Be an informed voter

Fall remains my favorite time of year.  The beauty that is Chaffee County grabs the eye and the heart as the light makes its seasonal change.   Fall is also the season for elections.  Locally the most important issue on the ballot is 3A.  3A asks voters in the Salida R 32 J School District to approve a bond issue that matches a State of Colorado BEST grant that would fund a new High School.  It should be no surprise that a new building is long overdue.  The old High School has sections built in 1922, 1958, 1962 and 1969.  The wear and tear on a school building is extreme.  The community has gotten its money out of the current facility.  To me the approval of 3A is similar to a barn raising or a cattle round up.  In all three cases, a group of people get together to create something that would be unaffordable or impossible for one family to accomplish.  The passage of 3A shows a community that is willing to make a small personal investment in the future of a lot of people. It is a real way to follow the Golden Rule. How important is it to educate the kids who will eventually be the decision makers for our community?  With the School Bond Issue passage we can all build something that is important to the entire community.  It is time to step up and pass 3A.

3A builds something for our children and our community.  Three state ballot issues will reduce the services that all the governments in our state provide.  Please become educated regarding Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101.  We know what we get for our money when we vote in favor of 3A.  Make sure you know what you will  give up if 60, 61 and 101 pass.

I would like to focus on Proposition 101.  Proposition 101 would reduce state income tax, lessen or eliminate fees and taxes on vehicle purchases, leases and rentals and end telecommunication fees, except for 911 communication funding.  According to the Pueblo Chieftain, in a September 14th article written by Patrick Malone, a “family with an average income of $35,000 that owns a 10-year-old car and pays about $60 a month for phone service would be spared an estimated $135 in taxes the first year of the proposition’s implementation, and about $300 when it is fully implemented in 15 to 20 years, according to the Legislative Council”.

But what do we no longer receive if Proposition 101 passes?  A partial list includes reduced maintenance of roads, school budgets will be reduced, tuition for colleges would increase and services to the neediest of Colorado’s residents including the disabled would suffer.  So for a $135 saving a lot of the services the various governments provide would be reduced.  It reminds us of how taxes, by allowing voters to pool our individual resources, allow us to create a large amount of money to get really big things done.  Most of these big things are not affordable to most of us as individuals.  Proposition 101 will save you a few bucks, but the impact to our communities and the state is much, much larger.

Government is not perfect.  Neither is any enterprise that is made up of humans.  Mistakes are made in both the public and private sectors.  What government does correctly becomes invisible.  We only miss services after they are gone. I urge you to consider that the R 32 J School Bond Issue is a new High School and, as importantly, a community builder.  Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101 are service reducers and will reduce what we have come to expect from our governments.

The proponents of 60, 61 and 101 have not made their identities known to this point.  They do have a strong organization that responds quickly to any public statements made against 60, 61 and 101.  Their line is any opponent to their ballot issues is just using fear.  That is too glib for me.  The real question I ask myself before voting this November is do  3A, 60,  61 and 101 offer me an opportunity to act towards others in a way I would like others to act towards me?

9/24/10 By Mayor Chuck Rose