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AFP-CO Urges Governor Not To Reappoint Trustees

July 23, 2012

Americans for Prosperity Colorado today urged Gov. John Hickenlooper not to refill 10 public trustee positions temporary vacated in response to media reports of financial irregularities taking place in some of the offices. In all but 10 Colorado counties, the trustee’s job is handled by the Treasurer’s office. AFP in a letter asked the governor to end the redundancies and completely do away with these patronage jobs, in a demonstration of fiscal responsibility and show of solidarity with taxpayers.

The group lauded Hickenlooper for asking trustees to resign and reapply for their positions after ethical questions were raised, but called it a “half-step in the direction of fiscal responsibility” that the governor should complete by eliminating, rather than refilling, the positions. The complete letter reads as follows:

“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 changes make 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.

Sincerely,

Jeff Crank

State Director

Americans for Prosperity Colorado

Crank in the next few days will be reaching out to AFP-CO’s 56,000 activists via email and phone, urging them to share their feelings on this matter with the governor’s office.

Please direct any media questions or inquiries to Jeff Crank at jcrank@afphq.or or 719-332-8644.

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