Rob Douglas columns

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Rob Douglas: Sticker shock hits Ski Town USA

A week ago, Steamboat Springs resident Leah Wolf Martin knocked on my door and asked if I was aware health insurance premiums for coverage mandated by the Affordable Care Act were far higher in Steamboat than in most other Colorado communities.

Rob Douglas: Stormy stormwater success

While property owners in Steamboat Springs dodged the initiation of a stormwater tax this week — thanks to the excellent work of a residents task force — City Manager Deb Hinsvark already has begun the groundwork for a recreation district tax that hasn’t been publicly debated by the Steamboat Springs City Council.

Rob Douglas: PTO: How much is too much?

In the coming weeks, the Steamboat Springs City Council will continue to debate a subject it has wrestled with since the onset of the Great Recession. The subject is city employee compensation, and the debate concerns how to determine fair compensation.

Rob Douglas: Steamboat and our national debt

During the next several weeks, President Barack Obama and the congressional leadership will pretend to fight about the nation’s “debt ceiling.”

Rob Douglas: Hug a Colorado pot smoker

If you think the federal government has overstepped the powers delegated to it by the U.S. Constitution by passing laws and regulations that transgress the freedom, power and rights reserved to the states and individuals, you should hug a Colorado pot smoker.

Rob Douglas: City adds insult to injury

The city invited residents to share their thoughts about a proposed location for a new police station. And then, when those residents did as requested, the city manager tells them their view is inconsequential in the greater scheme of the city’s plan.

Rob Douglas: Stay out of Syria

I can speak out in opposition to a president who bluffed by drawing a “red line” against the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons but, now that the line has been crossed, intends to put the U.S. military in harm’s way to “punish” the regime instead of destroying it and the chemical weapons.

Rob Douglas: ‘That’s not the way it’s done’

The reaction to City Manager Deb Hinsvark’s decision to pursue constructing an 18,000-square-foot police facility in a residential neighborhood was so predictable it calls into question Hinsvark’s understanding of the character and fabric of Steamboat.

Rob Douglas: Steamboat’s widget shops

Given the majority vote this week by Steamboat Springs City Council to ban the use of the words cannabis, marijuana or any synonym or depiction for marijuana on advertising signs, marijuana proprietors will have to use a widget-like term to describe all marijuana products.

Rob Douglas: Where’s Sparky when we need him?

Try as they might to convince us otherwise, the plan by ski area officials to light 1,000 vertical feet of ski terrain will diminish the beauty of the night sky landscape at Mount Werner.

Rob Douglas: Sen. Graham’s proposed boycott

On Tuesday, to the bewilderment and disgust of every American equipped with an IQ above that of a turnip, Sen. Lindsey Graham told The Hill that President Barack Obama should consider boycotting the Olympics in February if Russia grants asylum to NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

Rob Douglas: Time to right a wrong

By proposing to suspend the city’s community housing ordinance for one year, the Steamboat Springs City Council took a half-step toward correcting the misdeeds of a previous council that unwisely passed a law that, among other faults, places the financial burden for the artificial creation of “affordable housing” on the backs of real estate developers.

Rob Douglas: Udall and the 4th

Having celebrated the 237th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, most Americans proudly believe there are no modern vestiges of governmental injustice similar to those that caused 56 delegates to the Continental Congress in summer 1776 to risk their lives by announcing the birth of a new nation.

Rob Douglas: Who will enter the fray?

This week, I had the pleasure of spending an hour with Ronald “Chip” Ravenscroft while he gave me a refresher course about why the residents of Steamboat Springs chose to institute a tax structure that is based on sales taxes instead of property taxes.

Rob Douglas: 'Leaving money on the table'

While crawling along Yampa Street trying to obey the new 15 mph speed limit, take the time to think about whether you want the Steamboat Springs City Council to begin the process of saddling city residents with new taxes.