Campaign contributions to Ordinance No. 1265 obtained through FOIA request

By Amber McIver-Traywick

The Surveyor

The Sept. 10 deadline for residents of Berthoud to submit their mail-in ballots on ordinance no. 1265 is fast approaching. Residents of Berthoud have received mailers as well as door hangers and undoubtedly seen signs in yards throughout town, campaigning for or against the ordinance which proposes to place a limit on the amount of money the town board can vote to put the town in debt.

The Surveyor submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Town of Berthoud to see, not only who submitted to form the committees for each initiative, but also from where the funding for both campaigns came, as both were required to register with the Town of Berthoud.

The “Democracy Berthoud” committee that has campaigned for citizens to vote yes on ordinance no. 1265 has the authorized agent listed as Berthoud resident Carol Patterson, and Jane Vielehr. According to the documents requested from the town, this committee had total donations, both monetary and non-monetary of $1,296.95. The initiative submitted their documents to the town on Aug. 7.

The “Vote No on Sept. 10th” committee that, as the name would imply, has campaigned for citizens to vote no on the ordinance, has an authorized agent listed as Lynette Ludwig, also of Berthoud. According to the documents requested from the town this committee had total donations, monetary and non-monetary of $4,287.24. Donors included town board members Maureen Dower and Paul Alabeck. The initiative submitted their documents to the town on Aug. 2.

Campaign contributors and expenses for Ordinance 1265 committees.

The catalyst for the initiative to limit the town board began after citizens were asked to vote last November whether they wanted the town to purchase a bond for $30 million to be used to build a recreational center. The bond failed. By December the town found another way for the recreation center to be funded and built, called Certificates of Participation that do not require a vote of the people to acquire.

By voting yes to ordinance no. 1265 you agree the Town of Berthoud’s board of trustees should have limited authority to incur financial obligations (any type of debt) in excess of $2 million without three-fourths majority of the board of trustees, or six of the seven board members, agreeing they should do so. The ordinance also says that, like with the rec. center, if the town has voted on the same or similar issue and rejected a bond to finance a project in the previous two years, other means of funding cannot be sought.

By voting no to ordinance no. 1265 you believe the board of trustees should not have limited authority to incur financial obligations for the town (any type of debt) in excess of any amount. It also means you agree that if the people of Berthoud vote on a bond, and it does not pass, other means of funding (debt) can be sought to accomplish the same project, as would be the case with the recreation center and pursuing the funding through COPs.

Ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Tuesday Sept. 10. Residents can mail their ballots or simply drop them off at the 24-hour ballot drop box outside of town hall located at 807 Mountain Ave. Your ballot must be enclosed in the return envelope bearing your signature in order to be counted.

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