Printed letters, April 23, 2013
This is in response to the recent article concerning whether Mesa County is complying with the law (Taxpayers Bill of Rights).
This issue is a classic example of taxpayers not being represented by either county or state government. Taxing districts submit their tax rate (mill levy) request to the state for final approval, supposedly in compliance with the Taxpayers Bill of Rights.
This process is referred to as a certification. In this instance, even though the taxpayer is supposedly protected by TABOR and combined with a state oversight, the process remains questionable.
I base this on a personal response that I received from the State Department of Local Affairs concerning an obvious violation of TABOR for a certification request. The response was that Local Affairs had no enforcement powers and it took no corrective action against the taxing district.
Here we have a state law and no state agency to enforce it or give its interpretation in helping to settle such special issues as those in Mesa County.
The bureaucracy is at work, or not at work, on all levels against Dennis Simpson obtaining a just outcome. I agree with Simpson’s comments concerning TABOR, and I admire him for bringing this to the attention of all the taxpayers in Mesa County.
I would encourage Simpson to address his concerns to the Department of Local Affairs for a response.
Calling stabber a ‘vagrant’ not relevant to his crime
In recent weeks, we’ve read about two assaults. One involved a councilmember-elect and his live-in girlfriend. The other involved a man who stabbed someone near a downtown park.
The elected official denied committing any violence before finally stating why he had to strike the woman. The other perpetrator went to a pay phone and called 911 to report the stabbing.
The stabber was not identified as a one-legged man who gets around in a wheelchair. However, this would seem to be more relevant to the incident than his classification as a member of a group the paper calls “vagrants.”
Meanwhile, the councilman is banned from going back to his house. Presumably, under the Sentinel standards, he should be classified as “homeless.”
New members of council should name replacement
The community was informed in The Daily Sentinel on April 9 that if Rick Brainard resigns before he is sworn in May 6, the current City Council will appoint a new member.
My question is this: Since Brainard is not officially in office yet, why should the current council members we voted out have any say in who would get that position if Brainard were to resign?
It is my opinion that if he does resign, in May the newly sworn-in council should name a replacement.
Trusting the government not always a prudent idea
After reading the letters to the editor regarding the BLM’s draft plans, I had to make a comment. People have lost their minds if they think the BLM plans are balanced or address recreation and wildlife protection. The BLM plans only address one thing: controlling access to public lands.
Whether we are talking about our hiking trails, horse trails or motorized trails, recreation and wildlife protection are the furthest from BLM’s concern. Hunting conservationists or liberals who just want everyone but them denied access to our beautiful Colorado landscapes are kidding themselves about the BLM.
BLM wants to eliminate any economical development that might be established on public lands and restrict the people from access to these public lands.
Given the chance, the BLM will close off all lands it manages to anyone not on a horse, bicycle or on foot.
The previous plan was adequate for managing these lands and is still viable. Leave it alone until the people of Colorado want a change, not the liberal administration.
Either do what the majority of the people of the Western Slope want to do with this land or go manage the lands in Central Park in New York City.
JAMES F. O’MALLEY
Park status for monument raises numerous red flags
For many reasons we are opposed to changing Colorado National Monument to a national park. When Redlands residents were polled at several meetings, the majority voiced concerns and opposition to this change.
Initially, increased tourism sounds positive. However, the negatives must be considered, as well. Some of our concerns are:
✓ What kind of an impact will increased RV traffic have on local traffic and on road bikers?
✓ Will bikers be in more danger from the traffic or even prohibited?
✓ What federal rules will impact residents who live nearby?
✓ Will residential property near the monument be condemned for park expansion?
We don’t think the increase of tourism is a positive enough aspect to offset the negatives that a change from “monument” to “park” might bring. We love Colorado National Monument and wish for it to remain as it is.
RICHARD and JUDY HUFFAKER