The business community discusses the ballot issues

Filed under: Government State,Legislative,Politics |

A few declined to comment on the ballot issues because they were not well informed about those issues, but those who were knowledgeable had a lot to say. Here’s what they said about these issues.

Rocky Scott, Chief Executive Officer, Economic Development Corporation

Amendment 28

“This amendment makes it convenient for people to vote, and I support anything we can do to get more voter participation.”

Amendment 31

“If you want to participate fully in the economy, the sooner you learn English, the better.”

Referendum A

“About the time that our legislators understand the job and develop relationships, they are out of office. What happens then is that too much power is given to the staff and lobbyists.”

Betty Konarski, Mayor of Monument

Amendment 28

“I believe in laws that appropriately organize and govern communities of all sizes. Some of these laws can be burdensome to the smaller community. We just did mail-in ballots in our community, and it cost us a lot more. I think that local communities need the option to make those decisions; it is not necessary to dictate that type of choice to local jurisdictions.”

Amendment 27

“I think it is naïve to assume that limiting campaign contributions will decrease influences or control from various groups. This amendment is a bit of a ‘red herring.’ The real issue is undo influence.”

Amendment 30

“Same day voter registration opens itself up to fraud. If someone is going to be an informed voter, he or she needs to take time to look at the issues and register to vote ahead of time. People need an adequate period of time to register and look at issues.”

B.J. Scott, Chief Executive Officer, Community Health Centers

Referendum B

“I think this would give the rural areas potential to provide a broader spectrum of health care. Right now, the cost of health care in rural areas is extremely high. I also think that the idea of several partners (public and private) who own a health care facility would allow for more resources and lower health care costs.”

Amendment 31

“Community Health Centers is an access point for any citizen who faces a barrier to receive health care. Some of those barriers are due to language differences. We have 37,000 patients who receive their care at the center, and 16 percent of those people are better served in a language different than English, with the majority being Spanish. We hire as many bi-lingual employees as possible, but we still struggle with language barriers. I support any effort to better educate in reference to the English language.”

Dwight Ringler, President, CDM & Sons General Contracting

Amendment 28

“I think mail ballots are a good idea. It presents an opportunity to increase the voting percentages.”

Amendment 31

“English should be mandatory in schools but secondary languages, like Spanish, should be a regular part of the student’s curriculum as well.”

Referendum A

“I think that performance should be based on public opinion. Term limits provide a checks and balances system for the district attorneys.”

Tom Huffman, County Commissioner

Amendment 31

“I know too many teachers and superintendents who do not like this amendment, and I trust their judgement.”

Amendment 27

“I think that campaign finance controls give too much power to the media.”

Amendment 28

“I am concerned about the potential for fraud with mail ballots. I don’t argue that signatures can be verified, but the problem is finding and prosecuting the people who falsified the signatures. If it was up to me, I would like to tighten our current system, as there is too much room for abuse. I think that all voters should have to show a picture ID at the precinct. Someone can walk into the precinct now, just state his or her name, and the name is checked against a register. There are no controls. Poll washers can easily hire 20 people who can come in toward the end of the day and vote for those who did not show up. Our current system was established when people recognized each other at the polls.”

Amendment 30

“It is too expensive to allow for same day voter registration. We would need paid staff there to verify qualifications, and the expense would be tremendous.”

Denny Bride, Director of Marketing, Christy Sports

Amendment 29

“If the primary purpose is to improve grass roots participation in government, this amendment could have merit. However, the wording lacks clarity and seems ambiguous.”

Will Temby, President, The Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce

Amendment 27

“The chamber opposes this amendment because campaign finance requirements favor candidates who have a higher degree of personal wealth. Contributions are necessary to allow for a level playing field.”

Amendment 28

“Mail ballot elections should be an option, not the lone feature in the voting process. The possibility of fraud is certainly raised (in reference to mail ballots).”

Amendment 31

“The ‘sticking point’ for us (the chamber) in terms of endorsing this amendment is the concern that the governor and others in education have expressed regarding the possible liability to the institutions of learning. We oppose this amendment more on the semantics of it; we can’t support it based on how it is currently written.”