Legislator’s firearm leaves Capitol denizen feeling unsafe
Where I enter the Colorado Capitol, there’s a “No Firearms” sign and a metal detector. But not for Rep. Jared Wright, who left his firearm unattended in a committee room on Feb. 6.
Think about the schoolchildren touring. Suppose one found Wright’s gun. Suppose a deranged individual wandered in and got it. And suppose now we ask Wright to enter the Capitol the same way I do — through metal detectors.
I don’t feel safe with someone who carelessly leaves his firearm lying around. Nor do I trust that without going through a metal detector as I do, Wright will abide by the agreement between him and the governor that he now leave his firearm at home.
Schoolyard bullying by ex-superintendent, ‘liberal’ school board members
We’re taught to believe bullying is bad and should never be tolerated in any school, right? Well, maybe not, if you are a Jeffco schools union member, a teacher or a member of the Jeffco PTA. You are allowed to be a bully and bully the people whose opinions you disagree with, both in person and with Twitter, etc.
The school board meeting on Saturday, Feb. 8, was a mob scene orchestrated by the former superintendent and the teachers union. The union sent out a call for all teachers asking them to come to the meeting, wear black and harass the board. The attendees did just that; they incited a mob by telling lies and stirring up emotions. They were yelling “RESPECT” and “RECALL” and waving previously created banners while totally disrespecting the board and the process.
The “conservative” board has never disrespected former superintendent Cindy Stevenson. She couldn’t just leave gracefully; she had to have one last attempt at getting back at the people she did not like. The television news team just “happened” to be passing by the Jeffco schools headquarters at 8 a.m. on a Saturday? Obviously this was well-staged by the union to harass and try to humiliate the duly elected “conservative” board members. And these are the people we entrust our children to eight hours a day to teach them right from wrong and that bullying is not acceptable.
Well, teachers, if you can’t practice what you preach and conduct yourself with dignity and respect, then get out of Jeffco. For the record, Stevenson resigned as soon as the new board members were elected, not on Feb. 8. She elected to end her contract early to accept a new position. No one forced her out. Her tearful performance on Feb. 8 was worthy of Broadway. Board members Dahlkemper and Fellman knew before the board meeting that the superintendent wanted out of her contract. Another great performance on their part.
Neither the superintendent nor the “liberal” board members gave the new board members a chance. It was a foregone conclusion to make their job as difficult as possible and oppose every effort at improving Jeffco schools.
Funding for school board campaigns has become a major concern
After the recent school board election, I wondered why Jefferson County parents with children in school would vote for such a conservative board majority, because it was such a significant change in direction and just seemed obviously destined to cause acrimony. After seeing the big turnout of upset people at the Jeffco school board meeting at which former superintendent Cindy Stevenson was practically forced to resign, I’ve realized she certainly had a lot of support from Jeffco parents. I now think that voters with children in school were not who decided that election.
Who were the deciding voters? It’s important to take another look at that election turnout. In the first place, it was a myth that it was an unaffiliated election, because both the conservatives (Republicans) and the liberals (Democrats) ran slates of three people each, and since there was no official political identification at any point, voters had to be aware of the politics involved.
According to the public schools website, www.jeffcopublicschools.org, the total student enrollment for 2012-13 was 84,000. According to the voting results on the Jefferson County website, www.votejeffco.com, the actual election turnout in 2013 averaged 136,000 in all three districts. The conservative (Republican) candidates won every race by at least 11,000 votes and by 30,000 in District 1. By comparison, the turnouts in 2011 were no more than 117,000, and In 2009 the turnout averaged only 76,000 in the same districts as the last one.
I think the difference in the last two elections was the money involved and an unprecedented advertising campaign with well-placed ad buys and precisely targeted mailings that, combined with the efforts against the ill-timed tax increase of Amendment 66, buried wider community interests. This has very serious implications for all future Jeffco elections. I’d like to urge the Columbine Courier and its excellent writer Daniel Laverty to investigate the sources of funding that so completely changed the nature of our school board elections. How much is out-of-county funding and especially out-of-state funding influencing Jeffco politics? Cindy Stevenson was just the first casualty. Exactly who is it that has decided to take over the education of our children?