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Letters to the editor

editor@vaildaily.com

Judging from the recent actions of two of our county commissioners, we may be in for, at the very least, a rough two years. The pending decision of Messrs. Gallagher and Stone to break with the normal rotation of the county commissioners’ chairmanship is troubling for all the citizens in District 2 and for our entire county in general.

For two self-styled conservatives, it seems hypocritical, if not rather arrogant, to push the concept of representative government aside and assume that they are endowed with more wisdom than the electorate.

As this story has been reported in the Vail Daily, I sense that something’s missing here – the absence of a public discussion. Why was this story introduced as a fait accompli? It would appear that the issue of negating the historic chairmanship rotation was already determined without any public discussion among all three commissioners. How, and why, did that happen?



For the past several years I have become deeply involved with many facets of our valley, from education to the arts, and from the environment to politics. While more and more of our citizens are increasingly looking for ways to build new valleywide relationships and a broader community consensus, it’s disheartening to see our top elected officials brush aside the public good by devolving into personal squabbles. It’s unbecoming, and Eagle County deserves better.

Beyond the direct unfairness for all the citizens of District 2 not to have their fair chance of representation at the chairman’s chair, there are deeper worries here: How can we work to develop a valleywide approach to problem solving when our elected leaders appear incapable of getting along on even the most mundane of issues? If county level politics become the arena of personal grudges, how can any serious matters be taken to the commissioners with any confidence that they will be acted upon thoughtfully and fairly? Will other bright and motivated citizens be discouraged from engaging in important county issues if they believe their efforts will be marginalized by their elected leaders?



This chairmanship rotation is a relatively minor issue, but it is an important wake-up call. Moving forward, all our commissioners need to set aside personal chemistry issues and act openly, collaboratively and thoughtfully on the real issues of public safety, housing, transportation, environmental quality and economic sustainability.

Publicly and privately, governmental entities are making it known that this apparent decision by two commissioners is unwarranted and counterproductive.

If a deaf ear is turned to the electorate, their local metro boards and town officials on this matter, what other more important issues in the future will we find the public’s will at odds with our elected officials? It’s not an encouraging sign.



Don Cohen

Edwards

Fairness to all kids

I agree completely with the statement that it is up to employers to verify Social Security numbers. My experience is that a number of them do not actually do that, and pay cash (unreported, not taxed income) to their employees.

People are correct, that is who should be held responsible, not the employees or their children. Yes, they do buy gas here, pay rent (or purchase homes), and purchase food (some with WIC checks).

As for the comment we are talking about CHILDREN, I am quite aware it is CHILDREN we are referring to. I care a great deal about CHILDREN and I am also aware that the ACLU says “You do for one group, you do for all,” and that is the law. I believe this includes gifted/talented, special needs, ESL – ALL children!

How come Aide Arana thinks only Spanish immigrants deserve more? What about the children who arrive here speaking French, German, Japanese or Chinese? Who are their aides?

As for going to Mexico, I have friends who reside there, and I have gone to Mexico a lot over the years. I love going to Mexico, I am very familiar with Mexico and I love Mexico’s culture, its history and the people living there. My statement (which some people didn’t read, apparently) was based on me being there without immigration status (entering the country illegally, without a visa, immigration card or becoming a Mexican citizen). Is school still free to my children, then? Different scenario, I believe.

Some of my friends (who happen to be Spanish) are tired of system abusers ruining their good names. It is creating prejudice when none existed here before. The last thing that people who know me would call me is a bigot.

I have a question for you, also. Who is paying for the free/reduced lunches, that help fund these programs? To the best of my knowledge, it isn’t charities! The aides do help in the class, I know some of them and consider them to be friends, and I have the utmost respect for them and the jobs they do.

As far as gifted/talented goes, numerous children of different nationalities (including Mexico) are in these programs and they, too, are being shortchanged.

In response to the statement “too bad our school district isn’t spending money on these programs, sorry to hear that,” the reality is we have a wonderful school board and school district. They uphold the law, federal law, to a “T” and we couldn’t ask for more; that is the current law. I think the law needs revisions!

Last, but not least, no one addressed my statement of me returning to Colorado and enrolling my children at in-state rates (after three years) while I remain a resident of a different state (and/or country) and not changing that status. I am aware that if I return to Colorado, register as a U.S. citizen or with immigration status, resident of Colorado and enroll my children in school, they will qualify for in-state tuition rates in a year. That is how it should be; I would be helping pay for these programs. Thank you for your caring, also!

I am not opposed to caring about other people, and I think our communities give a whole bunch back to these children. I also think if their parents brought them here, the parents need to accept responsibility for them. I accept full responsibility for my children. They are my responsibility. Not the schools’, not the federal government’s, not even their grandparents’! I also believe that if I can make the world a better place for other children, that it will make the world a better place for mine as well. That is my hope anyhow.

Marty Lich

Gypsum


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