Recent letters to the editor from Gazette readers:
Should not be increasing taxes
We're already being hit with higher bills in this city for utilities, and now the D-11 School District wants to pile on a hefty increase in our property taxes if voters approve it.
This doesn't make sense because we've seen several schools in D-11 close in the past few years due to declining enrollment, yet the school bureaucracy says they need more money to reduce class sizes. They also want more money for bigger salaries, and that's probably where the greatest interest really is.
How much of a raise in pay do the D-11 officials think that most property owners in Colorado Springs have had since 2008? And people on fixed incomes, like Social Security, saw no raise in benefits at all for years until recently, when they will be handed the insult of a 0.3 percent increase in cost-of-living benefit for next year. They probably only did that because it's an election year.
Schools never should have been funded by property taxes in the first place, but that totally unfair system has been in place for many decades. There's nothing we can do about it now, apparently. But until we do have a genuine, "real" recovery in the economy that lifts up most property owners in this city, we should not be increasing taxes any more at all.
We'll never just move on
A response to Bob Armintor's Oct. 31 comments about Benghazi:
Hillary Clinton was responsible for the security of her people in Libya. She was especially responsible because Libya was rife with terrorism. She was especially responsible because she had repeated requests for more security from her people in Libya. She could have easily demanded and provided for more security. She was too busy padding her résumé. She was especially responsible because her State Department did not respond to the Secretary of Defense's request for military action and our planes never left the ground.
We will never forget our fallen heroes. We will never move on.
Choosing politics over character
Honor and integrity are the keystones of military service. These qualities are constantly emphasized by military leaders, beginning with entrance into basic enlisted training all the way to appointments to our nation's service academies - and well beyond throughout one's career service. This emphasis results in trust and teamwork, indispensable attributes for military operations and training. For this reason alone, it is inconceivable to me, a retired Brigadier General, USAF, that a handful of retired senior general and flag officers see fit to publicly endorse the Democrat candidate to be the commander-in-chief of our armed forces and president of the United States.
This remarkable lack of good judgment is further exacerbated by the recent FBI findings and reopening of the investigation in the email debacle. It is impossible for me to understand their actions and I lose all respect for those individuals who have chosen political expediency over personal character.
Richard J. Toner
Delay new federal mandate
As a small employer, I value my employees. I try my best to be flexible with their schedules and pay them as much as I can afford. But that becomes difficult when the federal government imposes heavy-handed mandates on my business. For example, the Department of Labor's new overtime rule is forcing me to scramble to figure out which of my employees are newly eligible for overtime and whether I can afford it.
I am at risk of having to monitor and reduce my employees' hours, and potentially be forced to curtail future hiring plans. Making matters worse, I need to be in compliance by Dec. 1 or my small business will face expensive penalties.
Small-business owners are their own HR departments and compliance officers. It is preposterous for the federal government to treat us like large companies and implement a dramatic change in such a short time. The National Federation of Independent Business, on behalf of its members and all U.S. small employers, has called on the administration, the courts and Congress to delay the implementation of the overtime regulations. The House of Representatives passed legislation that would delay the new mandate, and now the Senate has to act.
I think that I can speak for all small-business owners in Colorado when I say that Sen. Michael Bennet needs to vote for a delay for small business. This is a reasonable compromise and could save many thousands of small businesses from ruinous compliance penalties.
Trump and affordable health care
Donald Trump recently in Florida commented that his employees cannot afford the insurance premium increases of the Affordable Care Act. OK let me get this straight. A multi-billionaire business owner that does not provide affordable heath care for his employees. So they need to go to the government for basic heath insurance.
He is the type of business owner that makes it necessary for the Affordable Care Act. Maybe if other "business owners" like Trump made an effort over the last 30 years, the Affordable Care Act would never have been needed. So Mr. Trump what have you done in the past 30 years to help your employees with heath care?
Problems brewing for years
I had to respond on the letter to the editor concerning 'Must acknowledge this injustice'. I'm not practicing environmental racism so I can't speak for those who are. The writer doesn't say who to blame and instead offers a straw man argument that our local area was targeted because people of color live there and implies similar for folks in Flint. Shouldn't the question be, "do government folks try to cover up when they mess up?" Is it just when it's "people of color" they will do the wrong thing to save themselves? I don't really think they care what color others are when it comes to CYA time. These problems have been brewing for years and different parts of the government failed to act to protect the people as they should ... it was never the result of some racist organization.