A yes vote for 7A preserves Western Slope water | AspenTimes.com

A yes vote for 7A preserves Western Slope water

I am urging support for ballot issue 7A, which will provide much-needed resources to our Colorado River District.

The district’s mission statement says it all: “To lead in the protection of the water resources of the Colorado River basin for the welfare of the District, and to safeguard all waters of the Colorado River to which the state is entitled.”

In part because of a complicated overlapping of several competing tax laws, with no fault by the board or staff, the River District finds itself in a shrinking revenue resource predicament.

Ballot issue 7A, without costing taxpayers a large raise in taxes, will provide the revenue needed for protection of our water. For many decades, using a very small tax rate, the river district has been a powerful leader in protecting adequate water supplies for Western Slope farmers and ranchers, protecting sustainable drinking water supplies for Western Slope communities and protecting fish, wildlife and recreation by maintaining river levels and water quality.

For the past 50 years, I have been in a place to work with the board and staff of the river district. I have personally known many of the board members who have been among our strongest leaders and best public servants from the Western Slope counties comprising the district. I have had a chance to work closely with most of the staff over the years. I can tell you from firsthand experience that the river district has had, and still has, the finest gathering of competent professionals we could find anywhere.

Experience shows that when the Western Slope faced a water controversy, the Colorado River District was more than willing and able to fight for us and win. When compromise was called for to protect our water for the greater common good, the river district staff and board were inspired leaders in finding the broader solutions to the thorniest situations. Due to the circumstances today, with increasing demands for our water from ever larger populations and facing one of the worst droughts in history, we need a strong Colorado River District more than ever. Ballot issue No. 7A will provide the resources for the district to help us and protect us.

Please join me in voting for ballot issue 7A.

Russell George