Printed letters, Sept. 7, 2011

I realize it is the intent for School District 51 to present the mill-levy override in the best possible light in hopes that it will pass without too much objection. However, I wish they would have presented it more realistically so that property owners can better understand the true impact on their taxes.

When it is presented as less than $5 per month per $100,000 of value, it appears not to be that much. The fact is it is about $55 per year. And since most evaluations are higher than the $100,000 threshold, it is really closer to $100 per year for most people.

And, if the economy improves and we go back to the inflated prices of real estate of only a few years ago, this number could jump to $150 or more in just a few years.

For those of us who have no intentions of ever selling or renting our homes, this is just a tax that keeps on coming — more like a penalty for all of us who did our job, bought and possibly paid off a home and just want to enjoy the security and peace of mind that comes with it.

What has never been clearly answered is why is this just the burden of property owners — other than it is a convenient way collect more taxes. While I am sure there are those who argue this is good for the community and will enhance your property value (increase your taxes some more), the fact remains that many of us are retired, on fixed income and don’t use the school system at all.

Obviously our income does not increase with inflation, only our taxes. There has to be another way.

People are free to make whatever choice they want. I just wish the real facts had been presented in a way that everyone can certainly appreciate.


Grand Junction

Delta County was right to approve chicken farm

The Delta County commissioners recently approved the Hostetler’s chicken farm unanimously. I want to compliment them on doing the right thing.  Particularly, I was most impressed with Commissioner Doug Atchley. He clearly stated that the state law recognizes only “agriculture,” without modifiers such as “industrial” or “commercial” or “corporate” or “family,” which the opposition attempted to use to confuse the issue. He supported the right to farm unequivocally. Thank you, Doug, for your principled stand to uphold the laws of the state and county.

Then I want to thank Commissioner Lund’s detailed analysis of agriculture as the principle industry to be protected in Delta County, even defining the nature of the county.

However, I hope no other farmer has to ever go through this process again.  The Hostetlers hired a consultant for the 4 1/2 months this process has dragged on. They also flew in experts from Minnesota and Illinois at great expense. I urge the commissioners to remove agriculture from the Specific Development Regulations as the SDR illegally strips every vestige of the right to farm from farmers.

As the state law says and commissioner Atchley quoted:  “Any ordinance or resolution of any unit of local government that makes the operation of any agricultural operation a nuisance or provides for the abatement thereof as a nuisance under the circumstances set forth in this section is void.”

If agriculture is not exempted from the SDR, then the potential exists to repeat this nightmare experience and to further drive any new potential agricultural enterprises from Delta County, something I’m sure we do not want.

Thank you, commissioners. You did the right thing.



Open burning season belongs in historical past

Burn season begins this month. Every year at this time, I wonder when the powers that be in Mesa County will realize that this is no longer a small rural area where farmers once did such things. Wake up, Mesa County.

We are not only a large area now, but we like to consider it a health Mecca for many people. Then here comes this rural thinking thing called open burning — polluting the air, destroying the visibility, throwing up ugly brown clouds, all so that people can have the pleasure of burning their own trash.

In the 11 years that we’ve lived in such a beautiful place, I’ve worried about this open burning situation, and wish that the subject would be reviewed by thoughtful people and discontinued. Until such a time, I’ll just hold my nose and wear blinders until Oct. 31, when it will mercifully end.



Monument is better off under current protection

This is a response to Bret Mixon’s letter on Sept. 1 concerning not having the Pro Cycling Challenge going through the Colorado National Monument.

In his letter, Mixon whines about the over 800 visitors who came to celebrate the anniversary of the monument and arguing that “their feet treading over pristine areas, their vehicles spewing carbon monoxide, the human traffic stressing flora and fauna, the noise adding to the mayhem” would all be much worse than the trace left by a bunch of cyclists.

If the monument hosted the Pro Cycling Challenge, there would be way more than 800 people as spectators and, to paraphrase him, they would leave a really bad trace. Sure, the cyclists themselves would not leave a trace, but the huge crowds they would draw certainly would. The writer is speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

Let’s keep the big cycling events out of the monument and forget about the national park status.  Most of us like the monument the way it is.


Grand Junction


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