Vail Daily letter: Support A and B
April 28, 2014
Due to term limits, I have retired from the board of directors of the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District after eight years of service. Based on the insights I have gained, I would like to encourage all voters in the upcoming election to vote "yes" on questions A and B.
Over the past 18 months, the board, with help and input from district staff and independent financial advisors, has developed a plan to address new state regulations regarding the quality of water discharged from our sewage treatment plants. Approval of Question A allows the district to make the necessary improvements to the treatment plants at the lowest cost to taxpayers. It seems that "A" is well understood and supported, while Question "B" seems to be confusing to some, which might stem from misrepresentation of the facts, and a politicizing of the issue by supporters of TABOR.
Question presented: Would voter approval of the "de-Brucing" TABOR Question (Issue B) allow the district to raise its operating mill levy above the current rate? Answer: No. Approval of the de-Brucing question would eliminate the revenue limitations of Section 7 of TABOR, but does not eliminate the limits of Section 4(a) of TABOR, which provides: "Districts must have voter approval in advance for … any new tax, tax rate increase, (or) mill levy above that for the prior year."
Many Colorado municipalities, including Vail and Avon have "de-Bruced" years ago with no negative impacts to the communities and constituents. If you vote "yes" on Question B, it allows the district to pursue other funds (such as grants) for these required improvements and to keep that revenue so it is spent on wastewater projects — which would lessen the amount funded by ratepayers and taxpayers.
Based on the above factual information I urge you to vote "yes" on A and B.
I would also like to ask you to vote for Rick Sackbauer and Paul Testwuide for Districts 1 and 2. There are not two more qualified, dedicated and passionate people to put their hat in the ring. Both have worked tirelessly to protect our water rights over many years with great success, and I believe they will continue to be excellent directors on the board.