In talking with several citizens throughout the last two weeks, it seems the mud slides and delays on Norwood Hill are on everyone’s mind. Even though the rain is making everything green and lush on the mesa, it’s washing mud down on the road, making the commute through the canyon slow and unpredictable. What’s more, the rock mitigation on Norwood Hill (or Norwood ledge as some of us call it) forces us to have to stop and wait before beginning or ending our trip.
The work the Colorado Department of Transportation did last week to clear up the mud was, in my mind, amazing. Their efficiency, expertise and speed were commendable. Not only did the mud get removed from the road in an effort to get people home for dinner, but it was done in a way that will hopefully prevent further damage during the next storm. Furthermore, the engineering company hired to do the rock work made their heavy equipment available for the road crews to do their job quicker and easier.
When people I talked with last week complained about the mud slides or delays on Norwood Hill, my response was, “Yeah it was a drag, but if amendments 60, 61 and 101 pass in November, it will be lot worse because there won't be funding for road department employees to do the clearing.”
On November 2, 2010, Colorado voters will be faced with three ballot measures that, if they pass, will severely impact the quality of life for each and every citizen of not only San Miguel (and west Montrose) county, but the entire state. If passed, Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 would reduce property tax revenues from the already tightened state budget so much that all public services (public schools, counties and special districts like fire, library and recreation) would be eroded. Moreover, the ability of the state to borrow money of any kind will be severely limited, resulting in halting of public construction in Colorado (road and bridge work, infrastructure, etc.)
We all need a break, whether it’s a faster commute home or lower taxes. But with significant budget cuts at the state and local level already taking place due to the recession, there isn’t room for further reductions without cutting into public services.
I strongly encourage you all to become informed. While these three ballot measures promise lower taxes and less government, there are serious consequences to their passing. Here are some places you can look for more information: www.donthurtcolorado.com; www.thebell.org; www.lookingforwardcolorado.com. There is also a public forum scheduled for Sept. 2 at the Norwood Community Center. I urge you to become informed on these three important ballot questions.
– Andrya Brantingham, Norwood