Boulder Chamber Supports Four 2014 Ballot Measures

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September 24, 2014
The Boulder Chamber announced today their support for four 2014 ballot measures.

“Our Community Affairs Council, representing a broad range of member businesses, vetted the issues thoroughly and made recommendations to the Chamber Board of Directors,” said John Tayer, Boulder Chamber President. He added, “The Chamber Board engaged in a robust conversation and voted to formally support four local measures on the November 2014 ballot as mechanisms to ensure a strong local economy.  We believe these measures are in the long-term best interest of the membership and the overall community. A robust, thriving local economy is the foundation for Boulder’s high quality of life and these measures are reasonable investments in our future. “

With this focus on the strength of Boulder’s economy, the Boulder Chamber supports the following 2014 ballot items:

1A County Flood Measure
Recommendation:  YES
We support Boulder County’s Flood Measure 1A. We find it is a prudent and necessary response to the unprecedented flood event experienced by Boulder County in September of 2013. The 0.185% sales/use tax, slightly less than 2 cents on a $10 purchase, would raise $9.8 million annually. The tax is limited to 5 years and must be spent only for the costs associated with immediate flood response, repair of public infrastructure, including permanent repairs to roads and bridges, restoration of waterways, and assistance to County residents impacted by the 2013 flood. In addition, these funds would be used to ensure Boulder County’s readiness to respond to future disasters and emergency situations. We look forward to an ongoing accounting of how the revenue supports our recovery and preparation for future events. We are gratified that the County Commissioners responded to our concerns in choosing to prioritize their funding requests from the voters.
2A City Community, Culture and Safety
Recommendation:  YES
We support the City of Boulder’s Community, Culture and Safety tax item 2A. We believe the short duration and high impact of the measure represents a reasonable investment in Boulder’s cultural amenities that will yield a significant economic return and contribute to quality of life. This 0.3% sales/use tax, 3 cents on a $10 purchase, will generate $27.6 million over three years  to support “shovel-ready” cultural and public safety projects.  These  include;  lighting and cultural enhancements on University Hill, lighting and improvements to the Boulder Creek Path, projects associated with the Civic Area Master Plan, sidewalks and lighting for Chautauqua, public art, as well as funding for the Dairy Center for the Arts and the new Museum of Boulder.
2C Boulder Broadband
Recommendation:  YES

We support the City of Boulder’s Broadband Item 2C. Since 2005 Colorado State Bill 152 has precluded cities from offering high speed Internet services without a voter-approved exemption.  Boulder currently owns or has rights to nearly 100 miles of fiber-optic cable in the ground and an exemption would turn back the clock and grant the City authority to explore options to expand that network, offering super fast internet to residents, businesses and students. These options include providing service directly or in partnership with a private company. In response to the Boulder Chamber's advocacy, the City Council has clearly stated their intention to pursue private partnerships as the most expeditious path to providing this service. The Boulder Chamber has been a leading voice for building-out our community's broadband network because we believe it is critical to maintaining our competitive edge as an innovation hub cities, and 2C makes an existing high value asset available to Boulder.
3A BVSD Bond
Recommendation:  YES
We support the Boulder Valley School District’s Bond Item 3A, as education is a key economic infrastructure element. Excellent schools attract and retain high quality employers and employees, and develop a high quality workforce. Voters should recognize the significant financial impact this will have on commercial property owners and small business tenants. However, as the State of Colorado has no provision to fund capitol improvements, these funds will bring our district’s facilities up to the expectations of our community. The school district has carefully selected projects that are compelling identified needs and have provided for spending oversight.
The Boulder Chamber is Boulder’s flagship business support and advocacy organization. For more information, on upcoming events or to become a member, visit boulderchamber.com.
Angelique Espinoza, Community Affairs Director
(303) 938-2077

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