John DuGene: The fix was in on linkage fees – Boulder Daily Camera

As I watched the City Council debate and then decide on the developer linkage fees on Nov. 15, I despaired at the outcome. It had already been decided days, perhaps weeks, before. Yes, the $12 per square foot figure, below the staff recommendation of $15 per square foot, was going to be the outcome despite hours of staff and consultant work, countless dollars spent, and significant citizen input. All for naught as the Chamber of Commerce/Boulder Housing Partners/Downtown Boulder Inc. etc. determined their own, unquestioned figure and presented it to the council unsubstantiated and unchallenged. And it was approved.

Most distressing is that, earlier in the day during a panel presentation on these linkage fees at the Boulder Valley Real Estate Conference, one well-connected speaker assured the audience that there were five council votes for the $12 figure. Done. Sure enough, the fix was in. The sham was in the wasted review and community input — all for show — since the number had already been chosen. Where is fair, transparent, and inclusive governance?

That the decision had already been made, counter to the highly-researched staff proposal, was back-room politics. No wonder Boulder citizens don’t feel heard — they aren’t! It was a reality check for me: politics in Boulder is just as dirty and duplicitous as any other city. And, given the recent presidential election, the elitists on our council are just as complicit in skullduggery as at the national level. Where is the Daily Camera’s investigative reporting that uncovers and exposes this deceit? Or the legal profession who can ensure our political process is transparent? Is anyone willing to investigate this shameful, exposed abuse of power? I hope so. We, as citizen residents of Boulder, deserve much better city government than we saw Nov. 15.

John DuGene

Source: John DuGene: The fix was in on linkage fees – Boulder Daily Camera