Page 1 - Sentinel October 2016
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Let’s get political! Vote YES on ballot issue 4B!

                                         I don’t think political    the regional economy and employed more than 10,000
                                         issues are appropriate     people. More than 14 million people — 4 million of them
                                         for a community news-      kids — attend SCFD-funded programs each year.
                                         letter, but the Scientif-
                                         ic and Cultural Facili-    Let me tell you Douglas County’s story. Each county has
                                         ties District has given    a board of volunteer citizens (Tier III) which distributes
                                         great joy to millions      the monies allocated by district formulas. I was on the
                                         of Colorado residents      Douglas County Tier III board the first year the program
                                         since its inception in     existed—1988-89.
                                         1988. Its funding is up
                                         for renewal.               In 1989, the first distribution year, the population of
                                                                    the entire county was just about 60,000. Today it’s over
                                         Recently, Colorado         325,000. SCFD monies are distributed to the counties
                                         was named one of the       proportionately, so Douglas was low on the scale. Addi-
                                         top states in cultural     tionally, in 1989 only a small portion of the county was in
                                         participation by the       the district, Parker, Highlands Ranch (much smaller then),
                                         National Endowment         maybe Sedalia. Lone Tree didn’t exist, of course, but it
for the Arts (NEA)—SCFD is one reason why. From the                 now has an arts center which opened in 2011, funded in
ballet to the zoo, the Denver Symphony to the botanic gar-          part by SCFD.
dens, artistic and cultural groups throughout metro Den-
ver have benefited from sales taxes: one cent on each $10            In 1989 we had only about $2,500 to allocate to organiza-
spent goes to the cultural district. The District includes          tions in Douglas County and only about six or seven or-
the counties of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield,                ganizations applied, most from other counties. For the fis-
Denver, Douglas (except for Castle Rock and Larkspur,               cal year 2015-2016, the Tier III board in Douglas County
where voters opted out) and Jefferson.                              awarded a total of $596,986.34 to 46 organizations, ten
                                                                    of which are based in Douglas County. Based on my per-
If you live in Castle Rock proper or are a resident of the          spective from the first five years of SCFD, that’s a stag-
town of Larkspur (some 180 voters) you are not a resident           gering success story!
of the SCFD, but every other resident of the county is, in-
cluding everyone else in zip code 80118.You have a vote             There wasn’t much “culture” going on in Douglas County
to approve this important program.                                  in 1989, and we often had to be creative with our “seed
                                                                    money” to encourage the arts and sciences to grow. But
How do you benefit? Ever been to the zoo or the Chil-                grow they did. Keep it growing. Vote yes on ballot issue
dren’s Museum, a play at the Denver Center or in Lone               4B to keep the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District
Tree or Parker? A concert at Cherokee Ranch? You’ve                 alive and well—and to keep cultural events flourishing in
benefited. According to the SCFD, cultural organizations             your own backyard. ~KDale
within the district contributed more than $1.8 billion into
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