David Madore

Comment history

Letter: Negativity delays practical progress

Roger,

You say you just don't get it. Please watch the 2 minute video at http://couv.com/crc for a little perspective. And see if you still don't get it.

Perhaps then you can help us to understand how pouring all our resources into a light rail bridge makes more sense than building a 3rd bridge for east county at 192nd Ave and 4th bridge for west county for a tiny fraction of the cost for one light rail bridge.

I am very interested in your logic.

May 31, 2011 at 12:14 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Property Taxes 101 is in session

This has been a good conversation. Lou, you did a great job with your article. You can really write. The comment I posted here to Peter Van Nortwick, I also emailed to him directly. We just wrapped up a 2 hour conversation that help us each understand what he is dealing with.

It would have been more considerate of me to call and talk with him before posting anything here that was negative. For that, I apologize. Alleycat has valid points, but also has at times attacked the messenger instead of the message. That is never appropriate. I appeal to Alleycat to show respect and stay objective even when you feel passionately about your points.

Peter is willing to meet taxpayers and help them understand the process. I am one citizen that will brainstorm with him for my education and to perhaps help to find significant ways to change the system. The goal is to help move in a direction where the government serves people rather than people serving government.

We are all on the outside looking in. It is a very different experience to be on the inside of government looking out. There are constraints that add significant difficulty to the challenge of making positive changes. Not everyone is going to get it right every time, especially as a rookie. I think Peter made the wrong move by trying to shorten the time that people had to appeal their tax bill. He was attempting to fix a problem with a solution that was too broad. I think he acknowledges that now, but we should let him speak for himself.

Hopefully, with community participation, he will find better ways to not only make his office operate more efficiently, but also make the way the system works more objective, fair and transparent.

May 28, 2011 at 6:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Property Taxes 101 is in session

Peter Van Nortwick,

I would like to visit and talk with you asap. I do not know anyone who is happy with your performance since taking office. I wonder what your priorities, purposes and allegiances are and what your mission is.

You are giving conservatives a black eye. You were elected by the people as a citizen advocate, someone who is supposed to help bring transparency, openness, and common sense. Alleycat appears to have valid points.

Yes, you are working on improving efficiency. But that alone will only make the process of burdening taxpayers easier for government. We need more than efficiency. We need relief, fairness, and a system that is forthright enough for citizens to see how the numbers are generated. We need common sense applied to your methods that will confirm the integrity of the numbers and the process.

You have the opportunity to be a champion for common sense. You've been in that office long enough to develop a track record. So far, there is plenty of disappointment.

Let's talk. My cell is 360-601-3056. david.m@usdigital.com

May 28, 2011 at 3:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

"I want you to be the tough guys"

Leadership is doing what is right regardless of what others do. Leavitt's record speaks for itself. Why would a candidate promise something so significant while campaigning and then like Leavitt, do the opposite once elected? Of course people feel betrayed.

Stuart, during his re-election campaign motioned and the C-Tran Board passed the resolution and people trusted them to follow through to place this on the November 8, 2011 ballot. That official action is recorded in the minutes of their September 14, 2010 meeting. See item 2 on page 9 at: http://tinyurl.com/3dqkdvc

If C-Tran did not act on that decision even last year when the elections were in play, then it appears to all have been for show, an illusion, or even a deception.

That Sept. 14 decision still stands until rescinded by another official board vote. Discussion does not rescind a previous decision. The board has not rescind it. They just talked about it. So the matter is not closed. C-Tran either needs to follow their own instructions or vote to rescind it. Neither has happened.

In the meantime, the meter is running. Millions more each month continue to be spent on an $8.7 billion CRC Light Rail Crossing project that the voters have not authorized to operate.

Is that good leadership that demonstrates honesty, trust, integrity, or even basic protocol?

May 27, 2011 at 10:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

I’m guilty of loving baseball

PS - Payroll is not an unfortunate expense. It is fortunate to the people who have jobs. Employers who value people realize that.

May 22, 2011 at 8:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

I’m guilty of loving baseball

Stiker911 - The latest published hourly rates for manufacturing labor costs around the world are as follows in Dollars per Hour: See: http://www.545project.com/WageCompari...

Bangladesh: $0.19

India: $0.39

Sri Lanka: $0.41

Thialand: $0.93

China: $1.08

The factor ranges from 20X to 100X lower than what we pay at US Digital.

Many businesses look at their cost of labor as an unfortunate expense that takes away from the bottom line. Although that is true, it does not consider the blessing that the business has to employees.

I look at our payroll and thank God that we can provide great jobs for these good people. I want our business to be a blessing and to inspire others to value people.

May 22, 2011 at 8:55 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

I’m guilty of loving baseball

Oops - I ment to say Jeanne Harris. Jeanne Stewart is a jewel.

May 22, 2011 at 7:34 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

I’m guilty of loving baseball

Striker911 - Trust is earned. But respect is always appropriate even when we are addressing someone we don't trust. You see that in my behavior toward Jeanne Stewart and Tim Leavitt.

Honesty is foundational to integrity. It was Thomas Jefferson who said "The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest." As for the X100 labor cost, 12 cents per hour is not uncommon in various countries. Your continued character attacks are pushing you over the edge.

As for the means to repay the bond, you see from my earlier posts that this project does not pencil out. It loses money every year. The promoters are estimating the income from an entertainment tax by looking as statistics across the state. Yet the bond payments must be made even if 5% tax is not enough.

Perhaps a 10% entertainment tax and newspaper tax would be enough. Lou, you have not answered that question by several commenters. How about it Lou?

May 22, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

I’m guilty of loving baseball

Striker911 - There are some sales tax exemptions for production equipment. Yes, that has helped with the initial sales tax that we pay for quarter million dollar machines. Keep in mind that as you condemn me and our business as hypocritical, that you are bashing a job creator and belittling a contributor who cares about our community.

There have never been any property tax breaks and we continue to pay that every year for very machine. The cash we use to pay for for major equipment is after taxes. The cost of equipment is not a tax deduction. It is an amortized depreciated item that makes it difficult to recoup the cost over many years.

If you wish to continue having a conversation with me, please lighten up and stop with the character bashing and name calling. If you continue being so rude, I will consider it foolish to respond to you. Some common decency and courtesy will go a long way. I ask you to address the issues with reason rather than attack the character of the messenger. I await your response.

May 22, 2011 at 6:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

I’m guilty of loving baseball

Striker911 - You posted a mean spirited comment at 1:10 am last night calling anyone who attends any publicly funded entertainment, a hypocrite.

Far from it. Let's say that we vinously oppose this baseball stadium and it gets built anyway. I may actually buy season tickets and if I cannot use them myself, I may give away to people who would appreciate them. You know how strongly I oppose the CRC Light Rail Crossing boondoggle. But if that disaster happens, I may buy multiple passes and give them to people who would appreciate them.

Rather than making such behavior hypocritical, more appropriate terms would describe that behavior, terms such as gracious, forgiving, tolerant, kind, good sport.

The time to express our support or opposition to a project is when it is being considered. But once the decision is made, if we have been fairly heard and our input has been seriously considered, we ought to support the outcome especially if the process of adopting it was valid. That is called buy-in. And it is necessary to accept the outcome with grace.

But when the process is flawed or thwarted, buy-in does not happen and strife, division, protests, and various degrees of rebellion often result. That is a real danger with the CRC Light Rail Crossing boondoggle and to a lesser degree with rushing through a money losing stadium if people are misrepresented or excluded from the process.

Major projects that spend millions or billions that will require decades of taxes to sustain ought to be voted on by the people. Rushing ahead without getting buy-in violates the trust and stretches the authority of representatives beyond their normal scope.

Our representatives need to first act with integrity and demonstrate that they are deserving of our trust. Is that what we see with the CRC proponents? When government has grown to be too burdensome to support, it needs to be pruned and cut back. Any new project or program that creates yet another parasite upon any private business to grow the government bigger and add one more new taxpayer funded program ought to be rejected unless it is essential. The worst and most foolish course would be to rush it through as though it was an emergency. A baseball stadium is not an emergency and entertainment is not an essential government service.

If that project is approved without a vote, many citizens in our will not buy-in. Those representatives that presume to do these things will likely be voted out. In this case, Steve Stuart and Marc Boldt will likely be replaced by new leadership. They both oppose a vote on the CRC Light Rail Crossing project this November even though made it a campaign promise. Tom Mielke is the right side of both these projects.

More people are aware of the need for new leadership in our city councils and county commissioners. Hopefully, we will care enough to get involved next month when candidates register for the local primary elections.

May 22, 2011 at 5:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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