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Old 10-02-2015, 07:06 AM
 
3,492 posts, read 4,922,198 times
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Since TABOR seems to stop the government from collecting revenue rather than spending it, one suggestion might be to make local government personally liable for the overage charges in any given year and make it a crime for them to ever be "reimbursed". That would likely put a real lid on spending.

The problem is that government deficit spending, done correctly, is part of the answer to smoothing out economic cycles as shown in most economic textbooks. By the same token, it is theoretically expected that government spending would be less than revenues during highly expansionary years, but clearly that would also require a rework of TABOR. We have a problem where the system does not work correctly, but having seen the other states that got it so wrong many residents are unwilling to give up the failings of a system they know for fear of the even worse failings from other systems. You can count me in that batch. I've seen massive government corruption and insane spending. I have witnessed other states run up their own massive deficits even with (approximately) twice our income tax rate and three times our property tax rate.

Regarding a constant problem with litter. I would suggest that the courts put a much greater emphasis on using mandatory "volunteer service" as the answer. Volunteer service, henceforth community service, is much cheaper to mandate and there are volunteer organizations that can handle organizing their labor to get things done. For instance, the artist that defaces the rocks can be sentenced to somewhere between 4000 and 8000 hours of community service and given a decade in which to complete it. At the lower end that is 400 hours/year which equates to working basically one full day per week. If all of her Saturdays are spent cleaning up trash, she won't have time to provide unwanted "art". Yes, I believe community service should be the default method of punishment for non-violent offenders. The impacts on society are notably different as the cost to jail the offender is problematic. If you were looking to hire someone to run a cash register, you might not consider someone that spent the last 2 years in prison. On the other hand, if an applicant had spent the last two years showing up to do community service, you would at least have an applicant with a proven work record.

That is my vision for Colorado. Replacing jail for non-violent offenders with mandatory community service. With all the money we saved on jails, we might even be able to cover shortfalls in the education budget.
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Old 10-02-2015, 10:41 AM
 
3,660 posts, read 3,950,041 times
Reputation: 2535
Worth trying more. I mean that. But many offenders wouldn't show up for community service or wouldn't give it much effort. And they'd need whole system of supervisors (unless lots of citizens volunteer to be responsible for supervising them. A supply we don't really have now.) And you'd still need the jails for the non-cooperative. And the nonviolent thiefs and such would have time to do their thing, in off time or during community service. But, as I said, yeah lets try it more. But perhaps gradually on best prospects first. Learn how to do it right. Don't drop a ton of people on the streets with inadequate systems / experience running those systems. That didn't work as well as hoped with the mentally challenged. It might not work as well as hoped with the criminally inclined, honest effort / pro community challenged cases it is applied to. Government tends to get stuck doing tough stuff, often with low odds of real success. We should be able to do better on the non-violent offenders, but a lot of them are not going to be easy to change. May need to make the schools / early "education system" tougher so that the later punishment / "rehab" system doesn't need to get used as much. I'd rather try a tough but high hope rehab system on 8-14 year olds than on hardened in their ways 18-24 year olds already gone way way wrong, probably beyond changing in most cases wrong.

Last edited by NW Crow; 10-02-2015 at 11:04 AM..
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Old 10-02-2015, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins, CO
1 posts, read 853 times
Reputation: 15
First post here, have followed this forum for awhile and this seems like a good topic to jump in on.

For the OP, my perspective is that of someone that has been here for a long-time (since the 1960's) so I have seen a tremendous amount of change - and certainly not all for the good. I have loved Colorado and still do but I'm very concerned about its future. For those of us that have been here a long time, it is a far more crowded place. I am referring to not only the hub of Denver but the whole front range area where most of the State's population lives. The politics of the state have changed drastically. If you want solitude it is increasingly hard to find; you have to go further and further from the crowded front range to find it.

The traffic along the Fort Collins to Denver corridor is getting terrible. Clearly the growth that is occurring is outstripping the ability (and funding) of the roads to transport all of these people. The mantra along the front range seems to be build now and worry about the traffic later. It does not take much to turn I-25 into a parking lot, often times all the way from Fort Collins to Denver - it is unreal to me but then I'm not used to it. I go to Denver only when absolutely necessary (airport) and in general avoid I-25 and I-70 west of Denver like the plague. As others have already pointed out the cost of housing is getting quite high, but that depends on what you are used to.

Others have mentioned water and I just have to believe that will be a major limiting factor for future growth. This whole area is arid to semi-arid and is prone to droughts. This is nothing new. The water districts and utilities seem to think there is still plenty - but that assumes that the precipitation falls in the first place in order to capture it. There are looooong dry spells where that doesn't happen - just ask Californians right now. This water issue is a huge one, and we haven't even got into the underground aquifers being pumped dry....

For anyone looking to move here, there are plenty of issues to consider and make sure you come in with your eyes wide open. There are plenty of old-timers that have already left Colorado. My wife and I are continually in a quandary ourselves about where to live out the rest of our lives. We both have loved Colorado and there is still a lot to like about this place, but are the good things still enough to outweigh the not so good. Everyone has to decide this for themselves.
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Old 10-02-2015, 12:43 PM
 
Location: I roam around. Spend most my time in the West or the Northwoods.
130 posts, read 139,330 times
Reputation: 186
Colorado will be warmer and drier in the future. That, combined with the steady influx of people who want to live here, will certainly mean things change.

For the better:
- Larger tax base
- Education seems to be more of a focus
- Infrastructure improvements like DIA and new roads/transit will begin to pay off

For the worse:
- More droughts and water disputes.... because of less moisture, more people will want to irrigate, adding to the problem
- When rain comes, more floods
- Rivers will be dirtier because levels will be lower -- more pollutants
- Snowpack will be less -- many effects beyond the skiing
- Likely more fires and pine beetle decimation
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ
2,645 posts, read 2,284,939 times
Reputation: 2616
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple Tree View Post
Colorado will be warmer and drier in the future. That, combined with the steady influx of people who want to live here, will certainly mean things change.

For the better:
- Larger tax base
- Education seems to be more of a focus
- Infrastructure improvements like DIA and new roads/transit will begin to pay off

For the worse:
- More droughts and water disputes.... because of less moisture, more people will want to irrigate, adding to the problem
- When rain comes, more floods
- Rivers will be dirtier because levels will be lower -- more pollutants
- Snowpack will be less -- many effects beyond the skiing
- Likely more fires and pine beetle decimation
Time to start using less Kentucky bluegrass and plant more xeriscape and cold hardy cactus.
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Old 10-05-2015, 07:53 AM
 
1,243 posts, read 915,519 times
Reputation: 1429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hschlick84 View Post
Time to start using less Kentucky bluegrass and plant more xeriscape and cold hardy cactus.
Or how about quit subsidizing farmers that grow produce that never should exists in certain areas. AG uses the vast majority of the water, not homeowners with lawns. Take CA for example. The vast majority of the population is on water restrictions yet the farming industry is still pumping away. Have you ever been to the San Jaquien Valley? Its a desert yet, its filled with just about every vegetable or fruit you can imagine. Most of the CO snow melt ends up there.
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Old 10-25-2015, 07:49 AM
 
14 posts, read 13,718 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by BadKittehs View Post
Wow. I guess you have never had to go to the Emergency Room, or needed to visit a food bank. Or had to sit in the waiting room at Social Services. I never said they taught the classes in anything other than English. The teachers spend a lot more time with the students who don't speak it, while the other students sit there waiting.

Denver is a Sanctuary City, whether you believe it or not. The illegals do get food stamps, section 8 housing and many other benefits due to having children in the US. Many places (McDonalds, Arbys, etc.) will not hire you if you don't speak Spanish, at least that's how it is in Aurora. My husband is a welder and couldn't find a job because he only speaks English.

I don't blame them for coming here. I have a friend from Mexico who explained to me that many illegals come here because it is so awful and dangerous where they came from. She said many don't really want to be here, but felt there was no choice. They don't want to assimilate because they love their culture and their country, but it makes it difficult for the the citizens who have to adapt to them because they refuse to adapt to us.
Agreed and it is possible to assimilate and not lose your culture. A native culture should not adapt to a foreign culture unless they are being conquered. Accommodating anti-assimilation policy's, like having things written in spanish, is deleterious to non-natives and natives in that it keeps the foreign groups separate (as second class citizens) making it difficult for them to be successful.
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Old 10-25-2015, 08:06 AM
 
14 posts, read 13,718 times
Reputation: 11
[/quote] I have no idea what the vocational requirements for welders are, so I'll take your word for the bilingual thing. As for the rest, my Dad used to live in Aurora and I am amazed to learn that Aurora has turned into such a major stronghold for Hispanics (legal or not) in the short period of time since I last visited there. According to the City of Aurora's website, 30% of the population is self-reported Latino. That leaves 70% of Aurora as non-Hispanic. So, I have difficulty believing Aurora employers would have such blanket requirements for bi-lingualism.[/quote]

It has to do with the construction industry....majority of labor is performed by hispanic; therefore, having bi-lingual employees is a huge advantage. It is unfortunate for everyone that we as a nation facilitate the problem of making it easy for hispanics to get by not learning english. Good intentions does not equate to good outcomes.
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Old 10-25-2015, 08:23 AM
 
14 posts, read 13,718 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple Tree View Post
Colorado will be warmer and drier in the future. That, combined with the steady influx of people who want to live here, will certainly mean things change.

For the better:
- Larger tax base
- Education seems to be more of a focus
- Infrastructure improvements like DIA and new roads/transit will begin to pay off

For the worse:
- More droughts and water disputes.... because of less moisture, more people will want to irrigate, adding to the problem
- When rain comes, more floods
- Rivers will be dirtier because levels will be lower -- more pollutants
- Snowpack will be less -- many effects beyond the skiing
- Likely more fires and pine beetle decimation
How do you know Colorado will be warmer and drier in the future?

Take a look at the last 70 years:

Precipitation:

Data Access

Temperature:

Data Access

2013 was a record high with precipitation. You could pretty much run a straight level line through those graphs.....zero trend.
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Old 10-25-2015, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,893 posts, read 6,468,162 times
Reputation: 7346
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple Tree View Post
Colorado will be warmer and drier in the future. That, combined with the steady influx of people who want to live here, will certainly mean things change.

For the better:
- Larger tax base
- Education seems to be more of a focus
- Infrastructure improvements like DIA and new roads/transit will begin to pay off

For the worse:
- More droughts and water disputes.... because of less moisture, more people will want to irrigate, adding to the problem
- When rain comes, more floods
- Rivers will be dirtier because levels will be lower -- more pollutants
- Snowpack will be less -- many effects beyond the skiing
- Likely more fires and pine beetle decimation
Pine beetle has started to wane already.
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