Vote for RFTA
Dear Editor:I hope you will join me in voting for RFTA on Nov. 2 if you haven’t already done so. There are so many reasons to vote yes and of course I wouldn’t stop without sharing some of those reasons.As past chair of RFTA, current chair of the MidValley Trails Committee, and a passionate supporter of transit and trails in general, I think I have enough of an insider view to tell you honestly that this sales tax increase is truly needed. High on my wish list for this new revenue will be the purchase of cleaner buses and the completion of the Rio Grande Trail from Basalt to Glenwood. Approximately 23 percent of the new revenue will be designated for the trail program!RFTA should get also get a yes on Nov. 2 because it has been subjected to the utmost scrutiny through a recent efficiency study and passed with more than flying colors. According to the report, RFTA has done an excellent job with the resources available. They have about half the administrative employees and one of the lowest subsidies of their transit peer group, and they perform well in cost per mile and passengers per hour. The study also points out that to be even more efficient, RFTA needs to increase its investment in staffing of supervisors, facilities maintenance and trails and should earmark resources for capital replacement. I know of no organization more accountable to the public than RFTA. And as an aside, the recent Aspen Times endorsement (Oct. 22) was greatly appreciated, but contained some inaccuracies. For the record, RFTA has not gone to the voters every two years for money. The last time the voters were asked to pass a transit tax increase in Pitkin County was in 1993, and 1995 in Eagle County. The RFTA RTA was formed and asked for a tax in 2000. RFTA was also among hundreds of private and public agencies that were unable to adequately plan for 9/11 and the economic aftermath. Its revenue estimates were not out of synch with the rest of the world at that time. There you have it. Please vote for RFTA, our awesome transit agency, on Nov. 2. It is a vote for all of us.Jacque R. WhitsittBasalt
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Planning efforts to bring the controversial gray wolf back to parts of Colorado’s Western Slope are officially getting underway.