Stick to the truth on ballot issues – Sandra Snyder

Sandra Snyder: Stick to the truth on ballot issues

POSTED:   04/30/2015 07:15:18 PM MDT
Link to the Daily Camera LTE
Let Boulder residents decide if they support the citizens’ initiative “Neighborhoods’ Right to Vote on Land Use Regulation Changes” based on the facts.

In Morgan McMillan’s letter (“Bad policy,” Daily Camera Open Forum, April 29), she greatly misrepresented the initiative. If a neighborhood requests a vote on a regulation change, the majority of voters in the neighborhood decide the matter (not a 10 percent minority, as McMillan claimed). Before a neighborhood can hold a vote, 10 percent of the neighborhood’s voters must sign a petition. This 10 percent hurdle ensures the land-use change is contentious enough to warrant a vote by all. The letter also incorrectly references “subjectively defined neighborhoods.” The neighborhoods are defined on the city of Boulder’s own website, showing Boulder neighborhoods and their boundaries.

The Neighborhoods’ Rights initiative is firmly grounded in democratic participation principles and follows in form and spirit Section 177 of the Boulder Open Space Charter,  http://tinyurl.com/nsttzkr, which affords citizens the right to petition for a vote to overturn City Council disposal of Open Space.

More broadly, the initiative aligns with Section 47 of Article IV of the City Charter, http://tinyurl.com/mng3kj7, which defines referendum measures.

Let us present facts honestly so we can have a productive debate about some of the tough development issues facing Boulder.

Finally, I strongly disagree with the mean-spirited assumption that many Boulder residents are selfish. If the details of proposed land-use changes are thoughtful and balanced, neighborhoods may embrace them. Under this initiative, there is strong incentive to craft regulation details that bring us together instead of pitting us against each other.

If you want a say in what happens to your neighborhood, I urge you to sign the petition that will be circulating around Boulder in the coming weeks.

Sandra Snyder

Boulder

Boulder is a Great Place to Live!