Setting the Ballot Titles

On August 31, 2021 the City Council set the ballot titles for the Charter Amendments. These titles are completely misleading in order to get the public to vote against them.

The public was not allowed to comment at the meeting!

You can read the full text of the Charter Amendments on the Resource page – Text of the Amendments. These amendments 17-9 and 17-10 are what would be added to the City Charter, not the city’s erroneous description of them in ballot questions 2G and 2H.

The charter amendments do not require special elections. Surface water can be purchased any day of the year. It is only the purchase of substandard water like groundwater or recycled wastewater that would require a vote. And any sale of our existing water rights, many with historical priorities, or water facilities should be discussed and voted on by the public.

Let Your Voice Be Heard! It’s Your Water!

Just Hold Your Nose and Vote Yes on Ballot Questions 2G and 2H.

The Killing Blow

The Greeley City Council has set ballot titles for our Charter Amendments that take Misrepresentation and Lies to a whole other level, even for them.

At the link below you can read the ballot titles that the City has given our Charter Amendments. These ballot titles bear no resemblance to what was circulated and signed by the public. (You can read the actual Charter Amendments on our Resource Page). The ballot titles, as proposed by the City, are so bad that I would not vote for them if I did not know what the truth is. The City’s ballot titles do not represent what SGW spent the last year doing and what we presented to the citizens of Greeley, and what they put their signatures to. The public would be advised to hold their noses and vote YES on these amendments, knowing that the amendments, as circulated by SGW, are actually what you will be voting on, not the City’s ballot description of them. Such misrepresentation we have never seen in Greeley’s City Government before!

In the past, the ballot title was set by the party circulating the amendment. Not anymore. The City Council sets the ballot title and they do not want it to pass so this is what we get, a prejudicial title with incorrect outcomes for your consideration. And in the ballot titles assigned by the City, the City erroneously and deviously states that the charter amendments require expensive special elections. The City is incorrect. The City’s ballot title is like reading that blue book that explains the election ballot initiatives that give both sides of the story, so that you can understand what the outcome of your vote would be. The City put their blue book explanation in their incorrect ballot title. SGW’s side would be totally different, if you got a chance to read it. But you don’t get to vote on what we actually proposed. We will let you know what SGW thinks the outcome to the community of a YES vote on these amendments would be very soon.

The council will likely pass a resolution for the City Clerk to certify the ballot titles at a special meeting Tuesday August 31 at 6 PM at 1001 11th Ave, City Center South.

We can protest their decision, but it will be too late for the ballot in November. That seems to be their strategy!

WE NEED YOUR HELP. Please join us on Tuesday at the address above and bring friends and neighbors if you care about the quality of your water and your quality of life in Greeley. We plan to be there by 5 or 5:30. We need a huge showing to convince the Council to at least give us a chance to have the citizens voice heard on the real issues. Lots of media have been invited.

Please everyone, share this far and wide and come out to the meeting on Tuesday. WE NEED YOU!! With this community gathering we are attempting to stand up for our rights as citizens of Greeley, Colorado, and the United States of America. If citizens, with no other agenda than good quality water and a good quality of life, cannot affect our own city government and demand fairness, then I fear we have lost our country!

City Clerk’s Office Certifies Charter Amendment Petitions

Our Charter Amendment Petitions have been certified as VALID and SUFFICIENT by the City Clerk!

The next step is for the City Council to set a ballot title for the proposed amendments at its next regular meeting. On November 2 the public will have an opportunity to vote in favor of these charter amendments which will allow you to have a say in Greeley’s and your family’s water future.

SGW would like to thank the following:

~The retail establishments who indulged our presence to petition for the citizens’ voices to be heard.

~Tony, a state petition circulator, who taught us the ropes.

~The citizens’ indulgence when we asked them time, after time, after time, after time, “Are you a registered Greeley voter?”

~The citizens who took the time to listen to us, to open their minds, to hear the truth, and to care about their family’s and their City’s health and future.

~All of our fellow citizens who prayed for our mission’s success.

~The wonderful employees at King Soopers 10th Street and their beautiful chrysanthemums that brightened those very warm days.

~The City Clerk’s helpful and cheerful attitude throughout this tedious process.

But, most of all, we are grateful to the amazing, determined volunteers who have worked so hard with us on this long journey. A journey that began on a cold February day, with a symbolic March on City Hall, and culminated today, 8-23-21, with the City Clerk’s Certification of our Petitions. We couldn’t have come this far without all of you. And you know who you are!

Thank you!!

Remember to Support Your Ballot Issues in November!

Misrepresentation and Scare Tactics From City of Greeley Officials

By John G. Gauthiere, P. E.

In the Greeley Tribune’s article of August 15, 2021, City of Greeley Officials and the Water and Sewer Board Chairman, Harold Evans, misrepresented the Charter Amendments and resorted to fear tactics to scare the voters into voting against them. 

According to City of Greeley Officials, the charter changes would require special elections for certain water management decisions that could result in higher rates and taxes, water supply issues and impairment of the local agricultural economy.

Let’s take a look at these claims one-by-one. 

  1.  The Charter Amendments Would Require Special Elections:

Amendment 17-9 requires a vote of the public before water rights or water supply and treatment facilities can be sold.

Selling water rights and facilities should not be a routine task.  Good water rights, with their historical priorities, should never be sold.  Nor should treatment and supply facilities.  Therefore, no special election is needed!

Amendment 17-10 requires a vote of the public before the city can buy and provide to its citizens groundwater and/or recycled wastewater.

The public is happy with its mountain surface water supply, so, no special election needed here! 

  •  The Charter Amendments Could Result in Higher Rates and Taxes:

If anything would make water rates go up, it is the City’s attempt to provide substandard water such as Terry Ranch ground water or recycled wastewater to the public. Substandard water requires more intense and expensive treatment to make it acceptable to the public than our surface water supply.  It would also require new infrastructure to be built to treat it and move it to Greeley. 

The Water & Sewer Department does not levy taxes, nor will the Charter Amendments affect taxes. 

  •  Water Supply Issues:

The Charter Amendments would not affect the ability of Greeley to, for instance, bypass fire ravaged Poudre River water supplies by pulling its own CBT water from Horsetooth Reservoir  through the Pleasant Valley Pipeline, which was a project conceived by me many years ago when I was a young Engineer working for Greeley Water.  

  •  Impairment of the Local Agricultural Economy:

Amendment 17-10 refers only to the purchase and delivery of groundwater or recycled wastewater.  Agricultural water has been purchased and leased back to farmers for many years.  This water is surface water not subject to Amendment 17-10 and could be leased back for 5 years at a time, or even longer if submitted to a regular (not special) election vote.

For more context regarding why these Charter Amendments should be approved, Greeley recently entertained the possibility of renting our Cache la Poudre treatment and transmission facilities to Thornton which would have resulted in Greeley Citizens consuming contaminated Terry Ranch water within the next couple of years.  That idea appears to have fallen through for now, but it could reappear. Thornton is desperate to get their WS&S water moving south.

Also, in 1986 Greeley tried to sell our high mountain reservoirs to Thornton but was thwarted when the people started a Charter Amendment petition drive to stop the sell.  The people stood up, and Mayor Markley broke the City Council tie vote in favor of the people.  (The Markley Family apparently still agrees with the Mayor’s past decision.  Five members of the Markley Family happily signed these Charter Amendment Petitions.)

Lastly, have you enjoyed that pure mountain drinking water from our high mountain reservoirs over the past 35 years? 

If you have, it is because your fellow citizens stood up to their City Officials back then, just as we all are doing today. 

*This article was submitted as a guest editorial to the Greeley Tribune on 8/18/21.