Vail Daily letter: 3B or not to B |

Vail Daily letter: 3B or not to B

Brandon Montag
Vail, CO, Colorado

My name is Brandon Montag and I own an insurance agency in Eagle. We started our agency in the worst economic downturn that I’ve ever experienced in my career.

Even though it has been extremely challenging to start a small business in this economic climate, I’m still committed to supporting local schools and education for the next generation.

I have taught at both Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley High Schools through the Junior Achievement Program. The courses that I’ve taught in the last year are: business ethics, financial literacy, selling and career placement.

Currently I’m the president-elect of the Western Eagle Valley Rotary Club, and last year participated on the scholarship committee where $30,000 in scholarships were distributed throughout the valley.

In December of 2010, I was a founding board member and current president of the Eagle Valley High School Foundation that gave out two scholarships and raised over $30,000 to go directly back into the school.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Needless to say, I have volunteered countless hours back to our community and am committed to increasing awareness for our students in this valley.

I have no children and only hope that when I start a family here that we can make an even stronger impact. Growing up in this valley has been a wonderful experience, and I only hope to pass that on.

Having spent hundreds of hours in schools in Eagle County over the past two years has given me a perspective on the current status of our public education system. The system is far from perfect, but they do the best they can with what they have. The teachers in the valley are very committed to having a positive impact on your children as they prepare to take the next step in life. They work hard to maximize the funds and regardless of what happens in November, they will be just as dedicated to the youth in this valley.

As I read the articles in the local paper that have been in opposition of 3B, I can’t help but wonder what is happening to us as a community. We all understand that property values have been on the decline and the state has drastically cut funding to our schools.

No one can look into a crystal ball and predict what is going to happen, other than it isn’t going to improve overnight. Money is tight and no one wants to see an increase in taxes.

Those points seem to be agreed upon by everyone. All we can do is look at today and into the future and make the most of what we have.

I encourage all of you to get involved in something — anything! It is so easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize things that have gone wrong and point fingers at everyone else. We can only take responsibility for ourselves and our own actions.

If you don’t like the way money is being spent, go to a board meeting. Ask how you can help and offer creative suggestioins rather than tell them what they are doing wrong. Don’t punish the kids for actions of others.

We can’t rely on the federal government to fix our problems or the state, for that matter. What we can do is get involved and make an impact. Speak in a classroom, help a non-profit, volunteer your time and see what difference you can make. Our students need role models and people to talk to them about real life situations that educators can’t always address.

I will be voting yes for 3B this November and place my trust with the school administrators to create operational efficiency and effectiveness with the additional funding.

Having personally worked with several of the staff from the district office, I truly believe that they have good intentions. Never once have I gotten the impression they are self-serving or are out to work the system.

They want the same thing we all want, which is to build a stronger community and do the best they can with what they have.

Brandon Montag


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