Printed Letters: September 13, 2017
Law enforcement officers need support
EMT, fireman, sprinter (while wearing 30 pounds of gear), marriage counselor, child and adult psychologist, conflict resolution specialist, sharpshooter, expert driver, hostage negotiator, accident investigator, homicide detective, victims advocate, animal control officer, and search and rescue worker.
These are just a few of the things that a law enforcement officer must know and do, all while having the potential of someone killing them just for being them. If ever there was a vocation that needed our support, it is being a cop. By the way, I am not a cop, never have been one, and don’t know any. But even the most casual observer can see that they need more support. Yes on 1A.
Putting a price on carbon will pay great dividends
Your editorial, “It’s always sunny in Mesa County,” noted that our region ought to be looking relatively attractive right about now to industries concerned about hurricanes and other climate-influenced disasters.
Well all right, maybe we’ll benefit a bit from other regions’ misfortune. But I’d like to point out that nobody wins with global warming.
It will cost hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild after Harvey and Irma. Over the longer term, it will cost trillions to build sea walls, raise infrastructure and even move whole cities. Whether those costs are covered by insurance or by government, we’ll all end up footing the bill.
If you don’t like socialism, then you should be outraged by the thought that these costs will be socialized in this way. The future fiscal impacts could be ruinous. And in the meantime, while we cling to fading fossil fuels, China is eating our lunch in the new energy economy.
Let’s correct this market failure. Putting a price on carbon will give our entrepreneurs the incentive to scale up clean energy, create new jobs and bring down costs. It will pay even greater dividends for our children, by sparing them the debt and disruption of worst-case climate change.
Drainage District’s ‘fee’ is actually an illegal tax
I flat out refuse to pay the Grand Valley Drainage District’s “fee.” Not because I’m cheap or believe they don’t need the money, but because I truly believe it is an illegal tax.
I understand the GVDD is in a tough position needing funds to cover their operations as mandated, but many government agencies face similar challenges. That is the core of what makes running government difficult.
Government is funded by taxes approved by the will of the people. It is a slippery slope to have it be otherwise. Should I thus expect an invoice from the police and DA if the public safety measure (1A) fails? Hey fire department, what’s on your wish list? Mosquito Control District? Airport? (Whoops, bad example…)
Improving our schools makes good economic sense
We are writing in support of the proposed School District 51 bond and mill levy that will be used, in part, to add more school days to the calendar and repair, improve and replace District 51 schools. We support this measure for multiple reasons but most of them boil down to economics.
The valley has for many years experienced a boom and bust economy primarily because our economy is tied to too few types of businesses. It seems clear that in order to stabilize and improve the local economy we need to diversify, which means attracting different kinds of businesses to our area. One of the key factors in attracting companies here is good quality schools. Grand Junction ranks near the bottom of the list in per capita/student spending for Colorado cities. Our schools are suffering from deferred maintenance and our students attend class 162 days per year, which is the legal minimum. The national average is about 180 days. An investment in our schools is an investment in a future with a more robust economy that can attract and retain businesses, as well as build a stronger taxpayer base.
It really doesn’t require much analysis to come to the conclusion that improving our schools just makes good economic sense. We have not passed any measure to fund schools since 2004. The state government has also reduced funding since 2010. Because of this we are now faced with a much larger bill to improve and maintain our educational facilities.
Successful schools are the foundation of a successful community so we are urging all voters to vote “YES” on 3A and 3B. Show that you have pride in our city, support a brighter economic future for the Grand Valley and believe in the value of our children.
BUTCH AND PEGGY SHAW