cheyenne mountain high school mascot

The logo for the new mascot at Cheyenne Mountain High School.

D-12 has incredible leadership

As a graduate, current parent and member of a family actively engaged in the community for nearly 50 years, I know that D-12 is committed to academic excellence and student achievement.

The current D-12 Board of Education has carefully considered and successfully implemented several significant transitions in the last few years. These include transitioning to a new Cheyenne Mountain High School mascot, selecting a new district superintendent and implementing a successful COVID-19 response to maximize in-person learning for our students.

D-12 has had incredible leadership to weather this storm. In addition to a layered preventative approach, D-12 made the difficult decision to mandate universal masking. While we recognize that masking is not ideal, the CDC guidelines dictate how to maintain in-person learning. No matter where you stand on COVID or mask efficacy, the rules to maintain in-person learning are clear. The D-12 policy has resulted in more in-person school days than any other local district.

For the first time in several years, the D-12 election is contested with six candidates running for two positions. Board of Education members should be nonpartisan without a political agenda. A school board’s first responsibility is to the children it serves, not to special interest or political groups. Several of the individuals running for the Board of Education appear to have a political agenda. Please refer to this document as you consider each of the candidates and their intent to serve our children: https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.33/b04.746.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/El-Paso-School-Board-Candidate-Survey.pdf

We expect another year with significant impacts related to the pandemic as well as ongoing transitions as our new superintendent, David Peak, assumes the helm of our district. Given the complexity of the current issues, I strongly believe that supporting our incumbents to continue their excellent work is paramount to our ongoing success as the top school district in Colorado.

Please support the re-election of Randy Case and Nissa Steinhour to continue to provide excellent, nonpartisan work on behalf of our students and our district. They have proven to be true leaders that have executed difficult transitions with grace and kindness in the face of angry opposition. I thank them for their leadership, courage, and commitment.

Betsy Kleiner

Colorado Springs

Security Fire Protection District

The Security Fire Protection District personnel have an enormous task saving lives and property. With increased population within the District comes increased demands for life and property saving services. In order to continue this vital mission, the District placed measure 6A on the November 2021 ballot requesting a $6.4 million increase in funding. Per the ballot, this will cost homeowners only $3.81 per month per $100,000 of home actual value. The ballot also points out they reduced the requested increase from the original $7.9 million request, which they state is 20% less (actually 18.9%, but 20% sounds better). Let’s take a look at what I already contribute to the District’s budget. Based on the assessed value of my home, in 2020 I paid $221. However, in 2021 the assessed value of my home increased 10% (actually 9.9%, but 10% sounds better). As a result, the amount I paid to the District increased to $242. Should the $6.4 million ballot measure pass, I will be paying an additional $155 per year to the District, or a total of $397. That amounts to an 80% increase (actually 79.5%, but 80% sounds better).

I am willing to pay my fair share to support the District. However, the District’s 2021 Planning Update mailed out in May 2021, pointed out that due to the increased population living on the east side of Powers contributed to the District’s overall increased response times. To reduce overall response time and better save life and property for those who live east of Powers, the District stated it needed to build two new fire stations also located on the east side of Powers. I believe my fair share of supporting the District occurred when my taxes paid to build the three existing fire stations, located on the west side of Powers. The District’s new flyer states the $6.4 million increase will address “unmet facility needs”. The fire station near my home apparently doesn’t have any unmet needs. They had sufficient funding to purchase and install a beautiful automated 2-sided color sign, which neither saves lives or property.

I believe those homeowners living on the east side of Powers should pay to build the two new fire stations that will be protecting their lives and property. I suggest the District consider splitting into two separate districts, one west of Powers and one east of Powers.

Bruce P. Amos

Colorado Springs

Issues Colorado voters will face

Tom Cronin and Bob Loevy display a lack of both respect and voter knowledge in their Oct.17 opinion column about the issues Colorado voters will face on the Nov. 2 ballot. A few quotes from their piece make this clear. No. 1. “ We always give greater scrutiny to citizen-initiated ballot issues than to those sent to the voters by our elected state legislators.” Translation: Colorado’s voters just aren’t intelligent enough to put on the ballot issues that deserve serious consideration and possible passage by their fellow citizens; only the all-knowledgeable state house and senate are able to do that.

No. 2. Discussing Proposition #119, “This proposal will appeal mainly to voters who are critical of public schools and would like to see more public money devoted to private education.” As former college professors, one would think Cronin and Loevy would be well aware of the dismal condition of primary and secondary education in Colorado, replete with annually lower test scores and competence levels in math and reading at ever lower levels. Is any wonder that parents are looking to enroll their children in charter, private and religious schools?

No. 3. Discussing Proposition #120, “Unfortunately, Colorado voters just cannot stop approving tax cuts.” Providing a not-very-subtle cheer for big government, the writers are just aghast that citizens would prefer lower taxes.

How dare they, especially when their state government has made so many questionable choices with the tax funds they collect every year.

Rich Boyle

Colorado Springs

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