We Taxpayers Win! – For Now!

by Clayton Moore and Wendell Phillips

Dateline:  Wednesday, November 2nd 2011 – Eagle County, Colorado

We Taxpayers Won!  Tax Raisers Lose!

DEFEATED:  Proposed Permanent Property Tax Increase by our School District

DEFEATED:  Fire Districts proposed Tax Increase

DEFEATED:  Avon’s Bus Tax

How many [Click Here’s] does it take to change the mind of folks?

The ECT folks think it’s around 100,000 readers…

Comparing the New Media of the Internet to the traditional print newspaper – is like comparing Twitter to the Terminator!

Don’t Worry – our would be Tax Raisers…”will be back”!

What can be reasonably claimed?  The leadership team – at these Eagle County Taxing Authorities – got a wake up call last night!

YOU WORK FOR US!….AND “US” AIN’T HAPPY!

As the majority of us enjoy today’s victory…just remember these Taxing Authorities “we’ll be back” in six months or no longer than a year – demanding more of your and your families hard earned income.

“Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty” – and it seems for now keeping Property Taxes at a reasonable level – depends on the folks working with our free and independent Eagle County news media!

Thanks for reading the EagleCountyTimes.Com – Clayton Moore

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30 responses

  1. If individuals cannot afford to educate their children, they should refrain from breeding. It is not the responsibility of the community to pay to educate other peoples’ children.

  2. Adding to this post above –in particular, it is not the responsibility of schools/states/feds to provide this–>

    Eagle County Schools will receive $221,408 in capital construction funding to establish a “school-based health center” at Avon Elementary School to provide access to medical, dental, and mental health services to students attending Eagle County Schools and their siblings.

    The Health Resources and Services Administration awarded $2,478,119 in competitive federal grants to school-based health centers in Colorado to improve access to basic primary health care for school-aged children

    http://www.vaildaily.com/article/20110727/NEWS/110729817&parentprofile=search

    In fact, many programs are duplicate ones, overlapping the same areas. For example, Free/Reduced lunch often also receives Food stamps or WIC groceries, in-school Social Services overlap county/state/ social workers and so on.

  3. No, it’s you lose.

    But it’s interesting that you view this a game. Nah, not really.

    What you and the rest don’t understand, is that you just voted against your best interests.

    You have no solutions. You just want to line your pockets on the way down the steps to the Arc, which you believe is coming to take you and your evangelical gang to the promised land. It’s this kind of thinking that spells out why you don’t believe in saving the planet, you don’t believe in education. Why you don’t believe in anything, except taking as much as you can before the lights go out.

    You mentioned vouchers. You haven’t done your homework. Vouchers don’t cover kids with IEP’s. So what would the 437 kids on IEP’s do in Eagle County, if their services are cut? Please explain — in detail.

    Their parents will do more? Ok, let’s look at that. What if their parents are struggling to make ends meet as it is? Dad is working from dusk to dawn, Mom has a job, too. Once they get home, relax for 10 minutes, feed the kids, it’s time for bed. Now what? “They’ll just somehow get by”, you say? That’s really vague. Connect the dots. If their parents can’t help — because they’re working all the time, if they can’t afford private aids who charge $75.00 per hour, then what? “Well, tough luck”, you say. What about the millions of other kids? What about them? Explain to me if their parents don’t have the resources to help them, if they can’t get help at schools, then what? How will these kids grow up and be tax payers? What jobs will they fill? We’re talking millions of kids, each year. And of course we’ll be governed by Republicans — who don’t believe in abortion. So count on the population continuing to grow, fast. So by the time today’s kindegarteners reach the age to work, your plans will have created millions of kids who don’t have the skills to fill even the most menial jobs.

    There’s more. I know you guys believe in Exon. Go look up the patents filed by big oil companies recently. They all have to do with automation. So you may love big oil, but they’re not giving it back. Because their plans are to reduce labor.

    But it’s worse still. Our economy is being driven by knowledge and skill. In the not-so-far-off future, a 4 year degree will seem like a high school diploma. Kids will compete for jobs with other kids from all over the world. As technology marches on, jobs that are done by humans today (meter readers, estimators, insurance agents) will be automated. For example Google has an electric car in prototype that’s logged over 275,000 miles — without a driver. That’s right, cars that don’t need drivers. Think about what this will do to some jobs today. Yes, technology and innovation will create new jobs. But those jobs will go to kids with knowledge and skill.

    Today, you and the rest are celebrating the damage you did to our economy. Yet you claim we’re the ones, the ones who voted yes, who are in the wrong.

    And btw, this tax increase is going to seem like a bargain. Because soon, the schools will be charging for everything from parking, to lunches, to sports. So not only have you cut your nose to spite your face, you just took a few more hundred bucks out your neighbors wallet. Because now it’s going to cost them a lot more. Make sure you tell him you voted no, the next time he’s complaining that his school expenses just went up about 1k per year.

    What you don’t understand is that you just made the valley that much less desirable to those considering moving here. Because, you just told them you don’t care about kids and that schools aren’t important to you.

    This will eventually hurt you, because services and stores will start to disappear. The only reason Costco is still here is because there’s a guy in Aspen who spends 50k a month there. If not for him, Costco would be gone. Businesses will have a tough time finding qualified workers here. And even if they can, most won’t relocate here because the schools are better in the city. So if businesses can’t make it here, that means there’s no competition. Now that painting bid for your house just tripled, because Harry the Dirtbag Painter doesn’t have any competition.

    “Yeah, but the views are great here”.

    As services and stores disappear, property values will decline.

    “Vail and BC will always bring rich folks here” you say? Ok, let’s look at that. So now, your economic plan is that everyone will fight for the phat contracts that come from Cordierra and beaucoup rich 2nd home owners. In other words, 90% of the business to fight for will be from 1% of the available market. Those contracts will be fought over, alright. And the lowest bidder will win. So now your economic plan hinges on being a lowest cost provider, to a market where 90% of the business comes from 1% of the available market.

    If I was helping someone write a business plan, I’d advise them to find another market. Because at Harvard they teach that if price your only niche, you have none.

    But what makes you think our little valley is so desirable to these folks? Vail/BC is basically a front range ski area now. Their biggest customer base is front rangers skiers — oh no, not them! It’s the front range “riff raff”, that what’s her name has nightmares about. Eh, somehow I don’t think John Q. Richguy will be happy about taking his kids out on slopes that are crowded, inhabited by front range folks ripping on snowboards. Nah, I don’t think that’s too appealing.

    So now what? What is your plan to bring young couples here, for working class parents to make it here? Where is the business that will afford them the opportunity to qualify to buy property?

    It’s a rhetorical question. You have no plan, you just showed it by voting the way you did.

    Good luck, you’re gonna need it.

  4. They can’t refrain from “breeding” (now you guys want to turn this into a frame of reference to animals — great), because abortion is illegal.

    And, if you don’t want to pay for education, then quit using services. Quit buying gas, quit going to your bank, quit using the roads, quit doing everything that requires someone who’s been trained or needs education.

    • Bowhunter – the Taxpayers won this round.
      DON’T FORGET – Taxpayers are still paying for EXISTING – $320 Million in long term Eagle County school bond debt!
      Eagle County – Public Education Mill Levy – REMAINS at 19.474 Mills against OUR property!!!

      If you still feel strongly about Public School Education – Send your Personal Check to:

      Eagle County School District
      P.O. Box 740
      Eagle, Colorado 81631

  5. “If individuals cannot afford to educate their children, they should refrain from breeding. It is not the responsibility of the community to pay to educate other peoples’ children”.

    Did you really say that? Do you know how insane this is? First of all, the reference to animals???? Wow.

    This is great. If you argue with folks like you, it eventually comes full circle. You say you want people to “refrain from breeding” (I still can’t believe anyone would say that, but here we go). But then you made abortion illegal. So which one is it? First you say, “refrain from breeding”, but then you voted for Republicans, who put laws in place — that require people to…breed. You make no sense.

    I’m about to blue screen.

    So if it’s not your responsibilty to pay to educate children, who’s going to foot the bill? Do you propose that if parents want to have kids, then it’s their job — and not yours — to pay for their education?

    So what you’re saying, then, is that you want to use services, you want employees. But, that someone else other than should have to pay to teach the employee how to make change for a 10.

    If you don’t want to pay for education, fine. But if this is the case, when you want to use services the service provider should know as much (easy enough, it’s a very simple data mining task), and be able to charge you more. Right? Right. And if your idea ever goes anywhere but here, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

    Look. I can’t have a discussion when the bar is set this low.

    Peace out.

  6. Enough already?

    So now you want to squash the debate? How is that fair? Or have you just run out of answers, so now all that’s left is to call me names, insult me, or shut me off?

  7. First-abortion? Who mentioned abortion?

    “if you don’t want to pay for education, then quit using services. Quit buying gas, quit going to your bank, quit using the roads, quit doing everything that requires someone who’s been trained or needs education.”

    People out of work are doing just that, (above) not using services and making purchases, not if they can avoid them… gas and banks require money.

    – Denver Post- Sat. 10-22-11-

    Colorado lost 3,900 jobs between August and September (2011), according to a survey of businesses released Friday.

    While the government added 1,100 jobs, the private sector lost 5,000, according to the report by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
    http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_19168677

    Public employees pay their fair share of taxes, but they do not pay enough taxes to fund their own jobs plus cover the unemployed peoples share of expenses.

    This is such a sad economy, this is not happy news for anyone. It is far better to be in a position to pay more taxes.

  8. The overlap in services is just theory. You haven’t presented anything I can see that’s concrete.

    I hope you’re as healthy, wealthy and wise as you think you are.

    Because when you call the fire department, you’ll get voicemail. When you need to go to the emergency care facility, it’ll be closed. Your neighbors will sell at short sale prices, only those running from something or hiding from the law will come here.

    But the market to build gates around the rich folks houses will be booming.

    Only problem is, those gates will be made in China, imported from China, and shipped by UPS. No workers needed. Then when they do get here they won’t be installed properly — because the workers couldn’t read the instructions.

  9. I send my check every month. We pay $250.00 per month for kindergarten.
    My wife volunteers at Brush Creek 3 days a week. So she’s busy, so I hire someone to clean.

    So I’m already kicking in plenty. I’ll pay more.

    But the really crazy thing is, is that I’m an Independent who voted for Obama. I’m helping the economy, helping keep workers employed up here that’ll clean your house, too. My wife is helping kids each day, who’s parents voted no. Without the help of my wife, the teacher would be in the weeds.

    But you claim I’m the loser? I’m the bad guy?

    It doesn’t add up.

  10. We’re hiring. I take steps each day to invest my money in the economy. You take steps each day, to make it harder for me to operate here.

  11. Because I can’t recruit workers if the schools suck. I can’t recruit workers if they look around and see a community that won’t invest in their neighbors.

    The views up here are great, if you’re loaded.

    Most up here came here when you could start off with a condo in East Vail, flip up a few times and end up with a phat pad in Eagle Ranch. Those days are going, they’re not coming back.

    There is no incentive for young couples to move here if they can’t qualify for a home and if the schools aren’t up to par. And if they can’t/won’t move here, that has a huge affect on services and the community.

  12. The ECT goes on and on about how there’s no jobs. You blame the Commissioners, every Democrat in your Contacts folder, or that you can think of.

    But you just voted against what you claim to be about. Because by telling people considering moving here, some of whom are job creators, that you don’t believe in education — you’re telling them to look somewhere else. To take their jobs elsewhere. You’re saying jobs aren’t important to you. Well, they are, as long as someone else pays to educate the workers.

    That may fly for those who come here to hide from something or someone. But for most, it’s a huge turn off. They’re going to look to move to Carbondale, Basalt, or Summit County. Or they’ll stay in the city.

    Job creators with kids, or raising a family, value schools. It’s a fact. You just voted against, something that’s paramount to them.

    Most will look elsewhere. The ones that do come, are neighbors you’re not going to want.

  13. Whatever the differences people had with the local issues the bigger picture is the same reason the Republicans got voted in in 2010 – the message from the majority remains the same, No New Taxes. Sorry for those of you who wished for support of your local issue but people are realizing you have to cut back everywhere when personal, local and national economy is in the tank.

  14. One more comment.

    You all want things to stay the same. You don’t want change, you want your little valley to stay the way it was when you came.

    You all think that if you just insult enough front range skiers, if you just write enough insulting articles about them in the Fish Wrap calling them “riff raff”, they’ll quit coming. Then the good times will magically reappear, powder on Forever all day.

    This kind of thinking creates absolutely no incentive for people to move here, to start businesses here. Because entrepreneurs look at the community and see depressed housing, no work force to pull from, and a community that’s by and large, conservative in thinking. The “flip up and cash out” plan is no longer an option, so that eliminates those who’ll come here and make it by selling their house a few times.

    So now what?

    Please explain to me how jobs will get created that pay enough for someone to qualify for homeownership? Please explain to me where the jobs are that pay enough so that parents can pay for sports, parking, and everything else they now have to pay for — because there’s no money. Please explain to me why any parent in their right mind would relocate here, if the schools are not up to par?

    This kind of thinking creates absolutely no incentive for people to move here, to start businesses here. All it does, is make what little of an economy that actually exists here, that much smaller. It doesn’t promote growth. It doesn’t do anything to move the economy up here to anything that’s sustainable.

    What it does do, is put a couple hundred bucks a year in your pocket. Great. Now you’re paying 6 bucks for a latte and the price is going up.

    But you claim to be about jobs? What jobs? Where? How? The only jobs this kind of thinking will create are low paying service jobs.

    Vail is a front range ski area folks. The idea that Vail is a resort still works, but look around while you’re in line. Those are front skiers.

    Ski passes will go down. The front rangers are going to keep coming, keep coming, so that blows a huge hole in your “powder all day” dream.

    But you’ll have plenty of time to ponder your belief system, when you’re standing in line at the bottom of Chair 5 with 10,000 others. None of whom will buy anything from you while they’re here. Why should they, when they can get it for less cost on the Internet and then delivered to their door. Remember. Tomorrow’s consumer of goods and services has been raised with the idea that that low cost wins. They’re only loyalty is to their Internet connection. They’re used to free services like Google and Facebook. They’re savvy, they have apps to help them find the lowest cost of anything.

    At that point you may want to move? Only problem is, your house won’t be worth anything, because there’s no real economy here.

    That’s it, I’m done.

    Thanks for the space, I appreciate it.

  15. There’s always one more.

    David Brooks is a conservative columnist for the NYT. You all should read this, consider it very carefully.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/01/opinion/brooks-the-wrong-inequality.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

    David writes:

    “The zooming wealth of the top 1 percent is a problem, but it’s not nearly as big a problem as the tens of millions of Americans who have dropped out of high school or college. It’s not nearly as big a problem as the 40 percent of children who are born out of wedlock. It’s not nearly as big a problem as the nation’s stagnant human capital, its stagnant social mobility and the disorganized social fabric for the bottom 50 percent.

    “If your ultimate goal is to reduce inequality, then you should be furious at the doctors, bankers and C.E.O.’s. If your goal is to expand opportunity, then you have a much bigger and different agenda”.

    You folks are making our problems worse, not better. Because with this kind of thinking, drop out rates will climb. Inner city education will continue to decline and the unemployment rate among inner city kids will continue to grow out of control. Education in general, will decline.

    Our problems won’t fix themselves, the private enterprise will not show up and save the day, as you think they will. How could they? There’s no skilled workers to hire.

    ttfn — thanks again for the space.

  16. And remember this.

    The kids that you’re showing no interest in, will one day grow up and work for a company somewhere that’ll have an impact on your life. They’ll work for an insurance company and make decisions on a claim. They’ll work for banks and be responsible for implementing decisions that’ll affect you. They be at the Motor Vehicle Department. They’ll do programming that’ll affect your life.

    All the decisions they make will be selfish, in the best interests of who they work for — not yours. You can cry all you want, it won’t matter. In fact the more you cry the more your digital profile will be updated. Eventually, your IP address will be blocked.

    Because tomorrow’s leaders were raised to be selfish, to not care about anyone else but the company. You won’t be able to change them, because that’s all they understand.

    The kids that you voted against, who will grow up and have a part in decisions about your life, have never known anything other than Facebook or Google. So they’ve been raised to believe that services should be free and that the lowest cost wins. They don’t understand customer loyalty, there’s an app that routes them via GPS to a store with a lower price. They don’t talk to customers. They work for companies that have no interest in customer loyalty — because the leaders of the company were raised the exact same way.

    I was raised to be loyal. I went to backyard barbecues with my parents where my parents would kibitz with their fellow workers. So a bond was there. You went to the bakery your neighbor owned, bought raffle tickets from their kids.

    Today that’s not reality. There are no backyard picnics between workers, because that’s against company policy. And corporations are global — I suppose you could have a Skype hookup, do a barbecue that way. There’s no customer loyalty, because the whole message out there today is lowest cost wins — whoever can sell for the lowest price gets the deal. Cut costs wherever and whenever possible, today — don’t be concerned about anything else.

    What you all don’t see is that you’re helping perpetuate this. So in effect, you’re really voting against yours and families best interests. But you don’t see that. All you can see, is the hundred or so bucks you’re saving now.

    If you ever are able to step back and see the affects of how you vote, that hundred bucks you just saved is going to be a drop in the bucket compared to what it’s going to cost you down the road.

    So there you go.

  17. Marty,

    There’s a constitutional amendment facing voters in Mississippi on Nov. 8, and similar initiatives brewing in half a dozen other states including Florida and Ohio, would declare a fertilized human egg to be a legal person, effectively branding abortion and some forms of birth control as murder.

    So on one hand Republicans here say, “You shouldn’t breed”. But on the other hand, Republicans here want to take away Planned Parenthood — which helps kids…not breed. Or, you want to outlaw certain types of contraception.

    So in the example of a young couple that has a baby they didn’t want, but couldn’t abort because it’s illegal, Republicans refuse to offer any services that would help this young couple.

    It’s hard for me to imagine a more draconian position than this.

    • BowlHiker – The ECT’s web site is not going to be used for you (or anyone else) to discuss the Unborn vs. Born rights issue.
      You can go elsewhere.
      The ECT is the place to go to talk about (our web page says this – Issues of the Day in Eagle County)
      The national issue of Unborn vs. Born Rights wont get resolved here.
      There is simply NO POINT in either side pissing-off the other side at our ECT web site.

      Back off this issue on our ECT web site. There are plenty of other Web sights on the Internet where you can post your views on that issue.

      One more time – The national issue of Unborn vs. Born Rights wont get resolved here.

  18. Fair enough.

    I wasn’t trying to do so. Just tying that in to illustrate how voting affects the big picture. And, how party policy affects things. It won’t happen again.

    Thanks for having a place to discuss. Although, I’m fairly sure my views don’t add up to more than a hill of beans here.

    Thanks again, I appreciate it.

  19. “It’s hard for me to imagine a more draconian position than this.”

    I am not in disagreement but i still wonder why this subject was brought up by you?

    Involved parents like you, involved community members like you coupled with good teachers make the difference in education. (Not money or lack of….)

    This tax question guaranteed NOTHING to our good teachers or classrooms… nothing at all. What will be our students quality of life and educational achievements if their parents find themselves homeless?

    I recommend open records requests to answer any questions anyone has about our public employees and various public programs. Then people can once again make an educated vote, as they just did last night.

    And btw–thank you for what you and your wife are doing. We need many more like you.

  20. Good morning Marty,

    Let’s get past the abortio# comment. ECT has said he/she/it does not want that discussed and I’ll honor the request.

    Well thank you for those kind words. Yes, I agree that the biggest change we can make is at home. My wife and I have more to do with our son’s education than anything. If our son does not have a stable home, if he’s not well fed, if he’s ready for school each day, his chances of learning go way down. Yep, no doubt about it, we’re in charge. We believe in that, my Mother raised me this way.

    But. Here’s where I disagree with you folks.

    Our society is breaking down at the seams. No matter where you look, things just aren’t good. I’m in technology. I’m not retired, I’m not a has been like some that write letters to the Fish Wrap. I’m out there every day.

    I came up at a time when it was not only possible, but the norm, to have no experience or formal training. Back then, all a guy needed was a compiler (the thing that “makes the code”) and a dream. Now, that’s not possible.

    A 4 year degree from a good school is required just to get a job interview with a leading tech company, or startup. From there, if you went to Stanford, MIT, or Harvard, you just got bumped to the front of the line. The starting point is not only high for tech jobs, it’s that way for just about any job.

    So jobs are tougher to get but dropout rates are going up. Inner city unemployment is 20 to 40%, kids are being raised in single parent homes, the gap between the haves and have nots is getting wider as we speak. Literally nothing is being done, to address the fact that today’s kids who are failing, are tomorrow’s tax payers.

    Most kids can’t afford to go to college. Some of the reasons why, are directly tied to Republican policy. Republican/Tea Party ideals are to cut everywhere now. Then their ideals are that the private sector will somehow show up and save the day, create economic opportunity for us all. It’s bunk.

    Now add in that kids not only are competing against others in the room for a job, they’re competing against kids all over the world for a job. Interviews are not done in person anymore. Most are done via Skype, over the Internet. Our children need to understand, and be educated, as to what they’re going to face — just to put food on the table. Education costs money and now is not the time, to be cutting education. Our country is falling behind the rest of the world as we speak. We should be investing more in our kids, not less.

    So kids aren’t graduating high school, college tuition is out of this world. Competition for jobs is getting tougher by the minute.

    Now throw in that we live in a knowledge and skill based world. Decent paying jobs that are done today by blue collar type workers will be gone in the not too far distant future. UPS trucks will drive themselves — Google has built a car that’s logged over 275,000 miles, in traffic, without a driver. Not one accident. Meter readers will be replaced by a smart device, that will send the meter activity over the Internet. Tests done by lab technicians will be automated. Some brick and mortar businesses like retail stores will go away. Insurance reps will be replaced by a website. It’s happening now. These are just a few examples of how technology will eliminate jobs.

    But technology also creates jobs. However, those types of jobs will be knowledge and skill based. Most, will require a 4 year degree.

    Our country, you people including, are literally doing nothing to prepare our kids for the challenges ahead of them. In a time when we should be working round the clock to teach kids math and science, you’re taking books off of their desks. But meanwhile, you all claim to be about “God and Country”. To that I say, phooey.

    Yes, I agree that raising taxes has no direct correlation to better test scores. I also agree there’s waste. But my wife and I are intimately familiar with the Administration here in Eagle County. I can guarantee you, there’s no waste. My wife is at the school 3 days a week, we know what’s going on. You all here went on and on about salaries and waste and you were flat out wrong.

    The way forward, would have been to get more revenue while working to identify where other cuts can be made. That was the smart thing to do.

    You all also made a big deal out of what the Superintendent makes. It’s bunk. She’s a smart person and smart people cost money. The market for a Superintendent schools sets the salary, not you all. In fact to even think otherwise, shows ignorance. I can dream all I want about trying to pay software engineers 50k a year. But the reality is, a good software engineer costs about 125k a year, not including benefits and insurance. I wouldn’t be even able to get anybody to show up to an interview, with that kind of salary. And neither would the schools.

    You all have no idea, what it takes to recruit knowledge/skill based workers to come here. Let me tell you how it works. First, you have to pay more than they can get in the city — because it costs more to live here. Then assuming the prospective employee can sell their house to move here, highly unlikely, they have to buy a home here. Right now, there’s some good deals. But these are unusual times. Homes here cost more and are of lower quality than what’s available in the city. So just to get somebody good to pack up and move here is a challenge in and of itself. You all gloss over this key fact.

    So it shows a severe lack of understanding of the market operates, to say “Her salary is 185k — that’s too much”. You guys were just out in left field here, that’s all there is to it.

    Folks here also went on and on about expenditures. You were wrong. But you won’t admit you were wrong, and that’s just more ignorance.

    The shortfalls the schools are facing are in the millions of dollars. And it’s not going to get any better, because property values will decline or remain flat for the next 10 years. Bet on it.

    So now what? Well, here’s what will happen. Parents will have to pay for everything now. Sports, parking, you name it, parents will pay for it. So now, your neighbors school expenditures just went up 10x. What’s that going to do to folks who are barely getting by? It’s going to put a hurt on them, that’s what. You said as much yourself, that raising taxes is going to cause some to default. This was pure histrionics. What’s going to cause people to default, if anything, will be that their school costs just went up 1000% — not the extra 100 bucks a year the tax increase would have meant (to non-commercial property owners).

    Some parents won’t be able to cut it. Some won’t move here, some will move. Some won’t move here because the school expenditures are too high. Others will move to where schools are better.

    Other parents increased school costs will be felt by the community; they won’t go out as much, they’ll lay someone off, they’ll raise the price of what they sell or what they charge for services.

    Aids will be taken from class rooms, class sizes will increase. Teachers, my gosh it pains to type this, will get laid off.

    Do you have any idea what a teacher with a class size of just 22 faces each day? Without the help of aids, volunteers like my wife, they just wouldn’t be able to make it.

    Some don’t make it, they just don’t get it done. I agree, these teachers should be canned. But then what? What’s your answer? Get another teacher, at low ball salary pay, to come here and work 60 hours a week? Only in your dreams, Marty.

    My wife volunteers 3 days a week. But that’s just at the school. She’s upstairs right now cutting paper and gluing stuff to help. I’d estimate her total time dedicated to volunteering is 40 hours a week. My son’s kindergarten class is going great, because of the work my wife does. Other teachers can’t for my son to move up a grade, so they can get my wife’s help.

    So back to your point of, “Parents are in charge”. I agree. But Marty. We’re in a unique position, knock on keyboard.

    Most up here, aren’t in the position we are. Most families, both parents work. Dad gets early, comes home late. Mom works too. By the time Dad gets home, he’s bushed. But there’s still email or phone calls to deal with. Mom’s time is taken up between 7am and 7pm. Bed time is 8. She has maybe 1 hour a day, to unplug and take care of her familia. That leaves the weekend. Try teaching your kid something when his friends are knocking at the door, wanting to go play. Kids need to play, need play time.

    So yeah, it’s great to say, “Parents do more”. But there’s a huge disconnect there. Most parents up here would love to do more. Only problem is, they’re working all the time.

    “Parents can do more” sounds good. But it has no application for most parents up here.

    So now you say, “Vouchers”!. The idea of vouchers is at least 10 years away from working — if it ever does. And, schools need to be built. Where’s the money? And it takes how long to build a school? And where will folks get the money to pay the balance of their tuition the voucher doesn’t cover? So you say, “Reform the tax system”. That will take years! What do people do between now and then? Wait? No, we’re not waiting.

    You all seem to think that you can issue a few vouchers and call it good. Wrong. Yes, movies like “Waiting for Superman” shine a bright light on what’s wrong. But there’s a whole backstory there, that people are missing. We’d all love to snap our fingers and change takes place. But change takes time. It takes even longer, when you’re dealing with schools.

    Republicans here espouse ideals that have no real practical application in either business, or our society today. We’re not going to cut our way out of this mess. Yes, we need to be frugal. But at the same time, we need to be investing. Like it or not, the cost of living in America has to go up. We all need to pay more. You can go on all day about reforming the tax code, but that’s going to take years. Meanwhile, we have a country to run and we need to regain our leadership position in the world. Republicans here present ideas that are not only not practical, they’re way out of line with former what former Reagan administration budget officials and conservative, mainstream economists are recommending.

    You all voted No. But how many of you have taken any steps to help the community you claim to care so much about? Sorry, you have to do more than vote and complain. Raise your hand. What do you do?

    You all make fun of our President being a community organizer, demonize him for helping others. But meanwhile, our country is suffering. Now more than ever, we need people to get off their fat butts, go out and help someone. How about you go to a school today and offer to help? Would it hurt you to help others? Isn’t that the purest definition of private markets coming to the rescue? Of course it is. But somebody else needs to do it? That’s a very selfish attitude.

    All I see going here is publishing salaries, making a big deal out of what are essentially, lies. Yep, lies. Because you don’t know the facts. Actions like this are part of the problem up here.

    So you all voted no, what’s done is done. But the next time you’re saying good bye to a friend, to someone who just got laid off, make sure you tell them you voted No. The next time you’re talking to a parent who’s now using their savings to pay for parking, make sure you tell them you voted No. When the property next to yours goes to foreclosure or a short sale, you had a part in that.

    I’ve had some sharp words for you, I won’t apologize. I feel strongly too.

    I think you’ve all made a huge mistake and that by and large, you present nothing of substance. I believe I’ve made my case for what the way forward is.

    Thanks for reading.

  21. Morning Marty,

    Here’s something else to chew on.

    I started in technology in 1989. Back then, I wrote and designed touch tone applications. I was early with the idea of Interactive Voice Response systems, where you’d call and hear, “Press 1 for sales. Press 2 for accounting”. You know, those pesky phone systems you hate dealing with! 🙂

    When we were designing those applications, we would talk about how what they meant. I’ll never forget one particular conversation I had with my brother. We looked at each other and said, “This is going to replace Receptionists”. We were excited, because we knew we had a great use case. But we were also somewhat chagrined, because we knew that our work would lead to people being laid off. We made ourselves feel better by saying, “Yeah. But then the Receptionist can take on other jobs — be more productive”.

    We were wrong. Not about the application, the results speak for themselves — most often now, you call a business and get what we designed.

    We were wrong about the Receptionist. She got laid off.

    Back to the conversation with my brother. We also looked at each other and said, “Technology is going to make entire gene pools unemployable. The government will have to pay people to stay home”.

    We were right. There’s no appreciable market for Receptionists. Video stores are gone, book stores are in jeopardy, even newspapers are in doubt.

    The folks who worked at jobs that have been eliminated come from a typical socio background. They come from a gene pool. Poor people generally don’t move up in class. The odds are a little better for lower middle and middle class backgrounds to move up in class, but not much. If you’re born into a rich family, chances are you’ll be rich too. On the flip side, if you’re born into a poor family, the chances of you breaking out are not good.

    So this is what I mean by gene pools becoming unemployable. We’re now starting to see how many folks out there can’t get jobs. Things can improve 5X, they still won’t be able to get jobs. Not because the economy isn’t good, but because these people just don’t have the background or necessary training to be hired.

    This is an ultra important fact that’s by and large not being recognized by our society. People just aren’t understanding that some jobs aren’t coming back. People don’t see that by the day, we’re creating millions of people who, when they reach the age to pay taxes, won’t. Because there won’t be any jobs for them. Instead of realizing this and owning the problems our society will face soon, we’re kicking the can down the road or relying on lame talking points as the solution. It’s nuts.

    Imagine a day when there are 50 to 100 million people in our country who can’t get jobs. What will you do with them? The Republicans say, “It’s their fault, they’re not rich”. This is such nonsense. You can’t fault a kid in Detroit for being poor if the odds were not just stacked against him, but stacked way high against him. No, this is not the answer.

    Republicans here present ideals that will have zero affect on what ails us. They say, “Tough it out, get a job, make it happen”. Sounds fine, but if a kid can’t get a job no matter how hard he tries, then what? Then this kid becomes a huge cost in the system, that’s what. He gets in trouble, he goes on welfare, he becomes a cost. Meanwhile, Republicans want to gut programs that would help this kid and millions of other kids. It’s just, deplorable, this kind of thinking.

    No, government is not the end all. But government, along with the private sector, is. And, the country needs to unite behind what our problems are. Republicans are wasting time on social issues when what’s really wrong, is the entire fabric of our society is busting at the seams.

    Since we know the problems and the kids don’t, we need to prepare our children. We need to invest in them. We need to make education a priority here. If not, you will not recognize our country 10 years from now. It’ll all seem like a distant memory.

    In a time when we should be investing, Republicans mantra is, “It’s a spending problem”. This pitch is so vague and has so many holes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about capitalism. But in a time when the income gaps are getting bigger, Republican policy is more of the same. Republicans like yourself cut spending, with no other thought than the here and now. Yes, my kid will be fine. But most won’t. And Republicans like yourself, by voting the way you did, are only making the problems worse.

    This isn’t a Red or Blue issue. This is Red, White and Blue issue. I encourage you and other Republicans here to ditch your narrow views and open up. To talk to people, to go to the schools and see first hand, what I’m talking about. To get rid of your dogma and form your own opinions grounded in thorough research, not, media talking points.

    Please. Our country is “Waiting”.

  22. First I so absolutely agree this is not a Red or Blue issue.

    When our school district and others can show what steps they have done as the head honchos on tightening belts, and not passing the pain along to only their teachers and parents, then talk to us voters. When the school district is honest and puts the number of mills on the ballot so we can accurately calculate what we will pay, then talk to us. When our district can show specific dollar amounts to the only people who actually educate, (teachers in a class) then talk to us.

    I am sorry parents will have to pay more, and I don’t know how long you have lived here and been involved with the schools here, but I began my involvement back in 1994. And like you, I worked in the classrooms at least three days a week, served on DAAC, SAC, was homeroom mom, field trip chaperones , and so on. Voluntarily of course. I cared about my children, others children, my teachers and all the other ECS teachers.

    When my children entered school, this was a very small school district. for example, Edwards had no Riverwalk, and Eagle, Edwards and Gypsum had no chain grocery stores. So small town – very.

    The school education was very good, but there were very few ‘special’ amenities. Parents paid school-sanctioned privately run afterschool classes for Spanish, cooking, music etc. It was private enterprise and aided our economy. There was no Eagle, Edwards, Gypsum rec centers, so for example, to play down-valley hockey, they flooded the Eagle Town park and we paid for that too.

    What schools need vs what they want is two separate areas.

    What they need is to keep good experienced long time, not new hire teachers, who can and do teach well in large or small classes. When schools eliminate items such as in-school health clinics (Medicaid covers that on a need base) , eliminate libraries in our grade schools in particular (we have public libraries we pay for now) , eliminate items such as laminated school ID cards (use your enrollment papers or grades to prove student status), eliminate at least three schools (as we can remove five right now and be at capacity) eliminate amenities such as long distance phone bills–(purchase a cell plan and use only long distance landlines for faxes) and so on… then talk to taxpayers.

    When, not ‘if’ those above are done, then talk to us about more money but not until then.

    There simply is not enough money now to fund parent liaisons for non-English speaking families, to pay babysitting costs for these ESL families district meetings, or to fund in-school social workers, or to pay for meals for the School Board during their meetings, to offer school counseling for Preschool through 8th grade–( personal counseling, not college counseling) and schools need to reroute our preschoolers and infants back to privately run daycare centers in the valley, thus adding to those private businesses incomes. If this is a true need, and not just a want, there will be business for that-it will self-support.

    Those (above paragraph) are all ‘wants’ and nice ones i agree , and they also are not affordable at this time in this economy.

    Parents make choices when choosing to start their families. Raising children is expensive, is hard work, requires personal and long-term sacrifice, and is also the most rewarding job in the world. (I think anyway- I wouldn’t trade it for anything) It is not our schools responsibility to feed, clothe, and raise a child and yet they have taken that on as well as classroom education.

    Our schools and parents responsibility is exactly what you wrote here:

    * we (Parents) need to prepare our children.
    * We (Parents) need to invest (work ethics) in them.
    * We (School district) need to make education a priority here.

    But we need to remember that education is the basic three R’s–do those well and the rest of the subject matter is self-taught.

    To close. The next time I don’t have to say good bye to a friend, someone who managed to pay their taxes and keep their home, I will make sure I tell them why I try so hard to make it stay affordable for them and their children and the rest of us here. That we value them in our community and we need them and want them to remain here. I think I prefer to say that over your suggestion, but thanks for the ideas-

  23. Good afternoon Marty,

    I suspected you didn’t have kids in school.

    I been here since ’01.

    At some point you’d have to throw your ideas up on a whiteboard and see if they’re feasible. I’ll take a swipe at it.

    I don’t think it’s right to consider the past as part of this. What was in ’94 is not now. We need to focus on the here and now. And the time someone has been here adds no weight to their opinions or views.

    Large classes are impossible to teach in. There’s so many studies that have proved as much. You also have to remember that each class has kids with IEP’s. There’s 437 IEP kids in Eagle County schools. Those students take special attention. If you’re saying the special ed kids need to go somewhere else, you’re not up to date with the studies, proof that it’s better to have special needs kids mixed in with typical kids. You know anyone with a special needs kid? A kid with Autism? Talk to them.

    I don’t see how you can eliminate school nurses, if that’s what you’re proposing. That’s dangerous.

    Until kids have iPads, which I think might be a great idea, I can’t see where you can eliminate a library. So if we gave each kid an iPad, even if Apple would sell them at half price, roughly $250.00 each, that’s 1.5m. That doesn’t include the apps, or the cost to support 6000 iPads. So unless they could get the iPads donated, not sure you can make the math work.

    Schools already use VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phones, their LD cost is next to nothing. No real savings there.

    If you don’t want to invest in ESL, then don’t use services done by immigrants. You ski? Vail hires Spanish speaking immigrants. You have someone come mow your lawn? Do they speak English? The economy in Southern CA would cease to function without Spanish speaking workers. My friend owns two wineries. The Agriculture industry here would come to a halt without Mexican immigrants. So it’s one thing to be against ESL, perhaps as part of an ideology. But it’s not practical, given how our country runs. Spanish speaking people are here to stay.

    The rest of what you offer, meals for meetings, college counseling, it’s savings, yes. But in the big picture, not much. We’re talking about a 5 million a year shortfall. What you’ve proposed would maybe, from what I can see, amount to 500k a year.

    My feeling is that most who voted No are like you — either no kids or kids who are past school age. So it’s not your problem. I counter that by saying that it really is your problem.

    It feels like there’s some common ground here, but maybe not. In any case, I feel we’ve run the course of electronic communication.

    We’ve had a good engagement here and readers can see for themselves, who makes the better case. Although, it’s not about win or lose. It’s about understanding. And on that, I think we do agree.

  24. Bowlhiker – this is my last response to you.

    First, you so seriously messed up writing this–“If you’re saying the special ed kids need to go somewhere else, you’re not up to date with the studies,”

    Can you say ” put your foot in your mouth BIG …big big big”? That is the problem with assuming….and then typing before knowing facts.

    I will also caution you on your other misguided assumptions…. like how long ago some folks children were in public school, assuming a “R,” “D” , “I” or “L” is after ones voter registration name…. etc.

    And then Bowlhiker— seriously? You bring up employment & IMMIGRATION here and now on a school tax forum? Unbelievable!

    I was talking the taxpayer cost to our schools teaching in multiple languages and catering to only one group, but not anyone else – (so discrimination) – and you twist it into employment of illegal and legal immigrants? Way to spin it yet once again….wow.

    So- put your name here and perhaps i, and the other readers, will better understand where these next assumptions i listed of yours are stemming from. (Such as, Your work? Your neighbors? Your employees? Yourself?)

    I have listed a few them here next —

    a) don’t use services done by immigrants.

    b) You ski? Vail hires Spanish speaking immigrants.

    c) You have someone come mow your lawn?

    And finally you write –> “I can’t see where you can eliminate a library.”

    Really? Huh, because I can! (And this will please Mrs. Obama a lot too)…. walk to the public libraries just like we did before childhood obesity and forced PE classes came into vogue as part of public school curriculum.

    Elementary school libraries are not, in any sense of the word, a need. Not here–not where we have multiple up and down valley public libraries that are open, even in the evening!

    And before i go- yes i agree, readers certainly can see for themselves who makes the better case.

    In fact, they saw it loud and clear with these headlines from Nov 1st. (Case over)

    “Eagle County school tax increase fails”
    “Voters say ‘no’ to fire district tax request”
    “Avon voters nix transit tax”
    “Colorado rejects higher sales, income taxes-would have sent an estimated $2.9 billion to K-12 schools”

  25. Marty,

    You misread what I wrote. But that’s the limit of email.

    This always ends the same with you folks. When someone calls you on your illogic, when someone points out the wrongs, you then get emotional and start yelling — louder.

    You never admit to being wrong, even when someone shows it to your face.

    It’s impossible to reason with people like you.

    And I have the right to privacy.

    See ya.

  26. For all–go to the Financial Transparency home page of the schools at http://www.eagleschools.net/index.aspx?page=1016

    And open:
    “http://www.eagleschools.net/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=6356”
    “Eagle County Schools Professional, Technical and Administrative Salary Schedule – Effective August 1, 2011 – July 31, 2012”

    What year did we start hiring for these job positions?

    ———————————————————————————
    * Director of English Language Learning (ELL) $65,627 to $100,134 a year, plus 20 vacation days and 10 holidays-

    * Migrant Recruiter / Liaisons $37,240 to $49,654 a year-

    * Regional Migrant Recruiter / Liaisons $49,625 to $66,167 a year-
    ———————————————————————————–

    QUESTION # 1
    How many Eagle County voters utilize the above-mentioned school services we fund? Does anyone know?

    QUESTION # 2
    How many various native languages do our students speak in EC?

    QUESTION # 3
    What countries of origin are the migrant recruiters recruiting from?
    Why are they recruiting Preschool-12th grade school children?

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