Sometimes the national sentiment spills over to defeat a worthy cause. As was the case yesterday when for the first time in 20 years Boulder County voters rejected a tax to fund open space purchases.
Since I moved here in 1995 I have always admired the foresight of the county voters to support the acquisition of open space. Open space is what makes Boulder County unique and has resulted in one of the most complex urban trail systems in the country. If you work in Boulder County there is likely to be a trailhead within 10 minutes of where you are at this very moment.
Open space also supports property values by limiting the supply of new homes and overbuilding. There are already too many examples of unabated urban sprawl in Colorado; Highlands Ranch, once dubbed by National Geographic as all that is wrong with unchecked development, and Aurora are but two examples.
The only way to explain yesterday’s actions of the voters is what’s going on at the national level. After having been bombarded over the last 12 months with fiscal bailouts of tired industries and $ trillion proposals on healthcare reform voters are having a visceral reaction to any tax proposal on the ballot, even mindful ones.
Although the current tax does not expire until 2019 new land purchases will be affected. Once the voter smoke clears (no pun intended) and everyone regains their senses there is sure to be another ballot measure to address this issue in future elections. Voters shouldn’t forget what makes living here great.