Top RFSD bond campaign donors: Underwriter, Skico, Gould | AspenTimes.com

Top RFSD bond campaign donors: Underwriter, Skico, Gould

Will Grandbois
Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Class transitions at Glenwood Springs Elementary School include children walking between buildings. The school is to be fully renovated under the school district's $122 million bond issue approved by voters in November.

The $122 million price tag on the Roaring Fork School District's bond proposal has drawn a lot of attention, but another, smaller figure might have just as much impact on the outcome: $16,565.

That's how much the pro-3B campaign group Bond Together had in its coffers at the Oct. 13 reporting deadline, according to TRACER, the Colorado secretary of state's campaign-finance-disclosure website.

At the time, with ballots still being mailed, the group had spent only $208, so the most telling information is mostly on the income side.

Chief among the donors is RBC Capital Markets, a branch of the Royal Bank of Canada and a major bond underwriter that contributed $2,500 to the campaign. The Roaring Fork School District has used RBC for bond issues in the past and, according to Assistant Superintendent Shannon Pelland, intends to do so again.

Aspen Skiing Co. put $2,000 into the effort. Although Aspen has a separate school district, company spokesman Jeff Hanle explained that Skico has a stake beyond the slopes.

"We do consider the entire valley the community. We have employees all the way down to Rifle," he said. "We feel that a quality education is important for the community's vibrancy."

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Mark Gould of Gould Construction also pitched in $2,000 for the bond, which will generate several construction bids if passed.

Board member Karl Hanlon contributed $500, and Jen Rupert, his challenger for the District A seat, had given $100 as of Oct. 13.

District leadership also pitched in personally, with $400 from Superintendent Diana Sirko, $220 from Pelland and $200 each from Assistant Superintendent Rob Stein and Human Resources Director Nikki Jost. A few area principals gave to the cause, as did several teachers.

The next campaign-finance deadline isn't until December, so more recent figures are hard to come by. Pelland estimated the current total of contributions at roughly twice the Oct. 13 sum, with RBC still leading the pack.

On the expense end, Bond Together has produced several fliers. One such, mailed to constituents last week, makes several references to the committee but lacks the standard, legally required statement "Paid for by Bond Together." Subsequent literature appears to have corrected the omission.

Voters should mail completed ballots by Thursday to arrive by the Nov. 3 due date, or drop them off in person at a designated polling center.

GUIDE TO BOND PROPOSAL

Read the PI’s five-part series on the RFSD bond issue.