on August 26, 2016 by in Golden News, Comments Off on Letters to the editor: Sept. 25, 2016

Letters to the editor: Sept. 25, 2016

Who benefits from Jeffco schools’$ 568 million tax package?

Certainly not our students or taxpayers! The $ 535 million bond and $ 33 million mill levy overrides on the Jeffco ballot move nearly all sixth graders to middle school. It adds turf to high school fields and less than half of the $ 535 million will actually go to fixing up older schools, which in itself will cost $ 500 million.  

The $ 535 million adds 120 classrooms. Does this make sense when school enrollment in Jeffco is down? Enrollment in Jeffco has not grown over the last decade. Why add capacity when there are schools in Jeffco that sit empty? Why are no bond resources allocated to improving student performance? So why are taxpayers being asked to pay, with interest, nearly a billion dollars to build new classrooms?

Why are taxpayers being asked to raise their taxes $ 33 million a year for operating costs when none of it will go to hiring new teachers, zero will go to reducing class sizes, and very little will go to increasing teacher compensation? Our property taxes are already going up because our houses are appreciating. Why are we being asked for more when Jeffco spending has grown each year for the last five years?

Doesn’t it seem a no on 3B, Jeffco’s nearly billion-dollar bond, and a no vote on 3A, the $ 33 million mill levy override, would be appropriate? Perhaps at that point the school board can rethink the situation. When we have graduating students who have no idea how our country works and can’t read and write at grade level, shouldn’t we be putting the money where it belongs, into teaching and the educational process?

William F Hineser,


$ 535 Million Bond to FixAging Schools in Jeffco?

Actually, less than half of the $ 535 Million will actually go to fixing up older schools. The cost of moving sixth graders to middle school is $ 100 Million and $ 30 Million will be spent on second gyms and artificial turf for high schools. No joke — $ 30 million dollars on fake grass! $ 50 million goes to building two new schools and over 22 percent is allocated to potential cost overruns.

I know schools need new paint, carpet and windows and I want all schools to have safe and healthy learning environments. But I do not want to spend the next 25 years paying for new carpet. I would not take out a 25 year loan to replace those items in my home, so a school district should not either. Jeffco schools have over a 1 billion dollar budget. They need to work within that huge budget to maintain schools and not burden tax payers with huge amounts of debt. And for the record, the real cost of this bond is $ 987 million dollars, principal plus interest! Tax payers – demand a fiscally responsible bond and mill levy override. Vote NO on 3A and 3B in November, Vote NO against wasteful and reckless spending. 

Stephen R. Alley Jr.


Improve Schools in Jeffco! But not with $ 450 million in interest on the debt

I understand many schools need improvements and updates, I get that.But how those dollars are allocated in the $ 535 million Bond and $ 33 million Mill Levy Override is really disturbing.Included are building super-sized schools and adding 120 classrooms on to elementary and middle schools, yet enrollment in Jeffco is not up and there are schools that sit empty.The Bond will add artificial turf and additional gym space to some high schools.Is that really a prudent financial move?In 25 years, the artificial turf won’t be good anymore and that is how long tax payers will be asked to payoff $ 987 million, which is the true cost to taxpayers for paying off the bond.

The Facility planning team in Jeffco lists that the total facility deficiency in schools is $ 520 million.With the Bond alone, the district could afford to make facility improvements at nearly every school in Jeffco.But as it is proposed, less than half of the $ 535 million will be allocated to improving facilities.Tax payers will be asked again for more money in the future to fix aging schools.In fact, board member Brad Rupert wanted to make sure not all the building deficiencies were fixed this time so tax payers can be burdened with funding another bond.

Think about that, with the proposed $ 535 million bond we could fix nearly every Jeffco school for that amount of money.Instead, the plan will add classrooms to elementary and middle schools, leaving 24 elementary schools under 300 students. This Jeffco school board has been talking about closing schools with enrollment under 300 students.The plan also adds 2nd gyms and artificial turf to high schools – really how does that help improve student achievement? The plan also reduces funding for title one students moving to middle schools. How is that good?The plan does not address funding needed for schools with center programs such as gifted and talented and autism programs.

This plan does not free up money to go back into the classrooms, it does not allocate money for student achievement.On the contrary, it will cost a lot of money – in the tune of $ 987 million when you add interest and an additional $ 33 million every year.

Vote NO 3B, the Jeffco School Bond and Vote NO on 3A, the Mill Levy Override in November!

Doug Anderson


Jeffco bond will more thandouble bond payoff taxes

Have you looked at your property tax bill recently? Many of us have our mortgage companies pay our taxes so we rarely look at the tax assessment statements. Well, now might be a good time to pull out that statement. You will notice that you pay $ 6.7 million for the school district bond redemption. Each mill raises about $ 7 million a year. The bond repayment that Jeffco is proposing will have its largest annual payments of $ 70 million. That means it will take 10 mills to make that $ 70 million payoff. 

Worse yet, your new board is now paying off the $ 70 million in certificates of participation (COPs) that they used to build the new school in Candelas and the addition to Sierra (without voter approval). So in addition to the $ 70 million in payments we have to make to pay off the COP, we are being asked to make an additional $ 987 million in payments to pay off a $ 535 million bond, plus we are being asked to pay an additional $ 33 million to bulk up school administration. So all that adds up to $ 1.09 billion in new taxes. And, worse yet, the new board wants a 25-year bond with significant underpayments for the first 10 years. Which means our children will be making the huge debt payments in years 11-25. 

How can we look at our children and know that we are passing on to them this huge debt burden of over $ 1 billion?

Voting “No” on 3A and 3B is a no vote for more taxes.

Deb Eigenbrod


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