According to the City of Greeley’s website:
Charter Amendments 17-9 and 17-10 “would require the city to hold elections on water-related matters, putting operational questions on the ballot that must pass by a majority of all registered voters, regardless of voter turnout to the elections. The changes could delay or suspend long-term water leases, limit the use of leases with farmers interested in selling their water now but not yet done farming, and limit Greeley’s position in the water purchasing market. The changes duplicate the state law that already requires a vote for any sale or trade of a waterworks or utility asset. The changes also would require an election prior to using groundwater or recycled wastewater for drinking or irrigation (non-potable) use. The proposed changes would also require that an engineering study of the lease, sale or trade be performed and published at least sixty (60) days before the election.”
Does the City really consider the buying and selling of our water to be an “operational question”? We consider an operational question to be how to use the resources we already have in the most efficient manner possible, while providing the best quality product to the Citizens. We do not consider selling our water assets or buying a lower quality of water than we already have, to be an “operational question”.
City officials, please cite the State Law that Amendments 17-9 and 17-10 would be duplicating. We can’t seem to find it. With this argument, the City is trying to lull the public back to sleep. “Don’t you worry now, public. Everything is taken care of.”
If there is such a State Law, why didn’t it come into play when the City tried to sell our high mountain reservoirs to Thornton in 1986? And why didn’t it come into play when, over the years, Greeley sold half of its Windy Gap water to other front range cities? Windy Gap water is wholly consumable, which makes it more valuable than some of our other water rights, and could have been stored in the Chimney Hollow Reservoir, which has been permitted and is now under construction.
What is wrong with requiring a vote of the public before selling or changing the source of our water? And before the City makes such a huge decision that will affect the Citizens, what is wrong with requiring an “independent” engineering study and having it published and available for the public’s scrutiny 60 days before the election. Or does the City want to be able to churn our water rights all year, just like some stockbrokers churn stocks, to generate commissions? This shouldn’t happen!
The City’s ballot language that “the ballot that must pass by a majority of all registered voters, regardless of voter turnout to the elections” is not correct. But then why did the City Attorney interpret 17-9 and 17-10’s language “a majority vote of the registered electors” in this way? Well, to answer my own question, attorneys try to interpret language to the benefit of their client, in this case the City of Greeley. It appears they also tried to misstate the intention of the petitioners.
However, according to Robert’s Rules of Order, “In parliamentary procedure, the term ‘majority’ simply means ‘more than half.’ As it relates to a vote, a majority vote is more than half of the votes cast. Abstentions or blanks are excluded in calculating a majority vote. Also, the totals do not include votes cast by someone not entitled to vote or improper multiple votes by a single member.”
It appears that the City Officials, and other involved parties, are treating Greeley, “the gem of the prairie” as their play-thing. They are having a big party with the accumulated wealth of the Citizens, and the Citizens are not invited to that party. Just like the big Gala up at Terry Ranch in May after they closed that deal with Wingfoot.
We didn’t get our invitations, did you?
CITIZENS CAN TAKE CONTROL of their WATER FUTURE by VOTING YES on 2G AND 2H
JOHN GAUTHIERE as MAYOR will see that the CHARTER AMENDMENTS 17-9 & 17-10 are implemented for the CITIZENS’ BENEFIT