Boulder City Council, in a special meeting Thursday, heard recommendations from city staff regarding updates to the city’s policy statement to better align with key regional, state and local priorities. federal.
During the meeting, Chief Policy Advisor Carl Castillo presented changes to the city’s policy statement that he advises the city to combine, add or delete.
“(The policy is) to inform city actions on specific policy proposals as they move forward,” Castillo said. “It allows the city to have a quick response to shape policy ahead of government, where decisions are made and to be nimble in doing so.”
Castillo outlined the top four state priorities and the top three federal priorities that Boulder outlined that he will lobby intergovernmental partners on and focus his policy statement on. Boulder State priorities include ending homelessness; vision zero; building resilience and mitigating climate risks of wildfire and extreme heat through forest-based solutions; and restore clean air to Colorado. The three top federal priorities that Boulder plans to champion are building resilience and mitigating climate risk from wildfire and extreme heat through forest-based solutions; Congressional-directed spending requests; and mobility study projects in the North West region.
One change Castillo recommended was Policy #49 – Restore Clean Air to Colorado. The recommended change would add additional efforts to the policy, some of which include strengthening regulation, licensing and enforcement of large emitters of pollution, including oil and gas exploration, industrial processing, production of electricity and natural gas transmission and distribution.
“The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment received money to do just that during the (legislative) session earlier this year,” Castillo said. “Now it’s about making sure they implement and use that money to actually engage in this kind of app.”
A new policy proposed by Boulder staff aims to support local cash assistance programs that help low-income community members.
The problem right now, Castillo said, is that people who qualify for a local cash assistance program may lose other existing federally or state-funded benefits if they apply and qualify for it. local cash assistance programs, as the funds can take them beyond the necessary income threshold. to qualify for other benefits.
He added that Boulder may be able to work with Denver, which will pursue a waiver program, to form a coalition to then work with the state to create a program or change policies that cause people to lose those benefits.
Following the presentation, several council members questioned Policy #22, which addresses funding and protecting the city’s ability to end homelessness.
Council member Nicole Speer wanted to see Part B — “oppose preventing local governments from banning camping in public spaces” — removed from Boulder’s policy statement.
“It’s not the one I’m really comfortable having in this policy statement,” she said.
Council member Rachel Friend supported Speer’s opinion, adding that she would like to see different language added for parts C and E as well. Part C calls for the implementation of state support that could target high service users, especially those who provide systematic and broadly beneficial solutions, and Part E would establish flexible funding for permanent housing options that address barriers to housing.
“I’m not suggesting we hit B completely, but I think we should look at a different language for that, and C and E – I’m just not sure we’re getting where I’d like to go to make sure we are advocating for what would be the most effective uses of changing state law,” Friend said.
Another suggestion for the policy was to change the title to “Restore Colorado’s Clean Air”.
“I’m not sure we’re going to restore clean air to Colorado, but promote access to clean air throughout Colorado — something like that,” Speer said.
One suggestion made by Council Member Mark Wallach was to expand Policy #53, Part E: “Reducing the Threat of Ignition Sources, Such as Overhead Power Lines and Unauthorized Campfires.”
“Is it possible to put a little more meat on it because the power lines are very dangerous,” he said. “We talk about undergrounding with Xcel, and it seems to me there’s not much there.”
Castillo said he can add more specificity to the policy as he continues to refine the statement before bringing it back next month.
“A lot of these things are just simple improvements, and I think they’re pretty easy to do,” he told the Council.
He said he planned to review the Council’s suggestions and would look to the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee for further guidance on how best to approach policy changes before the Council takes up the matter again. .