Commissioners Baker and Sharpe,
Thank you for conducting the “Town Hall” meeting and your letter in the August 15 issue of The Villager about our Arapahoe County fiscal requirements, including the horrific, unacceptable to me, possibility of considering a property tax increase being on our November 2019 ballot.
First, it is only right to state my knowledge and qualifications to write about the matter.
Since your highly informative Town Hall meeting, I think although I know probably three or four times as much as I did about the situation, I feel I know even a smaller proportion of what I should know to form a credible opinion.
It is my personal opinion our good Sheriff grossly went into far too much detail and repetition about the inadequacies of our present jail.
The point for the need of a new jail facility was full well and convincingly made early on and then the horse continually still beaten and kicked over and over, far too long after its quite apparent demise!
Freda Miklin of The Villager tells us the Arapahoe County Long Range Planning Committee recommends letting the courthouse and DA offices be dropped as construction options for now and building the jail from a property tax increase passed on the November 2019 ballot.
That position opens more questions for the concerned, voting citizen to know the answers:
We were informed Arapahoe County is both one of Colorado’s fastest-growing counties and simultaneously one of its counties with among the lowest property tax rates.
The question then begs to answer is why our Arapahoe County government’s goal or objective is not to become THE Colorado County so well organized and operated as to have THE LOWEST TAX RATE in the state, rather than to want to join the great majority mass of higher taxers?
What, please, were the options identified and examined for a new jail?
What factors made the selected design a winner compared to unselected options?
Was the idea explored of building another facility to relieve the present inadequacy until the present facility could be renovated and become a fiscally frugal part of a newer, multi-facility complex?
What is the time frame for the use of a new facility, constructed now, until it needs more capacity?
What, specifically, is the committee’s design recommendation for our new jail and for how long is it supposed to be adequate?
What does the present board of commissioners foresee doing to avoid future Arapahoe County governments being saddled with unplanned for facility requirements for one of Colorado’s fastest-growing counties?
How and why can/should Arapahoe County citizen-taxpayers rest assured we have a fiscally responsible, forward anticipating government in place that will not allow the county to fall into a very similar, unforeseen, unanticipated, but easily foreseeable/expected abyss again?
Why should we citizens not consider the use of a twenty five-member Arapahoe County Long Range Planning Committee and its recommendations to be a mere charade to distract us from the inescapable, ultimate responsibility of the Board of Commissioners?
What Arapahoe County expenditures will be unmet in order to build a new jail if the tax raise goes on the ballot and is defeated?
My unchanged position remains, “NO NEW TAXES!”
We have clearly procrastinated far too long to decide to provide a larger, more updated jail facility.
Our previous, delayed, imprudent inaction is not reason present-day taxpayers should be required to cough up more money through increased property taxes!
When I commuted daily across Hampden Avenue, I used to frequently observe another auto with a prescient bumper sticker saying, “Sure, you can trust the government; ask an Indian!” Stuck out tongue, winking eye.
We must pray and hope that is not relevant to this situation!
Thank you for being my Commissioners and for the fine County in which we are proud to reside by choice!
Lou SchroederGreenwood Village
Surprise medical bills have become summer 2019’s hottest ticket if television ads are to be trusted. When patients seek emergency care outside their insurance network, unforeseen bills can result. When patients cannot afford to pay, insurers and doctors are stuck having to negotiate payment. Congress is scheduled to consider legislation dealing with these surprise medical bills after its summer recess. But the remedy currently contemplated by many lawmakers–government price controls–is highly misguided. Other government programs, such as Medicaid, rely on price controls. We see the results. Doctors who serve Medicaid patients must do so at highly discounted rates. As a result, many doctors refuse to serve the Medicaid population. Medicaid beneficiaries then have access to far fewer quality providers. Subjecting yet another group of medical procedures–in this case, procedures that result in unpaid surprise medical bills–to price controls will make matters worse. Price controls result in shortages. That means less access to quality care for patients and even more distortions of the medical marketplace.
Lawmakers should say no to more price controls and look for a better way to resolve surprise medical bills.
Nancy DotyLittleton, Colorado
I read with interest the op-ed column Crime and today’s societyin your August 15th issue. The premise of the column is that “today’s crime statistics are much worse than they were 10 or 20 years ago.” Well, I have good news. Crime in the USA has decreased dramatically since 1991.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, from 1991 to 2016, the overall crime rate per 100,000 population decreased from 5,856 to 2,857, the violent crime rate dropped from 716 to 366, with the murder rate dropping from 9.8 to 5.3.
It’s always nice to read some good news for a change.
Bob SteiertCherry Hills Village
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