Ken Brenner: Not guilty

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Steve Ivancie, Susan Dellinger, and myself are not against tourism nor improvements at the base area, contrary to the doom and gloom letter written by Joe Pete Lorusso. Our votes against an urban renewal authority and local marketing district were about three things: the lack of adequate public due process, denial of the voters' right to approve all new taxes, and serious concerns that the public would be the sole source of funding for projects.

In 2004, the URA proposal process was condensed to just five weeks and passed without voter approval. Steve, Susan and I had argued to wait and adopt the URA upon completion of the Base Area Plan, in fall 2005. Shortly after the rushed adoption of the URA, City Council had to put a moratorium on development permits at the base area because the base plan wasn't completed. The URA may generate an estimated $25 million in unapproved taxes during 25 years, with council deciding how funds will be dispersed.

After the 3-2-1 marketing tax failed in 2001, the business community formed an LMD in 2004. In 1999, the town of Vail proposed an LMD to its residents. The entire municipality of Vail was eligible to vote, and the LMD passed by a comfortable margin. In Steamboat Springs, by contrast, the LMD boundary was gerrymandered to include less than 10 percent of the voters within the municipality.

If Steve, Susan and I are guilty of anything, it is adhering to due process and voter approval of taxes by all city residents. In doing so, we represented the entirety of the community.

We continue to be strong advocates for a recreation-based economy that takes care of its constituents.

Working people deserve a chance to decide for themselves how to spend their money and improve their community.

Ken Brenner

City Council member

Steamboat Springs

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