Category Archives: Letters
Thank you fellow candidate Dennis Wied for leaping to my defense. Letter to the editor 3
Soon the voters of Cañon City will be asked to decide whether or not they want to spend about $4.5 million for the repair and expansion of our historic city library. I am proud to announce my support of the library project.
Notwithstanding the fact that our City Charter requires us to provide a library to our constituents, I believe that public libraries play a vital role in connecting our local learning environment with international resources of information and knowledge.
During Andrew Carnegie’s lifetime, the significance of education and unrestricted access to knowledge was never debated. How to pay for the institutions where this knowledge could be stored and accessed by the public, however, was the subject of endless debate. Now, in the midst of one of the greatest economic downturns in our lifetimes, we are seeing an increasing demand for affordable lifelong learning, and our local library continues to fulfill this need.
Our library is crucial to our city’s economic success, our municipal vitality, and our future. It is a valuable companion to our schools and community organizations in advancing literacy skills at an early age, and literacy is connected to basic job skills, which help our community remain competitive in the free market. Our free public library provides a safe place where our citizens of all ages can explore different cultures through multimedia resources, and provides access to the infinite world of the Internet, where we can perfect our resumes and apply for jobs. It opens the door for civic dialogue, as people communicate new ideas, opinions and values. Make no mistake, libraries change lives.
What I appreciate most about this library proposal is that we taxpayers get to decide if it’s something we want to pay for or not. I believe we need this library in our community, and we need to be proactive about keeping it in its historic downtown location. It will cost me a quarter for every $100 I spend in Cañon City, and I think that’s a bargain to help educate our next generation of leaders. I hope Cañon City voters agree with me.
Cañon City Mayor
I sent the following response to the Editor of the Canon City Daily Record, Michael Alcala firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be great if you sent him your opinion, too.
September 9, 2011
It is disappointing to find that, in the early days of this year’s election campaign, there appears to be a small but organized coterie of critics from outside our local market area who disagree with my pro-business philosophy.
In a free market, small business is not just nice to have, small business is absolutely necessary. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses:
Represent 99.7% of all employer firms;
Employ over half of all private sector employees;
Have generated 64% of net new jobs in the past 15 years.
I do not dispute most of the facts in the most recent letters; in fact I am very proud of my track record of stepping in to do whatever is necessary to bring jobs to our area. I’m perplexed as to how I might appease a citizen who criticizes me both for “…focus[ing] only on the needs of downtown…” and supporting “…the mayor’s pet project (a fast food restaurant on Fremont Drive).“
Our area endured less than 2% growth between 2000 and 2010, while surrounding adjacent communities enjoyed double-digit growth. I attribute that to my predecessors’ attitude of, “If they can’t afford to open a business here, they should go somewhere else,” and “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It IS broke, ladies and gentlemen, and those philosophies do nothing to build and maintain a sustainable local economy. Acknowledging our weaknesses and taking action to improve on them is crucial to our livelihood.
While I had hoped not to have to enter the fray regarding the dinosaur museum this election cycle, since the apparently non-resident authors brought it up, let me address their concerns:
Even though I believe the recent critics of my administration would have your readers believe that “…Councilman Bates, along with his cohorts, stymied a proposal to place the Dinosaur Museum at the Royal Gorge…” and that Mr. Bates was the mastermind behind “…a thinly disguised effort to kill the entire project…” let me remind everyone that the dinosaur museum proposal was passed by the City Council NOT ONCE BUT TWICE, the second time being by unanimous vote. I would propose that quite possibly the project “died” because the business plan was not strong enough to attract investors (a 5% error in projected sales put the operation in the red).
There was never a member of council who I spoke with that was against the project itself. The problem was not the project so much as the process. Lack of information is not an acceptable reason to abstain, yet Council was not given copies of the pro forma to study before or during the discussion. To hide such a potentially controversial issue on the Council’s consent agenda demonstrated a tremendous amount of arrogance and lack of judgment.
I have never before heard of a politician being criticized for asking for more information before spending the equivalent of nearly an entire year’s budget on one special interest project. Those members of council who were able to curb their enthusiasm and take a closer look at the economic viability of the project before they approved it should be commended, and we should be proud to have them watching our back.
Finally, my search through property records, voter records, telephone directories, and even Google have not been able to determine where the authors of the two recent letters live or how to contact them. I would welcome the opportunity to speak with them personally, so please publish my personal contact information
Cañon City Mayor
So, here we are, two weeks officially into the race, and along come a couple of critics singing from the same sheet of music as some of my opposition. I can take criticism, but let’s be fair. Here are two “people” who don’t exist in our Assessor’s records, telephone directories, voter registration logs, or even Google. How do you avoid having a name listed on Google?