Jim Wolf: CU South: This issue should have been settled
CU South … again!
To misquote Douglas Mc Arthur, “Old issues never die, and they don’t fade away.” (Unfortunately.)
So, it is with the CU South controversy which has been with us since 2013. After almost 10 years, much debate, many letters and essays in the Camera and speeches before the council, the City Council and the University of Colorado resolved the issues, and the matter was put to a public vote. It passed. The overriding concerns: flood mitigation, dedicated open space and managed development on the property were presented and a compromise was reached.
It was over.
Work could begin. Yet, some citizens who opposed any development on the property — desiring that CU convert it all to open space — could not let it go. That faction has put it to a referendum on this November’s ballot. Their goal is to nullify the council’s vote — the community’s vote — thus continuing to expose southeast Boulder to another destructive flood. The process which Boulder and CU followed to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution was thorough and legitimate. There is no reason for the electorate to overturn years of research, planning, public hearings and good sense.
Please, vote no on the referendum when it appears in November.
Jim Wolf, Boulder
Pat Hood: Library district: Why fix what’s not broken?
I am against the proposed library district being considered by the Boulder City Council. According to Councilman Bob Yates’ March Newsletter, the formation of the district would increase City of Boulder property taxes by 4.4%, raising about $19.5 million. Here are a few other things I learned other things from Yates’ newsletter:
Apparently, this funding will be used to establish libraries in other towns. So, while the city of Boulder will make up about one-tenth of the geography of the new district, Boulder residents and businesses could pay 80% of the costs.
Moreover, the city would donate the existing library buildings and books to the new district. Then, if the library district decided to sell a library branch — which they could do without the city’s consent — the city would have to buy back the same library building they originally gave to the district for free.
Unlike other taxing districts such as the Boulder Valley School District or the Regional Transit District, the board that would run the district would not be elected. We would not have a vote on what they decide to do in the future.
Raising taxes would add to the cost of living in Boulder. How much better it would be if the extra money went towards something that would make Boulder a place where our “essential workers” could afford to live. (You know, those people identified during the COVID pandemic as being essential to keeping our city going — waitstaff, grocery clerks, retail workers, teachers, health care workers, etc.?). Or the city could invest in solar farms, so we could do something that would impact climate change.
While it could be better, we already have a great library. If we’re going to raise taxes, let’s do something with the money that will actually make a difference.
Pat Hood, Boulder