Increased taxes is a touchy subject

Although there does not appear to be any organized effort against ballot issue 3B among Cortez residents, there is opposition to the tax increase measure for a new Montezuma-Cortez High School.

C.O. “Bud” Garner is “really conflicted” on the bond issue, but is leaning against it.

Garner, a member of the 9-12 Project/Tea Party Patriots group, emphasized he is not speaking on behalf of the organization.

“There seems to be an attitude that if you don’t vote for a tax increase that you’re against education. That is such a specious argument,” he said.

“I’ve not heard a definitive argument that says what our problems are with the educational outcomes here,” he said, although he acknowledged that “some of it has nothing to do with the actual product being offered at the school. There are solutions that have nothing to do with a new building.”

The Re-1 district seems to be changing its focus as it relates to passing a bond, Garner believes.

He related that when Re-1 Superintendent Alex Carter spoke to the 9/12 group, he said he hoped that the district’s education results would improve if the bond passes.

In June, Garner was defeated in the Republican primary race for county commissioner.

“This is our second bite at the apple,” Garner said, noting district residents overwhelmingly voted down another BEST grant-related bond that would’ve helped rehabilitate the Southwest Open School campus.

At that time, Re-1 School Board President Jackie Fisher said that there was no relationship between building new buildings and educational results, Garner recalled.

Maurine and Dale Foote felt strongly enough on the issue that they put a “No on 3B” neon green sign in their front yard on Mildred Road.

When asked why they don’t support the bond, Maurine said that a friend who works at the high school said that the school is “not that bad.”

A tax increase is another reason for their opposition.

“I can’t afford another tax,” Maurine said, noting she’s not currently working. Dale Foote is working. They do not have any children in the school district, saying that their only child left the nest years ago.

If passed, the bond would expire after 20 years.

calebs@cortezjournal.com