blue book 2021 (copy)

The Colorado Blue Book is sent to each home to inform voters about the pros, cons and costs of ballot questions each year.

Ballot measure Jedi mind tricks

The recent letter about the confusing ballot measure wording was spot-on. As I read the measures, I can almost hear the advocates mimicking the old Star Wars line, “the end clauses are not the parts you seek.”

Advocates always begin measures with a favorable statement that sounds reasonable, then put their potentially controversial real agenda at the end. Reading in reverse order provides a much clearer understanding. Take for example the recent D-49 mill levy measure. It asks for a tax increase to raise teacher pay, which might sound reasonable. But then it says, “and” may D-49 be allowed unilaterally to raise taxes forever in the future to offset revenue loss from property tax reductions or rebates. Read it in reverse order. Shall D-49 be allowed to raise taxes without another vote in the future to offset reduction in revenues from property taxes, and shall taxes also be raised now to increase teacher pay?

Similarly, county measure 1A seeks to keep revenues in excess of TABOR limits for roadway improvements and keep the money each year thereafter. Again, informed voters read it in reverse order. May the county keep all taxes in excess of TABOR from now on, and shall they use some (not all) of the retained funds for roadways?

Another — more subtle — mind trick is omitting potentially controversial aspects. Prop 119 (LEAP) provides an example. The fact that the taxpayer-funded LEAP program includes support to undocumented immigrant students might induce some people to support the measure or induce others to oppose it, but that potentially controversial aspect is not mentioned in the measure. To be clear, I am not advocating for voters to either support or oppose any of those measures. I just used them as examples of the subtle and not so subtle ways advocates attempt to obscure their true intent on ballot measures. As a voter, regardless of whether you support or oppose the measure; make sure your vote is an informed one by not falling for such Jedi mind tricks.

Kevin Curry

Peyton

Unscientific and unjustified demands

Southwest has opened the hole in the dam. Reality is rushing out, and common sense is finally prevailing. Now is the time for Biden to wake up and rescind his vax mandate and demand all governors, mayors, and DOD to do the same. The chaos of losing thousands of police, medical and military professionals along with teachers and other needed professionals will only result in more and more dangerous crime, death and national security risks.

Denying natural immunity gained from COVID recovery alone is just one fallacy of this mandate. Military leaders top down from DOD should put their stars on the table to demand the mandate be rescinded and threaten to resign if it is not.

They should have done this earlier to reject the disastrous exit from Afghanistan. The time has come for leaders to reject woke unscientific and unjustified demands of government officials at all levels. The nation deserves better.

Patrick Finnegan

Monument

Clarification of views

In response to accusations of “extremism” made by a local community member, and in light of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s attack on parents across America who have been labeled “domestic terrorists” for standing up and voicing their opinions, we, candidates for D-12 School Board Directors, would like to clarify our views in a joint statement:

1. Medical decisions should be made by parents, free of force, coercion, or pressure

2. As elected officials, school board members have the responsibility to reflect constituents’ values when considering curriculum

3. Students should be educated in civic responsibility and governmental workings beginning in grades K through 12

4. The Constitution is the supreme document by which resulting laws are interpreted

5. We, as citizens of the United States, are beneficiaries of the liberties granted to us by the U.S. Constitution; It is our duty to uphold and defend these liberties whenever government overreaches its authority

Mary Louise Fiddler and Dr. Rae Ann Weber

Colorado Springs

Cleaning up private properties

Regarding issue 2D: If the money was going to be used just for mitigation work on public land — even land outside the city limits — I’d be in favor of it. However, I feel strongly that mitigation work on private property should be done at the property owner’s expense.

I can see the fire department acting in an advisory capacity, but shouldn’t those residents dwelling in the wildland urban interface be motivated enough by lower insurance rates and potentially saving homes from wildfire to spend some money on their investment?

If the goal is to protect private property, then perhaps some sort of property tax based special district could be established. The fire department wants to expand their community chipping program under 2D, but unless they’re going to offer that service to all residents I’d rather not pay for it. Why should a few select neighborhoods, which contain some of the priciest homes in town, get this service when the rest of us don’t? The forest didn’t grow up around them, they moved into it.

There’s no language in city code that obligates Colorado Springs to mitigate fire hazards on private property, but I can think of plenty of other legitimate uses for that money that would benefit a greater swath of the population. We’ve got lots of other underfunded commitments that should be taken care of first before expanding city services to include cleaning up brush from select private properties.

Jeff Cooper

Colorado Springs

Parking for the disabled is flawed

Disability parking in Colorado Springs is a joke. I was in Denver recently where if one has a disability plate or placard you can park for free for up to four hours. Colorado Springs city government seems intent on forcing disabled people away. Mayor John Suthers is responsible for this circumstance. Our mayor and his parking meter czar are rude, uncivil and thoughtless.

Marshall Griffith

Colorado Springs

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