The scoop on COPs

Larry Beckwith

Dear Editor,

I decided to become better educated on certificates of participation and called the local affairs office for the State of Colorado (who help state municipalities with budgets and financing needed projects).

I was told that COPs were used to help towns build projects such as roads, bridges, utilities, etc., that are needed, but not voted on by the voters since the passing of the Tabor amendment in 1992 that requires a vote of the citizens for their government to go into debt.

And yes, COPs could be used also for items like a golf course.

When I asked, “Even if the last recorded vote of the citizens rejected the city going into debt for such a project?” I was told that if that were true, it seemed an abuse of what COPs were set up to provide, a back-door approach, and if not illegal it certainly seems unethical (no kidding: his words not mine) and referred me to the District Attorney’s office.

My concern is that the city has $1 million a year to spend – choose to spend it on interest to banks for a golf course – rejected by the voters – while making plans to ask us voters to increase our taxes for the soon to expire transportation tax.

Is this great planning or what?

Larry Beckwith

Glenwood Springs

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