According to "Rocky Mountain News," Denver politicians have formed an unusual alliance to urge voters to approve a property tax increase to help fund programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. Mayor Wellington Webb, City Auditor Don Mares, Councilman Ted Hackworth, and City Council President Cathy Reynolds joined Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter in writing a letter asking voters to approve Initiative 100, which will appear on the May 6, 2003 ballot. Denver has a waiting list of 1,000 people who need disability services with many more who have not yet applied. According to Stephen Block, director of Denver Options, a community organization that oversees disability programs in Denver, of the children receiving services under the birth to three program, one-third do not have to go into special education when they reach school age. While Denver Options is currently serving 350 children under this program, there is an additional 650 that could use the services. Increasing property taxes now could save taxpayers in the long run, as three years of intervention costs far less than 12 years or more of special education in Denver's schools. If you would like to learn more about Initiative 100, contact one of the endorsers listed above.
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