Sound Off for Feb. 9, 2003

Doesn't make sense

Am I the only person that finds it ironic that the city would consider charging its own residents to use city-owned fields, yet will directly and indirectly subsidize Triple Crown's use of the same fields? The chamber is going to collect advertising money from banners in the fields -- and give the cash to Dave King of Triple Crown -- an out-of-town, for-profit business.

Seek private funding

If the Montessori group is so committed to creating a Montessori school, they should find private funding. By using private funding, you would show your commitment to your school. As a taxpayer, I feel our money is well spent within our established schools. Our teachers, children and staff have worked very hard to become high-ranking schools. The Montessori group is a small special-interest group who seems to think money grows on trees.

Fee is targeting 1 group

I feel this fee is targeting one specific group of people. The parks and fields are used by everyone. Dog walkers and Frisbee players, picnickers and tourists all use the fields. It is expensive enough in this town to keep our children active with sports in a resort community. Why make it even harder and in some cases impossible for the children to play sports?

Tourists get priority

Once again the City Council majority has given summer tourists priority over locals. In this year's budget, the city increased its support of the Chamber Resort Association by $50,000 over the previous year. At the same time, the city increased ballfield use fees for locals. As a retired local businessman who paid for his own advertising and Chamber Resort Association dues, I think the City Council made a very poor choice. The local business community could certainly have raised this money or done without it. The City Council could have used this money to keep field use fees where they were last year. However, it's not too late for them to correct this situation. They can revisit the budget and change it. But if they don't, voters should remember there is an election coming up at which some of this City Council majority can be replaced with people who will represent the whole community, not just the Chamber Resort Association.

Are the rules the same?

In the article about Dr. John DeVincentis and Cyndy Simms going to mediation, Paul Fisher stated that if Dr. DeVincentis doesn't follow the mediation plan, that's grounds for dismissal. Does that hold for Dr. Simms as well? If Cyndy continues to give Dr. D poor marks on his performance evaluation because of the actions of his parents and teachers, does Cyndy receive poor marks on her evaluation for the same reasons?

Groups should subsidize

Those of us who live here and support the soccer, baseball and softball fields, why should we have to pay to use those facilities? Let's have the outfits who come to use those fields, such as the tournaments, pay for the use of those facilities. Let's have Triple Crown, who is subsidized, pay for those facilities. We're getting ripped off by having to double pay for the use of our own facilities.

Move city to forefront

Paul Fisher, president of the school board, said he is concerned the Montessori Charter School could harm the district's ability to continue to be a leader in educational reform. Public school choice and the implementation of proven alternative methods of education are at the forefront of education reform at this time. Just look at the number of states that have charter school laws and the push for school vouchers across the nation. The establishment of a Montessori Charter School in Steamboat Springs will put us in the forefront of these movements and prove what an innovative, reform-minded leader our school district really is.

The last word on ATVs?

I'd like to offer hopefully the last word on all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. Regarding ATVs or snowmobiles in the national forest, for those who just don't know the laws of the land and continue in blathering ignorance, federal regulations prohibit mechanized activity in protected wilderness areas. Even the pedals and chains of a bicycle fit that definition. That is the law, so either accept it, change it or get out.

What about our kids?

I was just wondering are the flags going to be flown at half-staff and are we going to have a national day of mourning when our sons and daughters, our husbands and wives start coming back from Iraq in body bags?

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