April 15, 2012

SandBoxBlogs: Summit Daily News "Tamara Drangstveit and Rob Murphy: Why support our local working families?"

It looks like the big dust-up over in Summit County regarding living wage, affordable housing (and all related issues) and struggling working families has finally come to a peak.

So, let's gather up a few links out of the past few weeks of dozens of links available, and toss some of it up.

First, let's deal with reality for the little guy:

Tamara Drangstveit and Rob Murphy:
"...The Colorado Self-Sufficiency Standard is a tool for understanding the economic challenges of low- and moderate-income families. This county-by-county measure describes a “self-sufficiency wage,” or amount that a family must earn to avoid relying on public or private assistance, for a variety of family types. In Summit County, for example, a single parent with an infant must earn $23.24 per hour full-time, or a little over $49,000 per year. A couple with an infant and preschooler must earn $18.21 per hour per adult, or $76,939 annually. The standard only looks at the basic needs of families; housing, food, child care, health care and transportation.

The standard indicates a large gap between “poverty” and “self-sufficiency” in Summit County. The 2012 Federal Poverty Level for the first family is $18,920, and for the second family $28,820. While there are families in Summit who earn at or below federal poverty level, there are far more who earn above it, but still fail to meet the Self-Sufficiency Standard.

So how do these standards compare to the realities of the local workforce? In 2010, nearly 50 percent of jobs in Summit were in the accommodation/food service industry, with an average annual wage of $23,348. This level of income does lend itself to self-sufficiency.

Housing and child care costs are typically the largest pieces of a family's budget. The challenge of affording housing and child care costs is faced not only by lower-earning families, but middle-income parents as well. This includes long-time locals who alternate between different types of seasonal work, those who work multiple part-time jobs to try and make ends meet, and those who work year-round, full-time and still struggle to keep up.

Child care is near the top the of expense list. The Self-Sufficiency Standard's estimated monthly child care cost for the single parent with an infant is $838, and for couple with an infant and preschooler, $2,034 (note the child care expense for the second family far exceeds even a typical rent payment for a 2-bedroom apartment). When combined with a budget where at least 30 percent, and sometimes more than 50 percent is allocated for rent, there's not much left at the end of the month for other basic needs like food, transportation, and health care."  (Read more?  Click title)

Now, let's hear only exactly what he said from the guy who lit the fuse that set off the big dust-up, Frank Kent of Breckenridge:
"First, a warm welcome to the new Breckenridge Town Council members. Second, lets get to work! Here is some advice for the entire council:

1) Now is the right time to establish new and better priorities for our town. Focus on restoring basic services. Cut out the social welfare programs. (Granted..he might should have put quotation marks around the buzz kill words of 'social welfare')
2) Stop the imaginative and illogical rationalizations that attempt to justify wasteful spending on child care and affordable housing; Mayor Warner being the worst offender. Describing local government waste as “just another town amenity” is dumb. No one I know thinks spending on things that serve the entire community like fire/police protection, public works, open space, rec center or the golf course is the same as making transfer payments to a select few. There is no comparison. I suggest you start here: Cut out all funding for spending that benefits less than 15 percent of Breckenridge residents. Then, improve funding for basic services that serve the entire town and its visitors.

3) Start making decisions based on real and current data. There are tons of existing deed-restricted houses for sale. Building more hurts our community. Likewise, local daycare centers are at less than 70 percent capacity with 66 percent of children enrolled not even living in Breckenridge. Common sense dictates spending in these areas should be zero in the current environment. Just keep an eye on the facts and adjust in the future if things change.

Many of us are counting on the new council to set a new direction. With corrected priorities we can all be optimistic about maintaining our town's character while achieving sensible economic development."
(Read the original letter?  Click the link to Frank's name)

Now, let's toss up a few 'interpretations' of what Frank said.  Click the links to read:


To read the shameless exploiting by the Summit Daily with subsequent articles, etc. after Frank's letter came out; just surf what is usually a pretty balanced newspaper that is usually respectable in its presentations.  Just click here to get to the current day front page.

Here's what 'SandBox Nanny' hears Frank 'just sayin':

1.  He's obviously been around the area for awhile and understands that the real problem with "affordable housing" and "employee housing" is a developer  taking advantage problem ultimately.  Not the folks in the houses themselves.  Notice his reference to the major gut of open deed restricted housing in Breckenridge.  (whisper...whisper...sounds like Pitkin, Garfield and Eagle counties, doesn't it?...whisper...whisper...)

2.  He's paying for that child care and wants the rules enforced.  The rules are you have to live in Breckenridge.  He's not saying chuck the kiddos and parents out in the cold, bitter winter with no place to go.  Just make the ones that do not live in Breck stay in their own towns with that supplied child care.  (whisper....whisper....sort of sounds like our illegal foreign nationals and unsecured borders problem, doesn't it...whisper...whisper...and again... like Pitkin, Garfield and Eagle counties...whisper...whisper...)

3.  On child care, he's also saying that he understands the issue.  Adjust in the future when there are changes.  Adapt, be flexible and go for win-win. (whisper...whisper...gosh...maybe he's hinting at government and the parents using child care sit down and really look for solutions...whisper...whisper....)

Now, go back up and re-read Tamara and Rob's reality check for the folks.  How does anyone know that Frank Kent isn't one of those falling in self-sufficiency brackets?  If he isn't, betcha he knows what the reality of those brackets are.  It shows in his informed content of his letter.

Where does the real fix on all things 'deed-restricted' lie?

Could it possibly be in the cleaning up of the soft corruption in the development, building and planning  and cronyism within local governments?  Just imagine a world where no one was milking easy access in order to get a big personal pay day on a build at the same time they eventually hold the nest egg of getting that deed restricted housing 'back' when it starts to fall apart or renters/owners have personal issues while keeping up with the ridiculous rules that treat them as....well...basically chattel.

"Unapologetically pursuing and tracking patterns within the news others make since 2010."

1 comment:

jbend said...

Was looking for your post on the one of these self sufficiency reports that was done for Aspen not too long ago, nanny. Can't find it can you please put it up again? I think their saying here that Summit needs a higher wage than Aspen does. I find that really hard to believe. This guy Frank is for sure talking about the insane number of empty deed restricts all of us have out there. Put all of them from every county together and we'd have another city. Of empty houses while homeless and single mom families are on the street. The only one of the links on this that's making sense beside Frank is the one ripping on Frisco for even having building codes outside of common sense.