CU parking must change
I work at the University of Colorado and pay $648 per year to park on campus. I share a plight with 7,500-plus other students, staff, and faculty when the university kicks us out of the parking lots whenever it pleases to host frivolous events. Recently, it was for a Grateful Dead concert. On these days, we are forced to make other arrangements at our own expense or choose to take vacation time and not come to work.
I've been informed that the university charges $25 per space for each special event and they pocket every penny of that money while offering no refund to those of us who have already paid to park in those very same spaces.
CU is monetarily incentivized by this unfair practice to extend more and more the number of days it can double-charge for its parking spaces. As things stand, that number appears to be increasing every year with no limit in sight.
This practice should be ended. We would like to use the spaces we've paid for whenever possible or, failing that, be reimbursed for the days we must pay to park elsewhere. Many other universities have ways of handling freshmen move-in days that don't result in kicking staff and faculty out of their parking lots, for example. This practice is either immoral (stealing) or illegal (same) — or both.
When staff and faculty are kicked out of parking lots, academics suffer. We are forced to decide whether or not to come to work on these days. Are sports and concerts more important on a university campus that prides itself in being a major contender worldwide in academics?
Jude Cass deLaubenfels, Boulder
Muni supporters have good reasons to persist
In the most recent election on municipalization (2013), Boulder citizens approved a pro-muni ballot measure by a two-thirds margin while also defeating an anti-muni ballot measure by a two-thirds margin. We did this even though Xcel and its allies outspent the citizens by at least 10 to 1.
What has changed since then? Things keep looking up.
The financial benefits of a Boulder utility are better than ever because the costs for wind and solar power are constantly dropping. Boulder's Financial Forecast Tool and analysis has shown that a local electric utility would be cost effective over a 20-year period. Even with conservative estimates, a city-operated utility could meet each of the financial charter metrics approved by voters in 2011 and 2013 and would allow the city to reach at least 80 percent renewable electricity by 2030.
Municipal utilities like the one in Georgetown, Texas, have proven that it's possible to have a 100 percent renewable utility right now. (Xcel has mentioned 55 percent, but they haven't even committed to that.)
And most important, the Public Utilities Commission has finally given the city a clear path forward toward creating our own utility.
Yes on 2L will let us find out the true costs of our own utility. Yes on 2O will ensure that we get to vote again before moving forward.
The merchants of doubt want us to give up. Do we just throw in the towel? NO! For a clean energy future for Boulder, for all the economic benefits to Boulder and for the sake of our planet, vote yes on 2L, 2O and 2P.
Cathy Conery, Boulder