Especially on Election Day
Voters want to control their own destiny in our state's great cities and towns. That is my key takeaway.
In each of the 17 municipalities where a broadband question appeared, voters approved it overwhelmingly. In Fort Collins, the telecom lobby spent close to a half million dollars to defeat such a question - they were given the bronze boot (if you follow CSU football you will understand). So now there are 86 of 86 cities and towns where voters have said yes, and never once, no. Fort Collins voters approved $150 million in debt to move forward with implementation.
Voters trust their local leaders. In many municipalities, where voters were asked multiple times for tax increases or debt authority, all of the questions received a thumbs up. Examples of this include Boulder, Denver, Lafayette, and Longmont.
Approved bond proposals total more than $1.2 billion! Denver is a huge chunk of that, but even without counting Denver and Fort Collins, bond proposals still total more than $150 million. Voters are telling their municipal leaders to continue investing in the future.
Further proof that voters trust their local leaders - extending taxes that were set to expire. In Lafayette, this is an open space tax; in Louisville, historic preservation sales and use tax; and in Boulder, community culture and safety sales tax and utility occupation tax.
In addition, five of the six cities that asked voters to retain TABOR restricted revenue – either generally, as in Canon City, Leadville, and Salida, or within specific parameters, as in Greeley and Littleton – received approval.
Voters recognize that local taxes mean local improvements and increased quality of life. Common themes for approved tax extension/increases or bond approvals include: public safety (tax: Durango, Firestone, Longmont, Pueblo; bonds: Denver) and road improvements (tax: Fort Morgan, Rocky Ford, Northglenn; bonds: Denver, Idaho Springs, Lafayette, Lochbuie). Longmont and Hayden approved debt for water improvements.
Look at the whole range of elections from last week. I am impressed.
Municipal leaders solve problems, and it is evident once again that local voters trust what Colorado's cities and towns accomplish every day of the year.