E-mail letters, December 6, 2010

Planning group erred
on gravel-pit appeal

The city of Grand Junction has, by law, a rehearing and appeal process for Planning Commission issues. I had anticipated seeing this process in action on Nov. 9. However, what I witnessed was inaction and the city violating its own rehearing and appeal process.

I attended the November Planning Commission meeting to show my support for an appeal on the decision to approve a gravel pit at the end of 29 3/4 Road.
Prior to the meeting, I and other residents of the neighborhood affected by the proposed gravel pit banded together and hired an attorney to file an appeal. Subsequently, the appropriate form was completed and a multi-page letter was submitted justifying the appeal. All the criteria listed in the City Code permitting an appeal were met.

During the November meeting, the Planning Commission acknowledged receipt and review of our letter.  However, members offered no rebuttal, explanation or comment in regard to any of the issues presented in the appeal.  And, after much confusion and procedural uncertainty, the commission denied the request and adjourned the meeting.
This action was in violation of the City Code, which says the commission, during an appeal, shall only “affirm, reverse or remand the decision” with a written explanation of its decision. Refusing to hear the appeal was not an option. This may be why the city has yet to publish the minutes of that meeting.
Ironically, the start of this meeting was delayed for several minutes while the commission received a prestigious award from the American Planning Association, Colorado Chapter. This award was earned, in part, due to the commission’s “excellence in resolution of contentious issues” during the past year.

Fortunately, the matter is not dead, as indicated by recent newspaper articles, radio and TV reports. And, recently, I received a letter from the city advising that City Council will consider the appeal during its meeting Dec. 13. Hopefully, during the upcoming meeting the council will acknowledge that the Nov. 9 hearing was “null and void” and a new hearing is needed in regard to this issue.
Gary Parrott, President
Red Tail Ridge HOA
Grand Junction

Ethical issues are enough
to drive one from West Slope

The Josh Penry column, appearing in the Dece. 3 edition of The Daily Sentinel, being his first deserves some latitude. However, ignoring Commissioner Craig Meis’ transgressions because he is a personal friend should appear in a friendship letter to Meis rather than in an editorial column.
When the report of the Meis breaking the law first appeared in the Sentinel, it was next to the picture and story of the funeral and interment of one of our young people who was killed in action over-seas serving his country in our military. 
How sad that an imperial county commissioner should be so offended by a $50 fine for breaking the law when our young men and women are making sacrifices every day, including the ultimate one in defense of our freedoms.
We have dealt with Scott McInnis, Dan Maes and now Meis as self-serving politicians. One wonders who is next, or are they all the same?

This lack of ethics in our leadership is enough to make one want to leave the Western Slope, but there seems to be no other place to go, since the rest of the country seems to be governed by the same and worse
Robert A. Tallarico
Grand Junction

Oil and gas companies
should lose tax credits

I recently received a letter from the Garfield County Assessor informing me that the Colorado Legislature in 2010 did not fund the senior tax exemption for property taxes for tax years 2010 and 2011, which means seniors will have to pay the full amount of their property taxes for these years. Apparently this was done in order to help balance the state budget.

I went to the Colorado state website and found that the severance tax for oil and gas production is from 2 percent to 5 percent, but the law allows the industry to deduct a large credit for property tax payments that in many cases amounts to about the same as the severance tax, resulting in a zero tax liability.

As a registered independent voter, I believe that when there is a budgetary crisis, all taxpayers should equally share the responsibility to solve it, including the ruling corporatocracy. Why didn’t the Legislature also suspend this credit for property tax payments so that the gas and oil industry would have to pay the full amount of their property taxes the same as the seniors or anyone else who has to pay property taxes?
Garry Evenson

Article portrayed good
doctor in negative light

In The Daily Sentinel’s Nov. 29 article,  “Health Pros Must Reveal Background,” it mentioned Dr. David Wayne Miller in a negative light, citing a brain surgery operation where the patient died.  It should go without saying that brain surgery is extremely complex and does not always have a positive outcome. It is truly akin to “rocket science.”
Not only do I believe that Dr. Miller is an excellent doctor, but he was chosen by other medical doctors for the honor of being named as one of the five best neurosurgeons in 2004. Denver’s Mile-High Magazine, “5280” included him in the October 2004 “Top Doctors” issue. He was included based upon voting by the physician community. Also, Dr. Miller did an excellent job performing neck surgery on me in 2004. 
The Sentinel article did a disservice to a doctor chosen by his peers as one of Colorado’s best.  I trusted him with my life then, with excellent results. I would do so again.
Thomas Hall


Poll on fixing economy is
biased, politically motivated

According a recent Associated Press article published by The Daily Sentinel, the Obama administration and the Republicans in Congress want our ideas on “how to fix the economy.” So the AP asked Americans for their ideas.

The first idea was to “increase immigration” of foreigners with advanced skills. It is true that Americans want to select highly qualified immigrants, but this just isn’t high on the economy fix list.

The second idea was to pursue an education that is needed in the economy, such as engineering.  Good idea, but what has this to do with government?

The third idea was to promote business loans. But, it is not the lack of money holding back business expansion.  It is the lack of confidence in the future. How will tax rates change? How will health care and other new regulations effect hiring?
The next idea advanced was to blackball free trade. But, free trade creates jobs. Tariffs do save some jobs, but they destroy more than they save. Tariffs only pit the lavish political spenders (unions) against the rest of us.

Finally, the AP suggested that the government support the private sector. Two separate support systems are mentioned, tax incentives and direct government money. Know the difference. An investment tax credit goes to all who make qualified investments, but direct government handouts invariably go to those who have provided campaign money.

Where the AP came up with these jarring answers may be a mystery to some, not me. I view the AP as pushing an opinion, not a news organization. I believe Americans are crying out for less government spending, less regulation, lower taxes, and unbiased reporting.
Bruce Taylor
Grand Junction

DREAM Act will benefit
Colorado and the U.S.

The DREAM Act has a lot more to offer Americans than a few sad stories. The Congressional Budget Office estimate of the DREAM Act shows that the legislation would increase revenues by $2.3 billion with in the next 10 years if enacted by next year.

Colorado will soon debate a law like Arizona’s SB 1070. It’s hard enough to keep young professionals in the state because of the lack of opportunities, if a copycat of Arizona’s law is passed, you will see an increase in migrant students leaving the state, people who would otherwise would have sought employment in Colorado.

If the DREAM Act fails in the Senate, we will miss out on a great chance to collect revenue, benefit from a tremendous hands-on workforce, not only for the country as whole but the state as well.

Republicans are only cutting off their own nose to spite the Democrats if they do not support the
Daniel Talavera



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