Supporting necessary services
Dear Editor:Many Roaring Fork Valley-based nonprofit organizations will face an unnecessary and possibly devastating funding shortfall for years to come if Pitkin County voters do not pass proposition 1A this November. These organizations provide essential and even critical services to our community. They rely on a small amount of county money to attract much larger matching grants and other forms of funding. Grant organizations look for proof of wide local public support before adding their own funds to a project or service. If this community decides to not support these organizations through minimal property tax revenues, then other funding sources will not grant the additional funding that make up a majority of these organizations’ operating budgets.Youth programs such as the Aspen Youth Center, YouthZone and the Buddy Program, emergency, outpatient and home care organizations such as Roaring Fork Hospice, Community Health Services, RESPONSE, and Valley Partnership for Drug Prevention, educational and environmental groups such as the Forest Conservancy, the Independence Pass Foundation and Roaring Fork Conservancy, plus community-strengthening service groups like Neighbor to Neighbor, Pitkin County Senior Center, the Roaring Fork Family Resource Center and many others serve everyone from the wealthiest Pitkin County property owners to the least fortunate Roaring Fork Valley working families. All of these organizations depend on this small tax contribution from each Pitkin County property owner to fulfill their missions.Nonprofits provide services that for-profit business can not or will not. They run off of volunteer labor, donations and tax money along with low service fees, yet must operate like a business. They are, therefore, more efficient and market oriented than government. Without these organizations, much more tax money would be needed in order for government to provide these services – something no one, including government staff and officials, wants to see happen.Remember why you value living here and own property here. We love to argue over the details, but this community is unified in its vision of providing an unmatched quality of life for all of its citizens. A large part of that quality of life is quietly provided day in and day out by these nonprofit organizations. They need and deserve your support not only on Nov. 7, but continuously throughout the year. Vote yes on 1A.John MastersCrystal River
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