Letters to the Editor
LETTER: Eliminating public trustees positions is a proverbial no-brainer
Dear Governor Hickenlooper,
Your laudable request that the state’s public trustees resign and reapply for the job is a good half step in the direction of fiscal responsibility and common sense, given that these are unnecessary and redundant political patronage jobs that the taxpayers no longer need to fund. On behalf of our 56,000 activists in the state, I respectfully ask that you take the next logical half step by declining to refill these positions. These responsibilities can and should be turned over to county treasurers, who already have shown themselves capable of performing these functions across most of Colorado. Your second best course of action, in our opinion, would be putting a hold on any reappointments until legislators can weigh-in on the matter next year. But we strongly urge you, in any case, not to refill slots that can’t be justified in light of our continuing fiscal circumstances.
Eliminating these slots won’t have a huge fiscal impact, admittedly, but every dollar counts. It’s also a relatively easy and painless way for you to show solidarity with average taxpayers, by reducing redundancy and eliminating antiquated and unnecessary state jobs. Not all county treasurers will welcome this modest additional burden, but we know from experience that they can perform these tasks professionally and competently, with no loss of service to citizens.
Our mutual friend, El Paso County Treasurer Bob Balink, has made a compelling case for why such a change makes sense, in letters to you and in Statehouse testimony, but it all boils down to this, really — that such redundancies can’t be justified in an era of fiscal scarcity and sacrifice. If we can’t cut the size of government in this case, where can we cut?
This is not a blanket condemnation of the people now serving as trustees, many of whom perform with admirable professionalism. It’s just that the time for these redundant and unnecessary patronage jobs has passed. Eliminating them seems like a proverbial no-brainer for any governor who wants to walk the walk on fiscal responsibility.
Thanks for your continuing service and for your attention to these matters. Please don’t hesitate to call or write if I can answer any questions.