Jefferson County Letters to the Editor: Sept. 15, 2016

Posted 9/12/16

Vote yes on Jeffco school bond

I’m supporting Jeffco Schools’ 2016 mill/bond campaign — yes on 3A & 3B — because I believe in Jeffco Schools. We have strong traditions …

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Jefferson County Letters to the Editor: Sept. 15, 2016


Vote yes on Jeffco school bond

I’m supporting Jeffco Schools’ 2016 mill/bond campaign — yes on 3A & 3B — because I believe in Jeffco Schools. We have strong traditions of excellence here, but we need to invest to ensure we remain one of the top districts in the state. Currently, Jeffco salaries are below the average of the five most comparable nearby districts — sometimes as much as 16 percent lower. In the past few years, Jeffco’s teacher turnover has risen steadily, and our current school board values Jeffco so much they want our district to be the first choice for the best teachers. We also need to invest in increased mental health support for schools, increased security, increased Student Based Budgeting funding for all schools, increased support services and equitable allocations to all charter schools. This ensures Jeffco students will receive the education necessary to prepare them for college and careers.

At the same time, the average school in Jeffco is 45 years old. Think of the maintenance you do on your home — even a new home. What happens if you put it off? We need to invest in much-needed improvements, technology updates, repairs and science lab upgrades. We need to invest in long-overdue renovations and additions, including new classroom space — something that has not been added since the 2004 bond passed 12 years ago. And, we need to build new schools where our district has outgrown the existing schools.

Join me in voting yes on 3A & 3B.

Kelly Johnson,


Positive energy

Colorado has become victim to the constant onslaught of the anti-energy extremists pushing to shut down gas and oil development. If the hostile environment continues, energy companies could simply pick up and move to a friendlier state. If this happens, then life as we know it will be gone. The financial and economic impacts could devastate our economy.

Whether you realize it or not, our economy and livelihood are tied to oil and gas production. These resources heat and cool our homes. Countless textiles and other products are comprised of petroleum byproducts. Because of these products, we are seeing an uptick in American manufacturing. What’s more, Colorado natural gas has contributed to near 30-year lows in greenhouse gas emissions. It is imperative that we take the time to truly understand how beneficial continued oil and natural gas production is to Colorado’s economy – we must support the industry.

David Beers

Say yes to Jeffco mill and bond

Jeffco public schools is one of the best districts in Colorado. We have great teachers, wonderful neighborhood schools, and many choice programs, option schools and charter schools. But we need to fund our public schools to support good public education. TABOR limits investment in our schools from the State of Colorado, so we must locally invest more money to make up the deficit.  

The mill and bond, 3A and 3B, will support student achievement in Jeffco. The mill levy over-ride will help keep good teachers in Jeffco. Currently, Jeffco teachers earn 19 percent less than surrounding districts pay. Paying a competitive wage to  good teachers in Jeffco is essential for student achievement. Forty-two percent of the mill levy will go toward attracting and keeping great teachers. Another 41 percent will go directly to schools through student-based-budgeting.

In community surveys and forums, Jeffco residents said this past year that  they love and want to keep their small neighborhood schools, even though keeping small schools is more expensive. The district staff has worked very hard to come up with a plan that is an efficient and effective use of our tax dollars, while keeping small schools open. The bond will pay for new schools in areas with rapid new development. Children in these neighborhoods cannot wait 20 years to pay for these new schools out of small incremental  savings in  the operating budget. They need schools now. And better yet, charter schools in Jeffco will get a proportionate share, or 10 percent of both 3A and 3B money. Every child in Jeffco will benefit. The cost? A mere $4.12  for every $100,000 assessment. That is a very small price to support our children and their education. Please vote yes on 3A and 3B.

Margaret Lessenger,


Gratitude for gluten article

Thank you for the excellent article on gluten-free foods and bakeries. I wish you had included Rheinlander Bakery in Arvada, along with the locations farther from Golden. Because the owner has celiac disease, the bakery has an entire display case of gluten-free bakery goods and they will make a gluten-free birthday cake, which is outstanding. My own experience is that gluten tends to cause inflammation and mucous production in my body. Keeping gluten-free has improved my health with reduced asthma symptoms.

Elizabeth Nelms,



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