Blatant violation of state law by Broomfield City Council
For Immediate Release
Our Broomfield Protests City’s Title for Fracking Moratorium Ballot Initiative
City’s Ballot Title Violates State Law, Does Bidding of Polluting Fracking Industry, Undermines Democratic Process
Broomfield,CO — Today, Our Broomfield, which collected 3,000 signatures to place a 5-year moratorium on fracking on the November ballot, filed an official protest of the City’s wording of the ballot initiative that will appear on the November ballot. The wording was adopted by the City Council on Tuesday August 13th and violates state law as well as the intent of the petition circulated by Our Broomfield. This is the language proposed by Our Broomfield:
“Shall Broomfield’s Home Rule Charter be amended for five years so as to prohibit the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract oil, gas, or other hydrocarbons within the City and County of Broomfield and to prohibit the disposal or open pit storage of solid or liquid wastes created in connection with the hydraulic fracturing process in order to protect property,property values, public safety, welfare and the environment?”
This is the language the Council adopted:
“Shall Broomfield’s Home Rule Charter be amended to prohibit the owners of property rights in oil and gas minerals from extracting their property through the use of hydraulic fracturing methods and impose additional restrictions on wastewater storage and disposal methods than existing state regulations for the next five years to address concerns about the potential dangers of hydraulic fracturing?”
Our Broomfield contends that the City Council manipulated the language for political purposes in order to persuade voters to not vote for the amendment,also violating State Law under the Colorado Municipal Home Rule Act of 1971.
“We feel that the Title language agreed to by the Broomfield City Council in their 5-4 vote is prejudicial to the outcome and does not correctly and fairly express the true intent and meaning of the ballot measure. The majority vote of the City Council is attempting to undermine the local democratic process – we feel this violates the ballot initiative process as well as state law,” said Laura Fronckiewicz of Our Broomfield.
“We presented the City with an Amendment with the required signatures and in good faith expected that the Ballot Title would accurately represent the proposed Amendment. The words “public safety and welfare,” which are clearly and expressly stated as being central to the intent, have been removed from the Title altogether.”
“The City Council must respect the will of the people and not be subverted by this billion-dollar industry,”Fronckiewicz said.
The protest, filed by the University of Denver Law Clinic on behalf of Our Broomfield, is posted here: