Published: March 15, 2014
These are very valid concerns
I have been researching the candidates for sheriff.
Bill Elder scares me. From what I gather, this guy refused to take a polygraph when he came out of VNI. Why is that?? I heard he's willing to do a polygraph about his stolen file. I bet he will pass because he's not the one that took it; I think one of his people did. You notice that he says he doesn't have a file, and in the next breath he's defending himself on fraud.
It seems as if a lot of these articles have been one-sided coming out and it's very frustrating. Read between the lines. We want to give a guy who can't even manage his own money millions of tax dollars and hope for the best? A tax was passed a couple of years ago that the sheriff is very frugal with. He makes sure the budget is extremely transparent so that he doesn't lose the trust of the citizens. If this Elder guy gets elected, I'd bet my paycheck that there will be fraud in the office. Let's have this guy take a polygraph and answer some questions about VNI, or on not following policy on overtime costing the taxpayers a lot of money.
I hope this email does not get swept under the carpet as these are very valid concerns. This county deserves someone who will carry on what the sheriff has started. Not some guy who quits every time there is a challenge.
Breana Briezy, Colorado Springs
Clearing up confusion
In response to Tim Johnson's viewpoint expressed in the March 12 edition, it's important to set the record straight and provide facts, which will clear up confusion citizens may have; confusion which has been spawned and fueled by misinformation and lies, and like in this case with Johnson often originating from supporters of Elder's campaign. I am personally invested, as the original author for each policy included in the Sheriff's Office policy manual. I hold myself to the same high standards described in those policies, even though I am exempt from them by nature of not being an "employee", but being an elected official. This exemption as an elected official is not unique to my position as sheriff, but is the same for all county elected officials, as written in the El Paso County policy manual. My comments concerning the policies and my exemption from them were taken out of context in recent news articles. Furthermore, the text from the El Paso County policy manual was not included in the articles even though the author had been provided the information. I challenge Johnson to provide any shred of proof that my actions concerning policies were in any way inconsistent with the same exemption all other county elected officials are afforded. I challenge him to show anywhere I stated that I am above the law. The truth is he will not find it because I take my oath seriously.
A few details of an Internal Affairs investigation were released to the media not because I have the authority to disregard a policy which governs the release of the information, but rather because media outlets submitted two requests through the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requesting the information.
I have always, and will continue to abide by the laws I have taken an oath to uphold and will continue to execute all my statutory obligations. I have never stated I was above any law.
I have always stated I am accountable to the citizens who elected me to serve as their sheriff, which is an honor and privilege I don't take lightly; the people who wish to fuel these malicious attacks act as if they thought of the idea that I am accountable to the voters. It's unfortunate people would choose to attack an organization as respected and professional as the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, and through their attacks insult the hardworking men and women who make up the organization. Tim Johnson should demonstrate his integrity by speaking to fact, not political lies and misinformation.
Terry Maketa, El Paso County sheriff
Make your voice heard
People in the Colorado Springs area have an opportunity this spring to weigh in on a timely and important topic: health care.
For months, the news has been buzzing about changes in our health care system, like the Affordable Care Act and health insurance exchanges. As millions of Americans begin to take a more active role in their health care, now is an important time for everyone with health insurance to make their voices heard.
From February through April, health insurers conduct a survey called the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS), which is mailed to select people with health insurance, including those enrolled in an individual plan, an employer-sponsored plan and Medicare. Responding to the survey by mail or phone is one way you can become part of the broader effort to improve our nation's health care system. Responses are kept anonymous.
Survey responses help the government and insurance providers identify ways to better serve people and improve the care they receive. The government and insurers want to make sure that people in the Colorado Springs area receive good medical care from doctors they trust. The CAHPS survey is one tool used to achieve this goal.
The CAHPS survey is an important opportunity for Americans to have a say in how health care changes in the years ahead. I encourage people in the Colorado Springs area to respond to the survey, as this one simple step can help improve health care for all of us.
Dr. Robert Beauchamp, Colorado Springs
A chilling development?
A chill went through my veins when I picked up the front page of the March 12 Gazette. It seems our esteemed county commissioners have made our county parks safe for any yahoo who wants to flaunt his firepower - and off-limits for the rest of us.
Thanks a lot.
Kenneth Guentert, Colorado Springs