Email letters, May 14, 2013

City can use $6K in better ways than funding chamber

As a taxpayer and business owner who supports my city, I oppose the city reinstating its membership in the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce.

Over the 30-plus years that I have lived here, I have watched the chamber change from a helpful, politically neutral economic development organization that supported everyone into a highly controversial, partisan political group that functions more like a political action committee.

Chamber director Diane Schwenke told KREX that the chamber doesn’t need the city’s membership funds because her group gets plenty of funding from other sources.

So, why continue to pour taxpayer money into an organization that doesn’t need it, does fine without it, and offers so little recognized value in return? Six thousand dollars is a lot of money, and exactly what does the city have to show for it?

I would prefer that money go towards tangible things people can really use, such as street repairs, park construction and maintenance, and building sidewalks in places where there currently are none to help keep pedestrians safer (like in my neighborhood, where the sidewalk ends abruptly and leaves pedestrians walking on only a dangerously narrow, curved gravel shoulder).

It’s time to reel in those taxpayer dollars and put them toward something everyone can support instead.

ANNE LANDMAN
Grand Junction

Government should determine better count of illegal immigrants

The government of the United States of America estimates the number of undocumented, illegal immigrants now residing in the country at 11 million.

The government of the United States of America also said there were “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq.

Wonder if there might be 20 million? 30 million? Why don’t we find out who is here before we make any promises?

STEVEN MANGELS
Grand Junction

Go online to compare fees charged by St. Mary’s, Community hospitals

I just compared our two local hospitals in Grand Junction and found that St. Mary’s Hospitaql is charging as much as 130 percent more for the same procedure at Community Hospital. Of the 19 procedures reviewed in this government link (http://www.cms.gov), St. Mary’s charges 46 percent more on average.
Now, I’m not surprised that it cost us $900 to have them clean a cut on my son’s eye and put a Band-Aid on it a few weeks ago (no stitches).  I just switched hospitals.

Be sure to check out this data. Go to http://www.cms.gov and click on the research link. In the upper right you will see a link that says “Administration offers unprecedented look at hospital charges.” Open the Excel spreadsheet and filter to the hospitals in your city. It’s worth your time.

BRANDON SIEGFRIED
Grand Junction



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