E-mail letters, March 11, 2011

MSC classified workers
are can think for themselves

After reading Bill Grant’s column (“Democratic senators should kill Mesa State personnel bill”) I was rather appalled. Conspiracy theories aside, House Bill 1007 was in fact developed by MSC employees. My fellow classified employees and I are literate and able to make decisions on our own.

I, for one, want to be taken out of the classified system that is regulated by the State Personnel Board. Why? I feel there should be more local control to what actually takes
place in Grand Junction. People who live on the Eastern Slope don’t know what living in Grand Junction is all about and we should be able to decide for ourselves what does or does not happen to us.

For the most part, state employees have stepped up to the plate to do more for less.
Unfortunately, as the state budget continues to struggle, state classified employees have not only been subject to furloughs and deferred pay raises, we’ve also had to increase our individual contributions to PERA to help balance the state budget.

HB 1007 is strictly about giving classified employees at Mesa State a choice — a choice to weigh pros and cons and decide if joining Mesa State’s exempt employee system by leaving the state classified system is in our individual best interest.

While Grant suggests that I’m not smart enough to make this choice on my own, as someone with actual facts on my side, I respectfully disagree.

Finally, I was most disappointed by Grant’s attempt to tie our legislation to the situation in Wisconsin. The two issues could not be any more different and trying to tie them together is a rather shabby journalistic sleight-of-hand trick.
Jeanne Herring
MSC Facilities Services Department Employee
Grand Junction

Richards untiring in pushing
for a stronger community

Just as young people are espousing the cause for freedom and justice in the Middle East and Africa, Jacob Richards has a desire to champion issues that would challenge unjust local laws, expose abuses of power and fight for the rights of all citizens in Grand Junction.

A vote for Jacob for City Council this April will bring a fresh new perspective to our local leadership. As I have experienced in justice work with Jacob in the “Emergency Shelter
Program” and “No More Deaths,” he sees needs in the community that have not been addressed and helps offer valid solutions.

He is bright, educated and untiring in his goal to make Grand Junction a stronger, healthier community with a better quality of life for every person residing here.
Francette Didier
Grand Junction

Michigan politics worse
than western Colorado

Living here in Happy Valley as a political progressive and free thinker can be trying at times, but at least it’s better than being in Michigan.

According to emerging news reports, the Michigan House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would allow the new Republican governor to begin auctioning off public services, including (astonishingly) entire municipalities.

The new (yet unsigned) law would give the governor the absolute power to declare a state of emergency in any city, town, or school district. Once a real (or imagined) emergency is declared, the governor would have the power to dismantle contracts and dismiss any and all elected or appointed local officials. It’s like Wisconsin on steroids.

According to Naomi Klein of The Nation magazine, one of the most frightening aspects of this possible new law is the ability of the governor to legally put a private corporation in charge of an entire city.

All things considered, I’m glad I live in Colorado, even in a part of the state where the political and cultural leaders tend to think we’re still living in the 1950s.
E. Michael Ervin
Grand Junction


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