By Lars Gesing
After Boulderites said no to ballot question 310 in Tuesday’s election, making a strong statement in the ongoing municipalization debate, Xcel Energy didn’t wait long to reply to the vote. On their website, the energy provider posted a statement saying that the approval of the competing ballot question 2E showed that “Boulder customers are giving serious thought to how much debt they are willing to incur in this effort as they are giving city leaders more guidance in spending.” To read the whole statement, click here.
In the meantime, Tuesday’s decisions on 2E and 310 don’t put an end to the debate. The Daily Camera quotes the final unofficial election results, explaining that the margin in this year’s vote (2-to-1) on the electrical utility was much wider than in the 2011 initial decision to explore municipalization. Back then, only 1000 votes separated supporters and opponents. However, the fronts remain hardened two years later. While municipalization supporters argue that the vote – along with four proponents of the city’s path being elected to serve on city council – was an endorsement of the efforts, opponents point out that the passage of ballot question 2E still puts a debt limit on the process.
The vote on ballot questions 2E and 310 has been what the Denver Post has called “a battle of campaign dollars.” The paper cited Boulder Mayor Matt Appelbaum, saying that “for ballot measures, a lot of money has been spent.” According to figures the Post obtained from finance reports filed with the city, supporters and opponents spent a total $864,000.
- Young, Appelbaum, Weaver, Shoemaker and Cowles to sit on new Boulder city council (jour5511.wordpress.com)
- Boulder voters place spending cap on new utility (bizjournals.com)
- Boulder votes in landslide against Xcel attempt to block longterm clean-energy plan (coloradoindependent.com)
- Boulder Moves One Step Closer to Localizing the Electric Grid (greentechmedia.com)