The choice on referenda C&D: acting together or going it alone

Filed under: Opinion |

Dear Editor:

TABOR author and El Paso County Commissioner Doug Bruce recently produced a flyer that lists 12 statements against Referenda C and D. Next to each statement is a paragraph describing the world according to Bruce.

It is worth reading, sort of like an underground high school newspaper, inflammatory statements from a forever anti-tax individual, who will advocate for tax cuts until there is no justice system to protect our freedoms, there are no public schools and only private firefighting companies exist who are left to put out one fire but leave another because the homeowner hasn’t paid up.

The statements reflect a deep and un-abiding distrust of government.

I expect no less from Commissioner Bruce, even if he is now one of those dreaded “politicians.”

However, I have watched voters support the sensible spending of tax dollars in the Pikes Peak region, since the passage of our own local TABOR in 1991. I believe they understand ballot requests, like when they voted in 2004 to de-Bruce the El Paso County Health Department budget because it made sense not to have to refuse federal grant money.

Voters see the impacts of state spending every day, whether driving on roads, eating at a restaurant that has been inspected by the health department or pulling aside as a police officer or firefighter races to the aid of a citizen.

Bruce’s anti-tax message comes from someone who chooses to focus very narrowly on what he doesn’t like, like focusing only on a sun burn, but never recognizing the value of the sun.

This election is going to come down to examining the benefits of acting together with government as the mechanism or “going it alone.” Our local coalition for “yes” on Referenda C and D is organized to provide thoughtful discussion in the days ahead.

Ann Oatman-Gardner

Colorado Springs