Forum to offer look at candidates, measures on Mesa County ballot

An upcoming forum will offer Mesa County voters a look at three school board candidates and two school funding measures on the November election ballot.

The Mesa County League of Women Voters and Kids Voting Mesa County have scheduled the forum for 7 p.m. Oct. 10 at the Grand Junction City Hall Auditorium, 250 N. Fifth St.

Three candidates for the Mesa County School District 51 Board of Education will answer questions from Kids Voting as well as the forum audience. Incumbent Cindy Enos-Martinez faces challenger Ann Tisue in District B, while Jeff Leany is unopposed in District A.

Two measures on the ballot also will be debated.

Duke Wortman, a representative of Friends of District 51, will debate Measure 3B with Phyllis Hunsinger, a community activist.

Measure 3B will ask voters to override a statewide mill levy freeze and assess an additional seven mills of property tax in Mesa County School District 51 for six years. The increase is expected to raise an estimated $12.5 million for the district each year at current property values.

Carol Hedges, director of the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, will debate State Proposition 103 with Marcia Neal, a member of the Colorado Board of Education from Grand Junction and a community activist.

State Proposition 103 asks Colorado voters to raise taxes for five years to generate an estimated $3 billion in additional funding for education. If approved, the measure would increase state personal and corporate income taxes from 4.63 percent to 5 percent. The measure also would raise the state sales tax rate from 2.9 percent to 3 percent.