Comments to City Council January 19, 2010

My name is Judy Lubow, and I live at 106 Granada Court in Longmont. I’d like to comment on 3 topics so forgive me for speaking very quickly.

I am very concerned about the fate of Longmont’s Election Committee and the entire Fair Campaign Practices Act. Recent 4 to 3 votes of Council gutted the City’s defense of the Act in the lawsuit brought against it, and also raised the possibility of alternative roles – or no roles – for the Election Committee. It seems to me these votes indicate an objection on the part of the conservative Council majority to the very concept and goals of the Fair Campaign Act and the Election Committee. These goals are to fairly regulate the amount of money spent on political campaigns, and to make sure the campaigns are run according to fair and transparent reporting rules.

Personally, I believe the great majority of American people are heartily sick of the huge, wasteful and corrupting sums that are presently being spent on political campaigns. I believe our citizens want campaign finance limits such as those found in Longmont’s Act. I urge all members of Council to respect this longing for real reform, and support both the Campaign Act and the Election Committee.

The next comment concerns the proposed permit for Heaven Fest to hold a mega-festival, drawing tens of thousands of people to the Union Reservoir. It is my understanding that the City will only be charging the promoters a paltry $50 for the right to hold what amounts to be a 2 week event at the Reservoir – if you include the proposed set up and tear down time. I wonder: do any of you have any idea how much a commercial venue would charge for such an event? I have been finding out. So far, I have only been able to talk with the Red Rocks Amphitheater staff. Red Rocks would charge 11% of the entire gross, and would do that for merely a single concert of less than 10,000 people, and only for a one day rental. In other words, our city is giving away our Reservoir to the Heaven Fest operators for basically nothing, while commercial venues would be charging tens of thousands of dollars more – if not hundreds of thousands, for an equivalent mega event. That means, our city taxpayers are essentially subsidizing this event for a huge amount of money. I don’t think that’s right.

Lastly, I was distressed when, at last week’s council meeting, our Mayor castigated a member of the public who had a different opinion than the Mayor about solar energy rebates. Certainly, people can have differing opinions. But the mayor – a public official in his official capacity – should not be browbeating a citizen for having different views, and certainly should not be advising a commenter to move out of the City. In my opinion, such treatment was beneath the dignity required of the office and, hopefully, will never be repeated.

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