Denver council members ignored stakeholders
As Coloradans and as Denver residents, we appreciate all things Colorado — our quality of life, our pristine environment and our ability to defy the national political climate and come together to develop policies and laws in the best interest of our state and our residents.
Last week, instead of collaboration we saw more division.
In a shocking and disappointing move, some members of Denver City Council defied historic precedent and approved a major policy initiative with no stakeholder engagement, no impact analysis and very little discussion. The council disregarded the voices of Denver residents to pass a measure that will have a significant impact on our economy and our business community — particularly our smallest businesses.
At issue is a proposed ballot item that would levy an energy tax on businesses and would create a new Office of Climate Action, Resiliency and Sustainability. As Denverites — and as representatives of thousands of workers — we strongly support efforts to address climate change. In fact, many of us have been focused on environmental stewardship for decades, and we have the track records to prove it.
However, the measure currently under consideration is extremely costly and will likely trigger unintended consequences. We strongly believe that a measure with such a high level of complexity and far reaching implications requires a robust stakeholder engagement process before we ask voters to weigh in so that we understand the potential unintended consequences.
Imagine a small roofing business interested in moving to an electric fleet for its team. They would potentially pay more in taxes than if they kept their fleet fueled by gas — even though that’s the kind of sustainable thinking that we want to encourage.
We are calling on City Council to carefully consider this measure as it moves through the process and take the time necessary to get this right. The issue is too important to fall short of anything but success.
We urge the council to join us in a stakeholder process that includes voices from the business community and environmental groups to ensure we have a policy that can work for all of Denver. We have a track record of innovation and leadership in Denver. Let’s continue to show the country how to tackle tough issues by working together, not alone.
Simply put, it’s the Colorado way.
Joining with me in support of this letter are: Absolute Caulking & Waterproofing, Apartment Association of Metro Denver, Colorado Apartment Association, Colorado Association of Mechanical and Plumbing Contractors, Colorado Concern, Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association, Colorado Restaurant Association, Denver Metro Building Owners and Managers Association, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Denver Metro Commercial Association of REALTORS, Denver Pipefitters Local 208, Downtown Denver Partnership, International Council of Shopping Centers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 68, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 111, SMART Local 9, Mechanical Contractors Association of Colorado, Mechanical Service Contractors Association of Colorado, NAIOP Colorado, National Certified Pipe Welding Bureau Colorado Chapter, Plumbing Contractors Association of Colorado, Plumbers Local #3, and Rocky Mountain Chapter of National Electrical Contractors Association.
Executive vice president and CEO
Colorado Association of Mechanical and Plumbing Contractors
2nd Amendment isn't about hunting
Reading Hal Bidlack’s Aug. 9 column on guns caused me to question his statements regarding gun rights (i.e. the 2nd Amendment) and hunting ("Which firearms should be legal? Consider these standards"). As a retired military person and political scientist, he more than most, should realize that the 2nd Amendment and the right to bear arms (“which shall not be infringed”) has absolutely nothing to do with hunting. Hunting is not the only reason our citizens own and carry firearms. The intent of the 2nd Amendment was that citizens would have the same type of firearms as the military. Though they may not have foreseen the types of firearms that would emerge, the founding fathers certainly knew that improvements would be made, and were made even during the Revolutionary War.
Most gun laws only affect law-abiding citizens. Isn’t time to direct our laws at those who should not have them, and not those who rightfully should? Please tell me, who is of the opinion that criminals obey laws? If Bidlack would like to rewrite the 2nd Amendment, shouldn’t that be his approach? I hope not.
William F. Hineser, DPM
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