“I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them” – Adlai Stevenson
The 2018 Election Season is nearly over and I, for one, am happy to have that be the case. For me, and 63 other County Clerk and Recorders, the Election Season is very different from the election process. The Election Season is one that often includes interest in new candidates, appreciation for incumbents, and a look toward the future of our community and Country.
The election process is so much more than just printing a ballot and sending to our voters. It includes updating and processing voter moves, party affiliation changes, cancellations, and processing updates through the National Change of Address Act; meeting with candidates and potential candidates to help them understand our complicated ballot access laws; ensuring that election equipment, ballot stock, and sensitive election consumables are securely stored with a chain of custody; ensuring that cyber security is maintained at the highest level; training election judges; constructing a ballot that complies Federal and State laws and ensuring all this is done with transparency.
In the County Clerk and Recorder Office, the election process moves along as other opportunities to serve our citizens continue. Motor Vehicle and Driver License services are an important part of our daily work. Those services help keep our citizens legally operating vehicles and using our roads.
Marriage and Civil Union licenses, real estate recording, birth and death filings and certifications are just a few of the other services that are so important to citizens. To protect the integrity of these services, it is important to have experience and understanding.
In accordance with state law, the ballots will be mailed on October 15 to all active registered voters. Ballots must be in the office of the County Clerk by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day – November 6, 2018. There are a number of candidates on the ballot, judges for retention, and many ballot questions.
I have served as Grand County’s Clerk and Recorder for 27 years. I run for office, not to see my name on the ballot, but to provide service to our citizens in a place I have called home for 42 years.
I understand our services from the ground up. I know the history of elections, motor vehicle, driver license, recording, licenses services and why that history is important; where all these services are today; and how we can make our services better for our citizens into the future.
I ask for your vote on November 6, 2018.
Grand County Clerk and Recorder
As Superintendents of our two great school districts in Grand County, we are writing this letter in hopes to gain your support for Amendment 73 in the upcoming November election. Amendment 73 will raise over $1.6 billion dollars statewide on an annual basis. The money will then be distributed to districts based on student count. For East Grand, that means an additional $2,000,000 every year. West Grand School District will receive over $800,000 each year. This money will be raised by a graduated income tax increase for those who report over $150,000 of taxable income on their Colorado income tax returns. Income taxes paid by “C” corporations will increase as well. For most (92%) of Colorado’s tax payers, there will be no income tax increase at all. In addition, Amendment 73 addresses the problems created by the Gallagher Amendment. Business property taxes will be reduced from 29% and fixed to 24%, while personal property taxes will be set at 7% of assessed valuation, down from the 7.2% from the previous year.
Our Grand County communities believe in strong local control of how our taxpayer money is spent. Amendment 73 is aligned with that belief. Amendment 73 distributes money based on specific student factors but does not dictate how that money is spent locally. Amendment 73 includes language for full day kindergarten funding, as well as increases in funding for English Language Learners (ELL) and Gifted and Talented (GT) students. Finally, Amendment 73 uses a formula to fund districts with students qualifying for both free and reduced price lunch where the current formula only provides districts with funding for free lunch priced students. Both East Grand and West Grand districts have surveys out to the public asking how best to use this additional funding. Topics that seem of importance in both districts are the recruitment and retention of staff and re-establishing programs that have been cut over the past decade due to reductions in funding.
Opponents to Amendment 73 claim that this amendment will have a negative impact on other special districts when in fact it only changes the tax structure for education. Amendment 73 has been reviewed by the legislative legal counsel 3 times and all 3 times they concluded Amendment 73 will have no effect on any other special district or entity. Amendment 73 only changes the tax structure for education. Opponents claim that the language surrounding tax increases is misleading. For example, opponents claim that corporate taxes will raise by 23% from its current 4.63%. The amendment says the increase will be in increments not in percentages and that the 1.37% increase will make “C” corporation taxes total 6%. Last, those opponents who are saying there is a better way to fund our schools do not understand recent school funding history in Colorado. Over the past 9 years, East Grand has been underfunded by over $8 million dollars, while West Grand’s funding gap exceeds $4 million dollars during the same time period. Throughout this time, many solutions to close this gap have been offered to our legislators. However, there has been an unwillingness from legislators to change anything. No way of funding is perfect, but doing something to fix a problem is a far better solution than doing nothing.
Please support our Grand County Schools and vote in support of Amendment 73. We have great schools, great students and great communities. With this increase in funding we will be able to provide more opportunities and a higher quality education for our students.
Thank you for your continued support of our students and schools.
Frank Reeves, Superintendent, East Grand School District
Darrin Peppard, Superintendent, West Grand School District
Bravo to John DiGirolamo’s editorial regarding the entertainment and the football entertainment industry’s bias, unhumor and stupidity. Well written, truths and keen insight. Keep it up!
Winter Park Highlands
Kudos and thanks to the gardeners for Fraser and Winter Park for another season of beautiful flowers along US 40 and around the towns. It was a challenging summer weather-wise (hot, dry, and windy) but you prevailed. Your hard work and dedication to beautifying our community is greatly appreciated.