Eagle Valley Land Trust – Blowing Smoke at County Taxpayers and local Moms!

by Needs vs. Wants

Last week the ‘Director of Communications and Development’ for the Eagle Valley Land Trust unleashed what the ECT chooses to call a public ‘Smoke Bomb’ – in the pages of the Daily Fishwrap last week.  (Click Here)

The Author of that Smoke Bomb – Jason Denhart – is certainly a nice fellow and affable enough.  Everyone who worked with Jason at other local non-profits will tell you that!  On a personal level the ECT likes Jason Denhart.

It’s Jason’s politics that alarms the ECT.

Consider – Exhibit A – the first paragraph of Jason’s EVLT ‘message’ to our community last week.

Now if this was inherently true and immediately obvious as Jason’s first paragraph asserts…then why would the EVLT need a well paid ‘Communications Director’ in the first place?

Consider – Your favorite local ‘Mom’ with her young children in Eagle County Public Schools.  The ECT has.  In the context of Needs vs. Wants…the ECT has never heard one of our local Moms insisting the ~$14 Million in unspent County Open Space funds is far more important than funding her child’s Public School Education.  Has Mr. Denhart ever heard a local Mom putting County Open Space purchases ahead of her child’s Education?  We think not.  So what’s your ‘Primary Interest’ ECT reader?

Did the ECT mention our Public School District is making the painful cuts, reducing the number of Teachers, teaching our children in Public Schools – because of budget cuts?

In the Community that the ECT lives in Public School Educational funding TRUMPS the (Need?) for Open Space funding every single day of the week.  Isn’t ~70% of Eagle County already ‘open space’?  Why aren’t we reading about Budget Cuts at Mr. Denhart’s EVLT before we’re reading about Budget Cuts (teachers being laid off) at our Public Schools?  Special Interests indeed.  Why did our current Board of County Commissioners hire an ‘Open Space Director’ at $100k per year at County Taxpayer expense?  (Click Here) …if our Commissioners weren’t already ‘in the pocket’ of Special Interests today?  Again, what’s your ‘Primary Interest’ ECT reader?

Part II – The Town of Vail’s voters has PROVEN this can be done legally.

Recently (November 2011) the Town of Vail voters were given the choice on their election Ballots to take Vail tax money that was collected for one purpose (Vail’s originally planned Convention Center) and legally voted to move that money for other purposes in the Town of Vail.

Moving Open Space funds can be done – legally.  What it takes is Leadership.  County Open Space money can be legally re-dedicated to funding other purposes including Public School Education.  It will take at least one election and probably at least two Ballot questions.  Our Community doesn’t need to constantly increase Property Taxes, what we need is a frank discussion about what our Community’s Needs are verses our Wants.

Below Photo was taken last week in Edwards, Colorado.  The sign didn’t stay up too long last week…however the ECT wanted to share this photo with you and Mr. Denhart.  For the record the ECT folks were not responsible for the Sign and don’t know who is – however the ECT would sure like to give those concerned folks the CREDIT!  Please contact the ECT.

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2 responses

  1. Clearly, our school district is top heavy. Compared to other districts in the front range and elsewhere in Colorado, our district is top heavy with pay and personel. There are other districts with better performing schools and administers being paid far less. Perhaps this will be fact checked by one of those administrators with “extra” time on their hands!

    I also believe it is time for users to step up. Why is it such a hard concept that perhaps there should be some nominal charges for bus users, athletic fee’s and students in general. Teachers have offerred many solutions and a willingness to cut back. The district says it will lose about $200 per student in state funding. Well, parents? My kids are in private school and I am making cuts in my personal spending to keep them there. The free lunch is over people! It’s time for ALL parents to step up.

    Repeal the open space tax. It has been used and abused. The $6MM spent on Edwards open space, millions on the Bair Ranch, Homestead…….what a joke! Those are liberal ideas for job creation? Nice.

  2. There is nothing wrong with having a “wants vs. needs” discussion in Eagle County, Colorado.
    There is too much taxpayer money in the County’s open space fund, (and if you believe the School District) not enough funding for our Public Schools.
    Strange isn’t it…that the folks over at the Daily Fishwrap haven’t picked up on this…

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