Printed Letters: October 6, 2017
A defense attorney’s perspective on 1A
I have been a practicing criminal defense attorney in Mesa County for 30 years. I submit this in support of ballot initiative 1A, the public safety sales tax proposed to support public safety agencies, primarily the Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s office, in Mesa County.
The jail is operating well above capacity, but this problem is more than just challenged living accommodations. The jail is so full that it is difficult to properly visit and represent my incarcerated clients. These early meetings are when I am able to gather the information to show that my client can be safely managed in the community, back at work, and back to being a productive citizen. At this critical early stage, this is valuable information the prosecution and courts want, but I am the only one in a position to get. When I do not have the access to my clients it slows the process, causing court delays, and further burdens the system. Although they are only accused, these individuals have a right to their day in court in a timely manner. These delays affect my clients’ lives, sometimes resulting in loss of employment/family/education. The delay ultimately costs the system unnecessary time and money.
The backlog caused by the skeleton staff in the District Attorney’s office has my clients waiting, sometimes in jail, until the proper time can be devoted to resolving the case. Low staffing inhibits any ability to timely resolve issues and the case causing more delay, more time in jail. Prosecutors are cautious not to dismiss or plea bargain cases without careful consideration, but without the proper staffing levels that care can turn into lengthy delays before a resolution.
I respect the system; I have been working within it for 40 years. Having a properly functioning justice system is of paramount importance to me, my clients, and everyone involved. For these reasons I will be voting yes on 1A and I urge your readers to do the same.
People with warped minds don’t care about gun laws
Now the gun grabbers are at it again. Do they know how many gun laws were broken before the shooter even pulled the trigger for the first shot? Do they realize that people with warped minds don’t care about gun laws? Let’s say that somehow we could get all the firearms out of public hands. These nut cases would still find a way to get them, and some already have. Cars and trucks are very destructive. Add a little diesel and fertilizer and trucks do a lot of damage and carnage. How many more laws do we need?
Wagner relies on dubious sources for info on schools
I was very disappointed to see The Daily Sentinel run Rick Wagner’s column, in which he prematurely declared Measures 3A and 3B “doomed.”
Mr. Wagner seems to rely on sarcasm, faulty logic and misleading references to Eastern European countries to make his point. If readers truly want to understand 3A and 3B, they should check it out for themselves at https:/citizensforsd51.com/plan, as advised by Hannah Holm in her succint and on-point letter to the editor, published Sept. 29.
Mr. Wagner says he has “received feedback” from individuals who seem to be making an illogical, “apples to oranges” comparison between the proposed school district projects and our public safety complex. In contrast, here is some firsthand “feedback” straight to your readers from taxpayers who support 3A and 3B.
My husband and I own both residential and commercial properties here in Grand Junction and pay property taxes that support Grand Junction schools. We fully support 3A and 3B. Here’s why:
1. Good schools with reasonable facilities do attract professionals to communities. In over 20 years as a healthcare executive, I recruited more than 100 health-care professionals. In every case, these doctors, nurses and technicians (most often married to business people, attorneys and other professionals) with school age children, looked at the quality of the school system and wanted to see the school facilities. During years when I worked in communities with poor schools, I lost many good recruits to communities with better schools, with the professionals who chose not to come clearly stating that schools were the tipping point for their decision.
2. Good schools attract individuals and families who have the income to buy local goods and services. While it is true that I am a “newcomer” by Grand Junction standards (I’ve been here for seven years), my husband, a Grand Junction resident and small-business owner for 37 years, also supports 3A and 3B. He knows that good schools with attractive facilities are essential to a good economy. Why? Because they attract people who buy the kinds of goods and services businesses like his sell.
Instead of relying on vague second-hand “feedback” from individuals who fail to provide hard facts, please seek out firsthand information. Measures 3A and 3B provide much-needed funding for our schools and our community.