County Health Initiative

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Saying public health hangs in the balance, some in the community want El Paso County Commissioners to get an issue on the November Ballot.
But those opposed to the idea, say it's just more money for big government.

The question: should the El Paso County Health Department be allowed to keep grant money over and above the cap set by the taxpayer's bill of rights or TABOR.

The Citizen's Committee for Public Health wants county commissioners to put a measure on the ballot that will result in more money for the county health department. Elizabeth Evans says, "about a third of the health department's budget comes from the county the rest is grants and fees mostly grants that are pursued on behalf of the community."

The measure would work by allowing the health department to keep grant money even if it's more than the TABOR imposed cap.

Currently, the health department can't keep any money, including grants, that is above the cap. It's money they say they need to protect el paso county's public health, "the department has to be ready for new and emerging threats."

But anti-tax crusader and republican nominee for county commissioner, Douglas Bruce, doesn't buy any of the arguments. He says, it's just money for big govenment and, "bigger government is not always better government, spending extra millions doesn't mean you ge better results."

Bruce also argues the tight budget at the health department is just a sign TABOR is working. He says, "it's the budgetary constraints that forced them to be more efficient and thats why we need to continue those budgetary constraints."

Commissioners will continue to hear public comment next thursday before deciding wether to put the measure on the ballot.