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Vail Daily letters to the editor

Vail Daily staff
Vail, CO, Colorado

First-grader for 3B

Hi, my name is Henry Prince and I am a first-grader at Homestake Peak School. This is why you should vote “yes” on 3B, because kids need a good education. Don’t forget we are the ones who will be the next scientists and inventors on this earth. My friends and I don’t want to lose our great teachers to other schools. Please vote “yes” to 3B. Thank you.

Henry Prince



Avon

Let’s be grownups



What is it about elections that make normally well-behaved people do uncharacteristically stupid things?

Yesterday a party was observed in the main Vail roundabout placing “Yes on 3B” signs in front of the “No on 3B” signs in order to obscure them from view. Other signs have just disappeared from different locations.

Just put your message out there and let the voters decide? Let your opponents do the same. If your cause is compelling, you will be successful. If not …



This is not how we do things in Vail. Let’s all act like adults and knock off the funny business.

Dick Cleveland

Mayor of Vail

Don’t be selfish

In the Oct. 20 edition of the Vail Daily, Gemma Shepard submitted a letter to the editor that details three expenditures that she deems inappropriate and, presumably, evidence that the Eagle County School District is financially irresponsible. These expenditures include food, gifts and team-building activities for Eagle County Schools staff totaling $10,988.46. She states that “those of us who have had to trim our budgets did not spend $5,657.77 eating out.” No kidding.

The school district has a budget of more than $51,000,000 for 2011-12 in order to provide education for 6,000 local schoolchildren. The median household in Eagle County has an annual budget of $74,000, which provides for the wellbeing of, on average, three individuals. Inferring that the funding crisis in public schools would be solved if only the district would not spend $10,988.46 on food, gifts and raft trips (0.02 percent of their annual budget) is akin to stating that the average local family would have it made if only it would not purchase one small pizza every year.

Voters should not be so easily distracted from the real issue, which is the reality that kids are facing in the classroom. When a school district’s budget is comprised primarily of school faculty and staff, the district simply cannot cut $6 million by knocking out a catered lunch here and a raft trip there. Would it help? Sure. Every little bit helps.

So will minimizing bus trips and eliminating equipment purchases and cancelling intramural football. But it’s the classroom that will really take the hit in the form of teachers and support staff. That is all that’s left.

When the support staff goes and the class sizes increase, the average child suffers. Don’t take my word for it.

Ask a teacher (the most capable and inventive one you know) with a class of 27 kindergarteners ¬- several of whom have major behavioral issues, learning disabilities, and language barriers — how well she is reaching the remaining kids in her class. Those are your kids, my kids, your neighbor’s kids, and your future workforce.

Do I think that people who vote no on 3B are child-haters? No. But I do believe that it’s a lot easier for people to point fingers at each other and say “not now” or “not my job” than it is to make a personal sacrifice for our kids and our community.

Opponents of 3B continue to say that the school district should tighten its belt like the rest of us instead of asking for a tax increase, as if eliminating $9 million in expenditures over the past two years does not constitute belt tightening.

I’m making the choice to tighten my belt in order to help our kids and the community in which we live. If you choose to vote no on 3B, you are making the choice to favor your own waistline over local kids and community.

Karen Simon

Edwards

Payroll goes … up?

I just read in the Vail Daily the other day that the Eagle County School District has increased their payroll by $10,000,000 since 2007. Wow. I wish my income had gone up since 2007. I know real estate values have been going down since then. And then the other day I looked at the current school district saleries. You can get them from the Eagle County Offices. Another wow. The administrative staff is as big as the teacher population. There is almost one administrator for each teacher. And the administrative staff saleries are all at the top of the salery scales. There are a bunch of administrators that have triple the teacher saleries.

I’m horrified. I love public school education. I believe it is the bedrock of our wonderful American society. But the world is changing. The economy is horrible and seems to be getting worse. A lot of my neighbors are out of work and hope. Eagle County is having an auction sale in early November of at least 500 residential units and at least 60 trailers for unpaid taxes. The county now has something in the high 400s of housing foreclosures. The sadness and tragedy of all our good neighbors is everywhere.

Then I read all those in favor of voting “yes” on 3B accusing those people of writing to say vote “no” on 3B of lying, distorting the truth or not caring about our children. Well, that is horrible. They are not looking at the true facts. Our hard-working, law-abiding citizens and parents of these school children are is such a sad and hopeless place that they need help. Why don’t these extremely well-paid school administrators help them instead of taking more of their money?

And if this does pass, who gets to spend these extra millions of dollars? What are their names? That should be public because they are spending public money. Why can’t we have a public meeting to discuss all these saleries? Maybe instead of some of their saleries we might be able to keep a few more people in their homes.

I know this letter will upset those in favor of 3B. The truth hurts.

Bob Foley

Gypsum

No more

I am voting “no” on 3B. We are already are taxed enough without a say, so why raise taxes on ourselves when we have a chance to say “no.”

I also believe that individuals can spend their money more effectively than any government entity. I would rather take my money and give it directly to a student who needs it, whether it be for books, sports or other activities related to the school year.

I would much rather spend my money on tickets for students to experience the art venues that come to the valley instead of what a school district thinks is important.

How about this one to get more bang for your buck: Save the would be tax money and use it to travel with your kids. Traveling the world is a learning tool that can be a more profound experience than any school project or assignment.

Let me also point out that if the schools can’t get the job done with the millions the receive now, there is no way they can dramatically improve the system with more a few more bucks. Let’s not just throw money at it.

Also, why should the tax burden be placed on just homeowners when there are many who rent in the valley and use the schools?

Use your money wisely and vote “no” on 3B.

Jim Brennan

Eagle-Vail

Kurz for Vail Council

I encourage support for Ludwig Kurz for Vail Town Council. I have known Ludi for more than 30 years and have observed his commitment and attention to detail in the public and private sectors.

He has vast experience with the recreation industry both locally and around the globe. His grasp of municipal and resort issues and the adjustments required to remain successful and ahead of the crowd will be an asset to the Vail community.

Ludi played a significant role in securing and orchestrating past World Cup ski races; the combined knowledge of the town and the international sports scene will be of great benefit to Vail with the upcoming 2015 World Championships and Vail’s 50th anniversary. I urge you to vote for Ludwig Kurz for Vail Town Council; experience counts.

Pam Stenmark

Vail

Greed fuels ‘no’ vote on 3B

I graduated from high school in a town of less than 5,000 people, with less than 100 students in a class in North Dakota, 50 years ago. We had a band director, choir director, drama teacher, foreign languages and advanced math and it didn’t cost anything to play school sports.

I can’t believe that in this valley surrounded with such obscene wealth, that Battle Mountain High School, with over 700 students, has only one full-time music instructor who directs the band and choirs, and you must pay to play sports. And people think there is waste in the school budgets. Shame, shame.

Everyone should google “U.S. Federal Income Taxes” and see the rates there were in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s when this country paid for World War II, built the interstate highway system and gave a generous GI bill for returning veterans, which ushered in a time of great prosperity.

Property taxes here in Colorado are so low. My home in Minnesota, which is worth less than one-third of my property here, has higher property taxes. The greed of our citizens who don’t want their taxes raised to help the schools in the valley amaze me. That they sign their names to letters urging no tax increase for schools is shameful.

My 86-year-old uncle whose father owned a bank thought long and hard but said he couldn’t remember him ever complaining about paying taxes. When did greed become acceptable?

I have traveled to many Third World countries on medical relief trips with my physician husband. There are lots of countries with low taxes and small governments, but I haven’t seen one where I would want my grandchildren to live and go to school.

Marianne Milloy

Vail

Doesn’t make sense

On Nov.1, qualified members of the Cordillera Property Owners’ Association will be asked to authorize the association’s board to acquire the water rights which would be among those comprising the putative bankruptcy estate were the assets of the Club at Cordillera to be liquidated by a court-appointed trustee.

Because the association permits no means whereby those property owners (a majority of which are not members of the club) may express either their anxiety about, or opposition to, such proposals, perhaps many question the timing of the proposition, and would urge a “no” vote.

As a matter of law, absent permission from a bankruptcy court judge, no trustee could strip a particular asset from a bankruptcy estate and sell it, separately. Thus, the water rights are not now for sale. It seems implausible. It appears only the board has come to believe the club’s other assets, specifically the golf courses, would remain attractive to prospective purchasers, albeit without water.

Of all assets which theoretically would be bundled into the bankruptcy estate, none is more valuable than the water rights. Were they stripped from the estate, as fantasized and apparently preferred by the board, and offered separately for sale at auction, the Cordillera Property Owners’ Association would be only one among hundreds likely to offer competitive bids for those rights.

All property owners might ask themselves these questions: Why is the board devoted to arguing to a bankruptcy court that its appointed trustee be authorized to separate from all other club assets the most valuable of those assets? Why does this board prefer to compete for water rights divorced from the assets to which they are now attached? Are they actually willing to pledge their property values as security for bonds sufficient to cover the cost of water, at a price which is likely significantly and substantially to have increased exponentially merely as the result of the board’s precipitous action?

Only rejection of the board’s recommendation is likely to pre-empt what appears to be an odd, apparently deliberately self-defeating, pursuit.

Lee Hegner

Cordillera


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