You’ve always heard it here first

Now that there’s been more than 1000 posts on the Longmont Advocate/LightningRod/Politics sites, and many more previous entries on Chris Rodriguez’s Wrongmont blog, it strikes me how many times the non-politically correct, common sense point of view has proven to be true in the long run vs. the reactionary pushing of underlying agendas.

One of the numerous examples from Chris’s writings – Cooling off a solar flare-up – came in early 2010 when Mayor Bryan Baum was besieged by the local left due to his efforts to halt a program providing solar system rebates to Longmont residential and commercial customers at a cost to the city of $150,000.

Two years later, solar industry poster child Solyndra has failed, and bankrupt local company Abound Solar owes Weld Co. almost $2 million in unpaid property taxes, including $513,000 both this year and next year to the St. Vrain Valley School District.  It’s been a direct example of Obama’s failed energy policies affecting Longmonters.

Regarding what’s become of the RTD/FasTracks boondoggle for Longmont, over three years ago as a site contributor I offered: A FasTracks supporter no more, and later in 2010 I wrote…

“Let’s face it, Longmont is at the bottom of the totem pole with the FasTracks plan. If we’re not completely cut out due to funding shortages, any promises for our community will be pushed back 15-30 years and rendered useless. Already useless is the planned Longmont-Boulder spur using BNSF tracks, rather than a direct route south to Denver along U.S. 287 or I-25.

Longmonters shouldn’t be voting in 2011 or 2012 on a possible 0.1% to 0.4% sales tax increase for FasTracks. Instead, we should have a vote to remove the 0.4% FasTracks sales tax we’ve already been paying since 2005–and abandon FasTracks altogether.”

Lo and behold, by the end of 2011, Longmont had forked over $23.7 million toward the FasTracks sales tax with nothing to show for it. Officials are now questioning the wisdom of a spur to Boulder, and many Longmonters want the city completely out of the program.

Another issue where there’s been increasing public outcry is the incredibly bloated and fiscally irresponsible Boulder County open space program.  Myself and fellow contributor Percy Conarroe have written many times in recent years to point out the hundreds of millions of dollars of bond debt the program (now encompassing 100,000 acres) has accrued, plus the outrageous prices – often far above assessed value – that the county pays for endless open space purchases with taxpayer money.

Ron Stewart’s open space kingdom is a tough nut to crack, but as we have warned, a day of fiscal reckoning for the county is sure to come.

In the end, the politics of this blog over the years has been about what is responsible and what works, not driven by some utopian vision.  And by the way, if you want “progressively better news”, you can read a tedious 30+ paragraph story today on declining prairie dog populations on our nefarious imitator site.

Dave Larison, Longmont

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