Email letters, Dec. 20, 2011

Signature validation needed on marijuana issue

According to news reports, recreational pot use may become legal if approved by voters next year. It seems like some pot issue is on every ballot lately. But, the same news report said that 2006 was the last year this particular issue came up. Proponents of this initiative are quick to remind us that that vote was “Yea” or “Nay” on medical and not recreational use.

At any rate, this time they say they’ve collected 86,000 valid signatures, guaranteeing the issue a spot on next year’s ballot. That’s only 127 signatures more than the states’ required minimum of 85,853.

Wouldn’t you think an issue that controversial with a signature count that close would warrant a closer look at signature validity? or a least a larger marigin than 127?

A. BOYD CARLEY
Grand Junction

Republicans continue espousing their dangerous policies

While The Daily Sentinel deserves kudos for exposing “Newt Gingrich’s latest ‘zany’ ideas” in its Dec. 20 editorial – to subordinate our independent judiciary to the political whims of Congress and/or a president — and while “conservative leaders” commendably “denounced them,” Newt’s was just the latest of the downright-dangerous policy pronouncements emanating from the circus parade of Republican hucksters.
 
Because Republicans believe that God is on their side and regulates human affairs   through an unfettered free market (as the “Invisible Hand”), Republican leaders and would-be presidential candidates speak and act as if their stated ends (to deny President Obama a second term) justify any means of doing so, including hypocritically and cynically sabotaging the American economy in the interim.
 
While Jesus aggressively threw the money-changers out of the Temple, Republicans have put them back on the altar – to be worshiped as the font of conservative public policy.
 
While Jesus advised his followers to “Render unto Caesar ...”, Republicans insist that taxing anyone – and especially the moneychangers – to pay for the wars, institutions, and programs which protect, constitute and promote an ordered society (from which the wealthy benefit disproportionately) are antithetical to Republican values and principles.
 
From Republican rhetoric, however, it is impossible to discern any meaningful values (except intolerance and ignorance); and from Republican actions it is likewise impossible to discern any consistent principles (except: “whatever Obama is for, we’re against”).
 
In 2009, Republicans forced President Obama to trade infrastructure investments (and thus millions of jobs) for more tax cuts for the wealthy — even though the Congressional Budget Office calculated that the job-creating multiplier effect of the former was 4 to 5 times that of the latter); in 2011, they would impose a tax hike on (and deny extended unemployment benefits to) those same workers unless they get their pipeline. WWJD?
 
BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction

Big difference between entrepreneurs and venture capitalists

The Grand Valley can be proud of the health care system that has evolved in this community. It would be good for the nation if it adopted the Grand Junction model.

But in praising this model’s emphasis on quality outcomes above profit, the story mangled the difference between entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

It’s generally true that venture capitalists focus on profits, with scant regard for customers, employees and even long-term survival of the enterprises they invest in. Many entrepreneurs, though, tend to be a different breed of risk-takers.

Going back to William Moyer, this community has a long history of entrepreneurs who have solved problems, invented or improved products, and delivered vital services. They are among us today. Profit is often their reward, but it is frequently not their prime motivation or sole focus.

It’s not wrong to link the entrepreneurial spirit to the formation of the health system, but to group business creators with venture capitalists is off base.

CHARLIE QUIMBY
Grand Junction

City Council decision is appalling

We are appalled by the unconscionable act of the majority of City Council in forcing out Laurie Kadrich from the office of city manager. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of the welfare of Grand Junction, and it is because of her foresight in seeing the approaching financial meltdown of 2008, and her suggestions to the city council at that time, and the implementation of those policies, that Grand Junction is not in the terrible shape that other municipalities face with their lack of city services.

We want to applaud Teresa Coons for her refusal to go along with this indefensible decision.

Perhaps it isn’t well known that Jim Doody’s main priority after being elected was to “get Laurie Kadrich fired,” stated in his own words in public in a chamber of commerce gathering. This seems to be a personally driven aim, and not an act geared toward the health and welfare of this city. He also stated that he “got the last city manager, (Kelly Arnold), fired and it was his intention to get this one fired.” Who was his choice for the office of city manager? It was David Varley, who lasted three months before being escorted by the Chief of Police to a facility in Tucson.

For the welfare of this city, we should consider recalling Jim Doody, and probably other council members who were part of the driving force behind this decision. Then we can elect citizens who care more about what is in the best interests of our city, rather than their personal agenda. 

If this council wants to micromanage Grand Junction, then why hire a city manager with the outstanding credentials of Ms. Kadrich? If all they want is someone to rubber stamp their proposals, just hire a yes person and pay them accordingly, say $50,000.
 
One of the functions of a city manager as to budget, is “Preparation, monitoring and execution of the city budget, which includes submitting each year to the council a proposed budget package with options and recommendations for its consideration and possible approval.” Ms. Kadrich has been exceptionally capable in this endeavor since 2007 without being micro-managed by the city council.

Responsible owners of a team don’t fire the coach in a winning season.

CARL AND JEAN KOIZUMI
Grand Junction



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