Tag: Economics

Just how much are taxpayers paying Tina Peters and Belinda Knisely not to do their jobs?

Tina Peters

Everyone wants to know just how much Mesa County taxpayers are shelling out in salary and benefits to indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and Deputy Clerk Belinda Knisely for not doing their jobs while they obey conditions of their bond to stay away from their workplace and co-workers. During all this time of not going to work, they have continued to collect paychecks.

Thanks to the County, we’ve got the figures.

Between August 10, 2021 and April 22, 2022, Knisely collected a total of $71,524.14 in salary and benefits including health and disability insurance, and Tina collected a total of $83,958.88 for a grand total paid to the pair since August 10, 2021 of $155,483.02.

Belinda Knisely

The two are indicted on multiple felony charges related to election tampering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7th Street Deli saved by Tim Foster

The 7th Street Deli has been at the same location on 7th Street and Bookcliff for 15 years

The 7th-Street Deli has been saved!

The deli was threatened with eviction in mid-January for non-payment of back rent. The owner had suffered a prolonged 50% loss of business due to back-to-back renovation projects that took place on 7th Street in 2019 and 2020, and then got hit with the no-indoor dining order in 2020 from Covid. Deli owner Debbie Allen had made it through all those obstacles and was finally getting out of her debt when the property owner slapped her with an eviction notice and a lawsuit for tens of thousands in back rent. The deli started a GoFundMe account and donations poured in. By the end of January they had raised about $8,000, but it wasn’t enough to pay off all the back rent.

7th Street Deli threatened with eviction

You’ve seen it…you drive by it all the time. After 15 years in this location, the much-loved 7th Street Deli, a woman-owned and operated family business that makes home-made food, has been threatened with eviction.

The 7th Street Deli just south of St. Mary’s Hospital may soon be forced to close its doors.

The restaurant has been there for 15 years, and has been owned and operated by Debbie Allen and her daughter for the last 8 years. It is woman-owned business and the only restaurant close to the hospital. Their food is damn good and now they might have to close.

On January 5th, the landlord who owns the Medical Arts complex where the deli is located threatened Debbie and her family with eviction by the end of the month for non-payment of rent. The eviction notice comes after the restaurant was faced with a long series of unfortunate events starting in 2018. It has been struggling to come back, and just as business is finally starting to improve again, now this.

How did they get into this position after having so much success for so long?

Commissioner Scott McInnis: Upcoming election will cost County $1 million

Election conspiracy theorists are an expensive bunch to lend any credence to, and humoring them is about to cost Mesa County taxpayers dearly.

At the County Commissioners’ meeting yesterday, Monday, October 25, 2021, Commissioner Scott McInnis let it spill how much County Clerk Tina Peters’ election conspiracy antics are going to cost County taxpayers in the upcoming election.

Hold onto your hats.

McInnis says the tab is going to be about $1 million.

Commissioners ask governor to end supplemental federal benefits for unemployed County residents

At their public hearing on Monday, July 12, 2021, the Republican Mesa County Commissioners voted to officially request Governor Jared Polis end the supplemental unemployment benefits that have been helping keep unemployed and low income County residents and their families afloat during the pandemic.

Why? Because they want to force people to go back to work to fill mostly low paying, often difficult and dangerous front line jobs, often where people are likely to be exposed to the virus and would risk exposing their families to it as well.

15.8% of Mesa County’s population lives below the federal poverty line, more than the poverty rate for the state as a whole, at 11.5%. The 2018 Federal Poverty Level for annual income is $16,147 for an individual and $33,383 for a family of four.

To be sure, the Mesa County Commissioners aren’t living on wages like that. They make around $90,000/year when perks like health insurance are included.

Group files ethics complaint against Rep. Boebert’s exorbitant campaign mileage reimbursements

Lauren Boebert shown n December, 2019, carrying the same flag carried by many of the insurrectionists who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021

The government watchdog group Accountable.us has filed a complaint (pdf) with the Office of Congressional Ethics requesting an investigation into House Rep. Lauren Boebert’s exorbitant mileage reimbursements in 2020. Boebert claimed to have driven 36,868 miles in 2020, enough to circumnavigate the globe almost one and a half times, even though there were several months in which there were no posted public campaign events.

By contrast, her predecessor, former District 3 Congress member Scott Tipton,  reimbursed himself a total of $12,255 from his campaign coffers for travel over the entire decade he held the office.

State Senator Ray Scott refuses to wear mask in Village Inn, lectures waiter not to enforce rule, saying “WE make the laws”

State Senator Ray Scott, who has a track record of being rude to his constituents, getting sued by the ACLU for blocking constituents on social media and getting slapped with a formal ethics complaint, recently displayed his legendary hubris again after he refused to put on a face mask while inside a Village Inn restaurant in Grand Junction.

The story was reported by the Colorado Times Recorder on December 21.

According to the Times Recorder, the waiter approached Scott and told him that he would have to leave if he didn’t wear a mask inside the restaurant, Scott lectured the waiter by saying “Governors make rules, but WE make the law,” and explained the difference between a rule and a law. Scott then told the waiter he was being too “heavy handed” in enforcing the statewide masking rule.

RN literally begs Mesa County Commissioners to urge public to wear masks, distance, avoid gatherings

Benita Phillips, R.N., B.S.N. begged Mesa County Commissioners on 11/9 to make a definitive public statement urging the public to wear masks, avoid gatherings and strictly follow other public health protocol to help rein in the rapid spread of the novel Coronavirus in our community

A registered nurse openly begged the Mesa County Commissioners to make a statement telling people they need to wear masks when patronizing local businesses, maintain physical distancing and strictly avoid gatherings, to help rein in the area’s skyrocketing Covid-19 infection rate.

Benita Phillips, R.N., B.S.N., a retired Veterans Administration nurse, spoke to the commissioners in the public comment period of their Monday, 11/9 meeting (video, @ 1:02). Phillips spoke after Mesa County Public Health Department Executive Director Jeff Kuhr told commissioners about the dire situation the county faces from the ongoing uncontrolled spread of the novel Coronavirus. Dr. Kuhr told commissioners that last Saturday the county reached its highest new Covid case count in a single day: 180.

How Trump’s sabotage of the Post Office is playing out locally

Trump mega-donor and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy

In May of 2020, President Trump appointed Louis DeJoy, a Trump mega-donor with no postal experience as Postmaster General of the United States.

After taking office in June, Mr. DeJoy immediately started making changes to the Postal Service that resulted in delayed delivery of mail across the country. His actions included removal of 23 top postal executives, removing high-speed mail sorting machines from post offices around the country and prohibiting employees from logging overtime to deliver mail.

NEJM video shows how wearing a face mask reduces the spread of Corona virus


The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published a video showing how face masks reduce the spread of airborne droplets  emitted when people speak and shout, giving a graphic representation of how mask-wearing works to reduce the spread of Corona virus, the novel deadly virus that currently no prevention, no treatment and no cure.

In the video, “Visualizing Speech Generated Oral Fluid Droplets with Laser Light Scattering,” a person in a darkened room says the phrase “Stay healthy” repeatedly in varying volumes while neon lasers light up the droplets coming from his mouth.

After watching this video, imagine standing without a face mask and speaking while you look over the produce in the grocery store, or order food from a menu, for example. This video shows how droplets fly from people’s mouths when they speak, and shows how people spread the virus to others.

Incumbent Mesa County Commissioners unilaterally failing to address Coronavirus pandemic

Guest post by Dennis Simpson, CPA, reposted with permission from his “Transparency in Mesa County” Facebook page

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis

The Mesa County Commissioners have been totally silent on the impact the COVID-19 crisis will have on the County’s ability to deliver basic services to residents during the many months before our economy returns to normal. Rather than buckling down and addressing the tough financial questions, they meet weekly to hear updates from County staff and to whine about just how terrible the Governor is. There is nothing wrong with these two activities. Staff needs to know the bosses support them. Complaining about what happens in Denver is a waste of time but it apparently makes them feel important.

The problem is not with what they are doing, it is about what they are not doing. There has been no discussion of the impact on the County’s reserve balances. They should be trying to get ahead of pending financial hit by reviewing numerous projections based on different assumptions of just how bad things are going to get. The development of the various assumptions and the results of each needs to be done by someone with demonstrated skills and the ability to simplify what they do so the Commissioners can understand their options. In my opinion, none of the current staff have these abilities. They need to seek help from outside the organization.

Kathryn Bedell, DVM enters County Commissioner race for District 1

Kathryn Bedell, DVM, of Fruita, running against Ray Scott for County Commissioner, District 1

Don’t want Cody Davis or Ray Scott as Mesa County Commissioner?

Well now you finally have a better option.

Mesa County voters finally have a real candidate running for District 1 County Commissioner.

Kathryn Bedell, DVM, announced on March 26 that she is running for the District 1 Mesa County Commissioner seat.

Educated, intelligent, well-informed, fiercely pro-agriculture and pro local-economy, Dr. Bedell is the best candidate so far for County Commissioner District 1.

Dennis Simpson recommends ways County Commissioners can handle COVID-19 pandemic

Dennis Simpson, CPA

Certified Public Accountant Dennis Simpson, a long-time advocate for transparency in Grand Junction City and Mesa County government, discovered that in 2019 Mesa County purchased two new late model SUVs at a cost of $45,000 each, for the exclusive use of Commissioners Scott McInnis and John Justman. Before that time, Simpson noted, the County had provided a single passenger car for all three commissioners to share. He also noted that the decision to greatly increase this transportation expense for taxpayers was not made in public, and that while Commissioner Rose Pugliese tried to distance herself from the purchase, she failed to protest it publicly.

When Simpson raised these issues to Scott McInnis, McInnis deflected attention from the matter by asking Simpson to instead focus on coming up with financial suggestions for ways the County can cope with the COVID-19 pandemic rather than concerning himself with the purchase of the vehicles, which McInnis dismissed as unimportant.

Simpson obliged and produced the following suggestions, which he submitted to all three county commissioners on March 19, 2020.

Modern-day Republicans oppose progress

Results of a news quiz printed in today’s Daily Sentinel demonstrates the backwards thinking that is the hallmark of conservative, right-wing Republicans.

A short blurb in the Sunday, Feb. 8, 2020 Daily Sentinel offers a lesson on why Republicans are such harmful elected officials.

The Sentinel has a regular weekly news quiz on Fridays, and gives the results in the following Sunday paper. An item today stood out for what it demonstrates about the ramifications of conservative Republican views not just for the western slope, but for society.

History shows that if Republicans had their way in the last century, most of America wouldn’t have electricity.

Why I voted “no” on Proposition DD

Proposition DD on the November 5 ballot would legalize gambling on amateur and professional sports and tax the proceeds at a rate of 10% to pay for “water projects,” purportedly projects proposed in the Colorado Water Plan.  I wasn’t sure how to vote on Prop DD until I did some research on it and put some thought into. What I found convinced me to vote “no.”

Here’s what I found out:

Grand Junction High School photos

In case you haven’t had a chance to tour Grand Junction High School prior to the November 5 election, the following photos were taken inside the school on a tour on Saturday morning, October 19, 2019. What the photos cannot relate are the odors in some of these areas, which were quite objectionable. Ventilation was lacking in many areas. Measure 4A on the Mesa County Ballot will fund construction of a new Grand Junction High School. The current building was constructed in 1956. AnneLandmanBlog urges a “YES” vote on Measure 4A for fund a new school:

Classroom on the east side of campus

Mesa County blunders headline on economic development web page

The headline today on Mesa County’s web page about economic development. Can you say “embarrassing”?

Way to rep the county, Mesa County Commissioners.

Mesa County’s website about economic development seeks to lure businesses to here and to “elevate the community profile,” so it doesn’t help when the county blunders the big headline of the page that seeks to do that. Commissioners might want to correct the glaring misspelling in the page’s headline. The error gives business owners the impression that education is unimportant in Mesa County, but that can’t possibly be true, can it?

Proposition CC on the state-wide ballot aims to end the failed TABOR experiment

Gold colored counties are all the counties in Colorado that have de-Bruced.

Proposition CC on the November 5 ballot, if enacted, will let state and local governments keep all the revenue they generate through taxes and invest it to improve communities. It would effectively “de-Bruce” the whole state and end what amounts to a failed conservative social experiment.

What is “de-Brucing?”

De-Brucing means ending the effects of the TABOR Amendment, a 1992 amendment to the state constitution that effectively created a permanent revenue shortage for the state. TABOR was essentially an experiment in tax limitation that took taxing power away from the legislature and put it exclusively in the hands of voters. Over the decades, it has damaged the state in many ways.