How to write a letter to County Commissioners

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					How to Write an Effective Letter to the County Commissioners
Personal letters are time-consuming to write but indicate a high level of commitment to a cause.  Use your own words Form letters are okay but don’t carry as much weight  Keep it to one full page or less The commissioners do not have a lot of time to spend reading letters: They are looking for a yea or nay and reasons why.  Address 1 to 3 main points Try to give objective reasons. Attached are the main talking points arguing against Wal-Mart at this site at this time.  Avoid generalizations about Wal-Mart Write specifically about the drawbacks to this particular proposal.  Be concise Avoid rambling discussions not directly related to your (1 to 3) main points.  Be respectful: Do not insult the commissioners We want them to be on our side!  Optional: Include relevant personal information You might wish to include the community or development where you live (Gleneagle, Jackson Creek, Monument, etc.), number of people in your household, and/or the number of years you’ve lived in the community.  Hand sign it  Send an additional copy to Carl Schueler (Planning Division Office, also at 27 E. Vermijo) marked ”file copy to Carl Schueler.” This will insure that your letter will become part of the permanent record with the proposal.  Mail as early as possible The County Commissioners’ hearing will be on Thursday, June 24th. To make sure your letter arrives in time and will be read, mail it on or before June 18th.

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Addresses
Mail to commissioners should be sent to the following address: (Individual Commissioner’s name) El Paso County Board of County Commissioners 27 E. Vermijo Ave. Colorado Springs, CO 80903-2208
Contact
Wayne Williams, Dist. 1 Tom Huffman, Dist. 2 Chuck Brown, Dist. 3 Jeri Howells, Dist. 4 Jim Bensberg, Dist. 5 Carl Schueler, Mgr. Planning

Phone
520-6411 520-6412 520-6413 520-6414 520-6415 520-6316

FAX
520-6397 520-6397 520-6397 520-6397 520-6397 520-6322

Web/E-mail Address____
waynewilliams@elpasoco.com tomhuffman@elpasoco.com chuckbrown@elpasoco.com jerihowells@elpasoco.com jimbensberg@elpasoco.com carlschueler@elpasoco.com

If you write multiple letters, be sure you write to include the county commissioner for northern El Paso Commissioner (District 1), Wayne Williams. Jeri Howells and Tom Huffman may be the most receptive of the other four commissioners. Next, would be Jim Bensberg. Chuck Brown is probably the least likely to vote in our favor. To be that your letter is made part of the permanent file on the project, send a copy of your letter Carl Schueler, manager of the Planning Division, El Paso County Development Services Department. Mark it file copy to Carl Schueler

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Main objections to the proposed Wal-Mart on Baptist Road
Traffic Impacts On Baptist  Increased traffic on Baptist Road - result: worse congestion, safety concerns  Raised median on Baptist restricts access to church at houses east of the Wal-Mart site.  Traffic turning onto Baptist limited to right only; To go westbound, developer recommends U-turn at Leather Chaps.  Foxworth-Galbraith access: cul-de-sac with right turn ins, right turns out only. Gridlock at I-25  C-DOT has no funds to rework the Baptist Road interchange until after 2010.  Four lanes at Jackson Creek Parkway would narrow to two at I-25. Violates Comprehensive Plans  Proposal is not consistent with the County Policy Plan, the county’s Tri-Lakes Comprehensive Plan, Monument’s Comprehensive Plan, or Chaparral Hills covenants Requires the Gift of Rezoning: Corporate Welfare  Wal-Mart superstore requires the most intense commercial zoning far more intense than the current medium density multi-family zoning on the parcel.  A correctly zoned site the size of proposed Wal-Mart exists ½ mile north in the already approved Monument Marketplace.  Currently proposed site amounts to giving Wal-Mart a multimillion-dollar competitive advantage. Does Not Fit  30 acre parcel provides no reasonable access to adjacent parcels to the east  Over intense development of the site results in dangerous high retaining walls next to the church and Baptist Road.  Inadequate buffering between the Supercenter and the adjacent five-acre residential properties. Environmental Impact  Potential exists for contamination of groundwater, private wells, and wetlands from deicers, gasoline, oil by-products, and other chemicals from multiple sources, including the garden shop, gas station, and auto service center.  Proposed detention pond is unlined, unmonitored, and unregulated hole without filtering materials such as layered gravel and sand.  Plans call for standing water in the pond, providing ideal habitat for breeding mosquitoes and raise the potential for the spread of West Nile Virus.  Construction runoff, for which Wal-Mart was recently fined, is not addressed

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Crime Impact  Wal-Marts in Colorado Springs have roughly 1-3 police calls per day; Additional load would overwhelm the two sheriff's deputies covering northern El Paso County.  Monument police department would have to respond despite town being financially strapped due to lost sales tax revenue. Monument Did Not Say No  No hearing was ever held before the Monument Planning Commission or Board of Trustees.  Monument Public Works Committee asked for a plan for Baptist Road improvements; Wal-Mart went to the county looking for a more financially advantageous arrangement. PIC Avoids TABOR  Public Improvement Corporation (PIC) will collect and spend 3% (same as Monument sales tax) “retail sales fee” for first 3-5 years; after bonds are paid, “retail sales fee” drops to 1½% giving Wal-Mart are pricing advantage on taxable items.  PIC, (not government) will allocate funds for roads and infrastructure improvements and decide all details.  PIC avoids TABOR, institutes a “tax” that was never approved by voters, and transfers to a private corporation tax revenue that should have come to Monument . Voters Lose Control  Voters have no say in:  Who sits on the PIC board of directors  Board’s actions  Not subject to public meeting and public record laws  Road design, placement, and construction will be entirely under the PIC’s direction; no public input allowed.  No accountability to local residents. Severely Damages Monument's Tax Base  Site is just outside town limits. Monument would receive no taxes from the store.  Loss of sales at King Soopers, Safeway and the other stores within the Town would mean a loss of $500,000 to $1 million from the town's roughly $1.5 million in annual sales tax revenue.  Town would likely have to lay off seven or more employees; probably half of them would be police officers.

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