Letter: Thank you, Mountain Rec voters
Thank you to everyone who turned out to overwhelmingly reject the Mountain Recreation All Access Rec ballot initiative (i.e., tax increase). It is obvious from the numbers that our economy is in a much different place and that this tax increase would have put an unnecessary burden on so many families here in our valley.
Our work as a community is not done though. We need to continue to be involved in holding Mountain Recreation board members and staff accountable for the current funds they are receiving from us taxpayers, via our current mill levy, as well as being a voice for shaping the future.
First of all, Mountain Rec needs to create a budget that isn’t trying to be something for everyone. Some decisions are going to need to be made to make sure that at a minimum, the deferred maintenance on our facilities is properly managed and funded within the constraints of the annual budget, by means of comprehensive reserves (and should have been budgeted for all along). There were some maintenance items that were included in the All Access ask, but we had been told by the Mountain Rec board that there was money in the budget to fix, so let’s go ahead and get things fixed. We also need to look to the intergovernmental agreements as our guiding documents to move forward with any capital projects not addressed within the confines of the comprehensive reserve studies.
Second, we need to be honest and look at our true “needs” instead of “wants.” When you go out to a community and ask what they would like to see, without assigning a price tag, you’re going to get a lengthy list. By taking leadership, the Mountain Recreation board should be able to prioritize where we can focus our existing funding and perhaps look at cutting some programs. It’s a tough decision-making process that many families are currently going through, as they look to tighten their spending to make their own budgets work.
With three distinct recreation centers, it is also important to make sure that the money is being spent equitably. It really isn’t fair to ask the Gypsum taxpayers to fund facilities in Eagle, without seeing some investment in their own rec center.
The Mountain Recreation centers are an important part of our community and we all need to be involved to make sure they continue to be their best as we move into the future.