Dick Gustafson: Menconi joins Eagle County commissioner races | VailDaily.com

Dick Gustafson: Menconi joins Eagle County commissioner races

Dick Gustafson
Vail, CO. Colorado

I was not surprised to see a commentary by Mr. Menconi interjecting himself into the commissioners’ race. He is in the race in the form of his two surrogates.

Mr. Runyon and Mr. Stavney have come full circle. At first they desperately attempted to appear to distance themselves from Commissioner Menconi. He now endorses their tax-and-spend platform.

Comments by a commissioner with a 15 percent positive poll rating have questionable value. This is evidenced by the recent mayoral race in Eagle and is similar to the U.S.

Congress’ ratings. Mr. Menconi’s recent column in the Vail Daily is evidence that Mssrs. Runyon, Stavney and Menconi all share the same point of view. Menconi’s tax and spend philosophy, supported by his associates, has always been the issue.

It appears that none of them has received the message. The public has decided that it’s time to stop runaway spending at the county and give taxpayers a break, especially at a time when an economic world wide crisis is at hand.

Mr. Menconi’s statements are simply not accurate. The following few educated observations will illustrate:

1. The county should have and could have reduced the property tax mill levy. It has been done in several years before. It is both a blessing and a curse that Eagle County is such a wealthy county with high property values. It is a blessing that we can serve our residents beyond the State required mandates. It is a curse because our perceived wealth does not force the commissioners to make prudent and responsible decisions, now more than ever.

2. No standard services will need to be cut to reduce your tax burden. The reason for the high taxes is because of indiscriminant discretionary spending by the commissioners for their own agenda, which is often counter to the public’s interests. State mandated services will still be maintained. In the past, budgets have often been cut (one year by $1 million) while still providing the county’s high level of services and continuing to supporting county employees. Scare tactics are used when weak arguments fail. The spending on pet projects is what needs to be curtailed. Any savings will help offset reduced revenues from fees and sales taxes while our economy recovers.

3. Trivializing the amount that we taxpayers have to pay is an insult. What may seem trivial to the commissioners is real money to many people, especially those on fixed incomes.

To de-emphasize the county’s portion is only a political rationalization during an election year.

I believe commissioners should respect the majority of taxpayers and not be swayed by special interest groups.

I believe a new majority of commissioners will make meaningful and responsive change in county spending.

I am one of two of those candidates who understand the budget and will respond to the people that fund that budget.

When I was a commissioner before, I had no confusion about the budgeting and taxing issue. It is the people’s business, not the commissioners’.

Republican Dick Gustafson is running against Democrat Peter Runyon for one of two commissioner’s seats up for election Nov. 4.

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