The Blue Book explains the voting issues, details the financial implications, and provides arguments for and against. It’s also wordy and a bit complicated.
DENVER – Denver’s version of the Blue Book hit mailboxes ahead of the November 2 election.
The Blue Book explains the stakes of the ballot, details the financial implications and provides arguments for and against.
They provide an opportunity to understand verbose and legal sounding language, but they are not straightforward enough.
“In Denver, ballot questions are written by bond attorneys who use Latin and ‘legal’ to cover every basis and every potential lawsuit. We can do better,” the former lawyer said. from the City of Denver, Scott Martinez.
Denver ballots are printed in English and Spanish, and after seeing how long the ballot questions are in both languages, we asked Martinez to help us shorten the ballot questions to a sentence.
here’s how Referred question 2A appears on the ballot:
WILL THE CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER DEBT BE INCREASED BY $ 104,040,000, WITH A MAXIMUM REPAYMENT COST OF $ 179,175,000, WITHOUT AN EXPECTED INCREASE IN THE CITY’S CURRENT IMPT RATE FOR THE GENERAL OBLIGATION DEBT BASED ON CITY PROJECTED APPRAISED VALUE FOR SYSTEM REPAIRS AND IMPROVEMENTS AT DENVER FACILITIES, WHICH MAY INCLUDE, BUT NOT LIMITED TO:
• ESSENTIAL IMPROVEMENTS IN INFRASTRUCTURE AND OTHER REPAIRS OF FACILITIES AT DENVER BOTANICAL GARDENS, BONFILS THEATER COMPLEX, DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE AND SCIENCE AND DENVER ZOO; AND
• PRESERVATION AND RESTORATION OF THE MAY BONFILS STANTON THEATER ON THE HISTORIC CAMPUS OF LORETTO HEIGHTS FOR USE AS AN ARTS HALL FOR PERFORMANCE AND CULTURE; AND
• RENOVATION OF AN EXISTING MUNICIPAL ESTABLISHMENT INTO A YOUTH EMPOWERMENT CENTER; AND
• CONSTRUCTION OF TWO NEW LIBRARIES AND UPGRADING EXISTING LIBRARIES TO INCLUDE CHILDREN’S LEARNING ZONES, COMMUNITY SPACES AND TECHNOLOGY LABORATORIES; AND
• IMPROVED ACCESSIBILITY TO DENVER FACILITIES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES;
BY ISSUE AND PAYMENT OF OBLIGATIONS, GENERAL OBLIGATIONS, OBLIGATIONS, LOAN AGREEMENTS OR OTHER MULTI-YEAR FINANCIAL BONDS, WHICH WILL BE ISSUED OR COMMITTED IN SUCH MANNER AND CONTAINING SUCH TERMS NOT INCOMPARABLE WITH THE PRESENT THAT THE CITY OF MAY DETERMINE THE EXPENDITURE (THE EXPENDITURE TO BE COMMUNICATED BY THE CITY ON AN ANNUAL BASIS); AND WILL THE CITY’S AD VALOREM PROPERTY TAXES BE INCREASED WITHOUT LIMITATION ON THE RATE, BUT BY A MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF $ 19,250,000 PER YEAR IN SUFFICIENT AMOUNTS TO PAY THE PRINCIPAL, PREMIUM, IF ANY, AND INTEREST ON THESE FINANCIAL SERVICE OBLIGATIONS OR FOR EVEN; AND IS THE CITY AUTHORIZED TO ISSUE FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS TO REIMBURSEMENT OR REFINANCING SUCH FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS AUTHORIZED IN THIS ISSUE, PROVIDED THAT THESE FINANCIAL REIMBURSEMENT OBLIGATIONS WHEN COMBINED WITH OTHER FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS OR LIMITATIONS MAXIMUM ALLOWED IN THIS QUESTION BY THIS QUESTION?
And now here’s how it can be simplified.
“If I explained this to my children who will be voters in just a few years, I would tell them what the city is asking for:” Can the city borrow $ 104 million to pay for the necessary improvements to the city, without raising your taxes? , and there’s going to be some interest on top of that. Are you OK ?'”
Here’s what it would look like in Spanish:
“Puede la ciudad pedir prestados 104 millions para pagar las mejoras necesarias de la ciudad, sin aumentar sus impuestos, y habrá algunos intereses además de eso? ¿Is it good? “
Referred questions 2B, 2C, 2D, and 2E are just as verbose as the uppercase 2As you see above. Here are the abridged versions.
Referred question 2B in one sentence:
“Without raising your taxes, can the city borrow $ 38.6 million, plus interest, for homeless shelters?”
“Sin aumentar sus impuestos, puede la ciudad pedir prestados 38.6 million dollars, más intereses, para refugios para personas sin hogar?”
Referred question 2C in one sentence:
“The city is asking if it can borrow money for transportation.”
“La ciudad está preguntando si puede pedir dinero prestado para el transporte.”
2D referred question in one sentence:
“Can the city borrow money to pay for parks and recreation? “
“¿Puede la ciudad pedir prestado dinero para pagar los parques y las actividades recreativas?”
Referred question 2E in one sentence:
“Can the city borrow $ 190 million, plus interest, for a 10,000 seat arena and public market at the National Western Campus?”
“Puede la ciudad pedir prestados $ 190 million, más intereses, para estadio de 10,000 asientos y un mercado público en el National Western Campus? “
Even Martinez struggled to read Denver 2A to 2E bond issues.
“I went to law school and still had to pull out my Latin dictionary,” Martinez said.
Towards the end of the five bond issues there is a reference to “ad valorem property taxes”.
“” Ad valorem “means” to the value “. It basically means a percentage of the value of the thing it taxes, and the thing we’re talking about in Denver is your house. It’s your property, ”Martinez said.
None of the bond vote questions (2A to 2E) will raise taxes, but the Latin benchmark essentially allows the city to float the rating rate if voters in the future agree to a higher limit. .
Ultimately, here are the reasons the city wants to borrow money:
- 2A: City Improvements: Denver Zoo, Denver Botanical Gardens, Restoration of the May Bonfils Stanton Theater in Loretto Heights, Libraries
- 2B: Housing / shelters for the homeless
- 2C: Transportation: sidewalks, bike paths, Morrison Road Arts District, urban trail around Denver
- 2D: Parks and recreation: Parks, playgrounds, swimming pools and public toilets
- 2E: National Western Campus: arena with 10,000 seats and public market
Ballots are sent to voters starting Friday.
RELATED: Hancock Wants Denver to Build a Mid-Size Arena in Natl. West Complex
RELATED: Denver City Council Committee Postpones Vote on Citywide Flavored Tobacco Ban
RELATED: Latin American Community Leaders Call for Equal Overtime Rights for Colorado Farm Workers
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Full episodes of Next starring Kyle Clark