Saturday, September 20, 2003
Over the hill?
My husband and I attended our first dinner social with Steamboat's Over the Hill Gang on Sept. 17. This event had the warmth of an enthusiastic, family welcome-wagon group. Giovanni's did a first-rate job serving fine food and wine in a timely manner for a good-size group.
We live in Houston and are relatively new condo owners in Steamboat Springs. We met in a lift line and have skied many mountains over the years. When it was time to retire and choose a ski town for a second home, we gravitated once again back to Steamboat because of its warmth and and beauty.
Oscar Wilde said "change is natural and inevitable," however, I did not anticipate wearing a big red name tag that would identify me as being part of the "Over the Hill Gang." After all, I am a woman who just recently turned 60. Need I say more on that topic?
Well, this over the hill group did not discuss gray hair, lack of hair or bowel problems. Instead, they did talk about hiking, biking, skiing and the joys of nature. There also was a brief presentation on the technology of new ski equipment.
I went away thinking about the big red name tag and what it represented. It seems to mean that I could be a part of a healthy, active group of seniors that embrace life in this beautiful town and maybe 60 isn't so bad after all. I also have a whole new attitude about "winter." I believe that Steamboat's Over the Hill Gang is representative of the healthy quality of life available in Steamboat. Thanks, Gang.
I'm pleased that the Steamboat Springs Resort Chamber is questioning Steamboat Springs City Council's move to raise property taxes. Too bad the chamber isn't questioning the honesty of the council members. We're told that the proposed property tax increase is to fund emergency services, yet the summer before last, when Routt County was ablaze, Paul Strong was quoted in this paper saying that emergency services funding never was threatened. In the following election, the voters defeated a proposal to increase emergency funding, perhaps remembering Mr. Strong's comments. It appears that once again, our City Council intends to dishonestly exhort life safety issues to wring more tax dollars from this community to fund unspecified projects.
The real reason City Council wants a property tax increase is to fund ancillary capital improvements. With this in mind, I have a suggestion for City Council: Get your butts into a conference room and come up with definite plans for these capital improvements. Do your job as elected representatives for the entire community and set forth proposals that have merit. If you do this diligently, you will be able to convince a number of voters to agree to the tax increases you propose. If you do this, you will, more than likely, convince the community that the proposed benefits outweigh the real burdens of the tax increases. So far, however, you have been behaving like our nationally elected representatives, extorting our earnings to fund your selfishly interested pet projects.
That's our hard-earned money you're spending. Spend it with our consent and you will spend it wisely. ... After all isn't that why this community elected you in the first place?