Request from the Broomfield Health and Safety First Initiative Committee: Attend Broomfield City Council August 22 for the Ballot Measure

UPDATE TUESDAY, AUGUST 22:  City Council voted unanimously to approve the ballot titling as listed below.  Thank you for your support!

On Tuesday, August 22, the Broomfield City Council will set the title language for the November ballot measure that seeks to ensure that citizens’ health, safety and welfare are protected when the City makes oil and gas decisions. This is the next step in the process after the Broomfield County Clerk accepted 2,847 of the signatures that Broomfield residents gathered and submitted for the initiative.

Please come to the Broomfield City Council Meeting this Tuesday, August 22 at 6:00 p.m and show your support for an accurate representation of this measure that requires Broomfield to put health and safety first when it comes to oil and gas decisions. Tell our council that it is important to Broomfield residents that City Council uses every tool they can to stand up for public health, safety and welfare when it comes to oil and gas decisions.

 

On the 8/22 City Council agenda regarding titling, there is a proposed resolution for titling that uses the full language of the charter amendment.  It would accurately reflect the intent and scope of the ballot measure without bias on the part of the council.

Resolution No. 2017-127

“Shall Section 2.1 (b) “Powers, Rights, and Liabilities” of the Broomfield Home Rule Charter be amended to add the following language?

Section 2.1 – Powers, Rights and Liabilities

With regard to oil and gas development near the City’s populated areas and within the City’s boundaries, such powers shall include but not be limited to plenary authority to regulate all aspects of oil and gas development, including land use and all necessary police powers.  As such, Broomfield shall condition oil and gas development permits to require oil and gas development to only occur in a manner that does not adversely impact the health, safety, and welfare of Broomfield’s residents in their workplaces, their homes, their schools, and public parks in order to protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare and to safeguard the environment and wildlife resources.

 

However, there is a summary statement that is listed separately from the proposed resolution on the agenda that doesn’t accurately represent the ballot measure.  Therefore, we are concerned at the direction the discussion might take at the 8/22 Council meeting on Tuesday.

 

Why is the language important?

  • The proposed ballot measure was brought by Broomfield citizens who are concerned about the impact of the large oil and gas industrial projects proposed for our community on health, safety and welfare. It is important that Council fairly and accurately title this ballot language.
  • The proposed ballot measure directs the City to use all of the power and authority it has now and into the future to protect public health, safety, and welfare.
  • While some would say that the use of the term “plenary authority” is pre-emptive, this is in the home rule charter and not regulatory. The implementation of regulations is what has been deemed problematic by the Colorado Supreme Court.
  • Via state law (C.R.S. 31-15-401) municipalities have land use authority and police powers when it comes to oil and gas development.
  • Police powers, as notedabove, are the authority to make laws and regulations to protect health and safety and to enforce those laws.
  • Given the large-scale oil and gas facilities being proposed in Broomfield and near our communities, Broomfield residents have a responsibility and right to tell our local government that our health, safety, and quality of life should be their first priority.
  • Broomfield and the State of Colorado are governed by its citizens. As Broomfield citizens, we are telling our local government the parameters by which we want it to make decisions around oil and gas development – as with every other industry.
  • More than 2,800 confirmed Broomfield voters signed a petition to have their voices heard on this. The council needs to accurately and fairly title this ballot measure.
  • Solely focusing on use of the phrases “plenary authority” and “condition permits” ignores the intent and misconstrues/mischaracterizes the proposal to amend the Broomfield Home Rule Charter.