Stocking stuffers and state legislation

A peek at Santa's list for our elected officials

Cross Currents: A column by Bill Christopher
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 12/21/18

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Toys in all the stores (and online!)” Christmas decorations have popped up in the neighborhoods along with the various public displays at the city …

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Stocking stuffers and state legislation

A peek at Santa's list for our elected officials

Posted

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Toys in all the stores (and online!)”

Christmas decorations have popped up in the neighborhoods along with the various public displays at the city halls, Water World, Hyland Hills’ Adventure Golf and the Butterfly Pavilion. They are reminders that it is time to share my annual gift list from Santa Claus to various elected officials and government entitites.

Let’s start at the local level and work our way to the White House.

For Westminster Mayor Herb and the City Council: Given the turnover of City Councilors that Santa has been observing in the past 12-plus months, he has you down for three stellar middle-of-the-road, level-headed City Councilor appointees on which all of you can agree. I know this isn’t easy given the partisan politis which are at play at the municipal level more an more. The choices should be all about serving the people and not City Councilors political parties.

Next, we see on the list is Westminster Public Schools Superintendent Pam Swanson and the Board of Education: The Jolly Ole Elf has two gifts for you. First, with the successful passage of a $9 million mill levy increase, he has selected a well-balanced cross section of citizens to serve on teh new Tax Revenue Oversight Committee to add transparency to the district’s spending of the additional funding. Secondly, with two school board seats coming up in next year’s election, he offers some dedicated, qualified candidates. He has diversity in mind - both gender and ethnicity.

For the Hyland Hills Park and Recreaton District, Southwest Adams Fire District and other special districts: I noticed that Santa put neew state legislation on the 2019 list that addresses the strangling effect of the Gallagher Amendment intertwined with TABOR for special districts. Given the heavy emphasis on which such districts rely on property taxes, St. Nick knows htere has to be some fiscal relief. Otherwise, there will be tough consequences.

In the case of the Adams County Board of County Commissioners and County Manager Ray Gonazales as well as the cities faced with more fracking applications: Kris Kringle has you down for more conducive setbacks and health standards pertaining to wwell drilling which will come from state legislation. Also, he is hop9ing that with a new governor and legislature that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which establishes the standards and regulation foro oil and gas exploration, will come under more resident-friendly commission member appointments - maybe even a shake up of power on this oil and gas friendly bunch!

Nexs, lets see what is on the list for the RTD Board of Directors: Santa is perplexed by RTD. There are so many problems implementing the FasTracks routes that he doesn’t know where to begin. Furthermore, the district isn’t able financially it begin to keep up with expansion of bus service to the growing metro area. Santa a is hopeful that the newly elected board will provide needed leadership to an organization in disarray.

Now let’s peek at the gift list for incoming Governor Jared Polis and the new state legislature: First and foremost, Santa Claus is offering this note of caution; Don’t let the trifecta Democratic Party win in November go to your heads. Be care in not over-legislating with all of your favorite policies and programs. Remember what happened in 2013.

The governor and legislature have their hands full with critical needs - there is transportation funding, pre-kindergarten through 12 school funding, fracking regulations, gun control and health care. If nothing else, Santa suggests you pass Red Flag legislation regarding guns and people who are known to be mentally unbalanced. The man in the red suit with white fur is offering a bi-partisan approach to solve the state’s issues.

The U.S. Congress is another big challenge for Kris Kringle: Given next year’s polarized political situation between the Republican-controlled Senate, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives and an unpredictable President Trump, Kringle has had to reach deep in to the bottom of his gift bag. For the Senate, he came up with a full serving of tolerance. For the House of Representatives, he decided on two-scoops of humility after the Blue Wave results. He is hopeful that both legislative groups will stop thinking the word compromise is a dirty word and start practicing it.

Then, Mr. Claus had to scratch his white head to decide among so many possibilities for President Trump. Clause thought about a bag full of new key staff and attorneys since the president has gone through a record number of high-level dismissals and resignations in his two years in office (we hear they are forming an alumni club). Then, Claus thought of a generous box of compassion for Dreamers and immigrants at the border. He also considered a barrel of diplomacy when dealing with international heads of state. But, alas, the final conclusion by the Jolly Ole Elf was an advance copy of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s final tell all report on Russian election collusion payments of hush money for previous sexual favors and private development negotiations with the Russians. Needless to say, it is a trilogy publication.

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