Yes on 3A, 3B The Golden Good Government League believes an excellent and vibrant public education system providing all citizens with an opportunity …
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The Golden Good Government League believes an excellent and vibrant public education system providing all citizens with an opportunity for an education is a foundation of a strong democracy; therefore, we strongly support Jefferson County School District Ballot Issues 3A and 3B in the Fall election.
Issue 3A will generate $39 million for operational costs such as recruitment and retention of excellent teachers, restore two school days to the calendar, maintain classroom size and ensure that approximately 86,000 students have access to music, athletics, librarians, academic electives and outdoor lab. Jeffco employs 133 administrators and 14,000 full-time, part time and temporary employees. Employees in 2011-12 and 2012-13 have continued to take a 3 percent reduction in compensation.
Issue 3B will provide $99 million for much needed repairs and maintenance on buildings and facilities. These repairs are critical to ensure that students are safe, warm and dry. The district owns and maintains over 12.1 million of square feet of space in 387 permanent buildings and 350 portable buildings at 171 sites.
Among many traditions of excellence, Jeffco students outperform the state on all subjects at all levels according to CSAP/TCAP results, the district has the second highest graduation rate of the 50 largest school districts in the country and this year’s graduates received $54 million in college scholarships.
We firmly believe that good schools attract new business to the community, help build and keep great neighborhoods and keep property values high. For an investment of $1.23 per month per $100,000 of home value or (for the average Jeffco homeowner $3.06 per month), you can expect a profound return.
Golden Good Government League
The Jeffco school district is being very deceitful as usual in expressing the cost of its latest tax hike request, 3A and 3B. They deceptively state the tax hike in dollars ($1.23) per month per $100,000 in home value. The eye catching $1.23 seems minuscule upon casual glance. In actuality it is significant when computed. The 2009 average detached home value in Jefferson County was $367,029. The 2009 average townhome value was $279,835. These figures come from City-Data.com/Jefferson County Colorado. When computed, the average detached homeowner will see their annual property tax bill increase $54.17. The average townhome owner will see their annual property tax bill increase $41.30. Appreciable indeed when the average household income has eroded $4,500 in the last four years, not to mention the increase in food, gasoline and diesel, clothing and building material costs.
The well-paid district hierarchy in their secure jobs have no concern for the many homeowners who are out of work, working two jobs or part time jobs just to maintain their household. Not only will the tax hike affect homeowners, it will affect apartment dwellers and house renters as well. Owners of rental property will pass through the tax increase. 3A and 3B will be a tax increase on everybody at a time when everyone is feeling the distress of a bad economy. Jeffco district officials put forth a tax increase request every election cycle. It is time the citizens of Jefferson County stop this aggressive, abusive tax increase nonsense.
Vote on 3A and 3B.
I am writing this as a parent and concerned citizen, not as a Jeffco school board member. Many of you have asked why I am voting no on 3A and 3B. Here are the top three reasons I am voting no: We are experiencing a temporary economic downturn and don’t need a permanent tax increase to fix the short term funding dip. As housing values increase the amount of money the school district receives will increase. And as the state economy gets better there will be more money for education. In fact the September state economic forecast says $700 million additional dollars will be put in the K-12 fund over the next two years. Jeffco receives approximately 9 percent of the K-12 fund or about $60 million of those additional dollars, which more than covers the proposed cuts. As the economy gets better education gets more money.
Next is the PERA (Public Employees Retirement Association) conversation. The PERA contribution is estimated to rise over $22 million dollars in the next couple of years. While employee contributions remain at 8 percent, taxpayer contributions will increase from 15.65 percent to 20.15 percent. The current general fund budget has taxpayers picking up all of those PERA increases but not allocating money to instrumental music, teacher librarians, or outdoor lab schools. Those priorities don’t seem to me to put students first.
3B will increase the debt load by $99,000,000 — it is permission to go into debt for on-going maintenance. We shouldn’t be going into debt to pay for routine maintenance items. This money is not for science labs or new buildings. Paying for routine maintenance items with twenty years of debt is not a good plan.
The system needs fundamental structural change. This does not fund a new pay structure. Not one penny will go to raise the amount we pay our newest teachers. Not one penny builds new science labs or adds options for our students.
Jeffco public schools have asked for just a little bit more every four to six years. What Jeffco needs is a bold new plan — not the status quo. Our children deserve better; I will be voting no on 3A and 3B — and working for a bold new plan that puts our students first.
I am a pretty conservative guy, probably due in part to the fact that I was a police officer for 47 years, with the last 25 years being spent as the chief of police for the Westminster Police Department. I’ve been around, and I certainly paid my dues as a young cop working narcotics and vice, and as an older cop, sitting on the governing boards of the North Metro Drug Task Force and the West Metro Drug Task Force. I vigorously enforced marijuana laws for all 47 years of my public service, and I would do it today if I was still actively employed as a cop.
Constitutional Amendment 64 proposes the legalization of growing and possessing marijuana, but it would not impact those who have the legal and appropriate authorization to grow and use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Moreover, even if the voters approve Amendment 64, which I sincerely hope they do not, marijuana growing and possession would still be a federal offense. In addition to still being a federal offense, legalization of pot would result in more traffic accidents and fatalities, as well as an increase in crime. Talk to most police officers and they will confirm this observation. Take it to the bank.
We do not need more stoned drivers on the road, and we do not need more crime. And we certainly do not need a law that would be in direct conflict with the federal law. What’s next- — home-brew methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD, PCP or heroin? Where do we draw the line? In my opinion, we need to draw the line right now and vote no on Amendment 64. As Archie Bunker used to say, “This is pure crapola.”
Westminster Chief of Police (Retired)
With a lifetime score of 100 percent on the Conservation Scorecard, it’s difficult to not take a second look at Representative Max Tyler.
Max works hard to support a sustainable and renewable energy economy, access to better education, and the creation of jobs in Colorado. Believing that a green economy is a healthy and productive economy, Max Tyler protects the environment for our health, our economy, and our recreation.
It is critical that Colorado become a leader in energy efficiency and Max Tyler is willing to make that a key priority. Colorado Conservation Voters endorses Max Tyler for District 23 state representative.
Colorado Conservation Voters
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