Bad move with kids
The voters in Eagle County told the commissioners that they value the right of families to use their hard-earned money to raise their children. Be-sides the blatant disregard for the will of the voters, the Eagle County commissioners failed to act in the best interest of families when they voted to fund early-child-care programs after we said “no” last November. The commissioners have placed an undue burden on working families by forcing them to finance the care of the children of other families, in addition to their own. And where will this money come from? There may not be a new tax, but our county money is the accrued tax dollars of those of us who have been paying into the county tax system. The best way to help families is to reduce the tax burden, so parents can take home more of their paychecks and use their own money to take care of their own family. If the county commissioners couldn’t resist spending our money, it would have been more beneficial to the families of Eagle County to give them all a refund from the county surplus. Let families use their tax dollars to help their families as they see fit. The county commissioners have created a disincentive to those of us who donate time and money to local charities on a regular basis. The people of Eagle County who choose to subsidize children’s charities should be able to choose where their money is spent. I have confidence in people. Since moving to Eagle County in 1996, I, like many others, have had to have surgery a couple of times and I received tremendous support from friends and neighbors during my recovery. Good friends, as well as people who I did not know well, came to our home with home-cooked meals and a wealth of friendly support. During my recovery, my neighbors drove to me to physical therapy, so my husband could keep working to help pay the medical bills. When someone I know needs help, I respond in the same way. Eagle County is a community where we take care of each other with our time and talent.There is no question that government ought to play a when-needed role in supporting families who are in crisis and need a little help getting back on their feet. But the government should be the last resort in a chain that starts with families, neighbors, churches and voluntary associations. One-earner families should not have to subsidize the child care of others.Eagle County commissioners, it is not too late to rethink this decision that will hurt our community in the long run. Past history in our country has shown that once entitlements are provided, these benefits become “rights,” and anyone who suggests eliminating them is denounced as uncaring and heartless. So government programs like this are tolerated and perpetuated once they are put in place. Why is it so many of us choose to live here, and not in big cities? Let us not transform Eagle County into the community we don’t want to live in.Debbie Buckley is a former member of the Avon Town Council.