Our Readers Write

-A A +A

Will taxes go to teacher pay?
Letter-writer Maureen Sielaff made a good point in The Courier, writing that she would be the “first in line to say Jeffco’s newest teachers deserve a raise,” but later she poses the inevitable question: “So where is all that new money going?”  
It begs another question: Will voting ourselves a tax increase result in higher starting teacher salaries? As long as I have lived in Jeffco ... since 1994 … a common complaint is that there are too many administrators and that new tax money will ultimately go toward hiring more principals, coordinators, assistants and deputy superintendent types not to mention more counselors/psychiatrists/social workers and many other non-teaching employees and projects.  
As I recall, a sizable percentage of the last failed school board bond request was for building maintenance, repairs and the clincher: 110 new classrooms so sixth-graders could be moved from half-empty elementary schools to the middle schools.  
The bottom line is this, and I’ve heard it from voters in Douglas County as well as in Jeffco: Until voters are truly confident that their increased taxes will be spent on teachers and not on administrators, new non-teaching personnel or other pet projects like sixth-grade classrooms, the voters may be very reluctant to vote themselves a tax increase, especially those on fixed incomes.   
Eric Smith

Vote for Jeffco Public Schools bond, mill levy override
Why should I care if the Jeffco Public Schools mill levy override and bond package (5A/5B) passes?
I’ve lived in Jefferson County for more than 54 years, I’m in my late 70s, I’m retired, I’m on a fixed income and I don’t have any kids in school.
But I do care! My wife and I moved here in 1964. Jefferson County has been a great place to live, raise a family and to educate our two children in Jeffco Schools. I feel I have an obligation to future generations to provide them with the same opportunities, particularly in education that my family had when we moved here.
As a former Lakewood mayor, I recognize that great schools create great communities and vice-versa. Probably one of the most important single assets retirees have is their home. A quality school system enhances property values.  
I also sense a growing spirit of working together to invest in the achievement of all Jeffco students to enhance their opportunities and postsecondary success.
A mill levy override and bond package approval would ensure more students are ready for college or career. Our 21st century learning will make all students (from early childhood education through high school) more productive in today’s competitive world.
It’s time to step up and assume our responsibility to properly fund our neighborhood public schools for students, teachers and outdated facilities.  
Please join me in voting “yes” on 5A and 5B. Remember to vote and send your ballot in by Nov. 6.
Steve Burkholder

Littleton’s 7B simpler than it appears
Despite confusing ballot language and campaign rhetoric, the choice presented to voters is simple.
Vote yes if you want to pay a new 9.25 mill property tax levy to South Metro Fire Protection District. Vote no  if you want the City of Littleton to continue paying for our fire and medical emergency services from its general fund as it always has.
What we are NOT voting on:
• Who will provide the service or how it will compare to our previous Littleton Fire Department. Whether we vote yes or no, Littleton City Council has already decided we are closing our fire department and joining South Metro.
• Nothing about this vote has any bearing on the services we will receive.
• Any future city mill-levy reductions, which may or may not be considered by future Littleton City Councils not yet seated.
• Street repair.
Please Read carefully, Ask questions, Vote n on 7B.
Gloria Shone