Boulder Election 2011
Issue 2A allows the city to sell $49,000,000 in bonds for critical infrastructure needs, including maintaining streets, bridges, buildings, and recreation facilities; upgrading software, the main library, and police and fire equipment; and improving transportation connections and streetscapes. It's hard to argue with those priorities. The bonds will be paid back using existing revenue streams. Plus, the work will generate local jobs, helping the local economy.
Issue 2B allows the city to extend and increase the utility occupation tax levied on Xcel's customers to further investigate the feasibility of a municipal power utility. Question 2C authorizes the city council to create a power utility, if it proves it can do so in a cost-effective manner, with rates and reliability comparable to Xcel's and a plan for more renewable energy.
David Miller, in his guest commentary a week ago, rightly pointed out that there are many unanswered questions related to this proposal. We don't know how much it will cost, nor how much additional renewable energy will be feasible. However, we can't know these answers without approving both measures. So, the real question is whether we want to know, or whether we will continue to trust Xcel to work in Boulder's best interest.