blog: Menconi recall coverage ‘interesting’ |

blog: Menconi recall coverage ‘interesting’

Marty Lich
Vail CO, Colorado

This Arn Menconi recall press coverage has been interesting.

In reading the newspaper I feel it is sending but one strong message. A message that it is foolhardy to push for a recall when we have but one more year of Commissioner Menconi remaining in office. After all they ask, what harm can he do in one more year of office?

And after reading Stupid is as Stupid Does and the newspaper questioning the petitioners sincerity, their concern for their community and the taxpayers’ interests, their respect for simple truth and their honor left me questioning why no one has questioned this question!

The difference between a dedicated tax for child development that would net $3 million a year and a three-member Board of County Commissioners deciding to spend $830,000 from the general fund “for one year” is big they write. Yes it is big and I understand the difference of funding it on a permanent basis and funding it on a One Time Only basis. I and the vast majority of taxpayers I have spoken to understand it very well indeed. We voted no and yet we are going to fund it for one year anyway. The question that remains is why would you start up something that must be shut down after one year due to no more funding for it? Unless of course the county again pulls cash from their reserve funds or again raises our taxes to continue this program beyond one year.

Better ask that question now as Commissioner Menconi is already seeking continued funding from various private and ‘government’ (meaning your tax money) organizations to continue Bright Start. There is no extra county money lying around unused. Hence lies the glitch. To raise taxes again will force more families from our valley. To draw from the general fund is legal and is fine per our commissioners as cash flow in Eagle County is fairly constant throughout the year. But what if those funds become less consistent as is happening around the country right now? What if we in Eagle County have a big fire or a bridge that collapses like Minnesota’s did last week? Those are unexpected. And so was the flooding we just had two weeks ago unexpected. This is a gamble with our emergency funds and a risky one at that.

To draw funding from other county departments to continue coverage of the annual upkeep costs of yet another child care program leaves me asking where is it going to be taken from then. Our county road department? I don’t want to hit potholes the size of Manhattan and I want to drive on well-maintained roads in the winter, ideally keeping me alive on my commute. I pay my taxes so I won’t have to worry about such things. I also raised my children without benefit of government care because I limited the number of them to fit my budget. And I would not take a job I know will end in a year either, like Bright Start. I rely on my paychecks to pay for the children I have. I suspect most taxpayers are of that frame of thought.

Even more so, regardless if I voted yes in November for the new child care tax, the majority of the voters voted no. I want to rest assured that if I vote no on future issues that will be honored and upheld if it is the majority vote.

Let me be honest as Don Rogers requested we all do.

Honestly, I want to send a strong message to all of those in office. A message of “Do what the majority of your constituents have asked you to do.” And note that Commissioner Menconi had this to say with regards to Commissioner Stone and the water policies in 2005. Commissioner Menconi said he didn’t feel Commissioner Stone represented his policies or Eagle County’s… How about when a forced Eagle County Child Care program is voted down but funded anyway? Then whose policies and whose “Eagle County” does Commissioner Menconi represent? Not the voters to be sure.

I believe that this recall sends a powerful message and one that might be heard clear up to Washington. Uphold your oath of office, the one you accepted and states you are to uphold the Will of the People you are elected to represent. To be sure, the mayor of Silt has learned it quite well this past month. His recall petition (headed by Tod Tibbetts, a Silt town trustee and Mayor Pro tem no less!) states in part that Mayor Moore’s insistence on promoting his personal agenda and his continued actions and code of conduct are sound reasons for a recall. Sounds eerily familiar now doesn’t it? Perhaps we in Eagle County had something to do with this latest recall.

Truly this subject at hand really has been interesting because the taxpayers I have spoken with, and I have spoken with many of them, say I have already signed the petition, or I am looking for a petition to sign. To be fair, one out of maybe 25 say no. The majority I have spoken with say no thank you because they want to read up more on the issue which is a good thing. I believe education is the key to success. A couple of folks have said they fully support our Commissioner Menconi. And to that I reply, “That is great because isn’t it wonderful to live in America where we can ask you and you are allowed to answer back!”

But I also say this: elected public servants of ours, pay heed. This isn’t personal vendetta; this is a matter of the vast majority of taxpayers saying “whoa there, we know what you were supposed to do for us and this time it really isn’t All About You”. The word ‘you’ meaning all you elected indentured public servants of ours.

And folks, just in case you believe the naysayers to funding a new Bright Start preschool program dislike children, we don’t. Eagle County taxpayers currently fund “Child Find”, “Early Childhood Connections”, multiple “Head Start” preschools, CCP, and the Vail and Miller Ranch preschool centers. That alone is a strong message that we all support children here!

God bless America. And democracy in action.

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