heidi Williams, Thornton Mayor; Herb Atchison, Westminster.

Adams 12 has problem with priorities

Though I serve on the Adams 12 Board of Education I’m writing this letter as a well-informed citizen. I have one big question for the voters in Adams 12 - Does the school district have a funding problem or a priority problem?

During my 15 years as an education leader no budget item has aroused my hostility as much as the Longevity Stipend. It’s the reason I voted “NO” to put 5C on the ballot.

The stipends pay retired staff up to $85,000 in additional funds above and beyond their PERA pension. If it looks like an argument for more funding please take a closer look.

Budget items that remain are paid for by the items that are cut. Here’s what the district CUT to keep the stipends: Counselors, Campus Security, Interventionists, Middle School sports and Outdoor Education. The district also increased numerous fees on families.

Adams 12 budgets $15 million annually for the stipends. Eliminating the stipends early would have drastically reduced or eliminated those cuts and their impacts on students and families.

If you had a large pay cut would you cut back on groceries so you could buy luxury items? That’s what Adams 12 did. Now they’re asking voters for more money when they haven’t honored taxpayers. Doesn’t this seem insulting?

The only way the district will align their budget priorities with those of our community is by being told “no thanks” on this vote. Please vote NO on 5C.

Norm Jennings, Northglenn

Support for Dahlkemper

Lesley Dahlkemper has demonstrated accountability and accomplishment in every endeavor she undertakes while exhibiting grace and compassion as she moves forward to achieve goals.

She articulates love of family and community as well as a resolute dedication to improve quality, equity, and access to opportunity while protecting Jefferson County’s natural resources, scenic beauty, and access to our great public spaces and activities.

From serving as a working journalist for Colorado Public Radio to serving as a past president and director of the Jeffco School Board, Lesley is steadfast in her mission to seek solutions, engage with people, and maintain accountability and transparency in the process.

Please join me and cast your vote for Lesley Dahlkemper for Jefferson County Commissioner.

Jane Banzin, Westminster

Yes on School issues

I will be voting yes on Amendment 73 and Issue 5C. I retired from Adams 12 Five Star Schools after 27 years as a support employee.

Both my kids attended and graduated from Adams 12 Five Star Schools. The education they received attending the Adams 12 schools helped form them into successful adults. I fully support this district and will continue to do so.

Educating our kids should be one of our most important issues, however it seems to be not as important to some of our leaders and others who have the power to make education a priority. We should not sit by, wring our hands, and say, “I can’t change anything”. As one of our presidents said, “Yes, we can”.

Say yes and vote for Amendment 73 and Issue 5C.

Patty Armand, Federal Heights

Oil and gas industry part of Colorado

Like most Coloradans, I love Colorado in large part because of the quality of life here. A quality of life created from the contributions of the various industries in Colorado, such as agricultural, tourism, tech, as well as oil and gas.

However, Proposition 112 is a threat to our community and will hurt the quality of life for all of us. The energy industry supports 250,000 jobs in Colorado and keeps our gas and electric bills low. I hope my fellow residents will fully evaluate the impacts and ramifications of Proposition 112. The oil and gas industry contributes $32 billion annually to the Colorado economy and more than $1 billion annually in state and local tax revenue. Proposition 112 would damage that and hurt all of us in the process - affecting businesses, schools, and individuals across the state. Experts agree that Proposition 112’s impact to all of Colorado’s economy would be devastating. The hit would be especially hard for schools, police, firefighters and libraries. Together, we can help protect Colorado from special interest groups that put their own agendas on the ballot and ahead of the well-being of our great state. Vote No on Proposition 112.

Michael Rynearson, Westminster

Support for Kraft-Tharp

I’m very pleased to write to you and express my support for Representative Tracy Kraft-Tharp. I’ve followed Tracy’s tenure in the CO House for several years. Tracy works with colleagues on both sides of the isle and she gets things done for the people of Colorado. During this last legislative session, Tracy worked to pass bipartisan bills with an 84 percent success rate. That’s an A in my book.

As vice-chair of the Legislature’s Business, Labor, Economic and Workforce Development Committee, Tracy promoted the growth of Colorado’s economy and an increase in good jobs in our state. In the 2018 session she sponsored a bill that extends Colorado’s ReHire program for another three years. This program provides job coaching, training and transitional job opportunities for under- and unemployed Coloradans, helping those who have been left behind as our state prospers. She also worked with the Republican Minority Leader to pass a bill modifying Colorado’s job growth incentive tax credit, permitting businesses to receive the credit for up to eight years. This change will help Colorado retain and attract new businesses and the good-paying jobs that come with them — keeping jobs in Colorado.

We need Tracy Kraft-Tharp is the CO Legislature to ensure that Colorado continues to be a state where our lawmakers get things done in a fair and even-handed way that supports the people and businesses of our state. Please join me in casting your vote for Tracy Kraft-Tharp for the State House District 29 this November.

Suzanne Sullivan, Arvada

Accomplished citizen focused listener and legislator

Tracy Kraft Tharp has worked diligently to listen and learn from citizens attending her monthly coffees and town hall meetings with Rep. Lang Sais (R) and Senator Rachel Zenzinger (D). It has been most gratifying to watch her in these settings and in the House Chambers working with colleagues, teachers, business leaders, homeless citizens, union representatives, firefighters building a community of voices to inform her legislative efforts and citizen understanding of Colorado governance processes. In every instance, she has demonstrated a respect for individual voices and community needs, working in a bipartisan manner that produces results providing for job training, job creation, and support for small business owners.

A major example of her accomplishments has been her annual legislative record of bills passed and signed into law each year that she has served as HD 29 Representative. I am proud to support her and urge everyone who believes we need more people like her working across the aisle respectfully, seeking solutions, finding common ground and leading for a better tomorrow.

Most of all, I can attest to having watched Rep Kraft-Tharp listen to and being challenged by people who represent all perspectives regardless of party affiliations, ethnicities or gender, industry or community. I personally have found her to consistently respond thoughtfully and immediately to correspondence challenging her positions or offering insights about an issue.

We need to get behind leaders like Representative Tracy Kraft-Tharp.

John D. Cooper, Arvada

Support for Melonakis

I wanted to encourage the voters in Adams County to re-elect Patsy Melonakis for county Assessor. She has been a solid representative for the county and all of its’ citizens. Ms. Melonakis has been a welcome change to previous assessors and their somewhat questionable practices when it came to property valuation and political favoritism. It would be a shame to take the county backwards in time and re-elect her opponent. A vote for Patsy is a vote for honesty and integrity in county administration.

Nathan Hatcher, Arvada

Support for Pinter

As a mother raising a small child in Adams County, it is important to me that my daughter grows up in a safe and healthy community. I want leaders that will elevate my daughter’s health and safety and will protect the air that she breaths and the water she drinks.

I know that Emma Pinter is this leader because she has a proven track record at the local level. As a Westminster City Councilor, Emma has worked hard to build a community that is healthy and sustainable. During her tenure, Westminster became the 1st platinum Solar City in Colorado. Further, the city now uses geothermal energy to heat City Hall, and Westminster has updated their building codes so that new construction is built using the most modern standards. She has also worked hard with other governmental entities to strengthen the public transportation system in Westminster, including the opening of first light rail stop in the North Metro.

I am voting for Emma Pinter for Adams County Commissioner because she is the qualified leader that we need in Adams County. Please join me in electing a leader who will listen to and fight for us.

Suzie Brundage, Thornton

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