This forum is a sounding board for a range of issues facing eastern Boulder County. I will prompt discussions with my posts and elected officials can tap into the concerns of citizens here, and explain their rationale on decisions. Follow along with the latest discussion by checking the list of recent comments on the right. You can comment with your name, a nickname or anonymously if you wish. You can become a contributor as well. Thank you for your comments!
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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A $77million TIF in Louisville

Within the debate over the growth and redevelopment of Old Town Louisville with the arrival of FasTracks is the curious growth and development of the Louisville Revitalization Commission.

On November 8, Louisville City Council will vote on giving the LRC authority to manage an estimated $77 million in projected tax revenue over the next 25 years, with a particular emphasis on Tax Increment Financing to fund infrastructure improvements that will entice developers to partner with the city on a range of projects.

Louisville resident Ty Gee has listed detailed concerns over this whole process at www.preservelouisville.org. What caught my eye is how the LRC is not elected, but appointed and therefore not directly accountable to the citizens, plus they will have authority to initiate condemnation and they're not bound by the city's ethics ordinance.

And the scope of the Hwy 42 Redevelopment Area has grown inexplicably to include, in particular, the Pow Wow Grounds in northeast Louisville. Markel Homes is already well into the approval process for a development here, why the need to suddenly include them into a program that uses blight to justify tax-financed improvements to entice development? They're already there! More on this as I ask around, and please comment.

Train Horns and Taxes

Longmont is looking into the costs to reduce the need for trains passing through town to blow their horns. Federal law requires specific horn soundings when trains pass "at grade" (read: street level). Engineers must sound their horns for 15 to 20 seconds before entering a level crossing.

Federal Railroad Administration Quiet Zone regulations are focused on eliminating the possibility someone could mistakenly play chicken with a locomotive, by installing gates and lights per government standards. Longmont has 17 at-grade railroad crossings, and installing safety measures across the entire city could cost nearly $6 million. Read more in the Daily Times-Call.

When FasTracks starts to pick up steam, and there are dozens of train crossings each day, train horns won't be nearly as aggravating as the frequent languishing in idling traffic. It might even make riding the train more convenient.

If Longmont passes Issue 2A next week (the public safety tax) maybe part of the revenue raised could go towards the collective sanity of Longmont residents living along the railways through the construction of these "Quiet Zones".

I'm not a fan of tax language that leaves spending options widely open-ended
, as 2A allows "proceeds to be spent on improvements to public safety, including but not limited to..." However, if the money isn't limited to the list 2A supporters describe, I say if you live along the tracks, start making your case for the public safety concerns of these railroad crossings.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Early Voting - Why Wait?

Although the election is on Tuesday, November 7th, you can vote now at an early vote location which will likely be much more convenient.

Monday, October 30th through Friday, November 3rd you can vote early at the following locations :

County Clerk's Office, 1750 33rd St
County Court House East Wing, 2025 14th St
Clerk's Office, 529 Coffman

If you have questions about voting, call 888-839-4301 or visit FairVoteColorado.org. You can find help with the ballot, other election rules, polling place information, informacion en espanol and more.

For a list of local issues and descriptions, check out the League of Women Voters of Boulder Valley's website. For a list of Colorado state ballot issues, check out Project Vote Smart.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Get Out Saturday in Louisville

Here's something to consider for the weekend: Louisville will be revealing the results of two years of work on new trails on Davidson Mesa. Improvements to the property between McCaslin Boulevard and U.S. 36 will be revealed as Open Space Coordinator Jeff Moline leads a public walk telling residents about the mesa's natural history and introducing them to improvements. Details to the event here.

With 250 acres of native grassland, mountain views and wildlife including coyotes and eagles, it will be a great way to rebound from the snowstorm of Thursday and get some sun. Plus the fresh air will help you stay awake during the afternoon CU Buff game against Kansas.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Enough With the Transit Taxes

As I read more of the fine print in Boulder County's Ballot Issue 1A, the less convinced I am it is worthwhile.

Two things stand out - that only 20% of the $8 million/yr the tax would raise would go towards trails, and the language would allow Boulder county to purchase land and infrastructure outside Boulder County (see page 8, item "e") as deemed necessary to complement (or boost/complete/encourage, pick your term) transit programs within Boulder County.

The first point I believe was added as a savvy move to pull in more votes from the County's recreational-minded citizens. The second point is more of a concern, as it gets to a larger presumption of knowing what's best for neighbors and aggressively pursuing our goals in their jurisdiction.

Granted, transportation systems must efficiently cross political boundaries. However that aspect just doesn't sit well. Plus, we approved the $4.7 billion FasTracks tax plan in 2004, and 1A, given all the other ballot issues, just doesn't come off as compelling.

Read Boulder County Commissioner Will Toor's advocacy piece for 1A, and an opposing view from Louisville citizen Eva Kosinski. You can also check out the YES on 1A campaign website. How will you vote?

Broomfield Opens the Events Center

East Boulder County residents should take notice of the grand opening of the Broomfield Events Center on November 5. Our friends to the south and east continue to take aggressive steps towards the creation of a multi-faceted community with this 180,000 sq. foot, 6000-seat arena. Read more about the Center at YourHub.com.

Our communities are definitely part of the business plan for the center, as the special events and resident sports clubs intend to draw attendance from as far away as Longmont.

As part of the larger 217-acre mixed-use Arista development, the BEC will begin contributing $400,000 a year towards Broomfield's parks and open space. Funding for such quality of life amenities will increase in several years, after the bonds to pay for the BEC are paid off. In fact, the BEC is projected to bring in $7 million in sales tax post-bond payoff. At build-out in 2015, about 3,000 residents are expected live at Arista.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Louisville's Budget: How Low Can it Go?

As Louisville's revenue streams have stopped flowing quite so strongly, there is proposed $2.8 million in budget cuts for 2007. The Louisville Times reports this somewhat large number, however the Daily Camera's article describes cuts in 2007 of about $721,000.

So in reading these two articles, I'm stumped right now. On the city's website, there is no obvious link to any budget info. Any budget wonks out there with ideas, please write in.

Given the financial cuts proposed, however big they really are, it will be interesting to see how voters decide on Louisville Issue 2A. Read a guest opinion in the Daily Camera by Jerome T. Maddock supporting 2A. Comments refuting 2A by William Kucharski are in this Daily Camera article.

There will be a public hearing regarding the 2007 budget Wednesday, Nov. 8. Call 303-335-4536 for more info.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Yes on Longmont Issue 2B

Here's a preview of the upcoming election issue of the Yellow Scene, with my thoughts on Longmont's request to tap into the wallets of overnight guests:

Soaking out-of-towners for tourism promotion funding is so common it’s surprising the idea took this long to get on the ballot in Longmont. 2B would create a 2% lodgers tax on hotel room rentals – 2 bucks for every $100 spent. This isn’t enough to deter tourists or convention organizers, and the money raised would cycle back to the Longmont Area Visitors Association staff and programs to entice more visitors. Those visitors tend to eat, shop and otherwise leave even more money in town, and it is already demonstrated that each $1 spent on promoting Longmont has brought back $13.52 in tourist spending. The tax would bring in about $300,000/yr and if it is allocated properly will show a strong return down the road.

Vote Yes on Longmont Ballot Issue 2B.

Lafayette Councilor Misrepresented Big-Time Online

In yesterday's Daily Camera, Lafayette was everywhere, with three of the ten articles in the entire paper (not counting sports) focused on Lafayette growth issues.

One article described the potential for re-routing Hwy 7, which is years away, unfunded and at this point just a nice idea.

Another article - from the front page - described the concerns some have over annexing Chuck Waneka's land for a Lowe's, and the February election that will allow or deny the annexation.

But the big shocker was the incorrect reference in the online version of the article on Ballot Question 2C, which we've been debating here (see earlier posts). Councilor Kerry Bensman was specifically named as a supporter of 2C - an outspoken one at that - and he is most certainly against 2C.

He sent me the following comment: "Today's Daily Camera article says I am a proponent of 2C. The reporter never contacted me before the article was published. Needless to say, the article is in error. Vote No on 2C. "

As more comments come in to the post below on 2C, it is important people know who is on which side.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Election Ballot Madness

As Erie Mayor Andrew Moore notified readers of his MooreInfo newsletter this weekend, some folks in Erie and the Boulder Valley School District using absentee mail-in ballots received the wrong ones. How do you know if you received a wrong ballot? If you live in the BVSD side of Erie you should have measure 3A regarding the BVSD bond issue on the ballot. If this is not on your ballot, your ballot is incorrect. Apparently this is being corrected by Boulder County and calls are being made to let people know before you vote.

I also read in the last few days an article about a guy who received two ballots, same address, same name, etc. When I find the online link I'll post it. Granted, it's a felony to try to vote twice, so it's unlikely duplicate ballots are widespread or going to lead to massive voter fraud. But it still makes you wonder whats going on in the Elections Division.

And if you have decided to vote by absentee ballot (like 30,000 people have already decided) the County sent out a press release making sure voters know it's going to cost you at the post office. Due to the size of the ballot, voters will need to add $0.63 in postage if they mail back their voted ballot.

Voters may also drop off their ballot at any of the County Clerk and Recorder offices during regular business hours or during special drive-by drop-off dates. All absentee ballots being cast must be in the hands of the County Clerk no later than 7:00p.m. on Election Day, November 7.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Comments Are Coming In...

Thanks to all of you sending in comments. As I add them to the entries below, I encourage you to check back on topics that grabbed your eye and look for new comments.

Thanks to Lafayette City Councilor Kerry Bensman for his comments re: Lafayette Ballot Question 2C. He disagrees with my position, and today the Daily Camera editorial also opposes the idea. I've added further comments and encourage the same from you.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Opening For Open Space

I bet some of you thought I was just all pro-business. If so, it may surprise you to know I'm excited to be able to help spread the word on this:

The city of Lafayette has posted a job opening for an Open Space Superintendent. The position has been requested by the Lafayette Open Space Advisory Committee, (of which I am a member) and the applications are due by November 16, 2006.

This is great news for Lafayette and an example of how the city has grown in a good way: the amount of land under management and the attendant responsibilities - plus the long term vision for the entire open space program in Lafayette - has led to the refinement of this position.

Prairie dog management, trail construction, biological resource inventories, organic farm leases and more await the new Superintendent. Plus there will be the frontline duties of tactfully championing the approved Open Space Master Plan, which doesn't have every undeveloped parcel cited as a priority for acquisition - with several developments moving forward, the requests to turn various neighborhoods' favorite nearby fields into open space holdings instead of a new set of homes and businesses is going to get are going to get pretty loud.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Military Commissions Act: Fear Beats Logic.

Although this is not a national issues blog, this topic is dramatic and will manifest over the rest of our lives, and I want to bring it up.

On Tuesday President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

Broadly, the new Act does 3 things:
1) Gives the US President the power to detain indefinitely anyone he or she deems to have provided material support to anti-US hostilities, and to use secret and coerced evidence to try detainees who will be held in secret US military prisons;
2) Strips the right of detainees to habeas corpus (the traditional right of detainees to challenge their detention);
3) Gives US officials immunity from prosecution for torturing detainees that were captured before the end of 2005 by US military and CIA.

Read the President's speech about the bill here. Read the depiction of what the new laws mean from the other point of view on ZNet here.

The key point to take away is that anyone can be deemed a threat and jailed indefinitely based on the President's perogatives.

As Doonesbury has been sarcastically pointing out lately, the federal government has been peddling fear of terrorism, and as our greatest threat terrorism is the justification for this new authority. Given that a free society can never eliminate the possibility of every conceivable threat, there has to be logical, mature and informed trade-offs made. Sacrificing our morals to allow the interrogation techniques outlined in the Act and the removal of habeas corpus for U.S. residents is shameful, pandering and ultimately worse than the threats the Act fantasizes it deflects.

Congress has given all future presidents the power to arrest and detain indefinitely anyone the president, whoever that is, deems as threats. This is a staggering failure for our Congressional representatives to vote to approve such sweeping authority into the executive branch.

Watch with dismay Keith Olbermann's equally sarcastic dissection of this travesty on YouTube. Why is this Act discussed by opponents with such irreverence? Because it is so illogical a serious conversation is impossible.

Tomorrow, back to the issues in East BoCo. Thanks for the indulgence.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

2C or not 2C? Lafayette's big growth issue

I was contacted by a reader interested to know my position on Lafayette Ballot Question 2C. I have since added my email address into my profile description in case anyone else would like to send me a note outside of this forum. If you ever would like to post a topic for discussion, send it to me at budanddakota@yahoo.com.

Lafayette Ballot Question 2C:
Passage would exempt the Countryside Village Shopping Center from the city charter’s housing growth cap limitations. Opponents cry foul that potential mixed-use redevelopment of the land (following WalMart’s exit to its new home on Hwy 287) is asking to violate the citizen-approved cap on housing units allowed per year. The sentiment against 2C tends to filter down to a chorus regarding the virtues of “small town feel” and the intent of the growth cap, but the inflexibility it champions sounds more like ideological no growth. If inflexible housing unit growth limits are still in favor we'll find out November 7. Just asking the question posed in 2C is as valid as asking voters to chime in on the Waneka property annexation, a land-use vote that is being championed by those likely to oppose 2C.

Suggestions for the property at the northwest corner of South Boulder Rd. and South Public Rd. have included parks, retail and office space and several hundred housing units. In reality, the housing units are both a long term benefit to the town and a necessary component to attract development. As opposed to the otherwise equally likely but less attractive “small town feel” of abandoned buildings and a vast parking lot in the center of town, approval of 2C will give city officials and citizens the opportunity to consider smart proposals to add a new community center to town. Without the specific exemption 2C provides, creative and feasible ideas won't even come to the table. For these reasons I support 2C.

See the letter of endorsement for 2C from Mayor Chris Berry and Mayor Pro-Tem David Strungis in the Lafayette News. Read an opposing view from former City Councilor Jeff Monica in the comments link.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Erie Commercial Property Expo - Thursday!!

Here's an event that should be welcomed in Erie: The Erie Economic Development Council (EEDC) will be hosting the Fall 2006 Commercial Property Expo at the Vista Ridge Club House on Thursday October 19, 2006 at 6PM. Food/Drinks will be provided.

According to Mayor Andrew Moore, developers will be giving 10-minute presentations regarding commercial property in Erie followed by a 30 minute round table discussion regarding their outlook on the commercial market in Erie.

All the folks talking about the need for commercial development in Erie should attend. For more info call 303-828-3440.

Support Superior Ballot Issue 2A!

Here's a sneak peek at some of the upcoming recommendations from the next Yellow Scene.

If you live outside Superior, tell your friends there to support 2A. If you live there, Vote Yes!

Approval will increase the mil levy rate 3.4 mills to raise approx. $500,000/year for future library services and facilities. You're going to grow a town from a few hundred to over 12,000 people and not tax yourself for a library? Its time to step up and fund a crucial service for the town. It isn't just needed, its also a mature recognition that the town needs to start paying towards a service its residents have been sponging off other communities for years. A no vote here is simply selfish given right across the highway Louisville just opened a new public library.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Only Half the Story

This week's Louisville Times and Superior Observer give a lot of detail as to how the 3A ballot measure would help improve school facilities. We've already brought up the issue in this forum, however it deserves another mention. The Louisville Times missed an important angle to the topic - why some people are not convinced the School Bond vote is worth supporting. The article ends with the line "So far, no one has organized an opposition to the bond."


The organization Boulder Valley School District Watch and the No on 3A website run by the Concerned Citizens for a Responsible Boulder Valley School District would beg to differ. On balance I'm likely going to vote for it, however the opposition deserves to be researched and definitely should be mentioned in an article that otherwise makes 3A sound like a no-brainer.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Boulder County Residents Love Their Government

The Boulder County Commissioners have released survey results showing most people really have a great time dealing with County government. Nearly 80 percent of those who visited county offices ranked their experience as “excellent” or “good.” 76 percent ranked their experience with the web site as excellent or good, and nearly 70 percent ranked their telephone contact as excellent or good.

Interestingly, 2% said the County services were poor, while 0% (that's right, zero) rated Boulder County's Quality of Life as poor. So even for the few people the County doesn't please, they're not changing their positive impression of living here.

The 2006 Community Survey was mailed to 4,000 randomly selected households representing each of the county's primary sub-regions: City of Boulder, East County (Erie, Louisville, Lafayette, Superior), Longmont, Niwot and unincorporated Boulder County. See the full survey results here.

Has this been your experience? Let me know if this survey matches your opinions.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Credibility Issue Remains on Boulder Valley School Bonds

In today's Daily Camera's letters to the editor, there are two distinct arguments for and against the Boulder Valley School District's $296 million bond request at the polls in November. The trust issue I described a few days ago is articulated by Dan Harrison of Nederland; the other point of view is offered by Ellen Marshall and David Harwood of Boulder.

Just scroll down past the hacky sack letters... What do you think?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Senator Takes the Credit, Lafayette Will Take the Money

Lafayette's Fire Department has been awarded $931,500 from the Department of Homeland Security. The grant comes from money doled out from a fund known as "Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response." (SAFER - cute.) Great news for Lafayette and thanks go to the local department and the officials who have.... oh wait, actually the city found out that thanks really go to U.S. Senator Wayne Allard's (R-Loveland) office. Read about it in the Lafayette News.

DHS didn't send the award message directly to Lafayette Fire Chief Gerry Morrell, or Mayor Chris Berry, or anyone else with the city. Instead, a press release regarding the award was issued by Allard's office, giving him the spotlight. "This Department of Homeland Security grant will help the Lafayette Fire Department add full-time firefighters, allowing the department to respond to fires and emergency situations in the community more effectively," the member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee let the newspapers, I mean Lafayette Fire Department, know.

Given there were over 1700 applicants from around the country and only 28 got any money, I'm certain (cough cough) Lafayette's needs were well justified and their grant proposal solidly written, more so than the Fire Department was the fortunate beneficiary of the Senator's savvy pork peddling. Comments elsewhere in the blogosphere raise questions as to why federal dollars presumably aimed at terrorism response found their way to an unlikely terrorist target like Lafayette. Point taken; the answer is that boosting emergency preparedness everywhere is the goal of the DHS.

There's no reason to look a gift horse in the mouth. Just expect Allard to remind everyone of how he helped out come next election cycle. Simply the way this all works...

Longmont Snags the Business Hall of Fame

Longmont has scored another win for east county as the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame moves to the Radisson. The Millennium Harvest House Hotel in Boulder, which has been the host of annual awards since 1992 , was simply becoming too small for the annual events. Read about in the Longmont Times-Call.

Although the Hall doesn't have staff, or much presence outside the annual awards, for Boulder to lose this organization to Longmont because of size requirements underscores the reality facing Boulder today. Older, outdated and a lack of adequately sized meeting space within the city has businesses looking east. Businesses are often finding east Boulder County has the space - and regulatory environment - they prefer. And they can still tap into the Boulder market, as well as the huge north I-25 corridor growth. See The Beast in the East, Yellow Scene February 2006.

But the loss is strongly symbolic as well. Boulder considers itself the hub of the County, and moves like this are a slap of reality that there is a world on the other side of Foothills Highway.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Schools Need Help - and Credibility

The Boulder Valley School District is asking voters to approve a $296 million bond in November, and the word is that the campaign is struggling. Donations are not as high as was hoped, and it's likely voters won't even see a direct mail piece. (The above bond amount was corrected from a previous post I made - thank you to anonymous who posted a comment on 10/9/06.)

Ballot Issue 3A - if passed - would give BVSD money for outdated capital equipment such as electrical upgrades, windows, installing air conditioning in schools without, making schools ADA accessible, and computer upgrades. While all defensible as needs, BVSD is fighting a credibility battle. Many people feel the District's last two bond requests put money into different expenses than voters were told they would go. In fact, there is formal opposition on the No on 3A website and the BVSD Watch group's website. The opposition says "BVSD wants $300 million, at a true cost to taxpayers of more than $600 million, to repair and upgrade schools. But the 3A bond doesn't tie BVSD to do a single "promised" item in their "Master Plan." That plan can be changed any time BVSD desires without voter approval. Think you'll get a new parking lot, gym, A/C for your school? Think again. If it's not in the Bond (and it's not), there's no guarantee it will happen."

Helayne Jones, President of the BVSD Board of Education, said in a Daily Camera Editorial that if this bond issue passes, "each of us as individuals and collectively as a school board commits to extensive stakeholder involvement in both design and construction planning. Internal stakeholders will include parents, teachers, and administrators. External stakeholders will include neighboring residents and businesses, local government, the environmental community, historic preservation organizations, etc." Read BVSD facilities threaten academic excellence.

Check out the 3A campaign's arguments and see if you're convinced. The schools need the money, just make sure you think the wording of the ballot will have the results supporters promise.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Open Space Day in Lafayette

Here's a nudge to Lafayette residents to chip in Saturday, October 7 and help build a trail for a couple hours. Open Space Day is a true hands-on, see the impact, be involved and feel good about it way to spend 9:00 AM - noon. A cookout for all volunteers is your reward along with knowing you helped connect two neighborhoods with a great trail. Details here or contact Judy Wolfe at 303-665-5506, ext. 3610.

Louisville's Urban Renewal Monster

The blight study that created the Hwy 42 Revitalization Area in Louisville has started a snowball of economic development dreams that should have residents asking more questions. The city that is facing budget shortfalls because of decreasing sales tax income is coming up with some really big ideas for a rebound.

How about a 230-acre urban renewal area that reaches west over the railroad tracks running along old town, and curves north and east to include new commercial and housing developments on the old Pow-Wow grounds on South Boulder Road? Some folks in old town don't feel like being "revitaltized", thank you very much.

The County Commissioners told Louisville in August they thought the scope of the project was unecessarily ambitous, especially when Louisville proposed to keep over $11 million in property taxes from the county to fund the redevelopment.

The five-member Louisville Revitalization Commission has been doing good work, however they're throwing in everything and the kitchen sink to this plan. Plus their status as an appointed Board with no direct accountability has some residents worried. Using millions in tax revenue to lure otherwise wary developers is usually how things work, but this plan is looking like a bigger give-away than usual.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Internet Access For All - Privacy for None

Longmont Power & Communications, the city-owned electric utility, is moving forward with a plan to provide wireless internet access throughout the entire city. This requires over 600 shoebox size transmitters, which will be mounted on utility poles. For a fee of about $20 a month, you'll be able to tap into the World Wide Web most everywhere in Longmont. MobilePro/Kite Networks is quietly hoping to have the service ready as soon as February 2007.
While the $2 million project isn't costing taxpayers anything in monetary terms, in the name of safety it will remove a bit on anonymity for those walking the streets. The city envisions having "wireless anti-vandalism cameras", which could now be placed virtually anywhere in town. We've seen how the federal government loves to keep an eye and ear on everything technology gives them access to, regardless of pesky "laws", and local officials are no less inclined to also maximize their snooping abilities.

Hello internet, goodbye privacy. Even people without computers in Longmont can feel safe knowing the internet will be watching them, instead of the other way around.

The Big Boxes Giveth and the Other Big Boxes Taketh Away

As Louisville braces for its lowest sales tax collections since 1999, it has become glaring apparent that all the environmentalists in Boulder really were driving in their car -and leaving Boulder - to shop after all. With the opening of the new Home Depot at 29th Street in Boulder last January, the gravy train of hybrids and SUVs from Boulder came to an end. As one of the major sources of taxes (along with Lowe's), this slap by the competitive marketplace is hitting Louisville hard. City staff is preparing Louisville City Council for a few years of budget cuts. Right on the heels of being named one of the
Top 5 Places to Live in 2005 by Money Magazine.

With a Super-Walmart on Hwy 287 starting construction this fall, Louisville may see tax dollars going out of town while the generosity of Boulder's shoppers continues to erode. Oh yeah, and Lafayette just offered Super Target $6 million to build there as well. The city is working on a "Shop Louisville" campaign that will entice residents to stay close when shopping, but it will be tough. Although people hear the shop local message, the sad truth is most shop convenience and price first. As an anti-Walmart person myself, this reality is depressing.

Do you shop only in town? Why not? Your thoughts may help your city officials figure out how to keep you and your neighbors close. Note: City officials can't make any business locate in their community. Make sure your ideas have tens of thousands of sympathizers - with spending money.

Are You Paying Attention?

People who think their government is secretive and unresponsive can always find—or invent—examples to prove themselves correct. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. A recent flap in Erie demonstrates that keeping citizens in the know is one of local government’s biggest challenges.

When an ex-Mayor accused her predecssor of violating state statute to build a trail on open space, I had to look into it. Read the article on the Yellow Scene's website.