Routt GOP: Voters can restore balance in local, state, federal politics on Nov. 8

Routt GOP: Voters can restore balance in local, state, federal politics on Nov. 8

This election year is an opportunity for Routt County voters to vote for balance and make significant course corrections away from the direction Democrats have taken our county, Colorado and America. Our governments at every level need fresh ideas that will restore balance, reason and common sense. Today, seven out of 10 likely voters believe America is heading in the wrong direction.

Democrats know they’re in trouble and they’re doing everything they can to distract voters from their record. In Colorado, Democrat smear merchants are propagating outright lies about Republican candidates and highlighting the abortion issue to avoid discussing the real problems most voters want solved.

The truth is, our neighbors are most concerned about runaway inflation, burgeoning crime, the fentanyl crisis, and the quality of public education, according to recent polling. Democrats like Rep. Dylan Roberts have played a significant role in exacerbating these problems because the Colorado state house and senate lack balance.

Rep. Roberts supported HB22-1326, the Fentanyl Accountability and Prevention bill, that simply adjusted the amount of illegal doses of fentanyl and did nothing to curb trafficking and prevent overdoses. Representative Roberts also supported SB-217, the Police Integrity Transparency and Accountability Act, which mandated onerous reporting processes that took police resources off the street. He also supported HB22-1362, Building Greenhouse Gas Emissions, which will require building code changes to comply with “green energy” mandates. According to the Common Sense Institute, these mandates will add about $42,000 to building costs for each new home in Colorado, making housing less affordable.

Like Dylan Roberts, Meghan Lukens lacks balance by supporting the Denver-Boulder “progressive” agenda. She is already having to backtrack from her record as a Boulder County Democratic Party vice chair. In this position, Ms. Lukens was responsible for advocating and fundraising for Democrat interests including Proposition 114 and the reintroduction of wolves. Although she claims to not have voted for the measure, she didn’t speak out against it and instead enabled its passage through her advocacy. Boulder county overwhelmingly voted to reintroduce wolves to the Western Slope. In order to cover up other political inconveniences, Ms. Lukens recently removed two videos from YouTube where she promotes the virtues of Critical Race Theory in public schools. Clearly, she now believes Marxist-based theories like CRT are not a popular sell to the voters of Routt County and the Western Slope.

County commissioner candidate Sonja Macys wishes to continue the legacy of one-party Democrat leadership on Routt County’s Board of Commissioners. During her time as a Steamboat Springs City Council member, she never met a tax increase or fee she couldn’t support. Ms. Macys’ approach to every problem is more tax and spend initiatives. For example, she believes a $100 million extension of the core trail would help address regional transportation and by extension affordable housing. These are the same approaches that continue to inhibit responsible growth and economic prosperity in Routt County. Ms. Macys’ approach to solving these problems is more bureaucracy using other people’s money. Her approach also includes the implementation of the Climate Action Plan, a boiler-plate document which has never undergone a cost-benefit analysis. The impact of incomplete climate action plans on lives and on the economy is becoming well demonstrated in Europe as millions of people fight to afford their homes let alone heat them and keep the lights on.

Democrat leadership and policies at the federal, state and local level have exacerbated inflation by thoughtlessly pouring more and more money into an already overheated economy that has a limited supply of goods and services. Their soft-on-crime policies have made our communities more dangerous and less productive. Democrat public education policies have stolen from our children and degraded the quality of public education by putting union interests before those of parents and children.

Democrats own these problems. The Democrat Party is the majority party in both houses of Congress and in the executive office at the federal and state level. Now, it’s time to bring balance, reason and common sense back to our federal, state and local governments. Our Republican candidates will listen to Routt County residents and truly represent their interests and values. They will bring new ideas to the table and build bridges to unite our communities and deliver meaningful change to the direction of our country, state, and county. We can no longer afford one party rule in Routt County, Colorado and America. Let’s bring balance and meaningful change by voting for the Republican Party on Nov. 8.

This column was provided by the Routt County Republican Central Committee.

PUBLISHED SOURCE: Steamboat Pilot & Today

Letter: Wolfson will work to ease child care crisis in rural Colorado

Letter: Wolfson will work to ease child care crisis in rural Colorado

I was a licensed home child care provider for 30 years. On Aug. 31, I closed my facility. In those 30 years in a job I very much favored, I never had a politician reach out asking about my concerns, hopes and fears for the future of child care in our county — until Savannah Wolfson.

She not only reached out, but she visited my facility to learn about what is required of a quality licensed home. I also know I wasn’t the only provider that she went to see to gather information. Her eagerness to find out what day-to-day operations look like, the obstacles that providers face and to listen to reasons to why we have this child care crisis.

Savannah Wolfson is approachable, knowledgeable, believes in accountability and is willing to work to be a problem-solver, not a maker of problems. She believes and will stand up for us in rural Colorado.

I encourage you to vote for Savannah Wolfson House District 26. She will be the voice for rural Colorado.

Donna Starbuck

PUBLISHED SOURCE: Steamboat Pilot & Today

Routt County Republicans: Let’s work together to protect our schools

Routt County Republicans: Let’s work together to protect our schools

August 2, 2022 – After several tragic instances of school shootings over the years, America is appropriately focused on protecting our children and school staff by discussing measures to protect our schools.

While recent school shootings have been the primary impetus for these discussions, school safety involves several elements to consider including gun policy on school grounds, bullying, increased mental health challenges resulting from the impact of COVID-19 on school operations and fentanyl.

Some people have taken the approach of focusing on gun control policies in response to school safety concerns. However, as the Supreme Court wrote in 2008, “(t)he Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia,” so efforts to ban the possession of commonly owned firearms by law-abiding people is no longer a viable approach.

The Supreme Court also recently clarified that law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-de­fense needs have a Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense. An effective way to provide physical security for our schools would be to allow trained and licensed adults to exercise their constitutional right of self-defense by having the means to stop an armed attack at the school.

Rather than wait several minutes for law enforcement to arrive, and then hope they will act to protect others, having competent and prepared adults already on site within the school is a more thoughtful approach. As an alternative to competent and armed adults already on site, securing the schools as a sensitive location like a courthouse or airport terminal with armed guards, metal detectors and X-ray machines is another option that may be considered.

Bullying has long been an undesirable part of many children’s school experience and leads to other conflicts and consequences. Reports of bullying are common among those kids and young adults that participate in violence and antisocial behaviors toward others.

School districts across the country, including ours in Steamboat Springs, have adapted a disciplinary model of “restorative justice” where offenders are preferably sent to counselors instead of experiencing traditional negative consequences like suspension or being charged with a crime. Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, employed this model and repeatedly counseled the student that later killed 17 people at the school rather than involve law enforcement during previous events.

When a school district shields bad actors from accountability for illegal actions, it becomes complicit in these acts. Hopefully, our local school board will reconsider this model and revisit our district’s current model of discipline to hold our high school students legally accountable in all instances of violence against others on school property.

Mental health is another area of school safety where it seems our challenges are more pronounced today than in past decades. The internet has created an open and generally unmonitored arena, 24 hours a day, for kids to experience the consequences of bullying with a direct impact on mental health and developing healthy coping skills.

This environment of social media can also aggravate other challenges of growing up, adding to mental health struggles among our youth. Although counselors have been an important component of our public schools for decades and should remain, the growing instance of mental health challenges have placed an additional burden on our schools outside of their primary mission of education.

Rather than expand school operations for mental health at the expense of academic focus, we think our schools and community would be better served by returning to a focus on academic success and holding students that misbehave accountable in real terms. With a focus on academics combined with an effective discipline program, we will experience a return to more orderly schools, better academic performance, and less need for mental health services. In the interim, our schools should partner with other organizations in the community better resourced to address mental health to meet this growing need.

The danger of drugs on campus has been a concern of many parents for decades, yet the introduction of fentanyl into our community is a significant escalation of risk in this regard. Every school should have Narcan for such an emergency. Besides adopting the model of searching every person and object that enters the school, stringent laws that restrict illicit supply, discourage possession and impose consequences for convictions would provide some additional level of protection against the growing threat of fentanyl.

We’d like to work together and exchange ideas to provide safe schools for our community.

PUBLISHED SOURCE: Steamboat Pilot & Today

Savannah Wolfson: What Will It Take to Fund Our Schools?

Savannah Wolfson: What Will It Take to Fund Our Schools?

Oddly enough, many Democrats are running on a platform of education funding this year. They’ve had a supermajority in Colorado for 6 years, but chose not to fund our schools. Here’s one example of a rural school in our district dealing with severe water damage. Elementary kids in Rio Blanco County have had to stop class and help clean up water in the hallways. When I met with superintendent Matt Scoggins, his wish list for the school was simple. He wants to keep the kids safe, warm, and dry. Instead, he gets a facility with problems like this one.

Matt believes that this is poor stewardship and that the Budget Stabilization factor has hurt rural schools like his. Many attempts to boost education funding without raising taxes were introduced by Republicans in the last session, and the Democratic Party shot them down, because they didn’t want the money to be redirected from their pet projects.

This is where my Democratic opponent and I have a clear difference in policy ideas. She claims there is no funding for education because we need to get rid of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. Our state budget is over $30 billion. At some point, we need to ask, “Where is our money going?”

TABOR is a special law that says you, the people, get to decide if something is worth funding and worth a tax increase. Sometimes, the voters say yes. Other times, they say no. It is also a law that says that the state should return extra money they collect back to the people. It puts a check on the whims of politicians, and keeps your power and money within your family.

Any politician who wants to get rid of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights is a politician who doesn’t believe in honoring your finances. They are not a public servant. They cannot stand on a platform of affordability. They will not support the will of the people. This November, it’s a simple choice between a candidate who wants higher taxes and a candidate who believes in your right to say no.

While our schools are underfunded, let’s be the solution! Here are the Amazon Wish Lists of two teachers in the flooded elementary school. Would you buy a few items for these teachers?

This is the wish list for 5th grade

This is the wish list for 2nd Grade.

To those who buy from the wish lists, thank you for joining the movement to unite and protect our district!

Speaking of uniting and protecting NW Colorado, we’re in our last 100 days of campaigning to win this seat. Every dollar counts in this swing district. It is our firm belief that a candidate running on the Western Slope should have been living in the community before running for the seat, and separate from the Boulder politics. If you agree, pitch in and help us win!

No more one-party rule. No more Boulder reaching out and intruding on our local control. Instead, let’s have a representative focused on our local issues. We want #Affordability, and we want to #EndTheWarOnRuralColorado.

SOURCE: Savannah Wolfson for House District 26