Printed letters, March 16, 2012

A bill sponsored by Rep. Ray Scott would allow Colorado’s 10 largest counties to opt out of having a governor-appointed public trustee.

Currently, the role of public trustee is performed by the elected county treasurer in 54 Colorado counties, and that is working well. The other 10 counties have a governor-appointed trustee, a political appointment, and not always a well-qualified person.

Can the county treasurers of Colorado’s 10 largest counties absorb the role of public trustee and supervise the public trustee staff who perform almost all of the important work and processes of the public trustee’s office?

Some will support this bill and others will oppose it, including, perhaps, the 10 incumbent public trustees. But personal agendas aside, is it fiscally responsible to have an appointed public trustee with a separate salary and benefits?

I support this bill, but not because I have a have a desire to assume the duties of the public trustee as the county treasurer (although we could). Rather, I feel strongly we all have the responsibility to seek greater efficiency in government at all levels, as we strive to serve the best interests of our constituents.

Incumbent public trustees would serve through their current term, concurrent with the governor’s term.  I wrote Gov. Hickenlooper in 2010 addressing this topic. I await his response.

Regardless of which political party occupies the governor’s office, I would vote every day to save this unnecessary expense. Supporters of this bill should be praised for seeking greater efficiency in government.

We need to remove politics from governing and have local accountability for public trustees. Efficiency in government does not have to be an oxymoron. Rep. Scott’s bill may be one way of achieving greater efficiency.

ROBERT C. BALINK

El Paso County Treasurer

Colorado Springs

States existed before the federal government

Obviously, letter writer D.D. Lewis knows little about the early history of this country, given the skewed history lesson he attempted to convey in his March 9 letter, “Civil War established supremacy of federal law.”

The original states existed before the federal government. The 10th Amendment makes the states sovereign to that government, but they did not protect their position.

The Civil War was fought over the policies of Abraham Lincoln, and his election in 1860 ensured that the Southern states would secede from the Union. Ever since the end of the Civil War in 1865, to the present, an apathetic citizenry has allowed their elected representatives to gradually sell them out.

Citizens of this country have steadily lost rights and laws have been enacted to facilitate the federal government takeover of every aspect of our lives.

A point has been reached under the current administration, presided over by a man who apparently regards himself as a ruler rather than president, and a Congress rife with greed and corruption, that “we the people” silently bear witness to the destruction of our republic, seemingly powerless to stop the slide over the precipice.

Also, we will never, “Get over it.”

JERRY A. HUNSINGER

Grand Junction

 

Energy development doesn’t bring tourism

When Larry Head from Hotchkiss wrote concerning the North Fork economy, his comments were headlined, “Energy, not agriculture, fuels North Fork economy.”

He stated, “Yes, agriculture is the historical provider for our rural way of life. Take the energy industry away and see what happens. Grape growers are not going to pay the way.”

Well, I come from an ag county in another state, with no gas and oil industry, where grape growers do pave the way. Over 200 wineries, as well as the unspoiled rural beauty of the area, bring not only great business, but abundant tourism. Organic businesses flourish due to no industrial pollution. Cheese making, orchards, dairy and olive oil businesses thrive, and every town in the county has at least one farmer’s market. Schools, a college, art, music and theater businesses, a hospital, library, museum and other retail establishments all flourish.

I was actively involved on several boards there, including the chamber of commerce, and ran a successful bed and breakfast. Why was it busy? Because people came from all over the country to visit the area.

Tourism and the diverse business base are what keep that county healthy and thriving, not the energy industry.

Residents there receive their electrical power from geysers in the local mountains and water for farming comes from a river that flows through two counties. The residents do not want the energy industry to take over the county because they know it would change the area forever.

Head has forgotten what Exxon did to this and the surrounding area in the 1980s. The company pulled out overnight, with no warning, leaving 2,000 workers out of a job and nowhere to find one. This area then suffered a recession for over 10 years.

No place should be dependent on one industry alone for the health of the local economy. We have seen how badly that can turn out and should have learned something from it.

PEGGY RAWLINS

Grand Junction



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