Cause for celebration
The mood Monday evening at the Gore Range Brewery, where school district people celebrated the end of a court battle holding up raises that 59 percent of the voters approved back in 2001, was downright giddy.Finally, the district could deliver on the overwhelming will of the constituency that we pay our educators better while we demand more of them. At roughly 8 percent annually, there’s a lottery jackpot aspect to the final victory delivered by the state Supreme Court for the employees who have been with the district these past two years while the case snaked through various courts and rather needlessly provided handsome wages for lawyers.There’s also a vein of sweet justification in the courtroom defeat of nemisis Michael Cacioppo, who has savaged the very soul of the educators and volunteer school board members by questioning their effort on behalf of kids, their motives, even their integrity in the course of his veritable bloom of litigation.Cacioppo, who had every right to contest the ballot language in court, as any citizen does, can indeed get a little carried away in his advocacy on behalf of the taxpayers – even in cases where the large majority would much rather see their will done, as in this one.Defending the TABOR amendment to the state Constitution – or at least his reading of it – Cacioppo sued over the technical language of the ballot measure 3-D.Perhaps, then, it’s ironic that he lost the case ultimately on a technicality: The High Court dismissed his case because he didn’t file his suit within the prescribed deadline. You’d think a hyper-stickler for the rules would have followed them. Doubtless, his weekly will carry a headline about the Supreme Court ruling wrongly to violate TABOR and it’s all politics, blah, blah, blah. Cacioppo, as citizen watchdog, plays a vital role in local government. He’s absolutely right to hold our muncipalities to the highest standards of openness, fealty to the laws of the land, and working on behalf of the people rather than at cross purposes with them.He would hold more respect, and have more influence, frankly, if he treated public servants with more respect and refrained from the overheated rhetoric that changes the focus from the issue at hand to being all about Mike. Maybe he’ll learn, maybe he won’t. There’s no question that this victory is all the sweeter for the school people precisely because it came against Cacioppo.Far more importantly, at long last, a key piece of improving local education has fallen into place. D.R.
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