Our Readers Write

-A A +A

Advocating Cassidy for Jeffco assessor
This letter is to advocate for Brian Cassidy as Jefferson County assessor in  
June’s Republican primary.
This county’s taxpayers, especially small businesses, need change. They need fair and accurate property valuations that represent actual value rather than inflated, unrealistic values that add unnecessary tax and appeal burden on the citizen and business owner.
Brian is extremely qualified for the position of assessor: a Colorado  
certified general appraiser with an MBA from the University of Colorado, 24 years in real estate, 12 years in property appraisal, 10 years with National Valuation  
Consultants Inc., two years with Jefferson County Assessor’s Office and currently with Arapahoe County Assessor’s Office as a commercial Aassessor… and 10 years with the U.S. Navy Submarine Force.
Brian and his family have lived in Jefferson County for 30 years and have a daughter starting high school here this year.
David Schalla

No more money for Jeffco Schools
I recommend Jeffco School District cut its indefensibly top-heavy administration to address its phony “funding crisis.” Jeffco’s education budget has increased each and every year over the past eight years, while student count has remained relatively flat or declined. That money isn’t going into the classroom, but rather into an overpaid, bloated administrative structure. Jeffco citizens see no return on this investment. The percentage of students proficient at reading hasn’t improved, nor has there been any appreciable increase proficiency in math or the percentage deemed ready for college or career. In contract, Jeffco Schools’ superintendent’s pay has skyrocketed. His contract entitles him to over a million dollars in compensation. The board that hired him, moreover, was elected in part on the grounds that the last superintendent, who was paid far less, was paid too much! How many other administrators are paid disproportionately large salaries and benefits? There would be no funding crisis if money was allocated to teachers and classroom vs. continuing to expand and overpay an already very top-heavy organization, and that fact would be obvious to more people if the school district was more transparent about administrative salaries, benefits, head counts and job descriptions. They’re not because the whole thing is a sham that ultimately does nothing for educating our kids. No more money until the school district administration is shrunken dramatically.
Stephen Gilmartin

Still not enough
Jeffco schools will receive $33 million more in funding from the state, and it’s STILL NOT ENOUGH.
Jeffco schools board gave initial approval for the proposed budget which has more growth in administrators. In fact administration has grown over 25 percent in the last few years. Included in the budget, our $1.2 million superintendent needs a “Chief Strategy Officer” with a salary of $138K, a staff person to support the new Jeffco Vision with a price tag of $112K, and a Theater Coordinator for $94K. I love the theater, but schools seem to be putting on fantastic performances without this extra headcount. But wait there is more, our superintendent also wants a “Director of Enrollment” with salary of $119K and another admin for the “student engagement office” at $51K and two more Achievement Directors at $327K. Yep, each director would make $163K a year). Wow, nearly a million dollars proposed for administration, all the while student enrollment in Jeffco is down by 500 students.
Not one new penny is going to increase the salary for entry level Jeffco teachers. It’s time for this Jeffco school board to focus on student achievement, paying teachers what they are worth and stop adding expensive administrators.  How can anyone support giving more taxpayer dollars to this board when they are increasing the administrative costs so much?
Attend a board meeting and demand fiscal responsibility from our school board and superintendent. Tell them no more money until they take better care of the billion dollars a year we already spend.
Leonor Lucero