Letter: Don’t ignore special district ballots

Chris Romer’s column the other day was an excellent reminder that local and special elections are vital to ensure the numerous smaller governing entities are accountable and functioning. All too often those seeking control of these entities are put in power by default because no one else bothered to run, and voter turnout when there is an election can be painfully low.

Residents of Berry Creek Ranch (aka Singletree) in Edwards are served by the Berry Creek Metro District. The Metro District has an election May 3 at the Edwards Field House for three seats. I’m proud to be vying for a place on the board with four other candidates.

I have served over 20 years on various HOA boards and committees and while this is my first run at public office, I look forward to the challenges.

Berry Creek Metro has a $1.2 million budget and owns about 30 parcels of land and the community center and maintains the trails, parks and beautiful gardens that residents enjoy so much. The district also paid for the majority of the Winslow road underpass. The district’s mill levy accounts for about 20% of the property taxes in Singletree.

As an interested citizen, I have attended every meeting for the last year and advocated for two operational changes that the board did adopt that are saving taxpayers $45,000 per year. I also feel the board is in need of fresh viewpoints and the energy that new members can bring to an organization.

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If elected, I would advocate for a more thoughtful budget and spending process, encourage more transparency in how decisions are made and encourage interaction between the Board and the community.

Two projects I would encourage to be seriously considered would include a fenced dog park within Singletree and study the effectiveness and cost of a sound wall barrier below Hackamore Road between Berry Creek Road and I-70 (and if it makes sense, build it). The road noise there is so intense one can physically feel the sound waves. It may also be feasible to mount solar panels on the south side of the wall to generate electricity to power the street lights and offset the electric bills of the community center.

If you cannot make it to the Edwards Field House May 3 you can request an absentee ballot at Ballots are mailed out, so order yours early.

Chris Neuswanger


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