Printed Letters: July 21, 2017

Don’t blame budget woes on accounting firm

Commissioners should not be angry with the Chadwick accounting firm for the county’s capital budget woes. Any rational person would understand an $8 million debt from an insolvent Whitewater Improvement District isn’t available funds to spend on 2017 capital projects.

The commissioners knew this debt was not available to spend as capital. Chadwick was obligated to provide an independent accounting opinion of reporting capital funds that didn’t exist. The board adopted an imaginary budget because the Whitewater debt was never going to be repaid in years. It is laughable the county now claims it will immediately delay plans for two bridge projects because of Chadwick’s opinion. How does writing down imaginary funds that didn’t exist delay anything?

Apparently the two complaints filed with the DA’s office were not frivolous as Commissioner McInnis claimed. Furthermore it wasn’t frivolous complaints that wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars. It was the county that squandered thousands of taxpayer dollars on a Denver CPA firm…seeking an opinion that we now realize wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. So, commissioners, don’t blame Chadwick or citizens for wasting taxpayer money. You were the governing body that relied on misguided opinions instead of using common sense.

HAL MASON
Grand Junction

Community will progress by saying ‘yes’ to name change

I am in strong favor of changing the street names in Grand Junction. Since Colorado Mesa University is one of the key driving factors helping this community grow, I believe that this is something well deserved. With the CMU 20000 initiative, there will be more than enough tax dollars brought in to pay for the change.

People who are complaining about the cost to make the change should be standing behind the college and the amount of tax revenue they are bringing in. I wish this community could get behind something for once. It is always “NO!” that I hear from a majority of people in the valley and it’s time for that to change. There can be no progress until we start saying “Yes!”

DOUG SIMONS JR.
Grand Junction

Politicians on both sides only concerned with retaining jobs

After the past election designated the people’s choices for offices throughout our land, it is amazing to observe the nearly total inability of the governing bodies to do their jobs. On both sides of the aisle, votes go almost lockstep along party lines. I find it incredible that there seems to be no room for original thought or compromise.

We suspected there was a swamp to be drained, but how deep can it be?

It appears that most politicians are primarily concerned with holding their jobs at all cost, not wanting to offend sensibility by “doing the right thing.” The media, the lobbyists and the large contributors appear to be running the show and those in office are too spineless to mount much of an effort to advance worthy legislation. Given the chance, they will crowd in to the background of a picture taken of a “leader” who is making excuses for failure, and they will be most happy to aimlessly bloviate during committee hearings without having any real contribution to the discussion.

I for one am disappointed in both parties and the so-called independents as well.

FRED ZIMMAT
Grand Junction

We should not take freedom of the press for granted

I am tired of our elected politicians, their staff and their spokespersons labeling the news media as “fake news” and working so hard to discredit the news media with lies, in order to cover up their actions that could be anywhere from over-exaggerated to immoral to illegal.

I am grateful to live in a country that the majority of its citizens, even if they are silent, put great value in the First Amendment to the Constitution that guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press.

Of course, I might not always agree with what is written in the press or what is reported in the news, but it is this freedom, the First Amendment to the Constitution:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,” that makes the United States of America so different from North Korea, from Russia or from any other repressive, totalitarian-style government.

So thank you to everyone at our local newspaper, The Daily Sentinel, to everyone at the several local TV stations to everyone at the local radio stations, and to the local individuals, who write letters to the different news outlets and their elected officials. This is a great freedom, so let us not take it for granted. Do not support any individual who tries to destroy this freedom through lies by labeling the truth that was derived from investigative sources, as “fake news.”

SHERRYL BUCKLEY
Grand Junction


COMMENTS

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Full disclosure: Doug Simons, Jr. owns Enstrom Candies, is a member and supporter of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, and was an avid backer of disgraced former G.J. City Councilman Rick Brainard, who was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend four days after he was elected in 2013. Brainard pled no contest to the charge. Grand Junction citizens said “no” to allowing Mr. Enstrom’s friend Rick Brainard sit on City Council. Sometimes saying “no” in Grand Junction is the right thing to do.

Having been in organizations that have changed their names the cost to do that is not insignificant.  It makes no sense to force all the businesses to change their addresses and the city to change all the street signs.  It is a big waste of money.  Maybe they should just put a bunch of cow pies on North Avenue and 12th Street It would be less expensive and have the same results as far as increasing business.

Mr. Simmons, just like too many individuals, will look only at their favorite projects (usually based upon self-interests) without looking at anything else in “budgets”.  So, he wants people to say “Yes” to changing the name of a street but, at the same time, will totally ignore another issue, that of law enforcement seeking further funds. That, as far as some of us are concerned, represents very narrow and shallow thinking.

A truly interested and responsible individual will make every attempt to look at the entire picture.  Then, and only then, will he/she make the decision as to whether to say “Yes” or “No”.  It should not be “Yes” or “No” for the benefit of one individual, or group of individuals, but for the community as a whole.  That is something far too many, not only in the general public but in many government officials, some of us find totally lacking.

Mr. Zimwat is disappointed in those “others”, and he has some reason to be.  However, most times, we should be disappointed in ourselves, something which most cannot face.  If, as he says, that politicians care only about their positions, and their career paths, what about those who elect them and re-elect them to office? 

An election, Mr. Zimwat, does not mean that one appoints someone to “rule” over us, although many (as well as their followers) tend to believe that such is what it is about. Such individuals all too frequently cannot tell the difference between governing and ruling and all too frequently end up choosing the latter patch as it is much easier than exerting oneself in order to make any type of intelligent and wise decision.

Mr. Zimwat does not need to go to Washington to see that.  All he has to do is look at what is happening at the local level, and on almost any issue where far too many will cast their votes only on the basis of “What’s in it for me?”

My apologies for not getting Mr. Zimmat’s name correct.

Mr. Mason is quite correct in his assessment of public officials in that they are relying on “accounting gimmickry” instead of hard financial facts.  There is a great deal of that in business and now in the public sector as well.  That should surprise nobody as most in public office do come from the “business” sector (or representing business interests).  So, if it worked for them there, why wouldn’t it work for everyone.  It is also true that most of them know nothing else.

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