Published: April 8, 2014
Final bill is not in yet
It was with great satisfaction that we met the new candidates for the Black Forest fire board election on May 6. Rick Nearhoof, Jayme McConnellogue and PJ Landmaid are all firefighters, which is a welcome change from the previous boards over the years that were entrenched in cronyism and people who never went near a fire in their lives. They dispelled some of the myths put out by the current board supporters but even more aggravating about the current board is the fact that they are, as of this writing, $117,000 in the hole from hiring a public relations firm, an attorney and private investigator. This is on the taxpayer's dollar, and our final bill is not in yet!
There are a number of Black Foresters who are furious at these bills that wouldn't be discussed at the last meeting by the present board with the excuse that "all the invoices aren't in yet."
Present board member, Walt Seeley, was reviewing where they could pare back on expenses of personnel and equipment because they were running over budget at the last board meeting.
The personal fiefdom of board members who protect themselves with a PR firm is not our responsibility and certainly not to be compared to fire safety in equipment and firefighters themselves. Maybe it's time to reallocate our funding priorities. It's about firefighting, not how the board members appear to the Black Foresters.
I believe this current board should be billed for their rather lavish spending, exempting board member Rick McMorran, who appears to be the only voice of common sense and disagrees with their financial decisions on the basis of illegality. The Black Forest Fire Board should also not be the last refuge of a retired military officer looking for something to dabble in as the board president seems to be doing.
I just can't take this current board seriously and now we will be footing their total public relations/investigations bill, which is pretty disgusting.
Donna T. Hartley, Black Forest
Too large for federal bureaucracy
Obamacare is simply wrong, but perhaps not for reasons discussed most frequently. Most comments have to do with its slow, halting progress in implementation and I hear from others personally about various frustrations. But in a larger sense, I feel that the federal government has no business even being involved in health care other than, perhaps, regulating it to promote fair competition.
Our Constitution is a remarkable document designed by informed and intelligent people who understood both the failings of past governments and human nature tendencies that make governing difficult. In their wisdom, they accommodated those issues in a document for all ages: power must be balanced and shared; one body cannot effectively or rightly do all things.
According to the Constitution, not only should the federal powers be more effectively balanced than they currently are, but the states should have more of the power and management, both for the political reasons of power sharing, but also simply for efficient regulation and implementation. Examples of what should be done at state level are education and health care, both in disarray as implemented at the federal level. Both of these vital issues are too large and personal to be handled effectively by federal bureaucracies.
They have simply become examples of misplaced power and control.
Changing the management of just these issues would save immense numbers of dollars, and would perhaps, encourage addressing the true issue with health care, the cost of care which makes it unaffordable for many. The current system encourages people to live unhealthy lifestyles and then attempts to pay the massive resulting bill.
Obamacare is big government buying votes and reducing the people to dependents.
Ultimately, like it or not, "we the people" are responsible - for education or personal health. Hmm, maybe that is what families are all about.
Jim McKelvey, Black Forest
Democrats want to dredge up dirt
The AP reported in last Friday's edition of The Gazette that the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to release parts of a secret report criticizing CIA terror interrogations after 9/11 with the White House instructing intelligence officials to cooperate fully. Recently a commentary by Sen. Mark Udall in the Gazette referenced the anticipated report and the release of confidential information.
Now why do you think the release of information that might damage the Republicans is happening now?
The 9/11 catastrophe produced a reaction that said "Let's find out how this happened so it doesn't happen again." We are now more than a decade since that horrendous event happened and the Democrats want to dredge up dirt to try to distract the voters from the decisions and other actions that have taken us down a potholed road to fewer jobs, more people leaving the workforce and indecision by companies not able to determine how the government policies will affect their ability to profit and survive. As usual, Democrats tactics are to distract from the responsibility for the solutions we need to bring back a healthy economy.
Bill Robinson, Colorado Springs
Making dangerous assumptions
Maybe Gov. John Hickenlooper should inform his fellow governors that if their state troopers don't stop assuming drivers of cars with Colorado license plates possess marijuana, Colorado state troopers will start assuming drivers of cars with out of state plates are in possession of high capacity ammunition clips.
Bill Schaffner, Colorado Springs