News, Analysis and Opinion for the Informed Boulder Resident
Saturday July 20th 2019

Support the Blue Line

Subscribe to the Blue Line

That's what she said

city council transportation energy municipalization xcel housing urban planning april fools bicycles climate action election 2011 density boulder county open space affordable housing election agriculture renewables CU local food climate change election 2013 development jefferson parkway youth pedestrian election 2015 preservation Rocky Flats election 2017 recreation BVSD immigration mountain bikes boards and commissions decarbonization transit urban design GMOs fracking plan boulder farming fires wildlife colorado politics downtown architecture smart regs new era colorado plutonium natural gas journalism homeless planning board transit village parking commuting ghgs radioactive waste land use taxes rental height limits coal historic preservation april fools 2015 walkability historic district diversity energy efficiency Neighborhoods population growth flood students growth North Boulder gardens arts education election 2010 election 2018 solar bus water supply zoning University Hill nutrition RTD bike lane electric utility library safety sprawl groundwater water quality election 2012 affairs of the heart april fools 2016 renewable energy organic flood plain planning reserve mayor zero waste blue line wetlands county commissioners hogan-pancost politics electric vehicle hazardous waste transportation master plan obama longmont ballot right-sizing street design colorado legislature solar panels PV recycling golden comprehensive plan climate smart loan diagonal plaza Mapleton campaign finance bears flood mitigation conservation easement epa food boulder junction congestion pesticide road diet drought election 2016 planning inequality bus rapid transit flooding oil daily camera climate change deniers automobile PUC children ecocycle community cycles BVCP Newlands community league of women voters wind power public health ken wilson david miller sam weaver mlk crime civil rights boulder creek west tsa contamination city attorney al bartlett public spaces green points technology EV Orchard Grove marijuana Whittier arizona

“Council Seeking Budget Boost”… or not


By

I guess I’ve about had it with our local hometown newspaper.

You can imagine my surprise when I saw the headline for a front page article in the Camera a couple of days ago.  Council seeks a budget increase? A 27% budget increase, no less, while city departments’ budgets were being slashed!  What?

I hadn’t even opened the budget notebook for Tuesday’s study session and had absolutely no idea what the city manager was proposing in the draft budget.  As far as I knew, the council was “seeking” nothing…

The article then went on to suggest a free-spending council giving itself meals, memberships and a variety of perks that led to consistent over-spending.  A few featured and unfortunate quotes from a city employee, a juicy quote about unbudgeted i-phones and travel costs taken from the city manager’s budget unveiled the scandal.

It took reading to the end of the article to realize that what was actually going on was a proposed transfer of funds for transparency’s sake from the manager’s contingency budget to the city council budget, plus $4000.  Others may want to speak to the details and other inaccuracies in the article (for example, memberships in DRCOG, National League of Cities, Colorado Municipal League are hardly “council professional memberships”…).  For myself, I am left utterly puzzled about the Camera’s motives.

This negative slant and sensationalist story-telling about the city council has become a pattern.  An article earlier in the week left Camera readers assuming that the council was about to vote itself a health care benefit in a sneaky move.  Truth – we had passed on first reading an ordinance change that would, if passed, allow council members to buy health care through the City’s plan with no budget implications.  There was no council discussion and won’t be until we have a public hearing.  I have no idea whether or not there is council support for the idea.  Then there was the i-phone scandal earlier this spring.  Never mind that earlier councils had been given computers, phone lines, fax machines and the like.  Never mind that for most of us the computer phone allows us to read and answer the 50 to 100 constituent e-mails we get every day while on the go.

I suppose I’d also add the petty personal attacks on council members by the same disgruntled handful of folks that are regularly quoted in the newspaper.  Today’s Camera headlines the difference between the assessed value and the asking price of a councilmember’s home.  It is a non-story whose only purpose is to embarrass and to suggest corruption by innuendo.  I think this is called yellow journalism.

There is a part of me that thinks we should just be quiet and figure that the good people of Boulder can see through all of this.  Perhaps in this era of political divisiveness, elected officials are just supposed to figure misrepresentations come with the territory. But, I worry that there are significant challenges ahead of us that may be compromised by this sort of consistent negative slant.  I am saddened by what has become of my hometown newspaper.  Boulder deserves much, much better.

Rate this article: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

Reader Feedback

One Response to ““Council Seeking Budget Boost”… or not”

  1. sethbrighm says:

    At least, I can thank you for informing me of this website.

    And, I’m not one to put anyone down for having a opinion.

    But, despite that our local newspaper does suck, I think the articles written are fair game, even if “sensationalized.”

    As almost all of them are… I’m a little tired of seeing my body exposed some dozen times!

    As for Macon’s house value… That was fair game, especially, as he has headed the Planning Board( which, was not in the article) before he ever was on council, and, surely knows how devalued his house is. It does smell a little fishy.

    And, despite the misleading headline about Council budget going through the roof, it did reveal the actual budget.
    As well, all the Council “extras” should have been revealed long ago.

    I read these articles and can make up my own mind.

    Certainly, our council reporter… I’m happy that he’s not like past “lap dog’s” for City news, straight from the source, the City.

    It’s not about good or bad. Boulder deserves a much, much better City Council.

    And, a much, much better newspaper.

What do you think? Leave a comment!

You must be logged in to post a comment.