A peek in Santa’s bag for Christmas 2019

Cross Currents: A column by Bill Christopher
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 12/17/19

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, toys in all the stores...” (or on-line). Of course, we know how close it is to Christmas. We have had Black Friday, Cyber Monday and who knows what …

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A peek in Santa’s bag for Christmas 2019

Posted

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, toys in all the stores...” (or on-line).

Of course, we know how close it is to Christmas. We have had Black Friday, Cyber Monday and who knows what else.

In keeping with my Christmas tradition, I would like to share with you an “advance release” of Santa Claus’ gift list for various elected officials and governmental entities. You may even want to chip in on his “Go Fund Me” website.

Let’s dive right in and start with President Trump. Santa had said, “Where do I start? There are so many possibilities.” First, as a stocking stuffer, he has a “little black book” of new names to call all of his adversaries. No more “Rocket Man” or “Sleepy Joe” or “Crazy Pelosi” as they have worn thin. You will be hearing some new name-calling in the new year thanks to Santa.

Secondly, he has an exclusive single copy book specially written for the Prez. It is “A Primer on Economics and Taxation 101” or (sub-title) “Who really pays All those Tariffs.”

For U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, another book is on Kris Kringle’s list. With Senator Bennet’s prolonged, ineffective Presidential campaign, he will be receiving a just-released book written by U.S. Senator Kamala Harris entitled “How to Interpret the `Handwriting on the Wall’ or when to Drop Out of a Presidential Race.”

Then next on the list is U.S. Senator Cory Gardner. He already has received a plethora of “Atta Boys” from President Trump and several misfires for voting along the party line instead of what Coloradoans want. So, it gets down to a paid-up subscription to both the Washington Post and Denver Post so that he will have ample time to peruse the “Help Wanted” classified ads prior to leaving office after the 2020 election.

A train under the tree

The Jolly Ole Elf has pondered what to give to each member of the Colorado U.S. House of Representatives in these chaotic times. How can the Elf please both sides of the aisle when there is such a political chasm? So, the politically astute little man is giving the Colorado Delegation the funding to take the ill-fated Northwest commuter rail project from Historic Westminster to Boulder to help partially fill RTD’s 2004 promise to fund all six rail corridors. Hey, if Trump can fund billions on an ineffective wall, Santa can spend a billion on mass transit!

As far as Governor Jared Polis’s gifts go, St. Nick’s focus was along the haberdashery line. He selected matching blue, red and yellow dress shirt, tie and tennis shoes. Hey Colorado!

For the State Legislature in their upcoming election year, the little man decked out in red and white fur, thinks the political party in power should tone it down after the last session. Be careful about the extent of benefits with your family leave legislation as well as not getting carried away on spending. Remember, Santa sees an economic slowdown is around the corner — even in Colorado.

Giving and getting

Next, we see the Adams County and Jefferson County Boards of County Commissioners on Kringle’s list. Kris remembers the angst and disagreement over the years between cities and counties regarding urban renewal projects. In particular, he knows that cities get to keep all sales tax and property tax revenue above the base amount for years and years to come. In keeping with the Christmas spirit of giving, he is lobbying all municipal officials to be a little generous and support legislation to share a piece of that action.

Looking at the wish list that the RTD Board of Directors sent to the North Pole, Santa does not know where to begin. They are in chaos in so many ways. While the metro area continues to sprawl — which creates more public transportation needs — RTD is shrinking its services. Financially they are tied in a knot like a big Christmas bow unable to build more of the Northwest Rail Line beyond Historic Westminster or pay higher wages to solve their staffing issues. Now, they need a new General Manager who should have the knowledge, political savvy, leadership skills, financial insight, charisma and patience of Job working with a divided Board of Directors.

So, St. Nick is now the head recruiter/ head hunter on the hunt for the ideal person.

Mr. Claus quickly decided what to give elected municipal officials, city managers and planning directors among the Denver metro area entities this Christmas. With all of the explosive growth, especially the number of apartment complexes being built, and the ensuing increasing traffic congestion, he is giving each person a special crystal ball. This ball is unique, to say the least. It looks a lot deeper and farther out in time than these municipal folks are doing.

It shows and tells a lot. For example, in Westminster, it shows when the city runs out of unallocated water resources for new development long before the year 2035 contemplated in their Comprehensive Plan. It shows how much undeveloped land will be left after all the new development has been consumed, which is pretty minimal. Also, it will virtually show the traffic messes they created without the financial capability to widen arterial streets, add interchanges, overpasses and construct new streets. Then maybe city officials and staff will get the picture.

Let’s not leave out the school districts, given the important role they play in our communities. For Westminster Public Schools, the Jolly Ole Elf has money for more classes, teachers and equipment to teach the trades like carpentry, plumbing, welding, cybersecurity and basic engineering. At Adams 12 Five Star District, St. Nick has more qualified teachers to meet the growing enrollment. For Jeffco R-1 School District, Santa has some magic to bring the southern and northern parts of the huge district together in meeting growing needs in some parts of the district.

Merry Christmas to all

So, boys and girls, you have gotten a sneak peek at Santa’s gift list. Let’s hope they all come true.

“And as he rode out of sight, he exclaimed Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”

Bill Christopher is a former Westminster city manager and RTD board member. His opinions are not necessarily those of Colorado Community Media.

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