Council Member Hopping Afraid of Citizen Vote

vote

Do you remember Ballot Initiative 300 on urban renewal which the voters of Littleton passed by 60%? It stated:

Any council action approving or modifying an urban renewal plan pursuant to Part 1 of the Colorado Urban Renewal Law must be ratified by the registered electors of the City of Littleton if the approval or modification of the urban renewal plan proposes the use of or change to eminent domain, condemnation, tax increment financing, revenue sharing or cost sharing. (my emphasis)

Obviously the residents of Littleton wanted to have the opportunity to vote on whether or not to use urban renewal. But just a few months before Ballot Initiative 300 passed, City Council decided not to wait and find out what the people of Littleton wanted and created four urban renewal plans. A bit of a slap in the face to those living in Littleton. Does the Council majority’s action, having designated those four areas, reveal that it wanted to push its will through, fearing the citizens vote to the contrary? Otherwise why not wait a couple of more months and learn the residents’ position.

So fast forward to today, almost two years later. Council is debating on repealing the urban renewal plans, after all it has cost the community $670,992 and not a single project has been proposed. Yes, not one.

Entity Urban Renewal TIF
Littleton sales tax $114,040
Littleton property tax $21,116
Arapahoe County $47,086
Parks & Rec $27,420
Schools $169,330
Littleton loan to LIFT $150,000
Riverfront carryover $142,000
Total Cost $670,992

At the City Council meeting last Tuesday, council member Bill Hopping, who wants to keep the urban renewal plans, does not want the Littleton residents to have a say in the matter even though the voters showed their desire to do just that with Ballot Initiative 300. He said:

“The insinuation by several people that if a project comes along that we like for urban renewal we’ll vote it back in, that doesn’t happen… It is very naïve to think that anybody would come to you and say, hey I’d like to develop an urban renewal project. I know you don’t have a system, but can you put it out to the voters? So let’s get it voted in. Let’s have that done. That is not going to happen. They won’t do that. What it does is it knocks the marginally feasible or infeasible projects out of the box.” (City Council Meeting 10/4/16 starting at 1:29:30 http://littleton.ompnetwork.org/shows/city-council-regular-meeting-10042016?iframe_mode=true)

You heard that correctly, the councilman does not want to repeal urban renewal plans because the people of Littleton will not vote any plans back in if given the opportunity.  Excuse me, but who is the servant of whom? Where I come from, that is called elitism.

Perhaps the councilman and any others that agree with him should review the Colorado Constitution which explicitly states in whom political power is vested:

Colorado Constitution,  Art. II, Sec 1 Bill of Rights, Vestment of Political Powers -In order to assert our rights, acknowledge our duties, and proclaim the principles upon which our government is founded, we declare:

All political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government, of right, originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole. (http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/colorado/Default.asp)

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