A small price to pay | AspenTimes.com

A small price to pay

Dear Editor:

People don’t want to support government these days. We’re in a recession. Government is seen as wasteful. You’d rather spend those dollars yourself.

But what if you were asked to fund a cost-effective service that helps every single member of our valley? We’re talking about ballot initiative 3E, which helps claw back $4.8 of the $5.1 million in recent cuts to school budgets.

One response might be: “No way! The schools should cut waste!” But adjusted for inflation, the Roaring Fork School District has lowered per-pupil operating and maintenance expenses over the past 20 years; they have been admirably unwasteful!

“No way! Teachers are overpaid.” But that’s not true. Salary increases for teachers have not kept up with inflation over the past 20 years.

“We’re overtaxed!” Again, not true. Homeowners are paying between 53 and 63 percent less than they paid 20 years ago. Until recently, Americans have never been against taxes per se, just wasteful ones.

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Effective public education like what we have in our valley is the underpinning of our economy and our democracy. No one wants to live in a community, run a business or purchase property in a place with underfunded schools. Please vote yes on 3E by mail-in ballot next week.

Auden Schendler and Ellen Freedman

Basalt

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