Email Letters: September 8, 2017

Support proposed tax increase for the provision of public safety

We retired in the Grand Valley for the same reasons many of us have – the mild climate, the spectacular views, the friendly neighbors and the relative peace and quiet. Unfortunately, that peace and quiet has been gradually but steadily replaced with a growing sense of unease, as big-city crime becomes more prevalent in our community.

As we read and hear about the increase in crime in Mesa County, we find ourselves concerned that our brave men and women in the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office are struggling to keep the peace with resources that are stretched thinner and thinner.

Our county commissioners have done a remarkable job of keeping the county afloat under difficult financial conditions, but we seem to have reached the point where the demands of public safety require a bit more. I am generally not one to support tax increases; but the provision of public safety – and the safety of our local law enforcement officers as they go out to do a difficult, dangerous job on our behalf – is the primary responsibility of the local government, and if a little more revenue is necessary to accomplish that, then at least it should be done right.

The proposed sales tax increase is a small one, and a fair one. It will not be levied on gas, groceries, or prescription drugs, and so will not harm the least fortunate or seniors on a fixed income. It amounts to only 37 cents on a $100 purchase.

And the revenue will not go to some ridiculous government pet project, but to our local law enforcement officers. In fact, it will go to more than a dozen local public safety agencies like the Fruita Police Department, the Palisade Fire Department and the marshals in DeBeque and Collbran.

These brave men and women are tasked with keeping all of us safe. Isn’t it our duty to make sure they have what they need to do so?

ED AND RUTH EHLERS
Grand Junction

We need to adequately fund local law enforcement professionals

Few things are as important to the functioning of a society as the maintenance of public safety. Without the resources and infrastructure in place to enforce the law and keep the peace, little else ultimately matters. The things we fight about on a regular basis – tax rates, spending priorities, how to improve the economy, education, transportation infrastructure, environmental concerns – none of that really makes a lot of difference if citizens do not feel safe in their homes or our streets.

We can bicker all we want about whether our local government should do this, that, or the other thing; but one thing most everyone agrees on is that is the proper and primary role of local government to provide for law enforcement and public safety.

We have gotten to the point in our community where a number of factors have led to a significant increase in the local crime rate. All types of crime have seen an increase, but most troubling is the rise in violent and property crimes.

Mesa County has fewer law enforcement officers per 1,000 citizens than any other comparable jurisdiction in the state. This means that response times will be slower, department resources stretched, officers forced into dangerous situations by themselves, and local law enforcement constantly fighting a rearguard action.

To properly fight this crime epidemic, we need to make sure our local law enforcement professionals have the funding and resources needed to be proactive. The small sales tax increase being proposed will ensure they have these resources, and that the law-abiding citizens of Mesa County can begin to take our streets back. I’m voting yes on 1A.

VERN GRAY
Fruita

Who is griping about proposed tax increase to fund schools?

One must wonder if the same people griping about a proposed tax increase to fund schools are the same people that supported lottery money going to Parks and Recreation? The $2.7 billion put into that fund from the lottery would have gone a long way towards helping education/schools. We should not have dumb kids going to great parks.

Are these also the same people that did everything they could to shut down oil and gas exploration in Mesa and Garfield counties? There’s no accurate data on the loss of revenue from shutting down this industry but I’m assuming it’s quite substantial – revenue lost that could have gone to the schools, perhaps negating the need for a tax increase

DON MCCLUNG
Parachute

Tax increase to fund public safety an investment in our community

I’ve been a small business owner in this valley for over 30 years. I am now I semi-retired and living on even less income, so I understand the financial concern over adding more taxes. However, I also have grandchildren here. They and I both have a lot of years ahead of us and I will continue to invest in my community for however and for as long as I can.

I support 1A, because 37 cents on a $100 purchase isn’t too much to ask to support our Mesa County Sheriff’s Department and public safety officials. This tax will not apply to groceries, gas or prescriptions, which makes it less of a burden for everyone, especially families and anyone living on a fixed income. Some things are worth a little sacrifice or better yet, investment.

I love this valley and there’s no place I’d rather live, but you can’t expect this to remain a great place to be if we are not willing to put anything into it. I’ll be voting yes on 1A for my grandkids. I hope everybody considers this and Backs the Badge!

SYLVIA GRIMSLEY
Grand Junction


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