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I don't think a person being paid by Xcel is the equivalent to a person being paid by an environmental organization, etc that is working towards municipalization. The former is being paid simply to protect financial profits. The latter is being paid ostensibly for the good of the world/community/for a cause of some sort. Whether you agree with that cause or not, there's a fundamental difference between someone who is a paid mercenary for someone else's financial gain versus someone who is paid to advance a social justice or environmental cause.
As to your explanation about why the city is interested in municipalization, I just don't buy it. The city may not always be right, but I just think it's a stretch to say the city council and/or staff are gaining power or money from creating a local electric utility. The revenue raised from the utility rates will go directly into paying off municipal bonds for the utility--that is to say, the money isn't going into the general fund for pet projects or anything like that.
But control? I'll give you that one. That's pretty much what all this is about. And I'd prefer to give that control to a local democratically elected body, a governing board of local residents/experts/businesses, and yes, even highly-paid city staff that know what they're doing. I'd prefer all of that over giving the control to a monopoly corporation that we have pretty much no power over.
You can call me naive. But I know many of the city staff (and yes, even some of the council members) and I think, for the most part, they are very genuine and good people that are extremely passionate about this issue because they believe it is good for our community and the planet. It's easy to paint them as power-hungry bureaucrats that want bigger pensions, but I just really don't believe that's the reality of the situation. I appreciate our city government because I feel like I can see the results of how our community's values are put into action on a level that is bigger than just myself as an individual.
Agreed on city elected officials not being representative of our community's population. It's something we should work towards changing for sure and we'd all be better off for it I think.
If you think a municipal utility won't result in more renewable energy, then why do you think the city is interested in doing it?
And thanks for lauding our work on same day registration, preregistration, and relationship equality. I've never heard or seen you do that, but I'll take your word for it.
And, seriously, please stop attacking New Era Colorado. I'm not going to apologize for engaging new people in the democratic process and helping them find a voice. The reason why we're against Phil Fox being a new resident and being active is because he's a puppet of Xcel Energy. You can deny it and call me naive, but I will put money on the fact that he's going to be paid by the so-called issue committee he's formed (that, I assure you, is funded by Xcel). Just check his background--he's been paid by campaign operatives to be a "spokesperson" for the oil and gas industry and the gambling industry in the past.
The fact of the matter is that this initiative has nothing to do with "living within a budget." It's about Xcel derailing the process so that they can protect their $100 million in revenue they make off of Boulder each and every year. I don't blame them for putting up a fight. But I do take issue with the Boulder citizens that are standing up and defending that behavior of a major corporation to control our local democracy.
The county voters having a chance to be heard? I don't remember the county voters approving a franchise agreement with Xcel before. I don't remember them complaining about being provided clean drinking water by the city water utility. The county voters will have significantly more representation on a municipal utility board than at the PUC or at the ballot box. But I guess that's not as sexy as a soundbite as what Xcel is feeding them.
New Era isn't a "Denver based lobbying firm." We're a nonprofit civic engagement organization and we were founded in Boulder in 2006, where we still have an office today. We also have an office now in Denver.
And, yes, we did work on the 2011 2B and 2C measures. To claim that we never filed an issue committee is just completely false. Our issue committee was called the Boulder Smarter Energy Coalition and all of our income and expense reports are publicly available on the Boulder campaign finance website (and yes, we even included the salary cost of our staff time).
Maybe your research skills are a little rusty, but doing this might have been helpful before you accuse an organization of breaking campaign finance laws: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=new+era+colorado+2b+2c+issue...
Also, my roof has nothing to do with city policy. It was merely an example. Thanks again, though.
I run a business. That's what a nonprofit corporation is. Oh, and our budget has increased every year since I founded it. But, I do all of our budgets on an Etch-A-Sketch, so maybe my math is wrong here and there.