Saturday, September 27, 2003
Charter school numbers
The 22 percent figure in Brent Boyer's article that was questioned in last week's Sound Off is a bit misleading. The School Board is arguing that the order from the state Board of Education to approve the Montessori charter school is an unfunded mandate because most of the public school funds come from local sources, not directly from the state. However, the state does provide about $1 million of the school district's annual $15 million budget. The argument that the Montessori charter is making is that they will not be taking even the majority of the money that the state provides directly to the school district, but only about $220,000, or 22 percent, of this money, so the charter is fully funded by the state and therefore is not an unfunded mandate. In terms of the percentage of the school district's budget, $220,000 is 1.5 percent of the district's budget.
Fix up Oak Creek
There have been many articles about trash and other complaints regarding Oak Creek. I live there, and I agree with the complaints. The trash is horrible. And what's with all the old, unused, nondrivable, trucks and cars littered in yards in Oak Creek? Oak Creek is a nice town, and there are many nice residents. Why should they have to look at the lawns across their town that resemble junkyards? I say Oak Creek needs to crack down on all the junk and garbage across town. Give residents tickets if they don't comply. Make Oak Creek pleasant to drive through and to live in.
Questioning ESL classes
I observed in your Happenings section that there is free "English as a second language" instruction available at Colorado Mountain College. Why is there not free "Spanish as a second language" instruction available?
According to the Steamboat Chamber Resort Association, the increase in Triple Crown events they want to see would bring in an additional $3.3 million to the business community. They want three new ball fields to do this. However, the increased tax revenue to the city would only be about $150,000 per year. Any of these fields would cost more than that, not including any land cost, and that's assuming all of the tax increase went for new ball fields, which it wouldn't. And this doesn't include any money for field maintenance and repair, which is an ongoing problem with the existing fields. Also, it sounds as if the Chamber Resort Association expects local taxpayers to pay for keeping private, mostly nonresident owned condominiums rented in the summer. Anyone with knowledge of the city's history knows that we are seriously overbuilt with condominiums. I don't think this is the taxpayers' responsibility. I believe putting more taxpayer dollars into new Triple Crown ball fields is a real loser for the city. I challenge the Chamber Resort Association to find better revenue producing events that are more community-friendly. What about the cutting horse event, the vintage car races and the motorcycle races?
No, the city should not place greater priority on business-friendly projects. The city should stop subsidizing businesses in all respects.
Wasting my money
No, all levels of government already waste way too much of my tax money on business subsidies. I'm against any more.
Kudos to police
God forbid the Oak Creek police play or coach football or any other game with the youth instead of harassing them. Oak Creek finally has a police department, including code enforcement, that is run with common sense, fairness and professionalism, instead of ego and power.
Find school solution
Rather than pour more money into the Soda Creek Elementary School, wouldn't it be smarter to look at closing it and combining it with Strawberry Park or perhaps building a new elementary school on the mountain side of town. Is there a reason for two elementary schools to be so close together?