Printed letters, October 27, 2013

I find fault with The Daily Sentinel’s logic in supporting Amendment 66 in its editorial of Oct. 20.

For one, you state that the tax hit will be small for most county residents. However, the tax hit is large (especially since it opens the door for many more such increases down the road) on the small businesses that employ those people. Take a dollar from them and you just as surely take a dollar from their hard-working employees.

Secondly, you are once again asking us to trust the politicians in Denver with a huge pile of new money and suggest that we can correct one flawed law by replacing it with another flawed law. Surely we deserve better than this.

While I fully support that our schools need to be adequately funded, we have increased funding for schools at several times the rate of inflation over the last 20 years (nationwide), and we spend much more on our schools than do many nations that are outperforming us.

Clearly, money alone has not solved the issues our schools are facing.

Several of the school board candidates seem to understand this and say they want to address the changes that are needed to really make a difference.

Finally, we do not live in a vacuum. Surrounding states are working hard to lower their tax rates, not increase them. How are you going to explain to the Grand Junction graduate a few years down the road that he has to go to Oklahoma or Kansas to get the job that was forced out of Colorado by high taxes?

Californians are living this every day and we used to get many of the jobs that left California. If we follow their lead on taxes, we surely will get the same result and see our jobs go elsewhere.

It truly is the time to demand more and not settle for this flawed law.

JOHN STARR

Grand Junction

McVaney uses his wealth 
for megalomaniacal vision

Andrew Carnegie was one of the greediest, most aggressive people ever to get filthy rich on the backs of the American people. Master of the con game, he and his “robber baron” buddies took advantage of the Civil War and westward expansion to plunder government coffers, exploiting every loophole to amass personal wealth.

But as death approached, Carnegie sought penance through philanthropy. His avenue to righteousness and heaven was, he believed, a better-educated America. So, he built about 1,600 libraries across the country.

Carnegie created an enduring public institution, which consists of greedy, aggressive people amassing personal wealth and subsequently engaging in acts of what they perceive to be soul-saving philanthropy.

The divided soul of Carnegie lives today in this guy, C. Edward McVaney, who is trying to influence our school board election. He amassed a fortune on the backs of the American people and is now throwing money at what he opines to be a philanthropic cause.

McVaney, however, has not been guided by angels to do anything nearly as cool as building libraries. Instead, he puts his money behind self-serving, highly politicized changes to the education system that conform to his narrow, megalomaniacal vision.

If he really wants to improve education, he should spearhead the building of technologically advanced schools that could have positive impacts for a century and more.

JACK BOLLAN

Grand Junction

 

To effect real change, 
elect nonunion candidates

I read a lot of letters pro and con on the school board election being so political and money coming in from outside our area. I can’t see that outside money having an interest is different than local interests.

It looks like some people want to leave things as they are, which is unacceptable seeing that many of our students can’t get into college without a lot of preparation work they should have learned in District 51 classes.

Leaving things as they are means allowing the self-serving unions controlling our educational systems and stopping all attempts to change for the better, just to protect their members’ status quo.

Naturally, Denver educational associations, along with our local teachers associations, are pouring money into the election for their own personal interests. Others should have the same right.

District 51 could be one of the few districts that actually gets some real changes if we elect board members who are not tied to the union.

R.M.SHERMAN

Grand Junction

 

Amendment 66 gives too much 
control to teachers’ unions

After a careful reading of Amendment 66, I have come to the conclusion that anyone who votes “Yes” on this piece of trash is a darned fool. It does nothing for the schools, and it gives the teachers’ unions the ability to control everything having to do with the state school system.

Wake up, Coloradans. Vote “No” on Amendment 66.

JOHN S. REID

Grand Junction

 

MVEA works similarly to 
other professional groups

It is too bad that the only thing Rick Wagner and Josh Penry can do to advance their cause is wave the specter of the heavy-handed union thugs flush with money.

I doubt this would match the image of your child’s favorite teacher, who is most likely a member of the Mesa Valley Education Association.

They never question the motives of out-of-town billionaires donating large sums of money in a local “nonpartisan” race.

Perhaps an honest perspective would be more helpful. The educators of Mesa County join the MVEA for many different reasons: bargaining representation, legal protection, professional development and/or access to discounted professional education materials.

The vast majority of members give a minimum optional contribution for political activity. It’s a drop in the bucket compared to the spending of millionaires and their corporations.

The efforts of the education association are very much like that of other professional organizations representing doctors, lawyers, Realtors and others. Our organizations are formed to represent our professional interests by lobbying, providing information and advocating for our members.

Those of us in the education association have spent years working for high-quality education, fair and thorough evaluation, continued professional development and high standards for professional educators.

Speaking up for our professional career is the right thing to do. We join our organization because we have education and experience to add to the decision-making about our schools.

Our leaders are teachers who can speak knowledgeably for us while we’re busy in our classrooms. We care deeply about the difference we can make for our children and our community.

CAROLYN SANDEEN-HALL

Retired teacher

Grand Junction

 

Union-supported candidates 
won’t represent everyone

Although school board elections are nonpartisan, complaints directed at some candidates are from a political party, while others are “independent.”

Past and current school board elections have seen the teachers’ union donate large amounts of money to candidates who support union philosophy, basically liberal or progressive ideas. That is not independent.

If mostly union supporters are elected to the school board because of that funding and teachers’ help in putting out signs, then the board will not represent the students, parents and taxpayers. It will represent only the teachers’ interests.

Thus, when teachers negotiate for pay or benefits, they will be effectively negotiating with themselves, not their “boss” (the taxpayers).

It is time to elect board members who represent the students, parents and taxpayers — not just the teachers and their union. It is not that the board should ignore the interests of teachers. The teachers are tired of being burdened with excessive paperwork and their classes being mixed with gifted and special-needs students who distract from teaching other students. They should also be rewarded for outstanding performance.

I voted for improvement, not status quo. I voted for Pat Kanda, Mike Lowenstein and John Sluder.

STEVE GSELL

Grand Junction



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