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What Will the Land Use Code Cost?

How many billions (yes, that's billions) will the County Commissioner's proposed land use code cost the citizens in Larimer County?

I have carefully followed the public discussion concerning this major change to the laws governing our daily lives and have noticed that the County Commission and their planning staff have consistently refused to answer this critical question. Environmental impact studies are routinely conducted for major construction projects. Why does the county commission refuse to reveal the true financial impact of the new land use code?

There are at least four ways this code will have a financial impact: 1. The requirement to set aside 80% of new developments for open space will immediately reduce the value of all undeveloped land in the county. 2. The new code has many requirements which will make new building sites more expensive to develop, translating into higher housing costs. 3. This code will add even more regulations for all of us to attempt to abide by, laying a heavier cost on each one of our daily lives. 4. The inevitable long term effect will be a greater housing shortage than we have today, driving housing prices beyond the reach of even more Larimer county residents.

Before the proposed land use code is approved, the County Commission should determine what it will cost us and make that dollar amount a part of the public discussion. For the County Commission to move forward without these facts is a reckless abuse of the trust we have placed in these elected officials.
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The Ten Commandments

State Senator John Andrews is drawing a lot of fire for his bill which would require posting the Ten Commandments in public schools. His critics call it a waste of time and a violation of the separation of church and state doctrine. I commend him for having the courage to take on this issue.

If he amends the bill to make it optional that will be even better, for decisions about our schools should be made locally-by parents and teachers-not by the state legislature. Yet the state needs to stand up for what is right. In this case that would mean authorizing our schools to post a document which is foundational to our system of law and justice. It is ironic that the very courts which that system of justice produced would declare this primary document unacceptable for public classrooms.

I hope the State of Colorado will follow Senator Andrews' lead, and not his critics.
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Summit on Youth Violence

Several days ago a report was released which gave many recommendations for the legislature and the people of Colorado to consider relative to the issue of youth violence. It was represented to be the result of the discussions and speeches which occurred at the Summit on Youth Violence. Having attended that conference myself, I found several of the report's recommendations surprising. Specifically, the call for increasing government gun control does not in anyway represent the discussions I heard at the Summit on Youth Violence. Except for the gun control advocates handing out leaflets outside the building, gun control was not even a major topic. Further, when it was brought up, several times the point was being made that more government gun control is not the answer, and indeed might have a deleterious effect. The speeches and discussions that were a part of the Summit on Youth Violence covered many valuable subjects to which the people of Colorado should give careful attention. I trust that the rhetoric of a few militant gun control advocates will not cloud the valuable ideas which were discussed. This brief letter cannot cover even a small part of what was presented that day, but one particularity poignant moment does sum up much of what I heard. When a panel of high school students were asked who or what had had the greatest positive influence on their own lives, without exception their answers had nothing to do with government programs or legislative initiatives. Every one of the students who responded said the only significant positive influence in their lives came from their families and/or their faith in God.

I gleaned much from attending the Summit on Youth Violence, and as I listened to all the people who spoke that day it became clear that we cannot fix the problem of youth violence from the statehouse. This is a job for the home. Our success will rise or fall on how diligently parents teach their own core values of integrity, compassion, and faith. To develop the best public policy we can for our state we must not in any way replace the family, rather, we must encourage parents to once again assume their individual responsibility to raise their children well.
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Taxes

Get a grip, fellow citizens in Larimer county, get a tight grip on your pocketbook.

The election this year is all about money. Your money. If all of the tax increases and tax extensions pass this year, each family will end up paying thousands of dollars more in taxes over the next 10 years. A good argument can always be made for any government program, but how much is enough?

Someone must be willing to stand in defense of the family just trying to make ends meet. Every additional tax dollar collected for a special project is one less dollar that each individual family can make a personal decision about how best to spend. When all the various forms of taxation are added up, the government is spending 40-50% of our income for us. This reality is not consistent with the principles of a nation founded on freedom and individual responsibility.

I choose to defend the family first, and that starts by controlling the tremendous tax burdens we all face.

When you vote, remember families!
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Election Issues

Four ballot issues contain the prospect of drastically changing our election process. They are all touted as bringing more fairness to the voter, but I believe they will do just the opposite.

Today Colorado citizens have a great deal of access to the election process through the caucus system. Advance registration requirements help insure the integrity of voter registration lists. You have the option of voting in your local precinct in the presence of election judges, and mail ballots are also available to all who request them. Candidates must report all contributions and expenditures in a timely fashion, and are allowed to collect contributions within reasonable donor limitations.

If these ballot issues all pass there will be no more opportunity to nominate a candidate through the caucus, last minute registrations and bulk mailing of ballots will compromise the integrity of every election. Stringent finance rules will remove much of the control candidates have over their own campaigns.

All of these changes will empower heavily funded special interests at the expense of grassroots involvement from citizens like you and I. It will increase the potential for abuse and fraud.

We will lose if these issues pass. This year, just say no!
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September 11th

The recent terrorist attacks are senseless acts of cruelty which demand a swift and decisive response. I applaud the president for his calm courage and determination to cure this great wrong with appropriate justice. Yet despite all the best efforts to defend this great land and its free people, we should never be confident in our own strength.

As I helplessly watched this catastrophe unfold on my television it reminded me how fragile life is and how vulnerable we all are in today's uncertain world. Many similar scenarios of destruction can be imagined and we all know there are far too many people who would willingly be the agents of such despicable acts. On September 11 we saw that chilling reality. These shocking events underscore the very significant spiritual dimension to all of life, including that which concerns our country as a whole and its public policies. At this time we should reaffirm our hope and confidence in the Creator of all, because it is only through God's protective grace that life is even possible.

Let us pray as a country. Pray for those directly impacted by this tragedy. Pray for peace in our land. Trusting alone in our human systems and security measures will always prove to be a false hope. We must be diligently doing what we can, from our human perspective, but also we must intentionally seek God's forgiveness for past failures and His mercy and protection for the future. Only then can we build that strong foundation of which president Bush spoke. Only then can we as a nation truly be prosperous for our children and grandchildren in this challenging world of the twenty first century.
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Letter to Editor, October 9, 2002

Four ballot issues contain the prospect of drastically changing our election process. They are all touted as bringing more fairness to the voter, but I believe they will do just the opposite.

Today Colorado citizens have a great deal of access to the election process through the caucus system. Advance registration requirements help insure the integrity of voter registration lists. You have the option of voting in your local precinct in the presence of election judges, and mail ballots are also available to all who request them. Candidates must report all contributions and expenditures in a timely fashion, and are allowed to collect contributions within reasonable donor limitations.

If these ballot issues all pass there will be no more opportunity to nominate a candidate through the caucus, last minute registrations and bulk mailing of ballots will compromise the integrity of every election. Stringent finance rules will remove much of the control candidates have over their own campaigns.
All of these changes will empower heavily funded special interests at the expense of grassroots involvement from citizens like you and I. It will increase the potential for abuse and fraud.

We will lose if these issues pass. This year, just say no!
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Speech given at the Old Fashioned Political Rally in Loveland on October 7, 2002

I look forward to serving as your representative for District 49.

Our district includes all of the smaller towns and most of the rural areas of Larimer County, as well as the town of Windsor in Weld County.

I promise you I will defend our freedoms because, "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

These words from the declaration of independence ring as true today as they did 226 years ago.

As a nation, we face the challenge of defining our freedoms in the light of 21st Century realities. I believe deeply that we must resist the easy temptations of government entitlements and micro managing regulations. Far too many politicians now use these means in a misguided attempt to guarantee safety and happiness for all.

Our Founding Fathers knew we could never "guarantee" such idealistic notions. The attempt is futile and it will ultimately result in a sacrifice of our precious freedoms.

I commit to you today that I will not succumb to these false solutions. I will hold fast to the principles of limited government and lower taxes.

Additionally:
Private property rights must be defended as a cornerstone to our liberty.

To promote safe and peaceful communities (and defend the Bill of Rights) the 2nd Amendment should not be compromised.

For the sake of the children, and to strengthen our moral fiber, we must maintain the definition and fundamental authority of the family.

Today we face severe drought. No legislation can make it rain. I can, however, work for the just use of our limited resources and encourage the creation of storage solutions to serve in coming decades.

Finally, I am seeking this office because as a father of three children I have a responsibility to leave them the best world that I can. I trust that with God's guidance I will be able to fulfill these commitments to my children, and to the good people in District 49.
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"2011 Taxpayer Champion"
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