Longmont politics is no different than politics at the national level. It’s more than just “access” or a “seat at the table.” When industries and special business interests give large amounts of money, they expect more than that. They expect their agenda to be acted upon.
In Longmont, the prevailing agenda has been that of the development and real estate interests for decades. In the 2009 election and now in the 2011, these interests have upped the ante. Adding to those interests, the oil and gas industry has come to the forefront.
Here’s the evidence of the real estate and developers pay-to-play influence in Longmont. Those listed are only those who have given $200 or more to the candidates. There are numerous smaller contributions from those with the same business interests. Pay to play in Longmont
Many of these contributors have and will continue to push for Real Estate/Development in a bad market even when it means voting against Longmont’s citizens on afforadable housing, accessible housing, quality construction, and inappropriate reductions in development fees.
Address to Longmont City Council, January 11, 2011:
You have before you tonight a City Council Communication on a Rail-Served Industrial Business Park. While portions of this communication are not inaccurate, they are far from the full and true story.
City staff is promoting the use of properties south, southwest and southeast of Union Reservoir for use as a massive, several hundred acre industrial park served by a rail line. Much of the property in question was purchased by LifeBridge Church and/or its elders and high-ranking members.
The collapse of the residential and commercial markets have left LifeBridge and company with near-dead options for their land speculations on our eastern border. Apparently some members of city council and like-minded members of city staff now think that a Rail-Served Industrial Park is an excellent idea to get LifeBridge’s fat out of the fire.
Parcels identified as being owned by the Highway 119 Holdings LLC are true on their face, but they are at the very least misleading. Highway 119 Holdings LLC is an entity established by Church Development Fund to “hold” the properties it acquired from LifeBridge as deeds in lieu of foreclosure. Let me repeat that: DEEDS IN LIEU OF FORECLOSURE.
The Times-Call wrote an article almost a year ago about the LifeBridge Church and its properties both off Highway 66 and in southwest Weld County. As water carriers for LifeBridge, the Lehmans framed this as something other than deeds in lieu of foreclosure. WRONG. For those like me who have taken the time to read and analyze the Prospectus available to Church Development Fund investors, it is in black and white. These properties were taken to avoid legal foreclosure and to refinance the mortgages on the existing church and adjoining properties. The Fund will be holding them until such time as LifeBridge or others can make money and expand Dominionism.
Beyond this, Union Reservoir and its vicinity is a unique Longmont geographical and topographical feature. It is valued by the community for its environmental and wildlife character and its low impact recreational opportunities.
Please — Knock it off. I’ll be darned if I want to see this community that I now call home and expect to call home for the remainder of my life denigrate its unique resources for the sake of speculators making money.
And while we’re at it, show us the work product of the Firestone/Longmont Intergovernmental Agreement. Much of the property identified is either officially annexed into Firestone or is on target to be official. Pull back that curtain now and show the public what’s going on behind it.
If you can demonstrate that the market will support an industrial rail park in Longmont, by all means consider it. But do it for the right reasons. You have other land options. Focus on those and leave the area around the Union Reservoir alone.