School board policy goes the wrong direction
The news story that informed us concerning the “muzzling” of school board members is interesting but not in the least surprising. In a time when “open and honest” are buzzwords that are constantly thrown about, the Jefferson County School District has gone the other direction.
A good example is the lack of access by citizens to the rules, regulations and policies of the school district. There was a time when one could go to the Web and easily find exactly what the rules, regulations and policies were concerning any issue. That time is long gone. There is no capability for a citizen, be he a parent, a student, a teacher or simply a taxpayer, to read the district regulations. We do not have access to them. They are no longer on the district website, and when this reader called to the ivory tower requesting a copy or access to the current regulations, the response was totally in the negative.
Apparently, the rules, regulations and policies of the district are only for those of the district administration to use and follow as they see fit, but not to be held accountable to by the folks who are paying their salaries. Can you imagine the hue and cry if the Jeffco sheriff, or any other county agency, operated with the same impunity?
Witwer’s reasoning flawed
Rob Witwer’s column usefully contrasts the terms “statist” and “libertarian” with “liberal” and “conservative” in (specifically) the American political lexicon. In some ways he conflates this with big vs. small government, but, although the issues primarily concern economics, Witwer emphasizes instead government’s role in “social values” such as gay marriage, eating transfats, etc.
Historically, there are no significant end-member examples of pure libertarian states, but there are, regrettably, many examples of pure statist states. The USSR and Nazi Germany come to mind among many others because these exhibit possible end-member variation within statism. Never mind the realities, the ideology of the Soviet state was benefit to working people; the ideology of the Nazi state was benefit to industrialists. Both extremes failed.
The closest one can come to an end-member Libertarian state is those third-world countries with a corrupt government sustained by export of natural resources. Venezuela, where I have lived, is one example among many: Tax collection and regulation of anything is a joke; public service, health and education are likewise a joke; American and other entrepreneurial expats extol the lack of regulation and the simplicity of the mordida; people are more afraid of the police than of the criminals.
Mr. Witwer might consider extending his analysis beyond the US of A. He well knows that (by anybody’s measure) the greatest quality of life is found in the semi-statist western European countries. In these countries, the issues are drawn not between statism and libertarianism, but between capitalism and socialism. America will sooner or later come to look at this in this way. To quote Mr. Witwer: “Looking at things in a new way would obliterate preconceptions about which policy ideas belong to this party or the other.”
Jeanne Nicholson is best choice for state Senate seat
I have known Jeanne Nicholson for many years and have been impressed with her ability to take on challenging tasks while bringing people together to find common ground. These are skills that I believe are critical in being an affective state senator.
In my experience, the legislators that are able to master these skills are the ones that get the job done and are able to pass bills with strong bipartisan support. As the current state senator for Senate District 16, I want to see my replacement bring to the Capitol our shared Coloradan philosophy of common sense, toughness and fearlessness to take a stand, ask the challenging questions and to fight for the issues that are important to us. I know that Jeanne understands our economy and budgets and will work tirelessly to put people back to work and support policies that will enable Colorado to recover from this economic downturn. She will also be a strong force in working on natural resources issues like water and forest health, and Jeanne knows that supporting and enhancing educational opportunities for youths and adults will only make our communities stronger.
Please support Jeanne Nicholson for state senator.
state senator, District 16
Walking the talk of government transparency
Hello, my name is Jim Moore. I was the county administrator in Jefferson County until Dec. 9, 2009, when the Board of County Commissioners fired me. In their termination letter, the commissioners said it was for failing to carry out their directive. This directive concerned a land transaction that I had good reason to believe may be unlawful.
This invitation for transparency is not so much about the details surrounding my termination. Those will be sorted out in a federal courtroom in Denver, probably years from now. It’s about a critical and fundamental public policy question that needs to be addressed today, not when an over burdened legal system finally gets around to it. Here’s the question:
To whom do high-ranking public officials owe their ultimate accountability and duty of loyalty — citizens and the public at large or the politicians currently in office? The answer is significant because I’m not the first, and certainly won’t be the last, high-ranking government official given orders that, if carried out, may violate the law. This is a critical issue that is central to the ability of honest politicians (yes, there are quite a few) and government officials’ ability to conduct business on behalf of the citizens they work for.
My invitation is simple. Let citizens see the arguments being made in this lawsuit. Don’t hide behind the well-worn phrase that often encourages public officials to avoid accountability: “I cannot answer that question on the advice of my attorney.” Surely, a small portion of the legal fees paid by taxpayers can be used not to hide information critical to good public policy, but to reveal it. Let citizens see behind the curtain so they can understand what is being done and why. Let’s walk the talk.
Keep Tim Kauffman as treasurer
I am writing this letter in support of Tim Kauffman for Jefferson County treasurer and to ask the citizens of Jefferson County to vote for Tim in the upcoming election.
Tim Kauffman was appointed to the position of Jefferson County treasurer in 2009 by our county commissioners to fill a vacancy in the position. Tim was selected because of his extensive financial experience and leadership skills. Tim Kauffman’s background and experience include: treasury management, investment and liquidity management, banking, local elected office (Westminster City Council), current president of the board of the Westminster Legacy Foundation, current board of trustee member of two public sector investment funds, former executive board member of the Jefferson Economic Council, and several church and nonprofit boards.
Tim makes it clear that safeguarding the county’s investment portfolio is a very high priority and that risks will not be taken. Tim Kauffman works hard for the constituents and taxpayers has a track record of being responsive and running an efficient office.
Tim and his family live in north Jefferson County, and his wife teaches in Jefferson County. As a 23 year resident of Jefferson County and after having worked with Tim on multiple boards and civic groups, I support Tim Kauffman for Jefferson County treasurer and ask you to vote for Tim as well.
Kristen M. Anderson