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Home / Articles / News / Vote 2013 /  Election Guide 2013: Lafayette City Council
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Thursday, October 17,2013

Election Guide 2013: Lafayette City Council

By Boulder Weekly Staff

City of Lafayette Council Candidates
Vote for not more than four (4)
Names appear as they do on the example ballot. Endorsements are in bold.

Tom Dowling
Clifton E. Smedley

Brad Wiesley
Gustavo Reyna
Merrily Mazza

Steve Kracha

Our lack of endorsements for Lafayette council incumbents Steve Kracha and Brad Wiesley is not a statement against their past performance on the council. It is more about the needs of Lafayette going forward.

Both current council members oppose Lafayette ballot Question 300, which would prevent fracking and other oil- and gas-related activities within city limits. Both support Question 2A, which would commit the citizens of Lafayette to Xcel Energy for an additional two decades making it far more difficult for the city to take advantage of new green energy technologies that will, without question, come along during that 20-year time frame.

While there is certainly room for well-reasoned opposition to Question 300 (fracking), we don’t think the explanations being given by Wiesley and Kracha for their opposition rise to that level.

We don’t believe that opposing a fracking ban should be based on the fear of lawsuits by the oil and gas industry or the state. By now, our elected local leaders should be well aware that there will be no significant protections for their communities coming from state or federal bureaucrats charged with regulating the oil and gas industry. At both those levels of government, the agencies are little more than revolving doors for industry attorneys and other insiders whose primary focus is to regulate the industry as little as possible.

We also don’t believe that a ban is unnecessary simply because there haven’t been any applications for drilling within Lafayette city limits during the past 20 years.

Lafayette’s current three-year moratorium was a good start for the city. But in the long run, to protect itself from going the way of Erie, Frederick and Firestone, towns where the drilling of wells within city limits has significantly devalued the quality of life, Lafayette will have to spend the money to fight its own fight against the oil and gas industry along with Boulder County and its neighboring communities.

As BW has previously written and shown with maps reflecting both geology and drilling trends in Weld and Boulder counties, Lafayette will be drilled in time without a ban. It is on trend and has substantial reserves beneath the city.

Should Boulder County’s moratorium run out or be overturned by the courts, nearly 2,000 new wells will eventually be drilled, most on trend to the southwest of Longmont and Erie. The low hanging fruit, those well locations not within city limits, will go first. But make no mistake; the permit requests will be coming to Lafayette in time.

As for not obligating Lafayette residents to 20 more years of Xcel, this issue is about how council members and potential council members view the city’s future.

Does Lafayette try to stay just like it is or does it strive to become something better? We believe that demonstrating Lafayette’s commitment to being more green and forward-thinking by passing both Question 2A and Issue 301 will not only be better for the local and regional environment, but will also be a critical key to driving Lafayette’s future economic growth.

High paying jobs in clean industries such as high tech locate in communities that are affordable and have a proven commitment to environmentalism. And those high-paying clean jobs become the drivers of downtown restaurants and galleries, which spur still more high-paying jobs. It is the creative cities cycle.

For these reasons, we are endorsing the four candidates who we believe are committed to a better future in Lafayette, the candidates we believe are most likely to preserve the current quality of life by protecting the city from the exploitative oil and gas industry, while simultaneously moving toward a greener future and the economic growth that will be spurred by that future.

View all of Boulder Weekly's endorsements here.

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