How Much Is This Costing Us?
The total costs to conduct this special election are still to be determined, but the City Clerk has estimated at LEAST $34,000 – and anti-urban renewal organizer Carol Brzeczek has said the costs will go higher.
From this week’s Littleton Independent article on the election:
“Carol Brzeczek, an activist with the anti-urban renewal group Your Littleton, Your Vote, notes that there will be extra expenses in staff time and to hire election judges.”
Truth — Yes – I did make that statement – illustrating the fact that the city could have hired the County to run the election for $34,000 but the city decided that they did not want to use signature verification and the county would not run the election, particularly a mail ballot election, without using signature. So, the city decided to spend $34,000 plus to run their own election. Why spend $34,000 and let the county run our election when we can spend in excess of $34,000 to run our own election. that’s the kind of decisions government makes – citizens would most likely vote to spend $34,000 and let the county run the election. That’s exactly why 300 is on the ballot – to give voters a chance to vote!
So: Initiative 300 suggests that Littleton must siphon tens of thousands of dollars from the City budget to conduct special elections for urban renewal policies, plus create a drain on Littleton’s budget, staff time and funds that should go to pay for the services that we depend on like police, fire, street maintenance and street lighting. Initiative 300 is a costly mistake–so vote NO on 300, and YES on 2A to protect property owner rights.
Truth — Initiative 300 does not suggest that tens of thousands of dollars will be spent on elections. Initiative 300 is all about the citizen’s right to vote on the siphoning of millions of dollars from the tax base of the school district, the park district, the county and the city reducing funds available to provide the services we are accustomed to in Littleton. And the siphoning of millions of tax dollars continues for 25 or more years. $34,000 to run an election once in awhile (remember elections occur every year anyway) is but a drop in the bucket to how much urban renewal will take away from the city’s general fund, which is where the money will come from to fund urban renewal.
You have to wonder why Keep Littleton Strong is not out promoting their own question 2A; but spend their time bashing a ballot question that would give citizens a right to vote. Could it be that it was intended to be a distraction? Your right to vote is very important – voting yes on 300 will protect your right to vote.
From Keep Littleton Strong’s Web Site
PROPERTY OWNER FACTS
HOW REFERENDUM 2A PROTECTS PROPERTY OWNERS
CITY COUNCIL LISTENED TO OUR CONCERNS ABOUT PROPERTY OWNER PROTECTIONS
The backers of Initiative 300 claim that Littleton’s urban renewal program means homeowners and business owners are going to have their properties taken away from them. No, we have never made that claim. What we have included in our concerns is the fact that urban renewal has the police powers of condemnation and eminent domain. Urban Renewal is only accountable to the state law once the plans are approved by council. Council will not have a say in their implementation of the urban renewal plan. Any property that has been blighted could be condemned – we have not said that they will be condemned but they have to be blighted and in an urban renewal area before any condemnation action can begin.
This is a lie, and has always been a lie–so let’s look at the facts around Referendum 2A.
Property owners in Littleton’s urban renewal areas have significant protections under Colorado state law. Littleton Strong proposed a ballot question for this election that would prohibit the City from ever using condemnation or eminent domain for urban renewal purposes, unless specifically requested by the affected property owner. If approved by voters, this charter change would strengthen protections for property owners in Littleton, and would be the strongest protections of any community in the state that uses urban renewal programs. This is not true – the urban renewal authority is not bound by the City Charter – they are only accountable to the Colorado Revised Statutes. If Sears can be condemned and taken thru eminent domain in Ft. Collins you can only guess what will happen to a small business if urban renewal wants to redevelop their property. After all, redevelopment is the purpose of urban renewal – hence the word “renewal.” All properties in the four urban renewal areas could be condemned without the approval of the property owner since the council approved all four urban renewal plans with the full use of their power to condemn and take through eminent domain; inspite of their resolution stating that they would not approve any urban renewal plan with the full police force of condemnation and eminent domain. All 300 does is give the right of approval of urban renewal projects to the citizens that live here and not the 7 unelected urban renewal authority board members and the developers.
Littleton Strong urged the City to take this step, and City Council listened to us and referred 2A to the ballot.
Vote YES on Referendum 2A – a Littleton solution to urban renewal–and NO on the extreme, damaging and costly Initiative 300. There is nothing costly about 300 – the costs to Littleton will come in the form of tax increment financing that will take tax dollars intended to go to the schools, parks, county and the city for 25 years or more. If the voters determine that the planned development is worth diverting millions in tax dollars to give to developers; we will approve the plan. Simple as that – all we want is for the voters to decide. Why doesn’t Keep Littleton Strong want the citizens to have a voice?