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El Paso County Colorado District 49

Excerpts from two reports

Gullible governmentTaxpayers would be wiser to make public policy decisions by flipping a coin than by trusting government bureaucrats, lawyers, and politicians.Our parks department pleads it has a tight budget. When a Black Forest subdivision plan came before the board for approval, the developer offered to give the county 1,045 acres of land for a park, plus create a new special district to raise taxes to pay the salary for another county park employee. However, that land was already under a conservation easement barring development. The developer had to keep that open space on his own and pay its property taxes, while building on the adjoining land. Instead, he left county taxpayers holding the bag, thanks to commissioner cupidity and stupidity.Our parks director saw only a 22 percent increase in park land and urged acceptance. That 22 percent increase was not matched by even a 3 percent increase in staff. Once again, the county gobbled up private property, but here not even to “save it” from development. That was barred by permanent deed limits the owner had already sold for state and federal tax credits. So, taxpayers at all levels of government were shafted by your credulous county.*********************One of the many welfare handouts I regularly oppose is job training. This time, the request was for “free” lessons in English as a Second Language (ESL) to adults at our federally funded county job training center. Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution we swore to uphold is the federal government authorized to fund local job training, but I am the only commissioner who cares about such blatant violations. I asked staff what guarantee we had that illegal aliens would not get these benefits. No one knew (!) so the issue of approval was continued.When the agenda item returned, we were shown a state form titled “Affidavit of Immigration Status.” These welfare recipients were asked to declare they were here legally and had some form of identification, BUT WERE NOT REQUIRED TO SHOW IT!! In other words, we were to trust that illegal aliens, who had committed a crime just by coming here, would not fib to get welfare benefits. The form was in English, to be signed by someone who claimed not to know English! What happened to the idea that immigrants know English to become citizens? Why are we helping aliens compete with Americans for jobs? The handout was approved, 4-1. Imagine how virtuous it feels to be in the minority on clear-cut moral issues like this.*************************Too much government – health care for employeesBureaucrats decided county employees should not be given their full paycheck and trusted to spend it wisely. Healthy and single workers also receive less, to pay for higher costs of sick workers and dependents. Taxpayers and co-workers subsidize bad choices to smoke, drink, take drugs and eat French fries. Such Marxist redistribution of the wealth is spelled “paternalism.” Government spending always results in government control.The county also refuses, even with new employees, to switch to defined contribution retirement plans that private companies are using. We retain the defined benefit scheme, to guarantee inflation-adjusted pension and health payments for life. County workers get taxpayer donations for two retirement plans-the county’s, plus Social Security (another morally and fiscally bankrupt scheme). We don’t trust our workers to save for their own retirement, plan their own future or cope with government-caused inflation.Recall recent claims that the county will “cut spending” $7.5 million next year? It’s a lie. Part of that “cut” is $81,000 in employee health care costs. I noted to the board our health care premiums will rise $1.3 million. There is no “cut,” but a net $1.22 million INCREASE! We tied our fiscal future to a socialist skyrocket and must pay the price.For the full reports and back reports, visit www.DouglasBruce.comContact Douglas at the following: (719) 520-6412, e-mail, or write me at 27 E. Vermijo Ave., Colorado Springs, 80903. Audiotapes of all BOCC meetings, both simulcast and in archives, are available at Comcast cable broadcasts are on Library Channel 17 at 7 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, repeated later both evenings.

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