Sometimes the things people say can be very amusing and such is the case this week with the latest from Northglenn-Thornton Sentinel columnist Vi June. Like all of the regular columnists at the Sentinel, the former state representative and mayor of Westminster has a left-tilt. This week she takes a very direct jab at Thornton mayor Erik Hansen for his recent comments about the effects – or lack thereof – of the stimulus.
In last week’s paper, Hansen was quoted as saying that Thornton had not seen any jobs created as a result of the $744 billion stimulus package passed by President Obama and the Democratic led Congress.
Certainly very few communities across the United States have seen any real benefit from this ill-conceived package. Sure the president likes to use the foggy ‘saved or created’ job figure to justify the waste of taxpayer money but that doesn’t change the facts that mainstreet America has seen little benefit.
Well, June apparently took great offense at our mayor’s comment for daring to say that the stimulus has done little to create jobs. She launches into an attack on the mayor and the City of Thornton:
Speaking of stimulus
It really disturbed me to read Thornton Mayor Erik Hansen’s comment in last week’s Northglenn-Thornton Sentinel that Thornton had no jobs created by the stimulus package. I find that hard to believe when other cities in the area were recipients of a fair amount of federal stimulus funds.
If that’s the case then I would tend to blame city officials for not getting their act together so they were eligible.
Tell me that you were mistaken, Erik, and I’ll gladly apologize for my comments.
Wow. That came out of left field and is an insult to the mayor and the City of Thornton as a whole. The thing with making comments like this is that you need to make sure that your own community has fared better and that the numbers back it up. Otherwise you come across as pretty foolish.
Let’s just take a quick look at the number and educate June a bit.
First as a state, Colorado has been awarded nearly $3.2 billion of the stimulus funds. According to the government’s own website to track the stimulus – recovery.gov – a mere 9,359 jobs were ‘saved or created’ with all that money. That means the U.S. taxpayer paid $331,341 per job in Colorado! A shaky investment to say the least.
Now, June attacked the Thornton mayor and the City of Thornton for “not getting their act together” and grabbing their share of this federal boondoggle. As such it would seem fair to take a look at Westminster where June calls home since she infers that they have their ‘act together.’
|Zip Code||Stimulus Funds Received||Jobs ‘Created or Saved’||Notes|
|80030||$5,516,299||2.56||2.25 jobs for City of Westminster|
|80005||$300,000||2.42||2.42 jobs to CDOT (Arvada), Money to Arvada|
|80260||$1,248,063||7.2||7.2 NM Industrial (Federal Heights)|
|80031||$2,324,523||4.66||1.65 jobs for City of Westminster, 3 for State Board for Community Colleges|
|80020||$1,962,381||1.55||1.55 ALD Nanosolutions (Broomfield)|
|TOTALS||$17,675,424||18.39||6.9 total jobs created in Westminster – ALL of which were government / quasi-governmental in nature.|
Note that many of those zip codes overlap other cities like Federal Heights, Arvada and Broomfield.
Some interesting numbers aren’t they? Notice how NOT ONE private industry job was created within the City of Westminster from the stimulus funds. Of the 6.9 jobs ‘created or saved’, all were snagged by the City of Westminster itself or the quasi-governmental State Board for Community Colleges.
Looking at all of those zip codes combined, those 18.39 jobs cost the American taxpayer $961,143 EACH!
June tries to equate stimulus funds to jobs and nothing could be further from the truth – that is seen in Thornton, Westminster, the state of Colorado and across the nation. Stimulus? I think a more appropriate term of ‘porkulus’ describes the package.
Vi, feel free to give Mayor Hansen a call with that apology. He can be reached at his office at Thornton City Hall. 303-538-7531. You should apologize to the City of Thornton, its staff and its citizens as well.
I am not sure what purpose June had in taking such a harsh jab at Mayor Hansen. Certainly it would seem to be politically motivated although it was a rather feeble and poorly researched attempt. It definitely doesn’t do anything to foster relations with her city’s neighbors and wasn’t in keeping with the goodwill the two competing cities have generally shared.