Gov’t Watch: May 1, 2024

What your local officials are up to

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Boulder City Council

In a May 9 study session, city council will:

• Discuss year-end 2023 financials and receive an updated forecast from CU Boulder economists in preparation for crafting the 2025 budget. Sales and use taxes, which make up 40% of the city’s revenue, came in slightly higher than projected for 2023, largely due to construction activity. Retail sales tax was lower than anticipated. City finance staff expect sales tax to increase 2% annually each of the next five years.
    Boulder’s budget has grown by 51% between 2021 and 2024. In notes to council ahead of the meeting, city staff wrote, “This same growth rate in recent spending is unsustainable for the 2025 budget and beyond.”

• Learn about potential items on the November 2024 ballot. They include proposals to increase council pay, prohibit council members from holding other elected offices, implement ranked choice voting — the method currently used to elect Boulder’s mayor — to elect all city council members and allow council to hold executive sessions: private meetings where members of the public are not invited. Voters in 2014 authorized the use of executive sessions during negotiations with Xcel Energy but declined to continue allowing executive sessions by rejecting a 2017 ballot measure.
    Council has until Aug. 15 to approve ballot content. Public hearings and votes are tentatively scheduled for July 18 and Aug. 1.

Boulder County Commissioners

This week, commissioners will:

• Hold a May 7 public hearing and vote (3:30 p.m.) on whether to exclude U.S. Forest Service property from a ban on firing guns in the Sugarloaf community. If approved, rules governing the “no firearm discharge area” would be amended to allow “lawful hunting.” The resolution would also combine existing Swiss Peaks and Crisman no discharge areas into Sugarloaf.

• Meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, to discuss regional homelessness with area municipalities. The meeting will be held at the Boulder County Southeast Hub, 1755 S. Public Road in Lafayette, in rooms 131 and 132 on the first floor.

• Host an in-person town hall at Boulder Recycling Center (1901 63rd St.) at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 9, to discuss the county’s composting goals and plans. 

Lafayette City Council

Last week, council:

• Received a working group recommendation to create a downtown development authority (DDA) in Old Town. The 25-year tax increment financing used by the Lafayette Urban Renewal Authority to improve the Old Town district expires this year. Creation of a DDA would have to be approved by a vote of owners, residents and tenants in the district. A draft action plan will be presented in July.

• Heard recommendations for increasing recruitment to the city’s boards and commissions. City staff suggested open houses in August and March.

All agenda items are subject to change

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