In late December I reviewed the citizen-initiated petitions that have resulted in the upcoming special election on City of Littleton Ballot Question 300.
Full disclosure: while I began my review …
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Full disclosure: while I began my review opposed to Ballot Question 300, I was adamantly so after completing my review. It is undemocratic and its passage has the potential for narrow special interests to drive future city policies.
Of the 43 signature gatherers over 83% of the gatherers reside south of Ridge Road, in the southern half of the city, primarily in Districts 3 and 4. Further, the vast majority of the signatures come from these same areas with a limited number of signatures from the older parts of the city in Districts 1 and 2. Only a smattering are from those living in apartment buildings.
Moreover, at least 18 of the petition gatherers reside in areas that are governed by homeowner associations (HOAs). Many of the lead proponents of this ballot question themselves live in areas governed by HOAs. While HOAs exist in many parts of the city, most of them are in the newer areas of the community, with large HOAs dominating in Districts 3 and 4.
What is concerning about this?
HOAs, in my mind, are a “special interest” representing the narrow concerns of a specific group of people who often don’t have the interests of the entire City. In addition, they have built-in networks of addresses and contact information to communicate with their members. I am aware that one of the large Southpark HOA’s email distribution list was used to publicize signature gathering events for a previous petition to overturn the Aspen Grove rezone. I suspect that other HOAs used their networks similarly, as well.
The passage of “300” will make it even easier to mobilize the HOA game plan to promote narrow special interests.
I urge Littleton citizens to vote no on this very undemocratic ballot question. Making it easier for a narrow group of citizens to drive future city policy in low-turnout elections is not what we need in Littleton.
Former mayor, mayor pro tem and councilmember representing northeast Littleton’s District 2
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