Saturday, October 20, 2001
WHY THE PAY RAISE?I am baffled as to why the Steamboat Springs School District feels that it is necessary to raise taxes in order to fund pay hikes for beginning teachers. Two questions stand out foremost in my mind:
1. Superintendant Simms states that many experienced teachers are retiring and will be replaced with "new" ones. It stands to reason that the new hires will make less than the retirees, thus saving the district an undisclosed, yet probably considerable, amount. Why can't this money go to increased salaries?
2. The beginning salary for teachers in Steamboat is stated to be $29,500. School is in session for only 180 days per year. Even granting an extra 20 days for preparation, this comes to only 200 work days per year. Therefore the beginning salary really equates to $34,000 for someone working year round.
The desired $30,000 starting salary would be equivalent to a private sector individual earning $39,300!
I do not see why taxpayers should have to pay full-time wages for part-time employees.
My teachers worked at other jobs during their three months off. Why can't Steamboat's teachers do likewise?
PHOTO OPPORTUNITIESI want to thank Tyler Arroyo for the wonderful pictures he has taken for the Today paper.
This last one of the bear in the pine tree was great, also. I have saved many of them with friends who no longer live in Steamboat.
ISSUES ON GRAVELI write this letter to request that the community of Steamboat become aware and get involved in fighting the proposed gravel pit on the Moore property. I believe there are many issues that must be considered.
First and foremost is the impact such a facility will have on Pleasant Valley.
My family has owned our home on Rabbit Ears Pass for 32 years. We have enjoyed the majestic views the valley has to offer and the presence of an industrial facility such as a gravel pit would simply destroy what makes the valley special.
A gravel pit is not a short-term proposal and the end result is not reclaimed land that can be returned to its original state. The end result is a big pond! We have enough water in the valley.
My second concern is the financial impact approval of this project will have on homeowners and prospective homeowners.
A gravel pit will undoubtedly lower property values for the many residents; both full and part-time, that have invested millions of dollars in their real estate.
I think anyone considering making Pleasant Valley home, would think twice before purchasing property where a gravel pit could be his/her neighbor.
Our county commissioners have responsibility to serve all their constituents.
Approval of this project will only benefit two parties; the Moore family and LaFarge.
It is impossible to please everyone, but it should be the goal of our elected officials to serve on behalf of the majority. The majority of the home and landowners surrounding this proposed facility oppose having it in their backyard. There are more appropriate locations for a gravel pit.
I am well aware of the argument that we need such a facility to service the development that is occurring and will occur in South Routt.
However, what price are we willing to pay for the sake of development? I think the community spoke very loud that development in this part of town should be curtailed when it voted down the proposed ski area at Lake Catamount. I am all for progress, however, we must not allow development that will destroy the valley that makes Steamboat so special.
My third concern is for the environmental impact a gravel pit will have on the valley. This area has been a refuge for elk for many years. My father, Bob Adams, was very active in developing a feeding program that addressed this issue. In addition, there will be dust and noise pollution. These issues must be considered very seriously when making a decision in this matter.
I thank you for allowing me to share my views on this issue. Steamboat is a special place to me.
My family has a long history in town and has always tried to be an active contributor to the community. It is my hope that we can work together to find a more appropriate location for the gravel pit and create a win/win situation for everyone.
Lynne Adams Abreu