Ballot issues 300, 301 are in Boulder tradition
By Gwen Dooley
I support representative democracy, but when our representatives fail to act — as they did in September 2014 on growth and neighborhood planning efforts proposed by Councilman Sam Weaver — we citizens decided to petition our government.
Just as our U.S. Constitution has its amendments (our Bill of Rights), Boulder citizens have a long and distinguished record of action and petitions to amend our City Charter, making us the very unique and desirable community we are today. For example, in 1874 a handful of citizens guaranteed the necessary matching funds to purchase land for a state university. And in 1898, citizens acted to purchase the Chautauqua grounds. Can you imagine Boulder without CU or Chautauqua?
Later, two professors, Al Bartlett and Bob McKelvey, decided to protect our mountain backdrop from development; the result was the 1959 Blue Line Charter Amendment. But rather than “being set in stone,” Boulder citizens twice voted to grant water and sewer exceptions to NCAR and the Flagstaff House because of community benefit. Can you imagine Boulder without NCAR or the Flagstaff House?
Then, in 1967, PLAN-Boulder activists petitioned the Open Space Amendment onto the ballot. Can you imagine Boulder without our Open Space program? And in 1971, when the City Council had many 140-foot-tall buildings planned for downtown and base of Flagstaff, law student Ruth Wright wrote the 55-foot Height Amendment to the charter. Can you imagine not being able to see our mountain backdrop until you were actually up there?
Now we have 300 and 301 seeking to again amend our charter in ways totally consistent with prior amendments and 45 years of amending our Boulder Valley Comp Plan.
Please join me in voting for 300 and 301 and keeping Boulder a uniquely livable small city.