Printed letters, September 30, 2012

This is in response to the story that appeared Sept. 22 regarding Mesa County’s largest employers. Identifying the top employers in our community can be a challenging project.

The Grand Junction Economic Partnership staff reaches out to area employers in an effort to take a seasonal snapshot of their labor forces. We strive to compile the most representative data.

However, participating in this “survey” or process is entirely voluntary, and should a company elect, for whatever reason, not to provide its employment figures, its data is not included in the results. It is an unfortunate consequence that these results can then be misconstrued to the general public.

When reading The Daily Sentinel’s story, I knew a significant segment of our economy, the energy industry, would not be represented. This should not be taken to mean that industry is not among the top employers in the valley. It simply means GJEP staff was unable to secure figures from those companies.

Why would we publish the list, then, if we know it isn’t entirely representative? The reason GJEP provides this data on a biannual basis is to help paint a picture of our community for businesses outside the area that may be considering a Grand Valley location. It is important for them to know who some of the larger employers are when making their decisions.

The energy industry is extremely valuable to our community for so many reasons. It provides excellent primary jobs and significant tax revenues to our municipalities. It truly helps our community generate wealth — the precise goal of economic development.

While the energy industry’s absence from the current list is disappointing, its presence in our community is very well known and greatly appreciated.

KELLY FLENNIKEN

Executive Director, GJEP

Grand Junction

Pace’s voting record shows 
indifference to taxpayers

It’s hard to take Sal Pace seriously when he brags about his taxpayer-friendly, pro-business voting record in the Colorado Legislature. Pace’s indifference toward Colorado taxpayers is anything but friendly, and it’s time he came clean about it.

In only one year, Pace voted in support of nearly $230 million in new taxes, including an increase on items such as sugar packets and napkins for small, family-owned restaurants. Pace also voted in favor of the FASTER tax, which raised taxes $250 million on Coloradans who renew their vehicle registration.

Maybe it’s because Pace is a career politician with no practical understanding of how tax hikes hurt individuals, inhibit job creation and drive businesses from Colorado, but it certainly seems like he has no regard for the 3rd Congressional District’s hard-working taxpayers.

The Colorado Union of Taxpayers, which ranks state legislators based on their votes to keep taxes low, has given Pace a very poor lifetime rating of 15.77 percent. On the other hand, Congressman Scott Tipton received ratings of 73 percent and 91 percent during his time in the Colorado Statehouse and has continued to vote in a way that proves he understands how taxation and regulation affect Colorado’s small businesses and families.

If Pace’s idea of helping the Western Slope is to drive away businesses and inhibit job creation with high taxes, he’s not the representative we need.

CATHIE JORGENSON

Grand Junction

Ignore political ads, 
research records, promises

Mute your televisions when political commercials come on. Instead, take the time to research what the candidates have done and will do. See if what they are saying is what they are doing or proposing to do.

I was pleased to hear that both Colorado senators (Udall and Bennet) along with our 3rd District representative (Tipton) chose to support the designation of Chimney Rock as a national monument. Like many in western Colorado, I cherish our public lands and scenic and cultural wonders.

I’m confused about Scott Tipton, though, after listening to a long debate on C-SPAN earlier this spring. An amendment for which our own Tipton voted “yes” would actually make it much harder for a president to designate a place such as Chimney Rock as a national monument. When I called Tipton’s D.C. staff, they said he wouldn’t be budging on that amendment and would be voting “yes” to make it even harder for a president to designate a national monument.

Interesting — seeking to make it more difficult for Chimney Rock to achieve national monument status, yet advocating for Chimney Rock. Does this make any sense in the same year?

Now I hear Tipton saying he wants to protect Medicare for seniors, yet he supports Paul Ryan’s plan that would force future seniors to find their own coverage, possibly using a voucher that may not provide the same coverage afforded seniors now.

Imagine if Republicans dismantle the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). You have pre-existing-conditions, you have children still between the ages of 19 and 26 who need insurance, you can’t afford basic preventive tests that are free and now you are also of Medicare age.

Tipton supports you looking for your own insurance? Good luck!

Don’t vote until you are an informed voter. Join me in supporting Sal Pace for the 3rd Congressional District.

LINDA REEVES

Grand Junction



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