What tops Denver City Council’s budgetary wish list for 2019?
Author: Adam McCoy - January 19, 2018 - Updated: January 19, 2018
Government proceedings can typically be filed away in the mundane or tedious category, that is unless you’re attending a Denver City Council budget planning retreat.
Denverite’s Andrew Kenney detailed the “exciting” proceedings earlier this week — which he said included free coffee and at least one handstand — as the council hashed out its budgetary wish list for 2019.
Topping the list, was housing, development and transportation improvements, but council members are also interested in bolstering the city’s recycling program and rebuilding the Denver Police Department training academy.
In 2019, officials say they want to ask more of the Regional Transportation District. As Kenny notes:
“We are the largest city in the district … but we are not taking positions,” said Councilwoman At large Robin Kniech. “It’s good to be respectful … I would like us to be more assertive.”
Others agreed. “They just elected new leadership of their board, and some of them are people who don’t even advocate for transit, for mobility. They’re more ‘anti’ people than they are ‘pro,’” said Councilwoman At-large Debbie Ortega. “We need to gather and be really vocal and obnoxious.”
And on housing, the council members wants to explore more funding for affordable housing.
The advocacy group All In Denver wants the city to issue new debt — and potentially raise taxes — in order to raise tens or hundreds of millions more dollars to pay for affordable housing, potentially doubling the city’s current affordable housing plan.
(Council President Albus) Brooks said that he wanted to figure out some potential “internal” funding sources for housing, but he acknowledged that the city “may have to go out and ask the voters for something,” such as new bonds.
(Councilmember Paul) Kashmann said the city has “to be more aggressive in providing permanent supportive housing for our community,” adding that the council “is missing an opportunity and a responsibility.”
Read Kenney’s full report here.