Picks for the Primary Election, August 10, 2010

U.S. Senator: Jane Norton.

Tough call. Two good candidates, either would do Colorado conservatives proud. The Senate, however, could use a pro-life woman and Jane will shine in that role.

Governor: Dan Maes.

A protest vote. Too quickly the state Republican establishment circled the wagons around Scott McInnes, a squish on social issues, and a huge headache on ethics, given the plagiarism scandal. Maes is poorly funded and will have a difficult time against Democrat Hickenlooper in the fall.

State Treasurer: J.J. Ament

Impressive list of endorsements from political leaders whom we trust and who know J.J. well.

El Paso County Sheriff: Terry Maketa

He’s performed well but he dithered about whether to run again. That left a void and Jake Shirk jumped in. Nonetheless Maketa deserves another term.

…and that’s all folks. Short primary ballot this year. Tom and Deb’s picks for the general election in November will be posted by October 1.


Tom and Deb’s Picks for Election Day on Nov. 3, 2009

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

District 11

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.

Donahue Quashie

Christopher Wright

Danielle Lindorf

District 38

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.

To all users: Note: our picks for the local elections on Nov. 3, 2009, will be posted on October 15

Tom

Colorado Springs Municipal Election; April, 2009

NOTE: Only one of these districts will be listed on your ballot, depending on your address.

City Council

District One      Scott Hente

District Two      Darryl Glenn

District Three    Jerry Heimlicher

District Four      Bernie Herpin

Ballot Questions

1A  NO   A small property tax for Powers Blvd. improvements is set to expire. That work is completed. This would keep the tax in place and use the money to form a committee to find jobs for Colorado Springs.

1B  NO    Would allow the city to keep $1.2 million in extra revenue collected in 2008, and above its allowable limit, and spend it on “essential city services.” The word “essential” is not defined.

1C  YES  Would allow a small portion of tax revenue raised for trails and open spaces to be diverted for the maintenance of city parks.

1D  YES   Would allow the airport and other city “enterprises” to receive federal funds that would otherwise be above the allowable revenue limit, according to TABOR (Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights).



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