Printed Letters: October 10, 2017
Back the badge by voting yes on 1A
Prior to the murder of my cousin, Deputy Derek Geer, I can’t say that I really appreciated how overburdened our public safety teams are in this valley. My family, like most, never thought it could happen to us.
Because of my interest in public service, I had joined the Judicial Nominating Committee in 2012, but until recently, no nominations had come up.
I attend most court appearances in my cousin’s case, and have now participated in nominating three of our judges. Through these experiences I have seen firsthand that the stresses on the sheriff and district attorney are real and it is critical that we act now to help.
What I have seen as I attend court is that cases are complex. They require more investigation and litigation in order to achieve the proper outcome than I ever imagined. These issues are important, the consequences are huge, and we are fortunate to have leaders that are doing a good job for us.
There is no way the sheriff and DA can sustain that level of service with the resources we have given them. Without more, they certainly can’t go that extra step to proactively drive down this rise in violent crime that we have seen. We are at a crossroads where we need to decide if we value living in a safe place.
My family is in the unenviable position of having lost a family member to crime. It is a crime that gets much attention from every agency and from the public. Every victim’s family deserves that much care and attention, and if the sheriff and DA say that this can be accomplished with a tax increase of a mere 37 cents on a $100 purchase, then we need to be there for them and make sure it happens.
I was overwhelmed with the showing of support that this community displayed after Derek was killed. If you, like me, were one of the people that put a blue line in your rear windshield, or spoke in support of law enforcement in their time of need, it is time to put our money where our mouth is and support them in this time of their need. Please join me again in Backing the Badge and voting yes on ballot issue 1A.
Community must take responsibility for our schools
Too often the word on the street in the Grand Valley is the school district doesn’t deserve our hard-earned taxpayer money. We have heard all the reasons: they waste it, teachers aren’t doing their jobs, administrators get paid too much, public education has become another outdated subsidized welfare program, and on.
The problem with these arguments is the math doesn’t add up. We have been forcing D51 schools to do more with less for 30 years. In 1986, a house worth $50,000 paid approximately $700 a year in property taxes. In 2016, a house worth $200,000 paid approximately $520 a year in property taxes.
We as a community have to take responsibility for our own public schools. We can’t wait for a subsidized government program to fix our school buildings and improve public education in the Grand Valley.
Many of those who complain to us about our public schools admit they have not spent time in a D51 classroom lately. Visit your neighborhood school and see for yourself how your tax dollars are being used.
If you have any doubt about how D51 would put new funding from the bond and mill levy to use, we urge you to spend 15 minutes educating yourself at http://www.citizensforsd51.com.
Now is the time for all of us in the Grand Valley to direct and invest our own money into our public school system, and thereby our community. A more diversified economy is a widely recognized goal within the Grand Valley, and it’s imperative that we prioritize our public schools’ role in achieving that economic diversification. To attract new businesses and industries, our schools must be better. Every day we withhold funding from D51 is a day we are stunting economic growth in the Grand Valley.
Join us in voting yes on 3A and 3B on your mail-in ballot.
DREW AND CAT MAYER
Zinke’s decision to suspend Methane Rule is disappointing
I am very disappointed that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has chosen to suspend the BLM Methane Rule. This rule benefits taxpayers and residents because it encourages oil and gas operators to capture and utilize methane opposed to just venting it into the air.
The city of Grand Junction already captures methane from our wastewater treatment plant and utilizes it to power our natural gas vehicles to the benefit of our community.
We owe it to our constituents to guard our air quality, to look out for public health, and to work toward common-sense solutions. Despite repeated calls to this effect, Zinke’s department has chosen to suspend this important and much-needed rule. I am not alone in saying that I am disappointed in the decision.
This comment may not reflect the views of the rest of the Grand Junction City Council.