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Letters to the editor

Compiled by Daily staff

Voters in Eagle County, please take a good look at the Democrats on your ballot at http://www.eagledems.org. I have personally met every single one of the Democratic candidates and would urge you to give them your thoughtful consideration.I also suggest anyone considering a yes vote on the Home Rule Charter to read the text of it here: http://www.eaglehomerule.org and then decide for yourself. It is important to know what you are voting for.You will find that besides some very attractive features involving ethics and the number of commissioners, it also has some unfortunate side effects. Removing the role of the political parties in local politics removes a number of good things while it makes it slightly less likely that outspoken members of the community will use D or R in their traditional name-calling. Thanks to the new Tipsline policy at the Vail Daily we can now look forward to a bit less abusive anonymous rhetoric around here in any case.Parties have been providing valuable election oversight and are responsible for replacing vacancies among candidates and elected officials. These are useful functions which the Home Rule Charter proposal has bypassed. Under home rule there are undesirable results when one of the maximum two candidates drops out of the general election. The way I read it, a write-in candidate could become commissioner on a technicality. Under proposed home rule, the county commissioners vote to replace one of their number who leaves office, expanding upon any invisible majority which may be in place rather than allowing a minority party commissioner to be replaced from that party. Democrats are working extra hard on behalf of Eagle County citizens to be sure that the voting machines are well tested and elections are fair and accurate. Some hand counting is already taking place because of the results of voting machine tests.Paper ballots and the older voting machines will be available at the polls. These are intended to be used in case of long lines waiting for the new machines. If you feel more comfortable voting on paper, I suggest looking for one of these ballots at the polls. If you vote electronic, be sure that you have verified your vote on the paper record on the left side of the new Hart voting machine. These ballots on rolls of paper stay in the machine and are used later in recounts and audits. You will need a list of amendments and referenda to be able to verify your electronic vote, since the electronic ballot on paper lists only the letter or number. Please be prepared to vote responsibly and by all means, whatever it takes, please do vote in what is probably one of the most important elections in recent times.Harvie BranscombEl Jebel

I would like to endorse Ron Wolfe for re-election as the Mayor of Avon. Ron has done a great job to date. His enthusiasm, focus, and serious vision for improving Avon is reflective of his management and leadership skills honed over many years in corporate America.Since his mayorship, many new improvements and exciting projects have been approved and are under development. We all recognize that Avon, from inception, has suffered from a total lack of planning and any sense of architectural integrity or cohesiveness. Its a tough job to remediate the extensive mistakes, but Ron is focused on making Avon a better place to live and certainly a better place to look at. We need Ron to finish the work he has started.Alan Mintz,Avon

We all have our own opinions on the performance and effectiveness of the current Avon Town Council and whether or not a change is needed. However, that is not what we should be debating this election. The issue for us to vote on is who we want to represent us for the next four years. What we, the residents of the Town of Avon need is a diverse group of citizens representing us. We need to add a developer/general Contractor on the council. Adding this type of experience will balance the councils background and will improve relationships with all developers, not just the largest developer in the town. Dave Dantas will bring to the council years of building experience, negotiations and development. And better yet, Dave has the perspective of being on the other side of the table from the council. Another council member wrote a Letters to the Editor citing vision to imagine a better community. Who is better experienced than Dave to have vision? Tour the homes he has built and is building and you will see his vision.Vote for Dave Dantas.Scott and Amber PrinceAvon

Wildridge families support Chris Green! Why? A few years ago, our neighborhood was faced with potential up zoning. Families rallied to stop a request for a PUD variance which would have allowed two duplex lots to be subdivided into 10 single-family homes. More than 100 of our neighbors attended the town meeting and 20 of those attendees made public statements against the proposal. One of those speakers was Chris Green. Chris made compelling statements against the increase in density. As a result, our neighborhood maintained its character and quality of life. Chris Green understands!The momentum and passion that was generated to protect June Creek Trail on that eve of record-breaking attendance prompted Chris Greens involvement in our town government. Now he is a member of the Avon Planning and Zoning Commission and is running for Avon Town Council. Chris Green has demonstrated that he is willing both to speak and take action. Based on his past actions, we believe that Chris Green will continue to support smart development in Avon and have the courage to intelligently question the public benefit of all future development plans. A vote for Chris Green is a vote for a promising future for the town of Avon. Vote for Chris Green.June Creek Trail Residents and Neighbors:The Barries, The Kelsos, Pete Kuk, Gerry Miramonte, The Nagels, The Posts, The Roberts, The Warmenhovens

On Election Day, like every other day, there will be over 1 billion people around the world living on less than $1 a day. But unlike every other day, my vote can set in motion something that will change that. As a voter and one of the 2.4 million members of ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History, I have been working to make the fight against global AIDS and extreme poverty a part of the election conversation. For the first time in history we have the resources and know-how to end extreme poverty. All we need now is the political will to make it happen and that means voting and holding our leaders accountable. I encourage my fellow voters to contact our candidates and ask them what actions theyll take to help fight global AIDS, extreme poverty and starvation locally and globally. Yes, we do have hungry people in Eagle County.Beyond the attack ads and partisan sparring filling the airways are the life and death decisions that our newly elected leaders will make on our behalf. Fighting global AIDS and extreme poverty is something we can reach across party lines to do together, and it can make a better, safer world for us all.Liz EstesEagle

It seems we all agree the needs for qualified childcare, affordable health care and accessible early childhood development specialists have reached epidemic proportions in our community. It seems where we have issues is when we address the wording or lack of wording when it comes down to what to do, how to do it and who should do it. As Election Day approaches, all the statistics, rhetoric, articles, commentary and letters both for and against referendum 1A have left some of us more confused and concerned then we were before. So now it comes down to the perception of what individual voters believe; the question is what do you believe?* The first question has to be is it parents and children failing the current system or is the current system failing our working families and children?* Do you believe putting more money into the same system will produce different results or do we need to invest in an improved or new system?* Is Referendum 1A designed to provide access to services and resources to children and families, do you believe it is designed to raise the pay for existing staff and employees or is it a fundraiser for select non-profits?* What do you believe it is more important: to provide qualified professionals and real life solutions and providing immediate help to children and families, while relieving the pressure on the overwhelmed existing system or is it more important to invest in new programs and facilities without the qualified specialist and professionals to maximize the effectiveness and benefits?* Do you believe it is the responsible for the costs of any solution to solely paid by tax dollars or should employers bear some reasonable burden to provide living wages and health insurance?* Do you believe Referendum 1A can solve childhood health care, daycare, development and law enforcement needs without excessive bureaucracy or do you believe these issues could be resolved by existing programs and entities or should be addressed on an individual basis?* Will tax payer dollars guarantee equal access and opportunity to children and families with special needs and challenges to existing programs, services and non profit agencies who receive tax payer funding, or go toward providing more resources, options and alternatives to the economically challenged?* Should taxpayers invest more money to retain under qualified professionals or invest the appropriate funding in recruiting and retaining degreed professionals?* Do you believe parents should be given access to resources, services and professional and be empowered to raise their children or that the government, professionals and non-profit organizations should determine the needs and allocation of resources? * Do you believe Referendum 1A will increase government bureaucracy and only result in wasted tax dollars that benefit special interests, while ignoring those facing the greatest challenges and those with the greatest needs? Regardless if 1A passes or not the problems will not go away and the questions of who will do it, what to do and how to do it will remain. Vail is #1 in the Ski Magazine Poll, visitor numbers are up, real estate values continue to rise, and Vail Resorts reports record profits. Now its time to see if we are #1 in community values and compassion for children and working families. What do you believe? Stephen D. Fretz Co-Founder & Executive DirectorTheSMARTFoundation.org

Measure 1A will serve up the kind of academic stimulation children need if they are to be ready to learn when they enter kindergarten. Many of our communitys children dont have this now, and the difference in their performance in kindergarten is obvious. By supporting these children and their families with quality care and the right interventions, we are also helping ourselvs by saving the substantial remediation costs we ultimately pay after these formative years. Service of this caliber to our families is a community responsibility and is a wise investment. It helps all of us succeed. Please vote for 1A.Mel Preusser Edwards

I can not be quiet any longer with regards to Mr. Browns statements in the paper. I have been reading his profuse writings all fall and can never make any sense of his ramblings. For instance, he has pointed out that he is a member of the largest party in the county. I found this statement to be absurd and looked further into its meaning. After contacting the county clerk I have found his information fits into this gray area that he constantly states as fact. The 10,000 people he talks about are the persons that did not inform the county that they were a Republican or Democratic. I am one of those 10,000 people; since I dont always vote a party line I did not register with a specific party, but I guarantee you I am not part of his so-called independent party. He handed me a book at the Costco opening which I have read. I encourage all you to read his book to see what Browns ideals really are. If Mr. Brown were to enforce his ideals, there would never be any growth or improvement in any spot of the Rocky Mountains. He continues to talk about development in the chapter called land use issues. Mr. Brown goes on and on about the fact that people with money should not be allowed to build big houses in our valley because they are not part of our community. Yet according to previous letters he was able to benefit by selling portions of his land two times and making a substantial financial gain. After reading this chapter I think it is clear Mr. Brown doesnt believe in a democratic government; maybe he would fit better in a county that is run by socialism.How can we trust a person that says one thing but does another? I also question a candidate that repeated writes letter in the paper bad-mouthing the other candidates. Does he have the ethics and ideas that Eagle County really needs? I think it is unfortunate that he was able to cloud this election by not running in the primary against the real candidates. Please take some time to really look at the two real candidates that can help this county in the future.Ben MorrowVail

Dear Eagle County Commissioner Candidates,I was able to attend a forum recently where all three candidates attended and let us know about who they are. They were all nice and all able to tell us about what the current issues facing the towns and county are; what they didnt tell us was what issues they were passionate about. I want to know what they are so passionate about that they are willing to be the leaders on the subject. They all know that they will have to deal with a lot of issues and keep the county running on a daily basis, but I dont know what they care about enough to actually lead the county and the towns to someplace better. The county is going to have to find a way to lead the coalition of the unwilling. If you lead so well then others will follow. History has shown that managing and meeting on the issues is not effective. We are electing leaders of Eagle County and I challenge them to take a stand and make the county a champion so that others (towns, state, etc.) want to work with you. Nina TimmEdwards Resident

As a personal friend of Brians for well over 10 years now I am very biased in my opinion of him. As a friend I am more critical of his thoughts, his ideas and how he expresses those ideas. Friends are able to call friends out, stop them in their tracks and question them. When you challenge someones ideas in a private forum, there is no way out, there is no backing down from what has been said, and you learn what buttons to push. What I have learned is that some people are capable of critical analysis, others are just simply stuck in their ways. Given the opportunity Brian Sipes is very capable of taking a step back, looking at the bigger picture, reassessing his thoughts and making the tough decisions that will affect our community for years to come. Brians progressive thoughts and ideas are what Avon needs. I encourage the voters of Avon to get past the rhetoric and to dig deeper than the information found on a 3 x 5 postcard. Vote for someone that knows the history of the town, has the experience to negotiate effectively, and has the capability to make rational decisions.My friend wont let you down!Vote Sipes in 2006Eric JohnsonAvon

I would like to endorse Ken Chlouber for House District 56. Ken has performed 20 years of exemplary service in both the Colorado House and Senate. He has been a tireless worker for everyone in the districts he has represented. The president of the local carpenters union recently called me for Kens address so the union might send Ken a campaign check.There was a time, long before 527 groups and frothing politicians, when Ken would have been opposed for office but in a gentlemanly manner … the way the west was … before the devastating onslaught of shiny printed lies and distorted truths and heathens from the coasts … people who dont care about honor, respect or gratitude. Those who will smirk at my sentiments. They can go to hell! Im voting for Ken Chlouber. A man of the West … someone who has started things and finished them. Someone who has worked with his hands and his heart as well has his head. Someone who knows right from wrong and up from down. I dont need some 30-year-old who has spent seven years of his life assisting a professional politician and the rest of it tucked away in cushy schools. Give me a man to do a mans job … give me Ken Chlouber.I dont ask too many people to take my advice … but in this case, every smart person will.Randy Milhoan

A few weeks back, I asked the school district, in a letter to the editor, to explain why we need another tax increase when our tax base is growing so fast.Karen Strakbein, the CFO of the District, did a nice job of answering my question. Heres the essence of her reply:When there are no new election questions for school construction or renovation, increases in property values make possible mill levy reductions in growing counties like ours.That is one reason why in Eagle County we have reduced the mill levy for debt repayment on prior bond issues by almost 50 percent in six years, from 6.609 mills in 1999 to 3.505 in 2005. We have also paid off three bond issues in the last five years, and falling interest rates have allowed us to refinance our remaining debt, saving taxpayers over $1.2 million. As of December, the only remaining bonded debt of the district will be the bonds approved in November, 1998.So over the last seven years, we have reduced the bonded debt tax burden on our citizens.Ive been quite critical of many things in the district over the years, but this is a fine example of responsible government action. I believe that the district has earned our support of the bond issue.Pete FeistmannVailVail Daily, Vail, Colorado


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