PERRY: Change it up for 2021 — Party’s over, fire Pelosi, fix RTD, and get healthier care

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Oh, sure. I’ve got a long list of resolutions that address the ever-growing index of personal shortcomings, which grew substantially longer last year.

Since I never seem to be able to check anything off the catalogue of ways to make me new and improved, I’ve provided an inventory of critical items that others should change for 2021 to make all of our lives better.

CONGRESS: Get rid of the leaders in the House and Senate. Not only are Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer and Kevin McCarthy polarizing and pedantic, they’ve failed at strengthening their parties and the functioning of the House and Senate. After four years of destruction by the Trump administration, it’s going to take Herculean effort by Congress to restore faith and credibility to the government. That will require astonishing bipartisan leadership, which is sorely missing in Congress right now. If these leaders, decades into their roles, just can’t stop thinking no one can do a better job, at least take a break for a couple of years and let someone else get the wheels back on the nation. Then go back to being the nation’s political party poopers.

COLORADO LEGISLATURE: Dismantle the state’s partisan pranking. Almost 200 years ago, it might have been a good idea to let political parties decide the local sheriff and county treasurer. With the onset of electricity and the Xbox Series X/S, filling critical government positions with ballots is as bad an idea as choosing a surgeon at a cakewalk. People who run jails, police departments, assessor and clerks offices need to be trained, competent professionals, held accountable every single day, not once every four years.

State lawmakers should ask voters to dismantle the state’s antiquated and dangerous system of putting partisan picks into positions of power. It’s a stunningly bad idea to elect police chiefs, so how could it not be an equally boneheaded notion to elect county sheriffs, who are de facto police chiefs and more?

These are people hired to enforce the law, not insert their petty political preferences into choosing which laws to impose, as if they were a personal box of social chocolates.

Likewise, few jobs are as critical as ensuring elections are transparent and accountable, something that trained elections officials can do without dragging their partisan laundry into the fray.

State lawmakers should create a commission to study how to end the partisan antics in county treasurer and district attorney offices, too. Go even further and end county commission races as partisan picks. Non-partisan city councils are a far more accurate representation of a community than the appointees of the political party able to get the most partisan voters to turn in ballots.

REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION DISTRICT: Cut rates to 25 cents for every bus and train ride. Fewer things in the metroplex hold more promise than RTD’s mass transit system, and very few things have been as much of a disappointment. The system, which must serve a region the size of some eastern states, spends upwards of a billion dollars a year. The bigger it gets, the bigger traffic problems become in the metro area and into the mountain resorts. The biggest problems are that it’s too inconvenient to use the system. That’s because, for most people, you can’t get from here to there without taking far more time than any of us are willing, or able, to spend. The ride’s fine, but when you have to walk an hour to get the bus or train, and then walk an hour to get to your destination, sitting in gridlock at 5 p.m. on I-70 in 100-degree heat sounds like a sweet deal.

The other major problem is the cost. A round-trip ride costs anywhere from $6 – $11 a day, without a discount.

So, unless you live right by a bus stop or train station that stops almost right at your office, you can spend far more time and money commuting than getting in your car and fighting traffic every day.

RTD is broken. Reduce the fares to next to nothing and raise RTD sales taxes to fund the system. Riders will put up with a lot for next-to-free. Then, scale the system back. The metro area is too big to provide empty buses everywhere. If a Park-and-Ride is near, free and easy, people in the burbs and boonies will drive some to stay out of traffic — if it doesn’t cost them as much or more to get out of their car.

Finally, create a system of circulators near train stations. Free shuttles that at least get you closer to your destination, along with cheap fares, will draw commuters to trains and buses and off the overcrowded highways. And that’s the point, right?

GOV. JARED POLIS: Colorado needs a public option alternative to overpriced and underwhelming private health insurance. Even before lawmakers in Washington created the Affordable Care Act, it was undeniable that without heavy regulation of the insurance and medical industries — and a public insurance option to force market changes — Obamacare would be a bust.

Well, here we are.

Only the moon-howling Trumpers and death-panel pearl-clutchers believe that the United States has the best medical system in the world. It sucks 10 ways to Saturday. Almost every other nation in the world has better access to better medical care for far, far less money than we do. If anyone tells you differently, they’re either making money off your misery or believe Trump isn’t all that bad.

Please, please, Gov. Polis, resolve to push, pull, drag or bully state lawmakers into finally creating a public option in Colorado. We’ll all be dead and gone before Congress leads the way.

COLORADO’S NEWEST CONGRESSIONAL HOUSE REP LAUREN BOEBERT: There’s no fool like a bold fool.

As for me, this time, I’ll keep the weight off. 

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]

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