Ballot Question 3D was on the ballot in November of 2020. This episode of The Backstory was recorded in October of 2020, prior to the election. Longmont voters approved the ballot measure.
In Longmont Ballot Question 3D, voters were asked whether or not the city charter should be changed to allow longer lease terms on city-owned properties. The current charter, which is the governing document of the city, allows Longmont to lease public land for 20 years. The ballot measure, Question 3D, would extend that lease term to 30 years. The extension could allow “greater flexibility to manage development of land and facilities,” according to the city. The longer term also could allow for more private-public partnerships, as those partners are more likely to secure a 30-year loan to support their organization, according to the presentation. Opponents to the measure say 20 years is an adequate term that allows the city to reevaluate lease agreements while considering market rates. Shakeel Dalal of Our Best Longmont, an issue committee registered with the city that is backing the ballot question, last month said such leases are typically private-public partnerships with nonprofit organizations that provide services to the community. “There are services that the city would like to offer that it can’t afford to … either because of the impending recessions/depression or the need to raise taxes, which is both complicated and undesirable under the current circumstances,” Dalal said.