Letter to the Editor:

Nov 172003

When it comes to their tax dollars, citizens of Larimer County

are fiscally astute. Kudos to the voters of Larimer County for

sorting through state and county ballot issues of dubious merit, to

just say “no” on Election Day.

Although the Larimer County Commissioners endorsed Referendum A,

over 63 percent of county voters refused to write a $4 billion

blank check for unknown state water projects. Some 85 percent of

county voters gave a resounding “no” to the Amendment 33 plan for

video gambling at state racetracks. County voters sorted through

the confusing language of Amendment 32, with 78 percent saying it

was not the solution to the state’s financial woes.

The commissioners added County Issue 1A to the November ballot

to see if voters would bite on their Band-Aid approach to detention

issues, promising expansion of the Alternative Sentencing Unit –

not mentioned on the ballot. Since the measure was a tax in

perpetuity, approximately 64 percent of voters appeared to have

balked at the lack of a comprehensive plan for long-term detention


In that regard, the Larimer County Commissioners have been

remiss in not creating a capital facilities master plan and a plan

for sustaining basic services to meet the future needs of county

residents. Instead, the commissioners routinely come up with a “tax

de jour” to throw on the ballot, whenever the county cannot meet


Future ballot proposal addressing detention needs will fare

better, if the commissioners make an effort to involve citizens in

a long-range plan to address all county services and facilities. It

is the “we know best” attitude that has made our county

facilities-rich and services-poor.

Karen Wagner, Larimer County




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