Your Longmont Chamber has been studying several ballot issues that have the potential to impact our local businesses. We believe the security and overall well-being of Longmont depends on vibrant local commerce and elections always have positive or negative consequences.
“The work we do in this space isn’t noticed as often as some of the other work that we do. However, what takes place policy wise always has an impact. We are at the table throughout the year to ensure that the voice of our members is heard,” notes Scott Cook, President and CEO of the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has taken the following positions concerning the November 8, 2022 election:
County Ballot Issues 1A and 1B - Support
The Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce supports ballot measures 1A and 1B as a wise investment for the safety and vitality of our County. Longmont community homes, businesses, and tourist economy depend on our pristine mountains, rivers, and trails. The tragedy of wildfire hit very close to home last year. After nine months, many businesses are only now reopening. Some have closed their doors forever.
Wildfire mitigation, ballot measure 1A, will provide both the business community and residents of Colorado with funding to address high-risk wildfire areas, as well as help protect our grasslands from wildfire devastation. The .1% tax will provide families with education on making their homes more resistant to wildfires, saving homes and lives in Colorado.
The emergency responses ballot measure 1B will provide much needed funding to emergency services, allowing for emergencies to be better addressed in rural areas including our mountain trails. The .1% for the first 5 years and the .05% for the years after will help our firefighters with much needed upgrades such as equipment, training, and a new facility, all things that will protect our emergency responders and our community.
County Ballot Issue 1C - Oppose
The Transportation Tax extension question is a proposal to extend the existing 0.1% countywide transportation sales and use tax for the purpose of continuing to fund multimodal transportation needs.
The Chamber appreciates the work that the County does in the transportation arena. Transportation is one of our core areas of focus. However, the lack of a sunset clause, thus allowing the tax to be levied in perpetuity, was not favored by the majority. Due to the fact that the current tax does not expire until 2024, we look forward to working with the County on a revised ballot initiative that takes this into consideration, should the current question fail. The Chamber has been an avid and frequent supporter transportation and past transportation funding proposals. However, the Longmont Chamber does not support the proposed tax extension as written.
City of Longmont Ballot Questions 3A, 3B and 3C– Support
3A Administrative Charter Amendments
Changes include: allowing the City to use electronic signatures on Council documents, allowing City employees who don’t live in Longmont to take part in City retirement boards, allowing administrative approval for low- or no-cost agreements with other governmental entities, aligning City election rules with the State’s election rules.
3B Election Vacancy Amendment
The Longmont City Council is also asking voters to consider changing the charter with respect to election vacancies. Currently, when a sitting Council member wants to run for another position (such as Mayor) during their term, if they win, a special election is needed to fill the vacancy. Council would like to offer an option where sitting Council members can voluntarily end their term as they run for another. This will allow the City to run the election for both seats simultaneously and save the cost and labor of a special election in these cases.
3C Storm Drainage Bonds
In September 2013, Longmont experienced a 100-year flood event, in which homes were lost and millions of dollars of damage was done to City infrastructure. In response, the City developed the Resilient St. Vrain Project (RSVP), an extensive, multi-year project to fully restore the St. Vrain Greenway and improve the St. Vrain Creek channel to protect people, property and infrastructure from future flood risk. The $20 million in bond funding, if approved, would pay for these improvements in conjunction with the scheduled rate changes in 2022-2024. This funding request would not impose new taxes or increase existing taxes.
“We encourage everyone to carefully study all of the questions that appear on the ballot this year. Often questions seem simple, but we are always looking at the big picture so that we can reflect the current needs and challenges of our business community,” Cook adds.
For more information on advocacy issues and additional Chamber positions on statewide ballot questions, visit www.longmontchamber.org