Ron Stewart fiddling while BoCo burning

This week’s glaring headlines in the Times-Call say it all…

“64M allotted to buy open space”…”BoCo mulls $30M open space purchase.”

Czar Ron Stewart has crossed into the twilight zone of insanity by his obsession to buy more and more open space at county taxpayers’ expense. Continue reading

BoCo Open Space Dept. running up huge debt

But first: Saving the environment by living where we work. . .
(To meet space limits, a redacted version of this letter appeared in the 3-8-11 edition of the Longmont Times Call.)
Do we really believe in practicing insofar as possible the concept of living in the same community where we work?
I think Longmont is fully capable of determining its own destiny, therefore its civic leaders should not be buying so readily—both financially and philosophically—into *PLAN-Boulder County’s (People’s League for Action Now) anti-growth strategy of strangling our community with open space and irrevocable easements to kill future housing projects that might become necessary to accommodate any realistic increase in economic activity (jobs) around here. Continue reading

PLAN-Boulder County shows its true colors

Guess who’s the keynote speaker at the PLAN-Boulder County annual dinner this week? None other than Van Jones, the past self-described “communist” who resigned his White House Council position in 2009 over a bevy of radical leftist remarks and associations.

It’s really no surprise for PLAN-Boulder County, an original group of tree hugging idealistic liberals from Boulder who for 50 years have hijacked the political and business landscape of the county in the name of green extremism. Continue reading

Open space is the biggest racket in Boulder County

The following guest opinion by Dave Larison appeared in the Longmont Times-Call on Oct. 11, 2010.
Funny how it seems that every talking point from recent letters and opinions supporting a new county open space sales tax comes right out of the open space propaganda handbook.
“If we don’t buy more open space in Boulder County, we’ll invite Los Angeles-type sprawl!
“We’ll have a sea of rooftops from Denver to Ft. Collins!”
“Open lands will be carved up and sold to developers!”
The bogus “protect from development” open space argument simply doesn’t fly. Continue reading

Commissioners reach critical mass on open space

Have the Boulder County Commissioners gone completely mad to even think about a possible sales tax increase for more acquisition of open space properties?

Do you realize such a move would translate into Longmonters paying FIVE different open space sales taxes (four to Boulder County) on every retail purchase in town?

My letter to the commissioners prior to their public hearing on county tax proposals to be held Monday, July 26, 2010… Continue reading

Just asking . . .

Why, in this modern age, does it take so long–usually over two months after work starts–to replace a road bridge in Boulder County? Recent examples: the bridge just completed on 95th Street over Boulder Creek; now one on Niwot Road over the Feeder Canal, and another one on 95th Street just south of Longmont over Lefthand Creek—all with closures and some with seemingly lengthy detours. Still being worked on is a bridge over Boulder Creek at Highway 52 and east county line. Fortunately, one lane has been kept open there for traffic.
Continue reading

Green Police ad rings locally

Any politically aware Boulder County resident could immediately relate to our own plague of enviro-Nazis when viewing Audi’s clever Super Bowl TV commercial Sunday…

http://www.youtube.com/v/Wq58zS4_jvM&hl  (video is now set as private)
Look and sound familiar? How about the Boulder County commissioners and their Draconian land use policies? Or Czar Ron Stewart and his overbearing open space department? You know, the 95,000 acres, $200 million bond debt, and three running open space sales taxes for decades to come? Continue reading

Devil in details with BOCO ballot issues

Boulder County has formally posted the language of ballot issues for the upcoming November election, including a preposterous open space sales tax extension that takes fiscal irresponsibility to all-time heights. The enviro-socialist commissioners have really outdone themselves this time around…

COUNTY ISSUE 1A : [Open Space Sales and Use Tax $50M Bond Authorization and 0.25% Tax Extension]

SHALL BOULDER COUNTY DEBT BE INCREASED BY UP TO $50,000,000, WITH A MAXIMUM REPAYMENT COST OF UP TO $140,000,000, WITH NO INCREASE IN ANY COUNTY TAX OR TAX RATE, BY THE ISSUANCE OF REVENUE BONDS FOR THE PURPOSE OF OPEN SPACE ACQUISITION AND IMPROVEMENTS… (full text)

So we’re talking repayment costs of up to $140 million for voters to extend a sales tax that expires 10 years from now? Are you kidding me? Heck, Boulder County is already a couple of hundred million dollars in hock for open space—they’ve got a staggering 95,000 acres in the program—and now the commissioners are asking voters to approve another $140 million for more open space? Simply outrageous. What’s more, it’s been revealed that BOCO is running 10 percent behind in overall sales tax revenue in 2009. They’re having trouble meeting current obligations, similar to many other local governments. Some fine economic climate for adding hundreds of millions of more debt for green mania, eh commissioners?

A second county ballot issue pushes more enviro overkill, this time with debt repayment costs of up to $180 million, although BOCO would only be responsible for a mere $85 million

COUNTY ISSUE 1B : [ClimateSmart (CEOLID) $85M Bond Authorization]

SHALL BOULDER COUNTY DEBT (FOR CLEAN ENERGY OPTIONS LOCAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT AND SIMILARLY SITUATED LOCAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS IN OTHER COLORADO COUNTIES) BE INCREASED BY UP TO $85,000,000, WITH A MAXIMUM REPAYMENT COST OF UP TO $180,000,000, WITH NO INCREASE IN ANY COUNTY TAX OR TAX RATE, PROVIDED THAT AT LEAST $45,000,000 OF SUCH DEBT AND AT LEAST $95,000,000 OF SUCH MAXIMUM REPAYMENT COST SHALL BE PAYABLE FROM SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS ON PROPERTIES IN SUCH OTHER COUNTIES AND OTHER AMOUNTS PAYABLE BY SUCH OTHER COUNTIES, RESULTING IN A NET OF $40,000,000 OF DEBT AND $85,000,000 OF MAXIMUM REPAYMENT COST PAYABLE FROM SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS IN BOULDER COUNTY, FOR THE PURPOSE OF FINANCING THE COSTS OF CONSTRUCTING, ACQUIRING AND INSTALLING SOLAR AND OTHER RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS OR ENERGY-EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS FOR PROPERTY OWNERS THAT CONSENT TO BE INCLUDED IN SUCH DISTRICTS…(full text)

Just like on the national scene, the screaming message that must come from citizens to the Powers That Be is, “How are we going to pay for this?”

 

Boulder County Open Space madness rolls on

A July 8 Longmont Daily Times-Call story indicates Boulder County is set to spend another $11 million for open space (OS) acquisitions.

Since I have written a number of letters and commentaries regarding this ongoing OS boondoggle, I feel taxpayers should know the latest mind-boggling numbers from verifiable sources. First, my posted comment to the T-C story…

“Look at the numbers behind this Boulder County runaway enviro-madness…94,000 acres of open space…$200 million bond debt….$67 million county budgeted for open space in 2009 (more than social services and public safety combined); Ron Stewart’s open space kingdom is the biggest racket ever perpetuated on the taxpayers of Boulder County.”

The 94,000 acres figure comes straight from the current BCPOS webpage under “About Us.” The county doesn’t technically own all 94,000 acres–some of it is conservation easements–but it makes little difference since they have full control of the easement lands and pay exorbitant top dollar for the plots (who cares anyway, it’s taxpayer money).

The $200 million total OS debt comes from an editorial I saw in the Boulder Daily Camera in late 2007 (pro-OS, of course). For all I know, the total debt may be considerably more by now.

The $67 million designated for OS expenditures in 2009 comes directly from the adopted Boulder County budget posted online. It’s $34 million from OS Fund II, $21 million from OS Fund I, and $12 million from the GENERAL FUND. It’s a little known fact, but the commissioners take millions every year from the county general fund for OS–Director Ron Stewart admitted as much when questioned by former Mayor Julia Pirnack in front of Longmont City Council in July 2007. This alone is a great outrage in government fund juggling.

Finally, I’ve always been curious about appointed Czar Ron Stewart’s annual salary. I believe it is at least $150K–possibly close to $200K–just never been able to pin it down. I’m sure he’s comfortable in his spectacular mountain-view office at the $6 million OS Taj Mahal (headquarters building) bordering southwest Longmont. What an absolute racket.