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Letters to the editor

editor@vaildaily.com

This November, western Coloradans will have the opportunity to vote for candidates in several important races, as well as decide on a number of significant issues on the ballot. I want to call your attention to one decision of critical importance to western Colorado: Referendum 4A.The Colorado River Water Conservation District placed Referendum 4A on the ballot to prepare for future droughts and to improve water quality and water efficiency across the West Slope.The Colorado River District has been the leader this summer in solving water problems as they arose across western Colorado. As a result of their efforts, few of us truly suffered from this summer’s drought beyond the inconvenience of water restrictions. However, longer-term solutions are required to prepare for future droughts or, heaven forbid, if this drought continues. These long-term solutions will require investment.Referendum 4A will provide that investment.The good news is that the Colorado River District covers 15 counties in western Colorado, so a tiny increase in property taxes across the district raises sufficient investment to provide West Slope solutions to western Colorado’s water supply problems.Referendum 4A will increase property taxes just $5 per year on a $225,000 home. The revenues will be used to rehabilitate existing dams, assist local water quality and water efficiency projects, and to purchase existing federal water storage to ensure permanent, local control of our critical water resources.You all know that I am loathe to support tax increases of any kind; however, we survived this year’s drought on the investments of past generations, now we must each make a small investment to benefit the next generation. Please join me in voting yes for Referendum 4A.Scott McInnisU.S. RepresentativeNo to 31Amendment 31 is bad juju! This proposal is not about helping kids learn English in a tolerant English-only environment. It is about inviting legal retribution for educators who purposely or inadvertently violate the terms of the statute. It is about taking away local control from our schools and our community. It is about segregation and a sink-or-swim approach to those who need help most.Proponents say that kids who can’t cut the mustard can be exempted from the requirements, but the reality is that “schools may refuse to approve any such waivers at their sole discretion without any need to indicate cause.”The language states that if waivers are granted for certain students that parents of those students “retain for 10 years thereafter the full legal right to sue the individuals who granted the waivers … ” – if they conclude that the waivers injured the education of their child.”With this kind of punitive language, do you really our schools would grant waivers to anyone? The likely answer is no. Kids who fail to gain adequate English skills in the one year allowed would be lost from the education system.Tossing non-English speaking kids into this kind of environment will do far more harm than good for them and our communities. Let’s tell the proponents of Amendment 31 that we will decide how we will educate our kids and that we will not agree to a one-size-fits-all mandate. Vote NO on Amendment 31.Jacque WhitsittBasaltCU regent adviceThe three undersigned from both major political parties are leaving the CU Board of Regents this December with 36 years of combined service.We regard the future of CU and the qualifications of regent candidates as very important.We are extremely concerned about the current campaign in the 2nd District that has been riddled with unfair and unfounded rumors and mischaracterizations by one candidate. Contrast this behavior with that of Diane Greenlee, who brings extensive higher education experience to the board. Greenlee has given time and personal resources to benefit all four CU campuses.She is a candidate with a rare blend of knowledge, achievements, and proven commitment to improving CU. Greenlee will bring practical business experience, new problem-solving approaches, and creative ideas to the board.We agree with The Denver Post and The Daily Camera endorsements of Diane Greenlee as the best candidate to represent the 2nd Congressional District. Although individual regents are affiliated with a political party, the board rarely deals with policy issues on a partisan basis.Greenlee’s record indicates she is committed to a stronger university than her allegiance to a political party or faction. All voters, Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated, will be best served by Diane Greenlee.Regent Norwood Robb (R), 6th Congressional DistrictRegent Bob Sievers (D), 2nd Congressional DistrictRegent Maureen Ediger (R), At LargeHeath for governorWe wanted to take a quick moment to extend our support to Rollie Heath in his campaign for governor of Colorado. Mr. Heath’s views on education, the environment, and health care really strike a chord with our family.As lifelong, second-generation residents of the Vail Valley who are now raising a member of the third generation, we want to ensure that Colorado’s future and the the future of the Vail Valley are secure.We agree with Mr. Heath’s plan to leave education in the hands of local administrators, allowing teachers to decide what’s best for each individual student.His battles over water conservation and against urban sprawl touch a personal nerve in a valley that witnessed a major drought this summer and is in the throes of maxing out its existing infrastructure.And finally, we support Rollie Heath in his attempt to ensure that we can all afford health care for our families in a time of rising health care costs. Mr. Heath has a plan in place to increase the cigarette tax by $1 per pack. The revenue created by this tax would go to creating a Healthy Mother & Baby program, implementing affordable prescription drugs for the elderly, and enabling small businesses to once again afford to pay for insurance for their employees.Please do some research before voting for the incumbent. Colorado is ready for a new direction. We need a man like Rollie Heath in the governor’s office.Lisa and Innes IsomYes to better VailI would also like to voice my support for Referendum 2C and urge Vail residents to vote YES. I believe that the benefits of revitalizing commercial cores and generating sales tax is badly needed right now. If we don’t vote YES, Vail residents and guests will face many years of service, maintenance, renovation and building cuts.As a Vail resident it is sad to see businesses, residents and tourists leave Vail for other areas and as much as we try to eat, recreate and support Vail, we are only one family.I am willing to pay more property tax right now to help keep Vail a place I am proud to show off to guests and also call home. Please vote YES before the ripple effects we are feeling from six years of declining sales tax become waves.Michelle Hall


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