Everyone: thanks for caring enough to cast an informed ballot. This year’s ballot is short, though. Only school board and local tax questions.
Academy School District 20:
Catherine Bullock–emphasizes abstinence education; favors teaching intelligent design as well as evolution; CPA;
Linda Van Matre–active in Moms in Touch; believes intelligent design is legitimate; supports vouchers
Terry Kunkel–social conservative, experienced, hard worker
Albert Loma--emphasizes abstinence in sex ed; believes “freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion in schools; seems friendly to intelligent design being taught; (but is weak on school choice). Serves as pastor of Victory Outreach Church and has a strong background in education. (Note: This is our only recommendation. You can vote for up to three, but if you only select one your ballot still counts.)
Falcon District 49
these choices are made with the help of a strong social conservative friend who has detailed knowledge of D-49 school board affairs and candidates.
David Cloud (this is the only contested race).
CITY TAX MEASURES
ISSUE 2C : NO Stay with us a moment on this one. Cities depend on sales taxes for most revenue. But the recession means retail sales –and therefore sales taxes–are down. Aha! says the city. let’s raise property taxes. They’re steadier. The city’s property tax rate is now about 5 mills (a mill is a $1 tax for every $1,000 of a home’s assessed value). Issue 2c would increase that by another 6 mills immediately, and by yet another 4 mills in four years. So–from 5 mills to 10 mills altogether. That’s a 200 percent tax increase!
But it gets worse. The city estimates it will be $25 million short in 201o tax revenue. How much would this tax increase bring the first year alone? $46 million. Seems like overkill. Without the new taxes, they say parks and community centers will be closed and also 50 police and firefighters will be laid off. We ask: aren’t there 50 other city employees who could be let go? We think so. There are 1,805 city employees.
ISSUE: 300 NO Some perspective. The city owns several “enterprises” (Patty Jewitt golf course, the airport, etc). Since these businesses are city-owned they don’t pay taxes, so they make contributions to the city in lieu of taxes. So far so good. But then the City Council said “Wow,” what other “enterprises” do we own from which we could get money? Incredibly, they said “storm water!”
Yup, storm water. The gutters, drains, pipes and catch basins that drain rain water is an “enterprise” and people should pay us — not taxes, understand–but “fees” for the city to maintain all of this. But those “fees” sure look like taxes, and by the way, don’t we already pay city taxes for stuff like that?
Sure we do, and that’s why a lot of people are mad. Doug Bruce has gone overboard in his reaction, and his Issue 300 would end all of these enterprise arrangements. A good idea to end the storm water nonsense, but he’s taken it too far.