Colorado "Election Tech" – Check to see if your Ballot is being Counted!

by the Fans of Eagle County Clerk and Recorder – Teak Simonton (photo)

Teak-SimontonIt only takes a minute to see if your Ballot that you Mailed back into Eagle County – has been received and is being Counted!

Go Here:  https://www.sos.state.co.us/voter-classic/pages/pub/olvr/findVoterReg.xhtml

Or just (CLICK HERE)  – Now just enter your Name, Zip Code and your Birthdate and click “Search”.  The next page shows if the Eagle County Ballot Counters have received your Ballot and if it is being Counted!

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Clerk Teak Simonton has assured the ECT folks that any Ballot returned with just (1) First Class U.S. Mail Stamp – WILL MAKE IT TO Eagle County – to be counted.  Don’t worry about any extra Postage!

Altruistic Local Campaign Endorsements? Not Really

by  Clayton Moore

Sometimes your have to “look under the covers”.

In this case the documented information – was hidden (discovered) “out in the open” – specifically online at the the Eagle County School District’s (monthly Check Register) time frame: Circa 2016

It is an excruciating and tedious job looking through their spending Check Register – however the ECT did find some things worth reporting.

DISCLAIMER:  ECT not telling anyone how to Vote on the School District Tax Ballot questions.

What the ECT discovered…

The so called “Walking Mountains Science Center” (staff) – has written more then (1) letter encouraging Voters to Vote for the District’s (2) Ballot Questions – that constitute the largest single Property Tax increase in the history of Eagle County.

So?

So, what the ECT discovered reviewing the District Check Register is that Walking Mountains can accurately be described as “a business partner” of our School District.  Plenty of District money being paid for monthly School “Field Trips” to the Walking Mountains campus in Avon.  Just so you know.  ECT will not make a “value judgment” on this arrangement – only to report that it happens.  A lot.  (Click on the Graphic Below) to enlarge it.

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Our School District also saw fit to spend your hard earned Tax Money you paid them to buy “ONE Table” at the Walking Mountains “Taste of Nature” event.  $3,000.00  (Click on the Graphic Below) to enlarge it.

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Vail Resorts has also been a VERY VOCAL SUPPORTER of the District’s Proposed Tax Increases – Isn’t that right – Ms. Kristin Kenny Williams (VP, Mountain Community Affairs – Vail Resorts)

Vail Resorts also enjoys a friendly Business Relationship with our School District as well.  A payment from the District’s coffers for $10,950.00 last April 2016 – presumably for “Learn to Ski” services from the month before in March 2016.  (Click on the Graphic Below to enlarge it)

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So just keep in mind as you work to complete your Ballot – not every letter of endorsement is based on Unselfish, Altruistic interests…

To review a very brief summary of what the ECT discovered in our School Districts – Taxpayer funded check register  (Click Here)

-CM

 

 

 

 

The Strange Case – of the Benchmark Covenants

by  the fans of Rod Serling

“Imagine if you will…”

A request by a local Government to change (actually terminate) a legal “Declaration of Protective Covenants” that has been “on the books” for decades (Circa 1974).

The Towns justification?  “…some 42 years later the “Benchmark Covenants” are outdated, duplicitous with the Town’s Development Code and Regulations – and allegedly unenforced.”

Benchmark-Covenants

The Issue:  The Effected Private Property Owners – DON’T KNOW – what the effects will be on their Private Property – because the Town – is not telling them.

Further the Town (to date) hasn’t precisely defined specified what (real development changes) are likely to happen if Property Owners agree to the Terminate their Covenants – as requested by a vote.  Why Not?

ECT recommends CAUTION.  These same folks that are requesting the changes (and their Town Attorney) are the same folks that brought you the Avon Streetscape debacle – on the streets in front of the Avon Post Office.

‘nuff said.     (Click Here)   for more information.

-CM

VVMC Update – by Chris Neuswanger

by  Chris Neuswanger

Chris-Neuswanger-22OCT2016The 3rd quarter financials of the Vail Valley Medical  Center were just released, and I thought a community update might be in order.  The VVMC does not release these (even if requested) to the public but they can be found on line with the mandatory public record bond disclosures required by the VVMC issuing $100 million in bonds to help pay for the new construction at the hospital (which is now about $120,000,000 over budget).

The VVMC continues to make profits at a record breaking pace and assets continue to increase.  Revenues for VVMC are up slightly showing an increase for 9 months of $3.2mm over the same period last year, or a 2% growth rate.  This is indicative and verifiable evidence of the VVMC’s assertions that they kept price increases to about 2% over last year. 

Profit wise the VVMC has made tax free net income  and other non-operating income (such as interest and dividends) of $39,182,672  for the first nine months of its fiscal year.  That is an increase of $4.9mm of 15% over the same period last year. The VVMC has eclipsed it previous profit margins of last year, making a record shattering 28% of gross revenues as net income over the 25% for the first 3 quarters of last year, and is on track to surpass its’ overall average profit margin for last year of 24%.  Historically the profits of the VVMC have grown about five times faster than revenues, now they are growing seven times faster.

Typically non-profit hospitals generate from 2% to 7% profit margins, using standards developed by the American Hospital Association as measurement guidelines.  Historically, the 4th quarter (which we are now in, has been one of the most profitable for the VVMC, making it likely it will substantially surpass its previous year excess revenues of $52 million.

Liquid assets (which include investments, cash, and net pledges, but not bond proceeds, real estate or inventories) equal $280,060,592.  That is a increase $8.8million from a year ago.

In addition, the VVMC is making all this money tax free, they do not pay a cent towards the schools, roads and government services. By comparison, property taxes on a 300 sq foot  commercial office condo in Avon run nearly $1,000 per year but the VVMC which holds real estate and personal business property worth hundreds of millions of dollars does not pay a penny.  Every cent of the $52million in profits the VVMC made last year was exempt from Federal and state income taxes.  Purchases of supplies and inventory worth tens of millions was exempt from state and local sales taxes.

To learn more about the finances of the VVMC and view a full copy of the quarterly financial report visit: http://www.vvmcmoney.com

Chris Neuswanger

“The mountain mortgage guy”

Macro Financial Group

150 E Beaver Creek Blvd, Avon CO

970-748-0342-voice

Colorado license LMB100011589  NMLS 243369

Regulated by the Colorado Dept. of Regulatory agencies

Bruce Carey – ECT’s Pick for our next District Attorney

by  Clayton Moore

This is an easy one.  ECT picks Bruce Carey as our choice for the next 5th Judicial District – District Attorney.

Bruce-Carey-PhotoColorado’s 5th Judicial District includes (Eagle, Summit, Lake and Clear Creek) Counties – and all their Courtrooms.

Bruce has also earned the endorsements of our current Eagle County (elected) Sheriff (James Van Beek) and former 5th Judicial District Attorney – Mark Hurlbert.  Bruce is also a U.S. Veteran.

ECT spoke to a lot of folks including current District Court Judges – for their recommendation for our next DA.

Bruce was the favorite.  ECT not allowed to mention the names of these Judges.  So we wont.

Bruce’s decades of experience in our Criminal Justice system – and sense of fair play – win the day for the ECT’s endorsement of Bruce Carey.  Bruce also has a sense of Humor – ECT believes helps add perspective in a demanding job.

JUST REMEMBER – faithful ECT readers – you always want to be a friend of the D.A. – just don’t become – one of his customers!

Photo Credit:  Vail Daily – October 18th Issue

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eagle County – Divided

by  Clayton Moore

Eagle County – Divided?  Well the Hatfields and the McCoys had nothing on each other – when compared with Eagle County, Colorado today.

Eagle-County-Logo-LeftThe evidence of this (competing Tax Feuds?) will be delivered to you via U.S. Mail this week, when your Ballot arrives.  It’s due back by Tuesday, November 8th 2016 – National Election day.

This week the ECT will share some of the TAX FACTS about this election – that neither the Hatfields nor McCoys seems to want to expose.

Ballot Issue (1A) – wants you to vote yourself a tax increase in order to support – “More Affordable Workforce Housing.”  Part of the money raised targeted to “buy land” to put Affordable Workforce Housing on.

KEEP IN MIND:  You’re already paying Eagle County Taxes – to take developable land OFF THE MARKET.  It’s called the Eagle County Open Space Tax – and your paying that today!  And tomorrow, too!

CONGRATULATIONS EAGLE COUNTY! – your own County Government hasEagle-County-Logo-Right-Side grown so BIG – they they want you to pay to take developable land OFF THE MARKET – at the same time – you’ll be paying new Taxes to BUY LAND on the Market – to be developed!  It’s True, and the ECT insists this is NUTS.

Next up: Ballot Issue (3A & 3B) – our Public School District’s proposed Tax increase – is the largest proposed Tax Increase in the history of Eagle County.  The projected repayment cost of 3B alone (it’s in the Ballot language) is $233 Million – that will be attached to your Residential and Commercial Property…until the next time our School District – insists they have to have more of your families and business hard earned income.

ECT Question:  How does raising your Property Taxes – make anything more affordable?  Don’ worry Renters!  Your current Landlord will have something to say about your next years, Rent – if this new Tax passes…

Ballot Issue (1B) – Wants to Tax you an additional $32.7 Million for the purpose of expanding the “Eagle Valley Bike Trail”.  ECT hopes our readers already own a Mountain or Street Bike – because if all these other Ballot Issues pass – it’s unlikely you’ll be able to afford even a “used bike” in the months and years to come.

TAX FACT:  Even if all these proposed New Taxes (were defeated) your Taxes are already GUARANTEED TO GO UP!

How So?  Because the Eagle County Voters – approved a Tax Increase for the Ambulance District as well as the Eagle River Fire District – LAST MAY 2016.  That increase won’t be incurred (read: felt) until your new Property Tax Bill arrives in January 2017!!!

TAX FACT:  Recall how Beaver Creek Resort reacted when May 2016 County Voters voted to increase their cost to run a Ski Resort – Beaver Creek quickly decided to charge ($10.00/day) for Skier Parking – that was formerly, FREE.

ASK YOURSELF:  What the cost of YOUR Snowboarding or Skiing might be raised to should all these proposed new Taxes, pass.  It’s a safe bet that Vail Resorts – will pass on their increased costs (due to Higher Taxes) next year.

ECT will not tell voters “how to vote”.  Only consider points made here – “Cause and Effect” is an economic reality.  One wonders if our School District is teaching our kids about the economic realities of “Cause and Effect”.

All Eagle County, Colorado – School District Salaries posted Online

by     Information from our Eagle County Public School District

First things First.  Thank you Eagle County School District for responding to an “open records request” for this information.  All of our Public School District Employees are paid by the Eagle County Property Taxpayers – making each one of them, YOUR EMPLOYEE.

It is therefore REASONABLE to make this Public Record information available – to the Eagle County voters – when they are being asked to pay more Taxes – to support our Public School District.  ECT will NOT tell Voters how to vote on this Issue.

(Click Here) to download the entire Public School Payrollorganized from the Top Down (890 Employees).  The ECT does not have any specific financial information to share about our School Districts – Benefits (Healthcare, Dental) nor District Pensions at this time.

Per below – 80% of the entire School District Annual Budget is (consumed by) their Salaries, Benefits and EXISTING Debt Service.  Ballot Issue 3B – proposes to increase that Debt Service by an estimated $233 Million more…that will be attached to your Residential and Commercial Property.

This ECSD pie chart from Ms. Sandra Mutchler – CFO Eagle County Public School District.  A very nice lady by the way.

ECSD-Budget

(Click On the Table Below)

ECSD-Payroll

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