An obvious Waste of Taxpayer Monies–So let’s fix it, Colorado!

by – time to get our State Legislators involved

Colorado News Media is the parent company of our own Daily Fishwrap (a.k.a. Vail Daily).  Accordingly your Eagle County Commissioners approved a recent payout of your tax dollars to that company for $25,979.07 – according to below – that was the Invoice for (one months?) work.

This started the ECT folks thinking – the ECT folks wanted to learn more – so the ECT went to Eagle County this past week – and asked.  Here is what we learned.

What needs to be fixed!

1 – Some of the Taxpayer money sent to Colorado News Media is required by Colorado State Statues, Public Notices and the like – Eagle County (and all other Colorado County’s) are required to publish.

Here’s how to fix this obvious WASTE of Taxpayer monies.

2 – Change the law.  KEEP the requirement for Public Notices on the books – just move the Public Notices to (in our case) the Eagle County Government – web site.  Interested folks can still get there hands on the same information using their computer, smart phone or iPad.  Our County’s Public Libraries have (free to use) computers, if you don’t have one.

This website migration – also has the obvious advantage of an interested reader being able to quickly/easily ask a question on the County’s web site about a specific item.  Try and do that with the Fishwrap!

3 – Our ECO-Pals will be delighted to learn our Eagle County Landfill has less pages from County newspapers in it – and also reduces costs by having less items to be re-cycled/thrown out in the first place.  Less trees being cut down, Environmentalists!

How much Eagle County Taxpayer money was wasted last year?

Answer:  $61,281.23 for statutorily required Public Notices.  That dollar figure looks like (1) well paid Eagle County Teacher Salary to the ECT.  Now multiply that number for each of Colorado’s Counties and you’ve got some significant savings all over the State.

Further:  Eagle County spent $23,042.08 in what Eagle County calls “Miscellaneous Advertising” with Colorado News Media last year.

Gee…ever wonder why “Editor Half the Story” over at the Fishwrap NEVER challenges your County Commissioners on any pertinent issue?  More on that later.

For a look see at the exact breakout of money handed over to Colorado News Media from Eagle County (Click Here)  Microsoft Excel format.

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11 responses

  1. I agree with you on this one! Eagle County has an excellent web site and it should be used to save our tax dollars. It does create a conflict of interest.

  2. More solid stuff.

    But if you really want to see where our school money is being spent, all you needed to do was to have attended Monday’s public comments to the school board at Battle Mountain.

    80% of the folks who lined up to say, “Please don’t close our schools”, “Please don’t take away our services”, didn’t speak English.

    Look. I’m socially liberal. I root for immigrants, my grand parents came over from Ireland.

    But when I see people who don’t speak English standing in line, asking essentially to not end their free ride, asking not to take away services they don’t even pay for (and I know that’s a generalization, but let’s face it — most people who don’t speak English are here illegally), it’s hard to have a modicum of compassion. I see my kid’s education money going to people who are here illegally, who don’t even speak our language.

    So the real story of where the school’s money is going was right there on display, Monday night at Battle Mountain.

    That, folks, is what’s ailing us. We solve this problem, we’ll have solved 80% or more of our financial problems.

    I think it’s time to change the law that says if a child was born here, they’re granted citizenship.

  3. “80% of the folks who lined up to say, “Please don’t close our schools”, “Please don’t take away our services”, didn’t speak English. ”

    Sounds about right– Vail Daily report on that subject:

    “School budget meetings draw hundreds” January 10, 2012
    Avon Elementary School offers students the opportunity to learn about and be a part of a new culture, said Avon elementary teacher Leticia Harrison.
    “This place is so much more than a school for so many people,” Harrison said.
    http://www.vaildaily.com/article/20120110/NEWS/120119975/1078&ParentProfile=1062

    And a letter to the Editor:

    “Don’t close Avon school” January 11, 2012
    Along with providing a true bilingual curriculum, Avon Elementary School offers students the opportunity to learn about and be a part of a new culture.
    http://www.vaildaily.com/article/20120111/LETTER/120119983/1022&parentprofile=1065

    Perhaps this new culture’s home-countries will fund the school(s).

    If not, perhaps the students parents will.

  4. Read on for the costs of Limited or Non-English speakers in CO schools-

    Colorado Department of Education (CDE) Public School Finance –

    English Language Learners (ELL) percentage of student population by year & school district-

    2011 ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY ACT PROGRAM (ELPA)- Cost Per Student $474.85

    Total ELL/ ELPA ALLOCATION-SCHOOL YEAR 2010-2011-
    (In Millions) $11,745,953.00

    http://www.cde.state.co.us/FedPrograms/dl/tiii_elpa_distalloc.pdf
    ———————————————————————-

    *Eagle County RE 50 School District ELL Total enrollment percentages*

    School Year 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
    ELL Enrollment 25.29% 29.78% 31.30% 34.82% 35.74% 37.70%

    http://www.cde.state.co.us/Finance_Text/DecEnrollStudy/0910districtprofile.pdf
    ————————————————————————————————
    ABOUT: English Language Proficiency Act (ELPA)

    Program Description- The English Language Proficiency Act Program is a state funded program that provides financial and technical assistance to school districts implementing programs to serve the needs of students who dominant language is not English.

    Allocation Information- The ELPA program is funded annually on a per pupil basis. The following programs are eligible for funding under ELPA:

    Bilingual Education Program
    ESL Program
    Other methods of achieving the English language proficiency

    2011 ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY ACT (ELPA) PROGRAM

    A = A STUDENT WHO COMPREHENDS OR SPEAKS A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH AND DOES NOT SPEAK ENGLISH.

    B = A STUDENT WHO COMPREHENDS OR SPEAKS SOME ENGLISH, BUT WHOSE PREDOMINANT COMPREHENSION AND SPEECH IS IN A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH.

    ELPA District Allocation Report SY2010-2011

  5. Marty, you seem to want to fault educators for following the law.

    Those kids deserve an education, because that’s how the law is written. So, I can’t beach about kids getting what this country allows for them. No way.

    So the solution here is not, to nit pick. Instead, to make the changes that would keep this from happening.

    What no politician wants to talk about are the costs we’re all paying when folks come here by jumping over/crawling under fences. The founders never imagined what’s happening today but that doesn’t necessarily mean we change the Constitution. Because once you start doing that, all heck breaks loose.

    Building taller fences won’t matter. All the technology in the world won’t matter. And, if you took away all the illegals, the agriculture industry would come crawling to a stop. Southern California’s economy would be in chaos. So sending them back isn’t the answer, either.

    Instead, we need to be collecting tax money from them.

    So I’ll amend my post to now say that my complaint is not, that these kids are taking away from my boy’s education. Nope. It’s that they’re not paying their share. And because they’re not paying their share, they’re a huge drain on the system.

    This is what really bugs me about you guys. You pin anything that you feel is wrong on the Democrats. When in fact, the Republicans are just as dirty, more so at times. You refuse to call bs, when it’s right there on your shoes. Your entire solution seems to be, “We’ll just elect another Republican, they’ll listen”.

    But in the case of this topic, illegal immigration, what you don’t understand is that Republicans are for big business. So? So big business needs cheap labor. And as long as that’s the case, they’re not going to change the laws or do anything, that would affect the flow of cheap labor.

  6. I have no issues with law and Plyer v. Doe –although it does state the students/parents are breaking the law and should expect deportation after enrollment.

    RE language acquisition, we can thank No Child Left Behind and the punishments imposed if all students do not advance. That is Republican btw.

    PS I fully understand that big business WANTS (not ‘needs’) cheap labor. And as long as that’s the case, they’re not going to change the laws or do anything– and that includes Republicans of course. Why do you presume that i defend Bush jr and Open Borders, for example? I don’t now and didn’t then… and that “really bugs me about you guys” too!

    TTYL!

  7. And I have a second so I must address this. “The founders never imagined what’s happening today but that doesn’t necessarily mean we change the Constitution.”

    The U.S. Constitution was written in 1787 to the best of my knowledge. It has been amended many times since then.

    One such Amendment, the birthright citizenship, ( Fourteenth Amendment) was ratified in 1868. (90 years after our founders penned the U.S. Constitution.)

    And if need be, I will also amend my post to now say that my data is not to state that these kids are taking away from our children’s education. It is intended to show a financial drain that is not imposed under Plyer, but punishes school districts under NCLB (Republican) and as their percentage here is increasing (Cheap labor?) so is the “drain on the system.”

  8. Marty,

    I think if you really want to see what’s going on right now, you should watch this recent interview between Jon Stewart and Jim Demint. Here:
    http://t.thedailyshow.com/

    Watch all three parts.

    After the election of Obama, anybody that voted for him or supported him in some way all the sudden became un-American, a Socialist, anti-freedom, a commie, or all of the above.

    Conservatives like ECT and to some degree yourself, have framed this up to be “our way or the highway”. You don’t accept anything else other than what you have in front of you and you’re so rigid in your ideals, that your message becomes caustic. As much as I want to listen, I can’t, because what you say that does make sense, gets drowned out by your absolute position. Or, your belief that just because I voted for someone, that disqualifies me.

    For example the opponents of 3B, yourself including, want to frame this up to be in tune with the conservative media message of “it’s a spending problem”. Or on ECT, the editorial is, “Just send ’em to charter schools”. The school issue is much deeper than just a spending problem and while charter schools have some advantages for some, they’re by no means an across the board solution. For example special ed. kids can’t go to charter schools, because there’s no services for them.

    Then, when someone like myself comes along and honestly tries to get you to explain your positions, you either won’t or can’t. Marty, I asked around on the school expenses that you claimed were out of hand. According to the information I have, you were wrong. I haven’t had a chance to debate with ECT on the charter school position, but past is prologue. Not once, has ECT ever admitted to being wrong here.

    There’s a role for government in schools and in our lives. I’m not here to say there’s not waste, there is. And I’m not here to say I want government making all my choices for me. But to simply say, “Get government and regulations out of the way”, is a gross generalization. What? We’re just supposed to forget about the preamble to the constitution?

    You and the opponents of 3B clearly stated you think this is purely a spending problem and you want the problem to correct itself. Well, you’re about to see what your vote means.

    It’s not just a spending problem and the problem is not going to be cured by private enterprise. It’s a much deeper problem. And until both sides of the debate can get to a narrative that starts with respect for one another, the problem is only going to get worse.

  9. First thanks for the link. I think you are addressing these next items to me, but stand corrected in advance if you are not!

    I do not think its spending so much as I think its a lack of funding, which is my opinion only, but people/taxpayers simply cannot absorb/pay more, not right now. That is just the truth.

    You say this next-but you need to know I am the wrong person to say it to! —> “After the election of Obama, anybody that voted for him or supported him in some way all the sudden became un-American, a Socialist, anti-freedom, a commie, or all of the above.” But to simply say, “Get government and regulations out of the way”, is a gross generalization.<—-

    To who are you saying that to? I would never state such a ludicrous thing. Of course we need some government. It is much of what shaped America into what she is today.

    As for 3B, What I said, and will continue to say, I support teachers, and in-class educators. This 3B money did not guarantee any of that in any form or fashion. Talk is cheap. So yes-when schools show taxpayers they have cut the fat to bare bone, and they are not putting in new unneeded carpeting, playground equipment and dining at the Brown Palace and so on…then talk to us about the need for more money to fund our teachers and classes. but not until then!

    Meanwhile, you can go here and donate money and I hope people do so. I suggested this at the school board meeting back in Nov. and they are utilizing it I am pleased to say. it is a tax write-off too. The only thing I cannot find is how to designate our donated money to just teachers, or classes, or wherever, like other school non-profits do around the country. But it is still a worthwhile cause.
    ————————————————————————–
    The Public Education Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization established in 2001, has worked in partnership with Eagle County Schools to fund strategic initiatives and programs for quality education in Eagle County.
    EIN# 84-1585417 Phone: (970) 390-8115 Website:http://www.efec.org/
    ————————————————————————-

    To close– show me, please, these, re "Marty, I asked around on the school expenses that you claimed were out of hand." I never suggested expenses are out of hand, I suggested to ask for more tax money while dining out in places taxpayers can't afford and staying in 4 & 5 star hotels is outrageous. And it IS outrageous beyond belief. Like the rest of the working public does, school administration staff and board members need to pack sack lunches, make coffee at home and pay their own union dues. Again, my opinion.

    PS you are absolutely 100% right on with this statement "It’s a much deeper problem.' It sure is–and it began many presidents/school actions/states back too.

  10. And in my opinion bowlhiker- Obama is exactly what he was during the ’08 election. I did not agree with Obama’s visions when he was a senator, and he is still true to them now, which is fine. I just totally disagree with him. I vote for who closest matches my values and vision, and Obama is/was not a close match or even a distant contender for that matter.

    Have a good day.

  11. bowlhiker– as you wrote this “Marty, I asked around on the school expenses that you claimed were out of hand. According to the information I have, you were wrong.”

    Please support your statement about me (above) with supported facts. A web link (to a recording or written item) will suffice.

    Your answer here by Monday evening, Jan. 16, 2012, is fine with me as well.

    Thank you in advance.

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