Vail Daily letter: Just takes fiscal discipline |

Vail Daily letter: Just takes fiscal discipline

Your school officials are needlessly hysterical about Amendment 61. Naturally, they object to any fiscal discipline that voters should approve in November.

They object to ending their chronic $20 million deficit and living on a balanced budget.

They should have the money at the start of the budget year, not be in deficit nine months every year. Budgeting money they don’t have – what kind of example does that set for the children?

Amendment 61 allows local bonded debt for capital improvements, but governments should not borrow for routine expenses. They should coordinate their income and outgo.

One district employee did not like ending the tax when the debt ends. That has always been true for bonded debt. When annual expenses ends, the annual money paying them is no longer needed. It should not be a windfall for other purposes. Whenever school taxes go down, state aid is already required under Amendment 23 and the School Finance Act to replace that tax revenue.

Amendment 61 requires local voter approval for future local government debt. It’s the voters’ credit card, so shouldn’t voters decide? Huge debts caused this Great Recession. We’re in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging!

The school meeting to plan an attack on Amendment 61 is on June 22, a work day. Anyone bothered by paying government officials to campaign against ballot issues? If they have time for politics at public expense, they don’t have enough work to do. Such wasteful and illegal spending contributes to their chronic deficit. Maybe a local citizen has the courage to file a complaint with the secretary of state.

Eagle County School District’s yearly spending is up from $106 million to $113.7 million. That’s a 7 percent increase when many taxpayers are facing pay cuts and layoffs.

When the district pays off its debts, it will also save millions in interest.

One Eagle County School Board member said the district should sell its surplus property for a permanent trust fund to end this cycle of perpetual debt.

That’s the kind of efficiency Amendment 61 will encourage.

See for more information. Then vote “yes” on 60, 61 and 101.

Natalie Menten

Campaign coordinator, Amendment 61, Lakewood

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