Boulder-Xcel tiff may call for 2nd vote
That was one of our main concerns with Ballot Issues 2B and 2C, which went to voters in November 2011. Ballot Issue 2B increased and extended the city’s utility occupation tax, while 2C authorized the city to create its own utility. Voters approved 2B by 141 votes, and 2C was passed by 933 votes.
Our concern was that voters were giving the city a blank check, when estimates of the cost of municipalization varied widely. City officials pegged the cost at about $286 million, while a consultant for Xcel Energy put the price tag at $1.2 billion.
Prior to the vote, we encouraged the city to return the issue to voters if the costs turned out higher than their original estimate, say, by 10 percent.
We restate that position today. City officials likely will oppose an expected charter amendment — backed by Xcel — that would require voter approval of any debt and repayment of bonds to pay for a new utility. But while they might oppose the wording of the charter, city officials should embrace the idea of a vote, promising to go to voters if costs are appreciably higher than what was originally presented to voters.
But we also agree with some city officials who have called for full transparency in what groups would finance any ballot measures — or opposition to them. In the end, full transparency is necessary for any path forward, both on contributions and the costs of municipalization.
More breaking news...
Hick: Sign bill on rural renewables
City should let mall talks run course
That’s how we would describe the visceral reaction to the Colorado General Assembly’s passage of new renewable-energy mandates for rural electricity providers.
Senate Bill 252, which passed