A letter from Thomas Jefferson to Jefferson County
I have heard that you had a celebration, and that you put a time capsule in the ground, in the middle of that absurd building that epitomizes the wasteful spending of your government. You also used my likeness, with a man in a costume. I can only imagine the absurdity of the inclusions in this “time capsule,” and how they do certainly not represent the reality of your corrupt county.
I have been quite upset by this, and I have asked Mr. Brown to write a letter to the paper. He is communicating my wishes, and I thank him for that, as I have been out of circulation for many years. I have asked him to write my words in the common language of your time, as my Old English would certainly not be well understood by the people of your age.
First, let me state that I quite resent your using my visage. It is bad enough that a county as corrupt and as poorly run as yours is named after me, but to use my likeness to seemingly endorse your county is reprehensible. In my life, I stood for all that was the best in man: honesty, integrity, freedom and courage in battle and in politics. I risked all that I own to help form this country, and I did it with full knowledge of the dangers and ramifications that could follow.
Never did I bribe an employee for my own personal gain.
Never would I lie to the families of murdered children to save my reputation or a lawsuit, although I do acknowledge that you live in a far more litigious time than I did. I would have faced those families and their loved ones and told the truth.
Never would I have used my political power to build a wasteful bridge or, as you did in the past, an entire office building, to further my political career.
Never would I lie to citizens or about citizens.
Never would I conduct meetings in secret, which I understand is common practice in your county.
I championed the poor, the helpless, and I fought for freedom. I fought for less Government, not to be confused with excessive and corrupt Government.
I would ask that you no longer use my “character” during your celebrations. In act, it is my greatest wish that you call yourselves Jefferson County, but leave the “Thomas” out of any future public events.
Just call yourselves Jefferson County, and I can rest in peace, hoping that the citizens will at some point forget my association to your entire county and believe, at some point, that the “Jefferson” reference might mean some odd reference to some other Jefferson, and not besmirch my good name and reputation.
I do not wish my good name to be associated with the standards of the government of Jefferson County. I am quite sure that you understand such a reasonable request.
Schools need more revenue
After hearing the Board of Education present the details of the budget cuts at a community talk, I feel my kids and my community are in danger. Colorado is currently ranked 49th in public education spending, and further budget cuts will result in even larger class sizes, the loss of music programs, and a reduction in technology, just to name a few.
Cuts in the region of $60 million have already been implemented since 2010 and per-pupil spending has dropped from $7,069 in 2009-10 to an estimated $6,180 for the upcoming school year. These cuts have been from critical areas and would have been even deeper had Jeffco not used its reserves. Teachers have taken pay cuts and our kids have had fewer days in school.
We are now left with only two options: further and deeper cuts or finding more revenue. I feel it is time for our community to come together and agree what kind of future we want for our kids — one that offers a world-class education or one that is drastically underfunded. There is no doubt long-term solutions are needed, but we can look to support our local schools and ensure our children receive the best possible education.