According to the Gazette Telegraph, Colorado Springs has authorized a $15M purchase of a canyon near Colorado Springs, for the purpose of Open Space. This, for those of you not familiar with the silliness that passes for development debate these days, is the insistence of some people that municipal governments take land out of production (at taxpayers’ expense, natch) so that people who are inclined to enjoy the outdoors (at taxpayers’ expense) can do so.
Land wasn’t in production, you say? Why’d they have to pay $15M for it then?
Anyway, the bit of the article that caught my attention was this:
The city used an increasingly popular financing tool called certificates of participation, or COPS, to finance the deal. A city-controlled nonprofit company will take on the debt and lease the land back to the city. Without such an arrangement, the Colorado Constitution says new government debt must be voter-approved.
So, the Colorado Constitution says you can’t do what they’re doing without a vote. So they just call it something different, play a shell game with the money (Enron anyone?) and satisfy the eco-whiners.
Also from the article:
Glenn [One of only two city council members voting against the purchase] has said he opposes the deal because he sees the financing method as an effort to circumvent the state constitution.
I sure wish I could get the city to fund my pastimes.