Dear Editor:It seems some Amendment 35 supporters have buyer’s remorse. Shelley Molz (Aspen Times, Feb. 8) gives four reasons why people voted for Amendment 35: to fund local prevention programs, protect from second-hand smoke, educate children about the risks of smoking and help smokers quit. If Shelley had read the text of the amendment, she would have realized that only 16 percent of the expected tax revenues would actually go toward funding these worthy causes. Of the remaining 84 percent, 68 percent is spent on issues not related to smoking and 16 percent is spent to prevent, detect and treat diseases that may be related to smoking.The text of the amendment doesn’t say how the 16 percent Shelley cares about is divided, nor where. It could go for school, community or statewide education programs. Believing any significant money would come back to local tobacco prevention programs was naive. The amendment never promised that; only the advocates of the amendment promised that. So what do you do when you get what you voted for but it is not what you wanted? Blame the Republican governor because his “plan doesn’t say anything about funding local programs.” Here is what Gov. Owens said: “The majority earmarked for cessation in Amendment 35 should be targeted to children to prevent them from becoming users of tobacco and helping those who are using tobacco quit.” How dare that evil Republican.Shelley, do not blame the governor. Instead, you should blame the advocates of this amendment who lied to you about how and where the money would be spent, or better yet, blame yourself for not understanding the amendment before you supported it.Terry OstromSilt
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Facing a nearly more than $700,000 shortfall in transportation funding, Upper Roaring Fork Valley elected officials decided to dip into their savings account to continue all funding commitments for a year.