m10/8/2009yTCcfewell WWW.TIMESCALL.COM | THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2009 | SECTION D
ELECTION Four city seats on the ballot City Council wards 287 66
County Line Road
Mountain View Ave.
Third Ave. Sunset St.
N 0.5 mile
Four City Council seats are up for grabs in November: mayor, two at-large seats and the Ward 2 seat. Bryan Baum and Jeff Thompson are running for mayor, hoping to unseat Mayor Roger Lange, who is running for re-election. Five candidates are running for the two open at-large seats. Councilwoman Mary Blue is not running for re-election, leaving her spot open, and Councilman Gabe Santos is campaigning to hold onto his seat. Along with Santos, Edward Dloughy, Kaye Fissinger, Alex Sammoury and Bill Van Dusen are vying for the two seats. Candidates run in a pool, with the top two vote-earners grabbing the spots. All Longmont voters cast ballots in the at-large races. Councilwoman Karen Benker also is running for re-election in Ward 2; Katie Witt is challenging her for the spot. Only residents who live in Ward 2, which generally covers south Longmont, can vote in that race.
Rogers Rd. Nelson Rd.
Ken Pratt Blvd.
CITY OF LONGMONT MAYOR ROGER LANGE
Residence: 418 Flicker Ave., Longmont
Residence: 800 Briarwood Lane, Longmont
Residence: 1616 Sumner St., Longmont
Education: Bachelor of Science, Truman State University, 1980 Occupation: Senior wealth manager, owner of Baum & Blockhus Wealth Management Services Civic experience: Served as the Longmont representative on the Boulder County Cultural Commission for six years and was chairman in 2003; current member the Rotary Club of Longmont, and a Rotary member for 28 years; served on the Longmont Symphony Orchestra board of directors for 19 years, including two years as board president
Personal: Longmont resident for more than 26 years; wife, Stephanie Baum, and two children, Chase, 6, and Brooklynn, 2; enjoys spending time with his family outdoors, traveling, playing tennis and working with community organizations, such as Relay for Life, Alternatives for Youth, the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce and Boy Scouts Web site: www.baumformayor.com •••
What is your position on using public-private partnerships for revitalization or economic development? I feel that public-private partnerships are an excellent way to give an incentive to a developer to create a world-class facility that will in turn boost sales tax revenues to the benefit of the city. A partnership allows each entity to benefit. The developer benefits up front with lower costs and the city benefits through increased revenues. Even when lowering the percent of sales tax received in the initial years, it’s possible for total revenues to outpace those with the current conditions because of the severe reduction in local retail spending. Knowing that redeveloping the mall will greatly expand the retail tax base, we can afford to offer the developer tax incentives that will reduce our percentage of tax income but at the same time increase our net tax revenue and will create new jobs.
What does open and accessible government mean to you? What is the city doing well and what could it do better?
Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration, University of Iowa; Juris Doctor, University of Nebraska
Education: Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, South Dakota School of Mines, 1963; Master of Business Administration, University of Phoenix, 1980
Occupation: Financial adviser
Civic experience: Elected to the Longmont City Council in 2000 and elected as mayor in 2007; serves on the Longmont Area Economic Council board, the Metro Mayors Caucus, the U.S. 36 Mayors and Commissioners Coalition, the Platte River Power Authority board and the Colorado Municipal League executive board. Current member of the Rotary Club of Longmont Personal: Longmont resident for more than 25 years. Wife, Jackie, and children Tom Lange and his wife, Erin; John Lange and his wife, Jennifer; and Kathy Shepherd and her husband, Greg. Web site: www.langeformayor.org •••
What is your position on using public-private partnerships for revitalization or economic development? Public-private partnerships (PPP) describe a government service or private business venture, which is funded and operated through a partnership of government and one or more private sector companies. In a typical PPP, the private party provides financial, technical and operational risks in a partnership with the public sector that normally provides financial backing. I am in favor of these types of partnerships because it establishes an incentive for all parties involved to see that the project is completed with a high degree of quality and in an efficient manner, which would lead to monetary gains for both parties. The ultimate winner is the taxpayer due to the decreased cost of the project.
What does open and accessible government mean to you? What is the city doing well and what could it do better?
Open and accessible government to me means that each citizen feels that they can exercise their right to be involved in local politics. That means our local leaders must listen to and act on behalf of our citizens. It also means limiting the number of executive sessions and limiting what is talked about behind closed doors. While it’s permissible to get advice from our attorney in a closed session, it’s not required and certainly decisions should always be made in the public forum. Lastly, open government means transparency with our city finances. The money we spend to run our city is generated by our citizens and therefore they should be able to see where the money is being spent. Other local governments have opened their books by posting their spending online and it should be a goal of this council to do the same. By opening our accounting to scrutiny by the public, we may be able to find unidentified resources or sources of waste that can be eliminated. We’re doing a good job of letting people speak at council meetings but need to limit the topics to those directly affecting our local issues.
Open and accessible government is one where the word “inclusive” is not only spoken but is demonstrated by actions taken by the city in dealing with the general public. I believe the city works very hard at being open with its citizens in all aspects of its operations. There are many public forums that are held by the city for informational purposes such as plan updates, operational changes along with anything that would be impactful to the community. Communications and information-sharing take place via email, the city’s Web site, the city’s newsletter, inserts in the monthly billing statements and the local newspaper. City Council is available frequently at coffees, various events throughout the year and prior to, during and after city council meetings. Finally, if the public so desires, direct contact to city council members and city staff by telephone is also available. Executive sessions are not open to the public and are utilized only when the city attorney is providing legal advice to City Council or when annual performance reviews/salary treatment are given to the city manager, city attorney and the municipal judge by City Council. Improvement can always be made in responsiveness to our constituents, but we attempt to promptly address their questions and concerns.
What are your priorities for city funding, and what do you consider essential city services?
What are your priorities for city funding, and what do you consider essential city services?
My priorities for city funding are those entities which create greater revenue — the more revenue we have, the more services that can be funded at a higher level. When the economy slows, money should be shifted toward those resources that can take advantage of the down economy and get us in a position to thrive when the economy recovers. Creating and retaining jobs is essential to a good solid community. Additionally, our government should never compete with local businesses due to the fact that local businesses pay taxes and provide jobs that support our community. I consider the essential city services to be our public safety, utilities (water, trash, power) and infrastructure (roads, water storage, parks, open space).
My priorities for city funding are those services that the city provides that are visible to the general public. Those services would include items such as trash collections, dependable water and waste water services, along with public safety. Obviously, public safety is one example of an essential service and was rated the most important city service by a recent survey of our residents. In general terms, I believe any service that impacts the health and welfare of community and the people who live here would be an essential service. In budget deliberations, those expenditures that do not directly impact our residents are among the first to be considered if decreases in expenditures are necessary for us to balance our budgets.
Civic experience: Not available
Personal: Longmont resident for 12 years; enjoys running, hiking, cross-country skiing and gardening •••
What is your position on using public-private partnerships for revitalization or economic development? I’m all for them. They should be focused on the household — the grassroots. Too many people have lost their homes or live in fear of losing them. The partnerships should directly help to ensure that everybody in Longmont, regardless of income or ability, is secure in a nice home, and secure with regard to the other necessities for a good life. That’s what real economic development is. Economic growth — growth in consumption of natural resources and generation of waste — is the opposite of real economic development. Shopping malls don’t sell the best things in life — kindness, compassion and joy. With real economic development, we can restore the Earth’s natural systems and have good lives for everyone here and all over the world. Keep the focus on real economic development, not growth. For real economic development, the wars have to end. We need fair trade policies, the Employee Free Choice Act, a single-payer health-care system and strong measures to quickly reduce CO2 emissions to avert a climate catastrophe. The mayor should be an advocate for these things because Longmont needs them for real economic development.
What does open and accessible government mean to you? What is the city doing well and what could it do better? Open and accessible government means the mayor and council members are open and accessible in the conduct of their official duties. Unfortunately, that is not the case. They violate our city charter’s mandate that all regular and special sessions of the City Council be open to the public and that they make no policy decision and take no official action in executive session. Mayor Lange has gone so far as to violate our city charter’s mandate that members of the public be given an opportunity to address the council on any topic they choose at all council meetings. They seem to be interested only in their own opinions and those of city staff on many of the matters that come before them. There are many highly educated people with valuable experience in Longmont who would like a better opportunity to help them understand the issues and make better decisions. They should be given more opportunity to participate in council meetings. We have a strong city staff. They are generally helpful and pleasant with citizens who call or e-mail them and ask for help in understanding city matters. I’ve learned a lot from them and I actually think they have enjoyed helping me.
What are your priorities for city funding, and what do you consider essential city services? What I said above about real economic development is very important to me — ensuring that everybody in Longmont, regardless of income or ability, is secure in a nice home, and secure with regard to the other necessities for a good life. We need to make a big shift in priority from water projects to rooftop solar energy projects. We are currently accumulating a huge water supply we won’t ever need for real economic development. Its purpose is solely to stimulate growth and sprawl in Weld County and subsidize the profits of land developers. Instead, we can make Longmont a “solar city” and make a huge contribution to reducing CO2 emissions and averting a climate catastrophe. I also think we need to make a big shift from new streets and other infrastructure to accommodate single occupancy vehicles to well-planned and designed walkways and bikeways and other alternative means of transportation. It’s also important to find money to preserve and restore local food production. The world’s known oil reserves are being depleted rapidly, and we have to get serious about making the transition to the new economy. I think life’s only going to get better as this happens.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2009
LONGMONT CITY COUNCIL WARD 2 KAREN BENKER Residence: 1919 Andrew Alden St., Longmont Age: 55 Education: Bachelor of Arts in history, University of Montana Missoula, 1976; State University of New York, 1972-74 Occupation: Retired as Eastern Colorado Workforce director; currently working as a parttime contractor for Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. Civic experience: Elected to the Regional Transportation District board of directors in 1992 and again in 1996; appointed to the City Council in January 2005 to fill a vacancy; Benker elected to the council in November 2005; current council representative on the Longmont Area Economic Council, Longmont Downtown Development Authority and Senior Advisory Board; volunteers for HOPE, or Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement; previously served with the Morgan Humane Society Personal: Longmont resident for nine years; enjoys spending time with her daughter, four grandchildren and three collies Web site: www.karenbenker.com •••
What is your position on using publicprivate partnerships for revitalization or economic development? By joining together in a productive partnership, private and public sectors can achieve great things for Longmont. There are two partnerships that are critical: Twin Peaks Mall needs to be reborn. Built 20 year ago, it is time to bring the mall back as the center for Longmont’s retail market. The city created an urban renewal district this year and has been working with the new mall owners to build a new shopping, residential, office and entertainment center. We have an agreement with RTD to add a second rail station at the mall, which will give our city a competitive advantage. The urban renewal district will fund the public improvements such as the roads, water, sewer, parking garages, and public spaces. The private sector will take the lead in building the retail stores, offices and residential units. Together, a new marketplace will be built. (Secondly,) we are making strides in revitalizing downtown Main Street. Main Street is our community heart and the Downtown Development Authority is incenting building owners to refurbish the front of their shops. And we are working with the Longmont Theatre Company to bring more events to Main Street, which will entice more residents to visit downtown.
What does open and accessible government mean to you? What is the city doing well and what could it do better? Over the past year, our City Council has made some important changes to open up city government to make it more accessible to Longmont residents because we know that we work for you. Council has started Coffee with Council where we meet with residents every other month on a Saturday morning at local coffee shops to make it convenient for you to visit with us. In addition, we hold quarterly Town Hall Meetings outside of the
council chambers bringing your government closer to you. This year, we created Longmont Life, a bimonthly newspaper mailed to every home and business in the city to let you know what your city government is doing and how you can participate. You can also visit council at our City Council booths during city events and festivals. Stop by and say “hi.” Some have criticized council for holding executive sessions. It is important for you to know that we can only hold closed sessions on personnel and legal issues per state law. Our city manager and city attorney determine when to call these sessions to discuss sensitive legal issues.
What are your priorities for city funding, and what do you consider essential city services? The national recession has had a real effect on Longmont’s budget, and we have made many difficult decisions on how to cut and balance the city budget. To date, our sales and use taxes are down by 8 percent in 2009. Our council has spent much time looking for ways to reduce expenditures and provide our city services in a smarter, more efficient manner. We have instituted a hiring freeze on most city positions, cut training programs, implemented a furlough day for city employees and deferred nonessential capital projects. We have consolidated eight city departments into six in when we reorganized city government. Trash collection is now done in four days rather than five days thus freeing up city employees to take on additional work tasks. We raised some fees to cover our costs, i.e. recreational fees, but we kept fee increases to a minimum. Our effort has been to preserve city services for our residents and not make our cuts visible. Police, fire, library, senior center services all remain intact. Our economic development efforts continue to receive priority funding to help attract new job opportunities and assist our small businesses during these difficult times.
KATIE WITT Residence: 1615 Budd Court, Longmont Age: 37 Education: Bachelor’s degree in political science, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2007; associate degree, Bellevue Community College, 1992 Occupation: Community activist Civic experience: Served on the Longmont Housing and Human Services Advisory Board for four years and as a facilitator with the Longmont Community Justice Partnership for four years; ran for Boulder County commissioner in 2000 and for the District 17 state Senate Witt seat in 2008; was the Colorado political director of Mitt Romney for President in 2007 and 2008; current member of the Rotary Club of Longmont. Personal: Longmont resident for nearly 16 years; husband, Daniel Witt, and three children: Madeline, Daniel and Joseph; involved with fundraising activities for cystic fibrosis, including helping start the Cystic Fibrosis Great Strides walk in Longmont and participating with the Ride for 65 Roses Web site: www.katiewitt.com •••
What is your position on using publicprivate partnerships for revitalization or economic development? I’m cautiously optimistic about the use of publicprivate partnerships. They can open up opportunities that neither municipalities nor private entities could leverage individually. Not every public-private proposal is in the best interest of the city or a good fit. One only needs to look at the former Thistle Community Housing proposal for the Longmont downtown area as an example of a proposal that was less than ideal. The city and the LDDA were being asked to bear the greater risk share, and Thistle was to reap the greater share of financial reward. In addition, this project did not sufficiently address the need that was supposed to be met: parking. Just any proposal won’t do: it must be the right fit for Longmont. Each proposal needs to be judged on its own merits. How much will it cost the city? What will Longmont get in return? Will it be accomplished in a timely manner? We need to look for opportunities to cost share and bring services and amenities to Longmont but be careful with the details.
What does open and accessible government mean to you? What is the city doing well and what could it do better? Open government should mean that decisions regarding the city are discussed in an open forum with the opportunity for comment from the city’s residents. The current level of closed-door executive sessions — more than double the average number — is unacceptable. The current council members have also been on this council long enough to be aware of the rules pertaining to open records and forwarding all correspondence (including e-mail) to the City Clerk, yet only this past June fully complied and agreed to do so. I will not keep this information hidden from my constituents. Accessibility indicates that any information
regarding city government should be available to any citizen upon request in a timely fashion. Coffee with Council and quarterly Town Hall meetings, although well received, are not always well attended. This council has also eliminated the promised twice a month chat sessions prior to City Council meetings. Community members can expect my prompt response to phone calls and e-mails. Citizens regardless of their political beliefs will have equal access to participation on boards and commissions, and be treated with courtesy and respect. City employees must also be treated with respect, and may associate with whomever they chose.
What are your priorities for city funding, and what do you consider essential city services? The essential city services are public safety, infrastructure, facility and grounds maintenance, and administration. We then need to look to the amenities that make living in Longmont great — our youth and senior services, the library, bike paths, parks and recreation services, as well as community building events. Unfortunately, more and more of the city’s time and money are going toward studies and lawsuits. Studies are a wise investment if they are used to further the understanding of a critical issue, and if the city intends to act upon the information they receive. Studies should not be conducted if we know the answer to the problem is beyond our ability to remedy, either for financial or other considerations. Studies have become their way of looking busy and to delay having to make tough decisions. We have a bad case of paralysis by analysis. Just as destructive are the lawsuits that Longmont is accumulating due to poor decisionmaking by some on council. The lawsuits with Firestone, specifically, need to be dropped, as we have no pathway to victory. Because of this suit, we must now pay $300,000 in court costs, or more than two staff furlough days.
GABE SANTOS A PROVEN TRACK RECORD: Open, Transparent Representation: Gabe was the first Council member to bring his City Council email accounts compliant with Sunshine Laws, and he is committed to doing city business in full public view, with full public input - not behind closed doors. Lower Taxes and “Fees”: Gabe has shown a serious commitment to fighting government waste and imprudent spending in this economy, while bringing quality services to residents. Gabe opposes new, excessive tax and fee hikes. Respect for all: Gabe supports the 1st Amendment rights of every Longmont resident, and welcomes citizen input and public discourse from all perspectives regardless of political party, ideological beliefs, or profession. High Ethical Standards: Gabe believes in the highest ethical standards, including adhering to standing laws, rules and procedures. Whether for major decisionmaking, tax changes or appointments to boards and commissions, City Council should go through proper channels. Vision for the Future: Gabe has a vision for long-term stability and a healthy community for the long term - not short-term electionyear posturing. WHEN YOU RECEIVE YOUR MAIL-IN BALLOT, VOTE TO RE-ELECT YOUR COUNCILMAN AT-LARGE,GABE SANTOS.
A CAMPAIGN OF, FOR, AND BY THE PEOPLE To learn more, visit www.GabeSantos.com. Donate today online, or send contributions to: Santos 2009, 722 Coffman Street,Longmont,CO 80501 Paid for by Santos 2009 - Linda Stow, Treasurer
m10/8/2009yTCcfewell LONGMONT TIMES-CALL
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2009
LONGMONT CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE ALEX SAMMOURY
Residence: 2199 Creekside Drive, Longmont.
Residence: 428 Pratt St., Longmont
Residence: 1336 Walden Court, Longmont
Education: Bachelor of Science in Education with distinction (major: theatre and speech), Indiana University; graduate studies in theatre, California State University. Occupation: Taught high school speech and Fissinger theater; former businesswoman, including working as a health-care administrator and in sales, marketing, communications and strategic planning for Atlantic Richfield Co., or ARCO; worked in the solar electric field for the oil and energy company, including editing a solar photovoltaic magazine Civic experience: Serves on the Longmont Board of Environmental Affairs Personal: Longmont resident for three years; supports numerous environmental, conservation and wildlife organizations Web site: www.kayefissinger.com •••
What is your position on using public-private partnerships for revitalization or economic development? To be justified from a public perspective, a “public-private partnership” must advance a demonstrated public necessity that cannot be accomplished by government alone. It must be established as a result of an overriding public goal or vision. It must be entered into with caution. And it must be a balanced relationship between the public sector and the private sector. The private sector has a different perspective. It sees such partnerships as a means of improving profitability or realizing a goal that is out of its reach without some level of public participation. Sometimes these perspectives converge and mutually beneficial partnerships develop. The city of Longmont has laid the foundation for a public-private partnership in the redevelopment of the Twin Peaks Mall. I participated in both the two-day workshop on the “vision” for the mall area as well as the urban renewal plan hearings. I believe it is prudent to engage in a balanced public-private partnership with the mall developers. However, new revenues generated through TIF financing should be shared between the urban renewal area and the city’s general fund. The general fund provides the vast majority of the services that our residents need and expect.
What does open and accessible government mean to you? What is the city doing well and what could it do better? I’ve had many occasions to request information from our city government, and the results have been exemplary. I’ve spoken with some of our council members, and they have been open and direct about their reasons for policy decisions. However, there are areas that are not suitable for public information. Personnel matters are confidential. Negotiations on land acquisitions or certain contracts must remain confidential while the process is under way. Legal advice and legal strategy must also be kept private. To do otherwise jeopardizes the city’s ability to negotiate the most favorable contract provisions or the city’s ability to prevail in any litigation or potential litigation. Policy disagreements do not equate to a lack of openness as some, including this newspaper, have suggested. Accessible government creates opportunities for citizens to communicate their concerns, needs and opinions on the advisability of an action or attributes of a policy direction. The current council has created a number of new opportunities for increased accessibility. Some members of our community have expressed concerns about unreturned phone calls and e-mails unanswered. Be assured that I will be responsive to e-mails and phone calls, and I encourage the public to offer constructive contributions to further our best interests.
What are your priorities for city funding, and what do you consider essential city services? Citizen safety, environmental and economic sustainability, human welfare and quality of life matters are the values that underpin my public policy choices. Our shared future will be unlike our shared past. It is important that we create a wise and sensible foundation that will enable us to function successfully in whatever this new and different future may be. Because of the near economic meltdown in September 2008, the city’s resources have been under intense pressure. The 2010 budget faces a $4 million gap between revenues and expenses. There is no way to close a gap of this magnitude without both cuts in expenditures and increases in fees. Both remedies must be carefully undertaken with full knowledge of the ramifications of each action. We need to accept shared gain and shared sacrifice. There is no other choice if we are to succeed as a community. To stabilize our revenues, I plan to work and think “outside the box” to develop diversified, sustainable and balanced revenue streams so that we can continue to provide the services that our community needs to assure a high quality of life.
Education: Bachelor of Arts in international affairs, University of Colorado, 1977; certificate in government contracting, University of Phoenix, 1991; completed all course requirements to become a certified economic developer through the International Economic Development Council, 2009
Occupation: Executive director of Longmont Entrepreneurial Network Civic experience: Served on the Longmont Area Economic Council board; currently serves on the Longmont Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee; chairman of the Workforce Boulder County board; served on the Longmont Downtown Development Authority board of directors, including as immediate past chairman; member of RTD’s FasTracks Citizen Advisory Committee; panelist for the National Science Foundation, and commercial feasibility reviewer of new innovative clean technologies; member of the Optimist Club, the Rotary Club of Longmont, Knights of Columbus and Stephen Ministry Personal: Boulder County resident for 42 years, and Longmont resident for 15 years; wife, Amy, and three children: Jean-Paul, Grace and Elias; enjoys going to art shows, museums and plays and cooking with his family, as well as volunteering weekly for the food bank and helping with fundraisers for charitable organizations Web site: www.alexsammoury.com •••
What is your position on using public-private partnerships for revitalization or economic development? In today’s economic reality, it is critical to form a framework within which public-private partnerships can thrive. Collaboration between public and private resources to meet the needs and identify the issues increases our community’s ability to be successful in many different ways. As executive director of the Longmont Entrepreneurial Network (LEN), I know this public-private partnership has produced tangible results for the community by attracting new software, bioscience, and clean technology companies to Longmont. Another is the Longmont Area Economic Council (LAEC). Both of these organizations have been instrumental in attracting and creating new primary jobs. I am a supporter of urban renewal plans, when they make sense. An example is the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) that the Longmont Downtown Development Authority administers. Due to the TIF, the LDDA has been able to assist businesses renovate buildings by providing funding from the TIF that is assessed for that district only. I believe that Longmont should take advantage of opportunities it has in this arena, opportunities that would increase our revenue generation greatly in the years to come.
What does open and accessible government mean to you? What is the city doing well and what could it do better? Open and accessible government means availability to all. To achieve a truly open and accessible government, we have to listen to the people of all persuasions. Open government requires conducting the business of the citizens in a transparent environment. Accessible government requires two-sided communication. I’m concerned when I hear that many community members do not receive return phone calls or e-mails from those in elected office. Accessible government is only effective if members of the community feel that they are heard, and not labeled. Unfortunately, this has happened and it creates divisiveness. Asking residents of Longmont to grade the services they receive is a good idea. Using city e-mails for council members is a practice that I as a council member will embrace. However, we can do better! We must let our constituents know what actions are taken and how problems are addressed when the community has provided its input.
What are your priorities for city funding, and what do you consider essential city services? Government has two essential services to provide its community: safety and infrastructure. Those must be our priorities for city funding. They include police, fire, utilities and infrastructure. In today’s economic reality, the leadership of Longmont must make difficult decisions. I believe that the secondary services that should receive priority are the library, and services for youths, the disadvantaged, low income and the elderly. All other traditional budget items need to be assessed based upon their overall return on investment to the city. As your city councilman, I will take a hard look at all budget items and make a decision as to whether or not they should be funded by the city. With more than 30 years of management and leadership experience, I bring a wealth of knowledge and fresh ideas essential to succeed in overcoming our community’s challenges together. I am well aware that sound decisions are crafted by listening in order to understand the needs of those who hold us accountable. As an elected member of City Council, I will use this guiding principle to deliver valid solutions for those who have entrusted me with the honor of serving a community in which all citizens have a stake.
Paid for by In-Kind Donations to Baum for Mayor, Treasurer Stephanie Baum
Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in history, University of Houston, 1998 Occupation: Accountant Civic experience: Current Longmont City Council member, elected in January 2008; Santos current member of the Rotary Club of Longmont; serves on the board for the Hispanic Education Foundation. Organizer for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Longmont; volunteered for the Longmont Ending Violence Initiative’s White Ribbon campaign and as a bell ringer for Salvation Army Personal: Longmont resident for eight years; wife, Vicki, and daughters Sylvia, 3, and Isabel, 1 Web site: www.gabesantos.com •••
What is your position on using public-private partnerships for revitalization or economic development? Longmont, like many cities on the Front Range, is considering using public-private partnerships in several projects in an effort to spur revitalization and economic growth. I am in favor of using public-private partnerships to achieve what the residents of Longmont desire for either their shopping needs and/or transportation requirements. Structured correctly, these partnerships can create a steady stream of tax revenue for the city while they bring amenities that will be utilized by residents and non-residents. Among these projects is the Twin Peaks Mall area. I voted for the Urban Renewal Plan (URP) adopted by the city council. Twin Peaks Mall is the largest sales tax generator for the city and vital to our general fund. Any partnership needs to have sound financial data and market analysis for retail, as well as a comprehensive plan for the entire project. If the owners in the URP want the city to participate in any redevelopment, I will work diligently to ensure any partnership is in the best interest of the city and her residents.
What does open and accessible government mean to you? What is the city doing well and what could it do better? As elected officials, we must be totally committed to deliberating in the public’s view and to vote in the public’s best interests. Council meetings need to be accessible to all. Residents who have different points of view should never feel too intimidated to appear before, or go to, any council meetings or other council-sponsored events. I strongly believe all votes using taxpayers’ dollars need to be made in public. There are a very few exceptions when the council should go into executive session. I am pleased that the city has offered city-issued e-mail addresses to the members of council. This not only ensures all members of council are compliant with city and state open record laws, but any person can request these e-mails for viewing. The city has also begun posting council meetings on the Internet within 24 hours of the meeting. While this greatly increases the access residents have to view council meetings, it is the city’s goal to stream these meetings live on the Internet. Government cannot work in “gray areas” of the law. Gray areas muddy the waters regarding any issue and cannot coexist with transparency. Earning the public’s trust is vital to good government.
What are your priorities for city funding, and what do you consider essential city services? With the current economy, I consider the following essential services: 1. Administration of city services 2. Police and fire services 3. Water and power utilities 4. Infrastructure (maintenance and repair) 5. Library services All other services need to be scrutinized to determine how they benefit all residents of Longmont and then be funded accordingly. Council must be willing to make hard decisions on the budgetary issues and eliminate programs that are not essential. While some programs cost recover a percentage of their cost, there is still a cost that is not recovered. Those nonrecovered costs add up. I am opposed to imposing any fees on the residents and businesses of Longmont. I firmly believe doing so is reckless and lacks common sense in this down economy. When times are tough, we all make cuts to our personal budgets. The city must manage its budget like everyone else. City Council needs to make financial sound decisions for the 2010 budget. I will continue to speak out about the lack of budgetary cuts and willingness to attach any arbitrary fees that are passed to taxpayers.
MORE AT-LARGE CANDIDATES, PAGE D4
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2009
LONGMONT CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE BILL VAN DUSEN Residence: 916 Sixth Ave., Longmont Age: 52 Education: Masterâ€™s degree in Law, Taxation, Sturm College of Law, University of Denver, 2010 (expected). Juris doctor, University of Denver College of Law, 1988. Master of Arts in philosophy, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1985. Bachelor of Arts in pre-law and philosophy, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, 1982. Certificate in network administration, University of Colorado Continuing Education, 1999 Occupation: Attorney specializing in tax law, and professor of business ethics at Metropolitan State College of Denver and at Regis University.
Civic experience: Served on the cityâ€™s Planning and Zoning Commission from 2000 to 2006, and as chairman for two years. Served on the Multi-Modal Transportation Planning Committee for. Chairman of the North Boulder County Environmental Health Task Force. Coordinated the governorâ€™s job training program and directed the Veteranâ€™s Upward Bound Program for the Community College of Denver. Started the â€œAsk-A-Lawyerâ€? day for Longmontâ€™s El Comite to provide free legal services for the Longmont Latino Community. Personal: Longmont resident for 42 years. Wife, Beth, and daughter, Anais. Web site: www.vandusenforcouncil.com â€˘â€˘â€˘
What is your position on using publicprivate partnerships for revitalization or economic development? This type of partnership is useful where revitalization efforts focus on a crucial area of community concern. The Twin Peaks Mall revitalization project is an example of a crucial area of community concern. The city of Longmont should partner with the developers to make this important venture happen. City Council must lead the way in establishing an overall community vision for the Twin Peaks Mall area. This includes integrating the surrounding businesses, the Front Range Community College campus, and the planned FasTracks train station into the plan. City Council should establish clear guidelines for developers in assuring that the project complies with community standards and expectations. Paying for this project or any project where public-private partnerships are used, can be done through establishing a TIF district. The caveat in creating such a tax increment financing district dedicated to a specific project is that strict oversight must occur to assure that the money allocated for the TIF district be specifically used for that project. It is the job of City Council to make sure that such oversight occurs at every step in the TIF process.
What does open and accessible government mean to you? What is the city doing well and what could it do better? The community should hold its representatives accountable. Government must be open and accessible to the community. At the local government level, City Council is the leading governing body. City Council must firmly establish government transparency in its activities. One of my primary duties as a City Council member will be to assure that the process of
governing remains transparent so that the community can stay informed and participate in city decision making. The city does a good job of identifying areas of community concern and in creating a requisite commission or board to voice these concerns to City Council. Individuals who serve have an excellent opportunity to bring the community voice into government decision making. I would like to see the role of these commissions and boards expanded. However, to guide these recommending bodies, City Council must provide strong leadership, which includes defining a clear, unified vision for the overall management of the city. Divisiveness has plagued the current City Council. With my coalition building experience, one of my first priorities as a City Council member will be to help define a unified vision for the city.
What are your priorities for city funding, and what do you consider essential city services? The city funding priorities reflect the ability of City Council to govern effectively. As a City Council member, my priorities would include funding for public safety and crime prevention services â€” including police, fire, and code enforcement â€” utility services, including water and waste water services, electric services, and trash and recycling weekly pick up. Energy conservation funding should also be an important priority for the city as well as funding for youth and senior services. Finally, I would include funding for services related to traffic issues including road maintenance and traffic mitigation planning. I also consider these services essential city services along with land-use planning and zoning services provided by the Planning Department and the services provided by the city attorneyâ€™s office in giving legal assistance to city departments.
EDWARD DLOUGHY Residence: 1308 Judson St., Longmont Age: 59 Education: Did not respond Occupation: Carpenter with the in-house University of Colorado construction crew in Boulder Civic experience: Did not respond Personal: Longmont resident for five years
What is your position on using public-private partnerships for revitalization or economic development? Did not respond.
What does open and accessible government mean to you? What is the city doing well and what could it do better? Did not respond.
What are your priorities for city funding, and what do you consider essential city services? Did not respond.
BOULDER COUNTY ISSUE 1D
Voters to decide on district attorneyâ€™s term limits By John Fryar Longmont Times-Call BOULDER â€” Allowing Boulder County district attorneys to serve up to three consecutive four-year terms would put that office on a par with the sheriff and the coroner â€” the countyâ€™s other elected publicsafety executives â€” according to supporters of a proposed term-limit extension for DAs that is on this fallâ€™s ballot. District attorneys in Coloradoâ€™s 20th Judicial District now are limited to two fouryear terms. DA Stan Garnett, elected last year to his first term, emphasized that Boulder County Issue 1D would extend â€” but not eliminate â€” term limits for either him or future Boulder County district attorneys. â€œEven if this passes, people will have plenty of opportunities to get rid of me, if they think Iâ€™m not doing a good job,â€? he said. Garnett has said modifying the current eight-year restriction would allow the incumbent, and his or her staff, more years in which to develop and carry out prosecutorial policies. It also might attract more candidates to run for the office, said Garnett, who was
unopposed in his own election to the post last November. Heâ€™s said the change also would make it easier for winning DA candidates to attract good talent to their staffs and get those employees to stay. Disagreeing, however, was Colorado Term Limits Coalition chairman Dennis Polhill, who said: â€œI think the American people, the American culture, understands intuitively that a lifetime in politics is a small step from a monarchy or a dictatorship. â€œThatâ€™s why people by and large support term limits,â€? Polhill said. Garnett has said that while heâ€™s not sure heâ€™d want to try to serve three terms himself, â€œthere are a lot of reasons why that possibility is good for the county and the DAâ€™s office generally.â€? Boulder County is one of at least three Colorado judicial districts asking their voters this year to extend term limits for their district attorneys, according to Ted Tow, executive director of the Colorado District Attorneys Council. The others are the 1st Judicial District, which includes Jefferson and Gilpin counties; and the 21st, which is Mesa County.
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m10/8/2009yTCcfewell LONGMONT TIMES-CALL
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2009
Two SVVSD seats up to voters School board districts
Voters will choose two St. Vrain Valley School District board members, while two incumbents will not be opposed on the ballot. Niwot residents Debbie Lammers and Alexander Sharp are running for the District B seat, which is vacant because board president Sandi Searls is term-limited. District B includes the Niwot area and south Longmont. In District C, which covers central Longmont, Strider Benston is challenging incumbent Bob Smith. Smith was appointed to the seat in 2007 when no one sought election to it.
Incumbents Dori Van Lone, who represents District D, and Rod Schmidt, from District F, are not opposed. District D includes the Erie and southeastern Longmont area, while District F covers northeast Longmont and Mead.
25 119 52
Even though each school board member represents a specific geographic area, all school district residents vote for all school board members.
ST. VRAIN DISTRICT B ALEXANDER SHARP
DEBBIE LAMMERS Residence: 7270 Spring Creek Circle, Niwot
Residence: 7119 Dry Creek Court, Niwot
Age: 46 Education: United States Naval Academy, Bachelor of Science, applied science; various military education programs; Hawaii Pacific University, Master of Arts, diplomacy and military studies
Education: California State University at Chico, Bachelor of Arts, 1974; John F. Kennedy School of Law, Walnut Creek, Calif., 1977-78 Occupation: Homemaker and community and school volunteer; law firm legal assistant and paralegal administrator 1978-88 in San Francisco Civic experience: SVVSD ballot measure campaign committees in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2008; Niwot High School Education Foundation board of directors since 2005, including vice president 2008-09 and president 2009-present; Habitat for Humanity development committee
Personal: Married to Christopher; adult children Laura and Stephen; and Kelly, a junior at Niwot High School •••
What is the school board’s responsibility in its relationship with the teachers union and other employees? School boards — and the district — ultimately strengthen their relationships with all employees by providing open and fair leadership. A school board’s responsibility is to be a fair decisionmaker. Part of this process could include the engagement of a mediator to minimize negative discourse and promote consensus. All parties should move forward and provide complete information during the process. Teachers, as well as other employee groups, are entitled to compensation increases that can be sustained over time while reflecting residents’ expectations. The district has a commitment to ensure public accountability for all aspects of the district, including its obligations to its various employee groups.
What will you do to keep the SVVSD budget sound in the next few years as revenues decrease and expenses — especially health care, PERA and Medicare — are likely to increase? Being familiar with the general framework of the budget, I would like the opportunity to learn the details of the process and review options. Some of the options for consideration — given almost certain declining revenue — could be as the result of a review of facility use and planning, i.e. building energy efficiencies into existing schools and funding priorities as determined by the school board. A thorough review of budget priorities — with the
collaboration of various communities — would be a process to consider to determine what those budget priorities would be. These efforts should consider curriculum and financial accountability as well. I would like our school board to raise the bar on efforts to address curriculum and facility equity. I also would support opportunities to target communication avenues between schools and parents regarding programming changes in place or forthcoming and accountability for those changes.
What is your educational philosophy, especially regarding focus schools, magnet programs and charter schools? The priority is classrooms — curriculum, teachers and technology. Each school has its own community whose parents should play a role in advising that school. It is key to engage residents in communication that provides the district with the best reflection of what stakeholders expect from the school district. Charter schools are one option for families — and efforts to engage those schools in the district’s overall role in providing accountability to its residents would be key to enhancing their progress in the overall SVVSD community. I would support enhancing efforts that are in place that show gains in the area of student achievement and increasing graduation rates. We should look at focus schools and magnet programs in terms of how they measure up to district goals to provide curriculum and financial accountability. I also would support building a parent engagement and communication program to support these efforts.
Occupation: Retired U.S. Navy captain; served in the U.S. Navy from 1984 to 2006, including assignments as the mission director, Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, Sharp Colorado Springs, 2004-06; commanding officer/executive officer, HSL-49, Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, 2000-04; foreign liaison escort, Navy staff, Pentagon, 1993-95; operational test and evaluation pilot, VX-1, Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Lexington Park, Md., 1989-91 Civic experience: Assistant Scoutmaster, Boy Scout Troop 950, San Diego; advancement chair, Boy Scout Troop 194, Colorado Springs Personal: Married to Kathie; three children: Aleksei, senior; Vera, sophomore; and Roman, freshman, all at Niwot High School •••
What is the school board’s responsibility in its relationship with the teachers union and other employees? The Board of Education is responsible for establishing policies for the superintendent and his staff to execute. The board also provides oversight of the execution of these policies. These policies touch every aspect of the school district’s operations: financial/budget; curriculum; student achievement; well-being of staff, students and organization; effective communications with the community and within the organization. The board’s responsibility to the teachers association is the fair negotiation of a teachers contract.
What will you do to keep the SVVSD budget sound in the next few years as revenues decrease and expenses — especially health care, PERA and Medicare — are likely to increase? The passage of Issue 3A (mill-levy override) last November will help stem the tide of decreased state funds to the district over the next few years. From my perspective, the Board of Education has taken the decrease in state funds into account with its new contract offer to the teachers association. The board is working closely with the superintendent and his staff to
ensure the long-term economic viability of the district. I look forward to joining the team to continue these efforts.
What is your educational philosophy, especially regarding focus schools, magnet programs and charter schools? My philosophy is ensuring the “whole student” is educated. That means humanities and performing arts are as important as math and science. I understand the importance of math and science (as the lead-in knowledge to earning engineering degrees). I realize the impact of an engineering shortfall to the country’s future economic viability. However, the ability and confidence of these future engineers to articulate their ideas successfully is garnered through K-12 language and performing arts. History, civics and citizenship are vital to every future voter to ensure the vitality of our democracy. I recognize that one method of educating our youth doesn’t work for all students. I support any effort (focus, magnet, charter, alternative schools/programs, etc.) that effectively educates students (measured by state/district standards), is financially viable, and is accountable to parents, the district and the community. Bottom line: The community wants the best education for our students in a fiscally sound manner.
ST. VRAIN DISTRICT F
Education: Bachelor of arts in business administration and economics, Westmar College, LeMars, Iowa
Occupation: vice president of client services, Acosta Sales & Marketing Civic experience: St. Vrain Valley School District Board of Education, 2005 to present; SVVSD community bond-review committee, January 2002 to November 2005; MeadowVale Farms Community Association, May 2003 to November 2005 Personal: Married to Cindy; three children: Kristy, a junior at Regis University; Erika, a freshman at the University of Colorado; and Rick, a junior at Skyline High
What is the school board’s responsibility in its relationship with the teachers union and other employees? The current BOE is committed to every employee in this district, and that commitment includes an assurance that we offer a work environment that promotes growth opportunities for every employee. We are committed to compensation and benefits programs that are competitive in Colorado. It’s equally important every employee group within this district assumes a measure of accountability and is willing to collaborate to find creative solutions to ensure the district is able to continue to focus on the key deliverables that will drive our primary education goals and workplace satisfaction. The initiatives
our leadership team has implemented to meet with employees through employee task forces created this year to build up communications between management and our employees is a testament of the BOE’s commitment to build collaboration. The teachers union is a vital component of the communication chain, and it’s my hope they will commit to this collaborative effort.
What will you do to keep the SVVSD budget sound in the next few years as revenues decrease and expenses — especially health care, PERA and Medicare — are likely to increase?
years. It’s paramount that we as elected officials continue to scrutinize our long-term plans to ensure strategic plans for academic achievement are balanced against our financials, to ensure long-term financial stability. We should anticipate cuts in funding from the state as it attempts to balance its budget and resolve the deficits currently faced. It’s important we look at opportunities to capitalize on technological advancements that will allow us to deliver instruction in a more efficient manner, and at the same time offer enhanced curricular choices to every student. We also must ensure equity exists across the SVVSD to ensure every school and every student has access to the curriculum that best suits their needs and learning style.
Every financial decision we make today must have the potential for longterm sustainability and cannot place the district in jeopardy of being forced to rescind these commitments in future
What is your educational philosophy, especially regarding focus schools, magnet programs and charter schools?
There’s no question that learning styles among students vary widely, and different styles are necessary to ensure every child is impacted positively. While I strongly support a focus on core subject matter (reading, writing, science and math), I do believe a diverse curriculum allows students to explore their interests and adds relevance to their educational experience. Focus schools allow parents options that may be more appropriate for their child, and we’ve seen incredibly strong support for these schools as we’ve begun to build out the portfolio of schools in the SVVSD. The proof will be in the results, and we will scorecard each focus school to ensure long-term effectiveness of these programs is achieved. Charter schools play a role if they provide a curriculum that is in demand and currently not an offering in the district. Industry experts suggest students lack “soft skills” for long-term success — that focus will continue.
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Residence: 1873 Blue Mountain Road, Longmont
ROD SCHMIDT (I)
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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2009
ST. VRAIN DISTRICT C STRIDER BENSTON
ROBERT SMITH (I)
Residence: 1027 Terry St., Longmont Age: 65 Education: Henderson State Teachers College, 1962-63; University of Arkansas, 1963-64; University of Colorado at Denver, Bachelor of Arts in political science with honors, 1994; graduate work in history and poetry, Cambridge University, England, 1994; Masters of humanities in philosophy and history, University of Colorado at Denver, 1998 Occupation: dockworker, carpenter, substitute teacher, writer, poet Benston Civic experience: Longmont election committee, 2009-12; Longmont Citizens for Justice and Democracy Personal: Divorced; three adult children: Lisa, Jessica and Joshua •••
What is the school board’s responsibility in its relationship with the teachers union and other employees? The school board is mandated to manage the entire affairs of the district, which must necessarily entail fulfillment of contract, scrutiny of competence and conduct of employees within legal and professional standards, and a sincere effort to carry out non-adversarial negotiations within the limits of budget constraints. This can best be done with a partnership approach involving the community and the entire staff, professional and service. Public-information sessions, well publicized in advance, and soliciting input regarding problem areas such as state and district revenue shortfalls are crucial to a harmonious outcome in presently difficult times.
What will you do to keep the SVVSD budget sound in the next few years as revenues decrease and expenses — especially health care, PERA and Medicare — are likely to increase? The public mind is still stinging from the great budget gap of recent years but has now voted the mill-levy override in good faith. Again, I believe that public involvement in the understanding of the mission of our schools is crucial, since citizens may be asked to sacrifice some more services to keep the schools funded appropriately. I believe that lightly subsidized local programs — such as apprenticeships,
mentorships, lectures and school gardens — and integration with other local programs such as restorative justice, the arts, Youth Center and Front Range Community College could serve to mitigate many problems and foster the partnership relation with the community so necessary to viable functioning.
What is your educational philosophy, especially regarding focus schools, magnet programs and charter schools? I believe the diverse approach invited by charter schools has many excellent aspects that might well be incorporated into mainstream schools. This will be difficult, especially with the drain of many key resources into those schools. There must be cross-learning of methods, styles, curriculae, organization. Otherwise, the “left-behind” schools will fall deeper into the morass of over-regimentation, and the children will suffer. The very worst outcome is the endemic ennui. Any singular philosophy imposed over the whole society, even my favorites, would be a travesty, for we have widely variant interests and styles. As remedial courses are offered, so must be excellent courses, but not to fully segregate the children. As Howard Gardner taught us of multiple intelligences, we must learn to elicit dignity and accomplishment in broad areas and honor those who make the effort. We are not all linear thinkers. Some might play trumpet like Satchmo.
Residence: 1523 Henry Court, Longmont Age: 52 Education: Southern Illinois University, Bachelor of Arts, humanities; Loyola University of Chicago, Masters of Business Administration, marketing
Occupation: Owner, Huntington Learning Centers, Longmont and Fort Collins; vice president of business development, St. Joseph/Candler Health System, Savannah, Ga., 1999-2006; consulting in Ohio, 1998-99; vice president, McNerney Heintz (health-care management), Barrington, Ill., 1993-97; president, Paramount Health Care, Sylvania, Ohio, 1988-92; vice president, Sherman Hospital, Schaumburg, Ill., 1980-88
Civic experience: Director, District C, St. Vrain Valley School District Board of Education, appointed 2007; board member, Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce; board member, Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, July to October 2006; public information specialist, 23rd Infantry Division, U.S. Army, Chu Lai, Vietnam, 1969-71 Personal: Married to Diane; five adult children: Kimberly Wiggins, Rebecca, Graham, Kevin and Leigh ••• operations, finances and student achievement interact. As such, I am a member of the community budget advisory committee and actively promote considering the impact of today’s actions — be they with regard to negotiations, medical case management, preventative care, building management or asset planning — on the future. I would keep the SVVSD budget sound by benchmarking allocations and expenditures against a combination of generic industry norms, organization-specific goals and available funding/revenue.
What is the school board’s responsibility in its relationship with the teachers union and other employees? At the heart of an empiric approach to excellence is the premise that quality is a system property. Excellence depends not simply on the intent or skill of an individual, but on the effectiveness and efficiency of the entire organization. Our responsibilities to employees of the school district extend uniformly across that system and revolve around the notion of trust and reciprocity. I would not differentiate, at any level or in any way, between employee groups. Teachers, of course, represent the key success factor. Without engaged, energetic, committed and accountable teachers, we cannot succeed. But neither can we enable teacher success without engaged, energetic, committed and accountable classified and administrative staff. In the end, our responsibility to any employee flexes with their commitment to and performance within the school district. The pursuit of excellence in student achievement demands that.
What is your educational philosophy, especially regarding focus schools, magnet programs and charter schools? The MBA program I attended consistently emphasized that no organization can be all things to all people. My 30 subsequent years of business experience reinforces that premise. Thus, I believe in the notion of “core competencies.” SVVSD simply cannot be all things to all people — however desirable or appealing that notion may be to some. Focus schools allow us to better meet the diverse needs of a diverse region in a changing world. Where we have not or cannot meet those needs, charter schools make sense. I support them and view them as affiliates. However, there are no silver bullets in life. Charters ought to be held strictly to a variety of academic, fiscal and social criteria so as to best serve the public good if they are to access public funds. The state must either allow districts to do that or be willing to do it itself.
What will you do to keep the SVVSD budget sound in the next few years as revenues decrease and expenses — especially health care, PERA and Medicare — are likely to increase? My bias is for strategic thinking and planning; for evaluating socio-economic-demographic trends affecting our mission and projecting how they will develop and impact us; for anticipating not future decisions, but the impact of today’s decisions on the future; for considering how
ST. VRAIN DISTRICT D DORI VAN LONE (I) Residence: 2525 Cessna Drive, Erie Age: 46 Education: attended University of Northern Colorado Occupation: Sales manager, Land Title Guarantee Co., Boulder
Civic experience: St. Vrain Valley School District Board of Education, 2005-present; involved with husband’s
campaigns for the Town of Erie Board of Trustees, 1996 and 2004, and for mayor, 2000; member of Boulder Chamber of Commerce, Louisville Chamber of Commerce and Boulder Area Realtor Association-Affiliates Personal: Married to Tom; two adult sons, Dustin Heffelman of Westminster and Travis Heffelman of Arvada; and one daughter, Jenna, who attends Erie Middle School •••
union and other employees? The school board’s responsibility is to ensure that we can maintain and provide the resources necessary for all employees to effectively perform their job within the financial means of the district. We are a team, and it takes all members to continue our mission in providing a highly effective, safe learning environment for our children.
What will you do to keep the SVVSD budget sound in the next few years as revenues What is the school board’s decrease and expenses — responsibility in its relationship with the teachers especially health care, PERA
and Medicare — are likely to increase? We will continue to monitor our budget, with the help and involvement of the community-based budget advisory and finance and audit committees. We will continue to compare the health-care plans to ensure we are getting the best value for our employees, and finally, we will engage members from the community for suggestions and input when the necessity comes for making program and budgetary decisions.
What is your educational
philosophy, especially regarding focus schools, magnet programs and charter schools? My philosophy is that all children should be given the opportunity to excel in an area of interest to them while providing the required core subjects at the same time. I do believe that many of our students become complacent and bored. My vision and goal would be to see a marked improvement in the high school dropout, teen pregnancy and crime rates.
LYONS BALLOT ISSUE 2A
Lyons voters will decide on sales-tax increase By John Fryar Longmont Times-Call LYONS — Voters here are being asked to raise Lyons’ current 3 percent municipal sales and use tax rate to 3.75 percent. The proposed tax increase, Issue 2A on Lyons’ ballot, would generate an estimated $127,000 or more annually for the town budget’s general fund and address what Mayor Julie Van Domelen has called “an urgent
situation” with pending shortages in the cash flows needed to pay Lyons’ operating expenses. Critics of the proposal, however, have suggested that the town’s trustees should find other ways to trim spending. One tax-increase foe, in a comment submitted to Lyons officials for inclusion in a ballot-information booklet, said: “The town behaves like a poorly disciplined teenager, always asking for more money but failing
ROGER LANGE ROGER LANGE FORfor Mayor BOULDER • Best Leadership Experience COUNTY • Best Business Experience* COMMISSIONER • Best Environmental Experience • Best Primary Job Experience • Best Civic Involvement ADVOCATE FOR: • Best Council Experience • “FasTracks” as a Transportation Alternative • Consensus Builder and Decision Maker • Sufficient Affordable Housing • Open Space and Enviromental Protection • Sustainable Health and Human Services “Roger Lange’s managerial, supervisory, and leadership positions in the private sector have served • *Fair Land Use “With and roleneeds on the Longmont Area Economic the city wellRoger’s these pastexperience two years.Decisions Longmont Roger’s calm consensus building skills as we
THE BEST CHOICE
face the majorheissues of a shrinking citysupports budget andthe growing on city services. He in has Council, understands and vital demands role of city government made some tough choices as mayor and, although I have not agreed with him on every issue, I setting a positive tone and working relationship with business and industry.” know that Roger’s decisions were always made LEADERSHIP on the basis of what he sincerely believed to be "EXPERIENCED AND in John the bestCaldwell interests of Longmont rather than any private interest. He’s the kind of leader that - Longmont Businessman VIEWPOINT" Longmont needs---now,BALANCED more than ever.” Richard N. Lyons, II
www.rogerlangeforbouldercounty.org Paid for by Committee to Elect Roger Lange, John Burcham, Treasurer Paid for by the Committee to Elect Roger Lange, John Burcham, Treasurer
to use the money they already have in an efficient, prioritized or responsible manner.” But another information-booklet comment, submitted in support of the tax increase, said the funds it would generate “are needed to keep our town status quo.” That tax-increase backer estimated that town residents pay only about a third of Lyons’ sales tax collections, people living in surrounding areas pay another third,
and tourists and visitors pay the rest — “so we, ourselves, pay very little.” But critics of the increase have expressed concerns that a higher Lyons tax might prompt people to shop elsewhere. If Lyons voters approve the increase in the Nov. 3 election, it would take effect Jan. 1. John Fryar can be reached at 303-684-5211 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Vrain Valley Board of Education District B Vote for • Leadership in oversight of tax dollars • Knowledge in planning and goal setting • Experience in program, budget and project accountability • Twelve years classroom, school, community and district-wide volunteer service
“Our school district is facing the challenge of higher student performance expectations - along with critical funding concerns. Opportunities in curriculum options will be key to student achievement, however, communication and accountability concerning these issues is vital. My long dedication to our Contact Debbie at: schools has shown that I am up Phone: 303-652-8939 to the challenges ahead.” Email: Debbie@DebbieLammers.com Debbie Lammers Website: http://www.DebbieLammers.com Paid for by Committee to Elect Debbie Lammers Terry Larsen, Treasurer
m10/8/2009yTCcfewell LONGMONT TIMES-CALL
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2009
LONGMONT BALLOT ISSUE AND QUESTIONS
Renewal of fund for road work on the ballot
Street tax extension: Ballot Issue 2A The city street sales tax has been around for more than 20 years, and city officials hope voters will keep it around for a few more. The city will ask voters to approve another five-year extension of the existing three-quarter-cent sales tax that is Longmont’s primary source to fund street construction, repair and maintenance, and other transportation projects. Because the sales tax is currently in place, extending it for another five years would not change the city’s existing sales tax rate. When the city first asked voters to pass the tax in 1986, it built in a five-year sunset, mainly to be accountable to voters, city engineer Nick Wolfrum said. Voters have since renewed the tax four times
for five-year periods each time. The tax currently is set to expire Dec. 31, 2011, and the city is asking voters to extend it through Dec. 31, 2016. Revenue from the street tax has funded or helped fund countless projects during the two decades, including extending Ken Pratt Boulevard east of Main Street, widening Airport Road, improving County Line Road, installing traffic signals at several intersections, and building underpasses for the pedestrian and bike trail at Pike Road and 17th Avenue.
Telecommunications: Ballot Question 2C City officials are asking voters to overturn a 2005 state law that bans municipalities from providing “advanced telecommunications” services, which include cable television, telecommunications and high-speed Internet services.
In 1997, the city installed a fiber-optic network to provide those kinds of services — or partner with private companies to do so. Because of the state law, that network sits largely unused, Longmont officials say. If voters approve the ballot question, it would re-establish the city’s right to provide those services, either directly or through partnerships with private companies, according to Longmont Power & Communications director Tom Roiniotis. The city could lease bandwidth from its fiber-optic network and provide advanced data, voice, video and Internet services, such as wireless Internet, either on its own or by working with a private company. Opponents, however, say the city should not get into the private market and compete directly with companies such as Comcast, Qwest and smaller providers. They argue that municipal-run
communication efforts fail, and ultimately government-provided broadband costs more than expected. Longmont attorneys Richard Lyons and Anton Dworak have started a committee, No Blank Check Longmont! (www.noblank checklongmont.org), to campaign against the issue, saying the ballot question is too broad and doesn’t specify what the city plans to do. Lyons said the city should have asked voters to approve only one of the services (cable, telecommunications or high-speed Internet) and should have provided a description of the service, the city’s plans and how much those would cost. As of now, Longmont officials say they do not have any set plans to provide those services, but that overturning the state law would give the city options to do so.
bond: Ballot Question 2B The city’s sewage-treatment plant north of Ken Pratt Boulevard currently meets or exceeds state and federal regulations, but those regulations are expected to become much stricter in the next several years. Longmont officials are asking voters to allow the city to bond to finance capital improvements at the plant, which was built in 1956. Although the city has updated the sewage plant several times, some parts of it are nearly 50 years old and need to be repaired or updated. Longmont officials expect the cost of the actual capital improvements during the next five years to be $18.2 million. The total debt cost will depend on interest rates and the duration of the bond, but the amount would be capped at $21.13 million. Allowing the city to issue bonds would not change residents’ wastewater rates.
BOULDER COUNTY BALLOT ISSUES
Open space, energy decisions go to voters By John Fryar Longmont Times-Call BOULDER — Voters will be asked this fall to authorize three sets of Boulder County bond sales. One of the measures on countywide election ballots, Boulder County Issue 1A, would allow the county to sell up to $50 million in bonds for open space acquisitions and improvements. The bonds would be backed by a proposed extension, through the end of 2034, of county collections of a 0.25 percent county sales and use tax that’s now set to expire in 2019. Board of County Commissioners chairman Ben Pearlman said that without the bonds and the extended 0.25 percent tax — part of an overall 0.45 sales tax rate
that generates income for buying land and conservation easements for open space purposes — Boulder County risks finding itself unable to afford key private properties now coming onto the market. “Land is getting more expensive in Boulder County, particularly larger tracts,” Pearlman said. If the county waits until 2019 to ask voters to renew the 0.25 percent sales tax, “we’d be lucky if those properties are still there,” Pearlman said, or could be afforded at the prices that may be asked 10 years from now. Boulder County’s open space holdings now total 93,738 acres, according to the Parks and Open Space Department staff. That includes 58,475 acres of prop-
erties that the county owns either by itself or in conjunction with other local governments, as well as conservation easements that restrict future development on 35,263 acres of privately owned properties. Boulder County Libertarian Party chairman Ralph Shnelvar, however, objected to Issue 1A’s open space tax extension and bond proposal. “The commissioners seem to be saying, with all these taxes, ‘We will not be satisfied until we own all the land next to open space,’” Shnelvar said. Issue 1B on Boulder County voters’ ballot would allow the county to sell up to $85 million more in ClimateSmart Loan Program bonds, on top of the $40 million in such bonds Boulder
Vote for Open Space OPEN SPACE
Thanks to the open space sales tax passed in 1993, for 15 years we have been able to make important open space purchases when they became available. Without 1A, very few additional land purchases will be possible. For 15 years we have been able to take advantage of opportunities to make important open space land purchases. If Issue lA does not pass very few additional open space purchases will be possible. Boulder County Question lA Your tax dollars will help Boulder County to continue the success of the Open Space program. The tax will enhance bonding capacity—and with it, the County can continue to:
County Open Space
By Brad Turner Longmont Times-Call Frederick leaders are trying to spell out the details of their new home-rule proposal to encourage voters to back the measure this year after residents rejected a similar ballot item in 2005. Rather than following statutes for town governance set by state legislators, the home-rule charter would let leaders make subtle changes to personalize the way FredNews Link erick’s board runs the Read the city’s town. The committee that proposed charter drafted the charter has by visiting: posted a detailed explanawww.frederick tion online at www co.gov .frederickhomerule.com. Click “Home Rule” “We’re being more proactive this time in terms of helping people understand what’s in the charter,” said Mayor Eric Doering, who supports the home-rule charter. “It’s not a huge change, not a huge difference from how we operate right now.” However, a home-rule charter could help the town keep a bigger slice of sales tax revenue from its businesses, he said. Frederick currently lets the state collect its sales taxes and then distribute that money back to the town. If the charter passes, Frederick would not automatically collect its own sales tax, but it would have the option of doing so. Other towns that have made a similar move have seen a 20 percent to 30 percent jump in sales tax revenue when the state no longer handles the collection, Doering said. Frederick businesses collect $2 million to $2.5 million in sales tax revenue each year. Conservatively, the town could collect another $400,000 a year if it processed the revenue in-house. “It’s just capturing those dollars that are
• Acquire new properties - many of which are key purchases that will not be available forever. • Preserve our remaining open lands. • Fight sprawl by purchasing land to buffer communities. • Improve agricultural lands to allow for more local food production. pp • Build trails to enhance recreational opportunities.
Supporters Mayors M ayors Matt Applebaum, Boulder Roger Lange, Longmont Chris Cameron, Lafayette Chuck Sisk, Louisville Andrew Muckle, Superior Andrew Moore, Erie Martin Cheshes, Nederland Ken Lenarcic, Jamestown Pete Gleichman, Ward Other Elected Officials Crystal Gray, Deputy Mayor of Boulder Lisa A. Skumatz, Ph.D., Mayor Pro-Tern, Superior Robert Hullinghorst, County Treasurer John Tayer, RTD Director Joe Pelle, County Sheriff Jerry Roberts, County Assessor Alex Schatz, Lafayette City Council Bette Erickson, Broomfield City Council
State Legislators Rollie Heath Dickey Lee Hullinghorst Jack Pommer Paul Weissmann Claire Levy
Laurie Albright Cynda Arcenault Susan Ashcraft Al Bartlett David Becher Ray Bridge Bill Cluzel Joan Dawson Pete Dawson Megan Dawson Jamie Dawson Mike Dollaghan
Carolyn Dulchinos Gwen Dooley Keith Desrosiers Delyn Drake Bob Drake June Howard Larry Hoyt Allyn Feinberg Kaye Fissinger Josie Heath Jennifer Johnson Matt Jones
Linda Jourgensen Barbara Lamm Linda Lee Shari Malloy Richard McIntosh Jana Mendez Susan Morris Tina Nielsen Tom Plant Adam Reynolds Garry Sanfacon Sarah Silver
Pat Shanks Ron Stewart Molly Tayer Jane Vitti Suzanne Webel Jim Wolf Linda Wolpert Nurit Wolf Ruth Wright Ken Wright
Paid for by the Yes on 1A Committee
Carolyn Dulchinos, Treasurer
out there,” he said. “That’s a huge thing.” A home-rule charter in Frederick could be especially beneficial for the town’s sales tax funds because the town is spread across several ZIP codes, Doering said. In turn, Frederick could be getting a lessthan-fair share of money from the state. The charter proposal also calls for an extra safeguard against rising taxes, charter proponent Chuck Beehler said. Even if Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights were to be altered or repealed at the state level, Frederick residents would have to approve any new municipal taxes, Beehler said. The proposed charter also would give Doering and his successors a more active voice on the town board. Current rules call for the mayor to vote only when the other six board members have a 3-3 tie. The new charter would let him vote on every matter. “If you’re only voting when you break a tie, you don’t really get to be part of the decision-making process,” he said. The opposition to the charter proposal is less organized than in the past, but the charter still has its opponents. Mike Schiers, a St. Vrain Valley School District board member, helped serve on the charter commission in 2005 and ultimately worked to defeat the proposal then. This time around, his wife — Frederick Trustee Amy Schiers — served on the charter committee, but he still has doubts about the proposal. “I’m not sure there’s enough of a benefit to go through with it,” he said, though he acknowledged that the current charter addresses many of the concerns he had in 2005. He noted he’s skeptical about the possibility of increased sales tax revenues and said no one has produced hard numbers showing reliable projections.
Come to Silver Creek High School at 6 p.m. today to meet the candidates and hear their positions on the issues that matter to you. Speakers also will discuss city and county issues on the ballot.
YES on 1A
John Fryar can be reached at 303-6845211 or email@example.com.
Times-Call election forum
www.yesonopenspace.org Yes on lA is an issue committee registered with the Colorado Secretary of State
Issue 1C would allow the county to issue up to $6.1 million in federally authorized “Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds” — a low-interest financial instrument backed by the county general fund to help pay for energy-saving improvements to county government facilities. Pearlman said energyconservation improvements to such buildings as the county jail would wind up saving taxpayers money. But Shnelvar said he and other Libertarian Party officers disagree with 1C, especially because “there is no outside authority that will determine whether that money is being wisely spent.”
Home-rule charter on the table in Frederick
1A is Vital to theis Future Open Space Issue 1A vitalofto Boulder
County Commissioners Cindy Domenico Ben Pearlman Will Toor
the end of 2010. The county has taken two rounds of residential loan applications thus far. In the first, borrowers got $6.6 million for their projects. In the second, which is still being completed, applicants’ projects are expected to total about $3.2 million. Meanwhile, extending the program to other counties’ borrowers could mean lower interest rates to Boulder County home and business owners, Pearlman said. But Shnelvar said county Libertarian Party officers think “it’s inappropriate for the county to be in the business of giving out loans” and question whether Boulder County should “use its good credit, no matter how it is reimbursed, to fund energy projects in other counties.”
FREDERICK BALLOT QUESTION 2A
Vote Yes on 1A
Local Organizations The Sierra Club Boulder Mountainbike Alliance PLAN-Boulder County Boulder County Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee Boulder Area Trails Coalition (BATCO)
County voters authorized in November 2008, with the bonds repaid through special assessments on benefiting properties. Of the $85 million in additional bonds, $40 million would help finance Boulder County home and business owners’ energy-efficiency and renewable energy projects; the county could administer and sell the other $45 million on behalf of other Colorado counties wishing to make similar loans to their residents through this county’s established ClimateSmart program. Pearlman said last year’s initial $40 million in voterapproved ClimateSmart Loan bonding capacity — and people’s ability to get the county loans “to decrease energy costs in their homes” — could run out by
The forum is co-sponsored by the Longmont Times-Call, Longmont Cable Trust Channel 3, League of Women Voters, Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce, Great Harvest Bread Company and Ziggi’s Coffee House.
m10/8/2009yTCcfewell LONGMONT TIMES-CALL
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2009
DACONO CITY COUNCIL TOM MCCUNE
CITY OF DACONO MAYOR
Residence: 4591 Sedona Lane
Residence: 204 Glen Ayre St.
Residence: 832 Glen Barr St.
Education: High school diploma; part-time adult education at Regis University
Education: High school diploma; some college courses
Occupation: Field engineer for GE Healthcare
Civic experience: Made unsuccessful runs for City Council in past three years; attends council meetings Personal: Married, three children, two grandchildren
Occupation: Head of custodial department for Front Range Community College in Westminster and Westminster Public Library
Civic experience: Three years on City Council; four years on city planning commission; one year on city zoning committee Personal: Married, two sons (one deceased)
velopment groups in Weld County and at the state level, and see a new city Web site finished. She said she’d also work to keep an open dialogue with the St. Vrain Valley School District to make sure the city gets a new school as it grows. Tom McCune, 59, the only incumbent council member running for one of the two seats, said he thinks the current council does a lot of good work that can be continued after Election Day. “We just need to keep trying to get new businesses in here,” he said. McCune said he’s particularly interested in luring small businesses
Occupation: Works for husband’s handyman contracting company
Civic experience: Two years on city planning commission; president, Tri-Town Toasters, Toastmasters International Personal: Married, one daughter
and energy companies to city limits. He said he’d like to see more festival-type events to help give Dacono an identity, and use that identity to promote the city. He also hopes city officials continue to hand out “Dacono pride” certificates to residents who keep yards looking nice. McCune also is eager to see the city complete its work on the Legacy Trail, a walking path linking Erie and Frederick. Steve Ditlow, 52, said that if he’s elected, he’ll try to talk more with potential commercial and residential developers to help the city grow again. “It’s actually a pretty good time to
get out there and talk to the developers,” Ditlow said. “Right now it’s slow, so it’s a good time to get aggressive.” Ditlow said he would try to make the council do more long-range planning — thinking about what the city should look like in a decade or two — while managing current matters such as road connections and school planning. Ditlow said he’d also push for a new city Web site. Some of the elements on the current site haven’t changed in years, and that makes Dacono look “stagnant” to outsiders, he said. — BRAD TURNER
County clerks to start mailing ballots next week This is an all-mail-ballot election. Eligible voters will be getting their ballots mailed to them, if their current addresses are correct in voter-registration records. County clerks throughout Colorado will begin sending mail ballot packets to their voters the week of Oct. 12, starting that day in Weld County and on Oct. 13 in Boulder and Larimer counties, officials from those clerks’ offices have announced. All completed ballots must be back in the hands of voters’ county clerks by 7 p.m. on Election
Day, Nov. 3, in order to be counted. Voters can mail their ballots back to their county clerks, using the return envelope provided, and must sign the affidavit on that return envelope. However, voters should make sure they have attached the necessary postage — in Boulder County voters’ case, 44 cents. Ballots postmarked on or before Nov. 3 won’t be counted if election officials don’t actually get them by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Voters also will have the option of dropping off their completed ballots at various locations designated by their county clerks,
rather than mailing them back. Registered voters who haven’t received a mail ballot by sometime the week of Oct. 19 should contact their county clerk’s election office. A missing ballot might signal a problem with the address on file at the clerk’s office, since the U.S. Postal Service cannot forward ballots to a second address. A voter also can get a replacement ballot — if he or she makes a mistake or has a change of mind about a contest or question — as long as that person hasn’t already returned a filled-out ballot. Again, those replacement ballots will be available at locations designated by the county clerk.
For further information, including details about ballot drop-off locations, people can contact their county election officials: G In Boulder County, by calling 303-413-7740 or visiting the county clerk and recorder’s office elections web site at www.VoteBoulder .org. G In Weld County, by calling 720-652-4200, ext. 3070 or visiting the “Elections” link on the county home page, www.co.weld.co.us. G In Larimer County, by calling the clerk’s elections division at 970-498-7820 or by navigating to that division from the county’s home page, www.co.larimer.co.us.
THE NOVEMBER 2009 ELECTION offers the following three ballot items regarding Longmont’s services:
ISSUE 2A STREET TAX EXTENSION Extend existing 3/4 Cent Street Fund Sales and Use Tax
Age: 31 Education: High school diploma
Occupation: Construction contractor
Civic experience: City councilman since 2006; mayor pro tem for two of those years Personal: Married, two children
Residence: 535 Dukes Way
Education: Bachelor of Science in psychology (with minors in business and biology) from Indiana University
••• Three Dacono residents are vying for two open seats on the City Council, and each of them says Dacono’s economic development should be a priority. Lori Saine, 34, said she thinks Dacono is in a great position to grow if it manages business development wisely. Two exits to Interstate 25 sit within city limits, and there is a lot of frontage between the two areas for businesses that want to be visible to motorists on the highway. “We could very well be the face ... of the Tri-Town community,” she said. Saine also wants to build on existing relationships with economic de-
Continued improvements and maintenance of over 300 miles of Longmont streets and over 600 miles of sidewalks, city bridges, underpasses and traffic signals with the extension of the existing 3/4 Cent Street
••• Dacono’s next mayor wants to work with developers to build the city’s commercial base and residential neighborhoods, but he says he also wants to be selective and work on the right projects. “It’s not just the first guy that comes with a big bag of money, because they’re not always the right choice,” said Charles Sigman, a 31-year-old construction contractor who’s running unopposed for mayor. The dedication to smart growth, rather than slow growth or no growth, will help the city avoid repeating mistakes, Sigman said. Some Dacono leaders balked at new development a decade ago and drove commercial development toward neighboring Frederick and Firestone, he said. Council members are more willing to work with developers now. Sigman said he dislikes micromanagement and will rely heavily on city administrator Bill Efting to help the council execute its vision for the city. He thinks the current council members work well together and treat each other with respect. (He noted that a harmonious council is a relative thing in Dacono, and told stories of the city’s leaders 50 years ago duking it out in the parking lot after contentious meetings. Those days are gone, he said.) Sigman replaces Mayor Wade Carlson, who is stepping down due to term limits. — BRAD TURNER
This information provided by the City of Longmont is intended to provide a factual summary of issues of official concern to Longmont voters. It is not intended to urge a vote in favor or against Ballot Issue 2A or Ballot Questions 2B or 2C.
Fund Sales and Use Tax. This funding source is not a new tax nor a tax increase, it is a five year extension of a tax that originated in 1986 and was extended in elections in 1990, 1994, 2000 and 2005.
In favor: • This tax is necessary to properly fund the maint- • Ongoing maintenance and improvements are enance and improvements of Longmont’s streets, essential to a safe and efficient transportation sidewalks, bridges, underpasses and traffic signals. system in Longmont.
Opposed: • Residents would pay lower sales and use tax in Longmont if the tax is not continued.
or replacement of aging facilities is necessary for continued plant operation and protection of the St. Vrain Creek’s quality below the Treatment Plant.
Issue debt financing bonds to improve the Longmont Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant currently exceeds state and federal standards but the rehabilitation
WASTEWATER IMPROVEMENTS Wastewater Treatment Plant Bond Issue In favor: • The City should continue to upgrade and improve the treatment plant to protect the water quality in St. Vrain Creek. • Rehabilitating or replacing older parts of the plant and improving the level of treatment are essential to keeping the plant in operation and in compliance with government regulations.
QUESTION 2C TELECOMMUNICATIONS Telecommunications Service Ballot Question In favor: • The City may pursue opportunities for more reliable telecommunication services, either directly or in partnership with the private sector. • Using the City’s existing fiber optic network to provide advanced services may stimulate business retention and economic development.
• The rate schedule from the recent rate and fee study will finance the cost of the debt service.
Opposed: • The City should not go in to debt to fund improvements at the plant; other sources of funding should be found.
• Bond financing is an accepted and reasonable method to pay for basic infrastructure needs such • The full cost of the bonds, including interest, is not exactly known at this time. as the wastewater treatment plant.
Re-establish the City’s right to provide communications services to the community using existing infrastructure such as the fiber optic network. State law prevents municipalities from providing communications services UNLESS voters re-establish the City’s right to provide • Increased availability and choice of advanced communications may enhance community services such as education, health care and public safety.
those services. With voter approval, the City could potentially provide advanced voice, data and wireless services to residents and business either directly or in partnership with private carriers. This ballot question is not a request for funding.
www.ci.longmont.co.us • 303.651.8348
Opposed: • Municipalities should not be permitted to compete against private sector telecommunications companies. • Municipalities have little or no experience providing telecommunications services and may not provide them as efficiently as the private sector.