APPROVAL: Late voters rule the world | Subscriber content



EDITOR’S NOTE: Last minute voters benefit everyone. They include a high density of the most demanding individuals, including those who refuse to vote until the campaigns are over.

As a courtesy to late voters, The Gazette presents below a recap of the approvals it first published on October 10. Whether you vote sooner or later, we encourage everyone who is informed, registered and compassionate to vote in Tuesday’s election. We offer these approvals as a voting aid and encourage potential voters to include a variety of resources in their decisions.

As always, The Gazette strives to promote candidates and electoral measures that promise to improve our economy, quality of life, public safety, transportation, education, and a supportive family and business environment.

This year’s election stands out because public schools have become a hot new battleground. COVID policies and institutionalized racism have taken center stage in educational discourse.

The National Education Association openly advocates for more institutionalized racism in classrooms with the teaching of critical race theory – a radical philosophy of higher education that makes non-white students identify as victims of their own. white peers. It gets kids to focus on race first and foremost and takes time to teach the basics that all kids need to learn in order to be successful.

The NEA’s local affiliate, the Colorado Springs Education Association, uses its funding, influence and school assets to launch personal attacks on minorities, mothers, fathers, immigrant veterans and veterans we have supported . Union leaders prefer candidates recruited by unions who take their marching orders and ignore parents’ wishes. Most of the union’s candidates have been on school boards and have done nothing to address the dramatic drop in student achievement that disproportionately affects children from the poorest families.

Our recommendations in three local school board elections include only candidates who are dedicated to results that are useful for all children. Our endorsers will stand up against institutionally racist curricula that judge students on the basis of skin pigmentation. Our candidates oppose all forms of racism.

Thank you for taking our suggestions into account and enjoying the privilege of voting!

School district races

D-11: Vote for Sandra Bankes, Lauren Nelson, Al Loma

D-49: Vote for Ivy Liu, Lori Thompson, Jamilynn D’Avola

D-20: Vote for Tom LaValley, Aaron Salt, Nicole Konz

Yes on 2C, 2D and 1A

Parks could be the best social program in which a community invests. Without the civilized sanctuary of Central Park, New York would be an intolerable concrete jungle. Without Hong Kong Park, the Pearl of the Orient would be another towering forest of concrete, glass and steel. Then there is what should be known as America’s Park, the Garden of the Gods owned by the city of Colorado Springs.

Maintaining a high standard of livability in any city requires easily accessible and well-maintained parks that allow people to escape the daily grind in the residential and commercial spaces they occupy most of the time. . Parks help improve the mental and physical health of the general public.

We cannot think of any disadvantage for the parks acquired legally, equitably and strategically which makes the recreational space available for the districts which represent the economic bet. The biggest cities and towns get and maintain the biggest park systems.

Since Mayor John Suthers was a child, Colorado Springs has grown from a small town of 45,000 to the 39th largest city in the country with a population of nearly 500,000. Colorado Springs also ranks among the nation’s top destinations for first-time residents and visitors, with hotels in the community recording the nation’s second-highest occupancy rate this summer. The parks are an important part of the region’s appeal as they provide spaces for visitors and residents to meditate and enjoy some of nature’s most beautiful scenery and great weather.

The quality of life and the attractiveness of a community require well-maintained parks, but also a viable economy that is not stifled by taxes. For this reason, The Gazette’s editorial board clings to skepticism whenever a politician presses the public for a tax hike. In most cases, local, county, state, and federal agencies have more money than they need, although politicians and government bureaucrats generally think they could use more. Often, as seen with the recent tax increase in School District 11, public entities perform worse when they receive more money.

We cannot compare the Colorado Springs city government to a poorly managed school district. The city is at least 10 years past the era of municipal dysfunction that became the city’s de facto hallmark under the former city council government. Through the leadership of former Mayor Steve Bach and Mayor John Suthers, Colorado Springs has become the benchmark for municipal success. Culturally, artistically, socially and economically, Olympic City USA has gone from “good to excellent”, if one can borrow a phrase from the best-selling author from Colorado, Jim Collins.

Maintaining this enviable trajectory takes work, vision, confidence and investment. We’ve made huge strides in improving cratered roads and building what will be considered the best stormwater drainage system in the state, having left it so badly that state governments, Federal and City of Pueblo successfully sued us. While other cities “fund the police”, we invest, hire and operate the city’s largest police academy.

After addressing the three most urgent needs neglected under the former city government, it’s time to focus more on parks. Without a world-class park system, we will not be a world-class city.

As Suthers explained in a recent Perspective section, voters approved the Trails, Open Spaces and Parks (TOPS) program 24 years ago. Since then, the city has gained 100,000 additional inhabitants. Weighing in on the comments received in 24 years, The Gazette has not heard from many readers who regret the investment in trails, open spaces and parks.

In fact, we can easily say that our pro-parks comments exceed the negatives by about 10 to 1. Throughout the COVID pandemic, parks have been a boon to residents facing voluntary or mandatory lockdowns in the city. the House.

Colorado Springs Issue 2C would extend the TOPS program by 20 years. This would increase the tax from 0.1% (1 cent on each $ 10 purchase) to 0.2% (2 cents on each $ 10 purchase). The tax would generate an additional $ 11 million annually. With the extra penny on every $ 10 in commerce, the city would have $ 22 million each year for the acquisition, development and maintenance of open spaces, trails and parks.

In addition to parks, a city’s economy and tax burden are very important to the strength of a community. A thriving economy – an economy in which most people have good jobs, homes, health care, shelter, and food – requires more than good public security, infrastructure, and parks. It also requires a tax formula that maximizes what the private sector keeps while providing enough local government to support the activities of the private sector and the entities that define their lives. It’s a delicate balance.

If voters agree to the 0.1% tax increase, they will continue to live in one of the most tax-friendly large cities in the United States. As Suthers reminds us, Colorado Springs has a per capita tax burden of $ 730. This compares to the average per capita tax of $ 2,600 in the rest of the country’s 100 largest cities. No wonder people are moving here in droves.

Let’s make this great city even better. Vote “yes” to number 2C to expand and improve our parks.

Colorado Springs Issue 2D presents voters with another straightforward investment opportunity that is virtually painless. Due to our thriving state-wide and local economy – an economy that seems almost plague resistant – taxpayers are expected to receive a tax refund of around $ 30 million in 2021. The issue 2D is asking voters – politely, we might add – if the city government can keep $ 20 million to create a permanent city-wide wildfire prevention and mitigation fund. The Colorado Springs Fire Department would manage the interest bearing fund.

Most Colorado residents who remember the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire know how quickly our forests can ignite and destroy homes and lives in the immense forest-urban interface that stretches north and east. south along the Front Range. We should never forget Waldo, the Black Forest Blaze, or any of the other massive fires that destroyed property and killed humans and wildlife across the region and state. Neglecting this risk is the definition of penny-wise, stupid book. Vote “yes” on 2C to save property and lives.

El Paso County No.1A, like the city’s 2C, is asking voters – just as politely, we might add – to keep $ 15 million in tax rebates to pay for road improvements and projects of dedicated parks. Again, this is not a tax increase. It is an opportunity for the public to invest in continuous improvements to the means of transportation and the parks that we all need, use and enjoy.

State measures

Amendment 78: Vote “yes”. This requires legislative oversight and approval before state officials spend federal grants or any money given to the state. For more information, check out our October 11 editorial titled ‘Vote’ Yes’ on 78 to End Shady Slush. “

Proposition 119: Vote “yes”. This would increase the tax on recreational marijuana to fund tutoring and other extracurricular enrichment and education activities. This would convert the income from vice and use it to improve children’s academic performance. For more information, check out our September 29 editorial titled “Don’t Let The Cannabis Peddlers Get Away Over The Children Of Colorado.”

Proposition 120: Vote “yes”. This would reduce property tax assessment rates for multi-family dwellings and lodging properties. For more information, see our September 29 editorial titled “Yes to 120 – Cut Taxes and Challenge Politicians”.

The Gazette Editorial Board



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