I am opposed to resurrecting the hydropower project. The community has spoken. The hydro plant was voted down. The technicality of “a non-binding referendum” is irrelevant; there is not a single person who would have changed their vote — for or against — if it was legally binding or not.
I signed the petition to place the question on the ballot and I voted against continuing the project due to significant cost overruns, lack of accountability and the environmental hypocrisy of the city. Sound execution and fiscal responsibility are imperative for a project to receive my support. While I am a firm proponent of the city’s environmental goals, the hydroplant project is too problematic.
The city is on the right path to achieving a 100 percent renewable energy profile by 2015. City Council recently gave direction to staff to purchase energy production from a hydroplant that is starting construction this spring in Ridgway, Colorado. City Hall is now more receptive to valley and regionally produced solar energy options. And, a world-renowned energy conservation expert, Amory Lovins, has agreed to work with City Hall on implementing a better energy conservation policy.
As mayor, I will continue to move forward on the renewable energy path. I will continue to support renewable energy projects that make financial sense, are executed well, and make sense for our environmentally conscious community.