Soda Tax Fizzles?
by Harvey Roisman, Telluride
Nov 21, 2013 | 1417 views | 3 3 comments | 67 67 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Editor:

So, just when you thought there was nothing more to say about the recently defeated 2A Tax on Sugary Drinks, Watch reporter Samuel Adams penned yet another article which was placed on the front page of the newspaper.

As such, I have a few issues with Mr. Adams’ article. Firstly, unless otherwise specified, front-page stories are normally reserved for news articles rather than those of opinion. In my estimation, Mr. Adams’ article had an obvious bias favoring the Kick the Can Telluride group and his writing would have been more appropriately classified as a “commentary.” He spent the majority of the article rehashing the KTCT point of view, along with multiple quotes from those in favor of the tax, while not offering any voice from the opposing group. Mr. Adams also attempted to vilify the “No on 2A” group by referring to them as being supported by lobbyists with strong ties to the beverage association, as opposed to KTCT who was supported by a philanthropic group. Little mention was given to local merchants, most of whom were vehemently opposed to the tax. 

Equally troubling was Mr. Adams’ comments related to one of the founders of KTCT, Ms. Elisa Marie Overall.  He noted in glowing terms, along with self-serving quotes from Ms. Overall how she donated “$1,500 of her money to the campaign.”  What Mr. Adams neglected to mention was the fact that Ms. Overall was paid a salary for her involvement in KTCT.  According to required campaign financial reports, for the reporting month of September alone, Ms. Overall received $6,223. Given that, I’m not sure that the expression, “return of income,” as opposed to “donation,” would have been more appropriate. 

For Mr. Adams to have omitted financial information that was in the public domain is either disingenuous if he had the report, or incompetence if he didn’t.  As Ms. Overall has chosen to place herself in the public arena having founded KTCT, in my opinion, to be paid for supporting a tax that was to fund a program that she is paid to run, to solve an obesity problem that doesn’t exist in Telluride is, well, let’s just say, transparent.

 

– Harvey Roisman, Telluride

Comments
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TellurideGal
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November 22, 2013
Maybe the KTCT crew should have proposed a Grumpy Old Man tax to fund their programs. I'm sure with the help of Harvey, profits would have been through the roof.

Emo is an extremely bright woman with the one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know. The money she earned while trying to improve the health of our community is her business and to plaster it all over the internet is tacky and disrespectful.

Emo had been working on this campaign for months before ever securing the necessary funding to battle the beverage industries. That $6,223 was reimbursement for the hard work she put in on the campaign last spring and over the summer.

How dare you attempt to insult a hard-working, generous woman for receiving funds for the endless hours she spent working on a health issues campaign that would have benefitted the children of our community that she has worked closely with for years and loves dearly.

Emo, I hope you’ve turned a deaf ear to all of these haters. Keep fighting the good fight, woman! Common sense will prevail eventually. It always does.
HarveyRoisman
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November 23, 2013
Harvey responding - Ms. Gal, while I'm confident that you believe in everything that you wrote, in the future, your writings regarding feelings about someone would be more impactful if it was done without hiding behind a pseudonym.

In any case, does anyone in your group understand the magnitude of your loss at the polls? The results show that you didn't even receive one third of the vote. You lost by more votes than you received! Your group didn't lose by a landslide, you were annihilated. The voters told you, loud and clear, that despite a massive advertising campaign, they felt that there was very little merit to your position. Rather than exhibiting a false sense of bravado after the election, that your group is not embarrassed for wasting the electorate's time and energy, shows a lack of experience, naïveté or both.

Since your diatribe was long on hyperbole and rhetoric and short on facts, you should have begun with, "in my opinion..." Well, In my opinion, the facts appear to portray Ms. Overall in a different light. Given the statistics it was shown that Telluride does not have a problem with obesity, and indeed, Telluride could well be the poster child for one of the leanest towns. Further, despite numerous requests, Ms. Overall never produced the exact percentage of Telluride kids that were obese.

As to she and her cronies getting paid, your depiction that it is "her business" is inaccurate - the information was found in a public filing and gotten from the Town Clerk. That the filing showed that for the September period alone, nearly $20,000 was paid in salaries to KTCT advocates, was disgraceful. That the group didn't volunteer this information, while criticizing the "No" group for raising funds from the beverage association, was shameful. Additionally, Ms. Overall's salary for administering the PEP program is also not only "her business" - as it is funded through tax dollars, once again that information is in the public domain.

Btw I'm not always grumpy, just when reading about PYTs pretending to be altruistic while accepting funds for protecting their jobs all in the name of eliminating obesity.

prettyplease
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November 23, 2013
", to be paid for supporting a tax that was to fund a program that she is paid to run"

Almost Harv , you meant to say , sit back and collect a tax with no effort upon the KICK club ,but to pick up their check , and spend our tax dollars.

To tell gal, you are correct Emo is so bright she figured out a way to supplement her income to the tune of 6223 dollars in Telluride , not so easy to do.

I also find it interesting that now the Norwood school kids are lumped into our group. I'm sure an extra tax in Telluride would really help the Norwood kids! after all this ,town of telluride taxes would be spent on kids from Norwood ? The soda tax was meant to be ALL encompassing?

The sky is falling chicken little, how long can you hold it up ?

Forever if they pay me !