WRAB’s Ted Rose speaks out

Ted Rose, a citizen volunteer who serves on Boulder’s Water Resources Advisory Board has spoken out about Council’s recent 6-3 vote to approve a flood mitigation plan that ignored his board’s expert recommendation.

You would think a problem of this magnitude would have the concerted attention of our City Council. But you’d be wrong. I’m a member of the Water Resources Advisory Board, a volunteer board appointed by Council to review the city’s utility plans, including its flood planning. The Board’s composition is impressive: two accomplished water lawyers, two distinguished scientists, and me, an entrepreneur who founded and runs a small hydro business in town.

In our year-end letter to Council, my Board wrote Council that we were concerned about our current trajectory, which leaves Boulderites and their property at great risk. We asked Council to meet with our Board to discuss an upcoming comprehensive flood plan review, so they could tackle important policy issues head-on.

Councilwoman Lisa Morzel, assigned to summarize our letter to Council at a recent retreat, skipped over the substantive issues and concluded the real news here was our volunteer board. She told Council members that the WRAB was “not happy” and mentioned multiple times that its members must have forgotten WRAB was established as an advisory board, not a decision-making body. Without discussing any of our points, Council moved on to discuss trash in public parks.

Meanwhile, two of the City’s most talented engineers have left Boulder’s water utility in the last few months and the comprehensive flood plan has been pushed off to next year due to the staffing shortfall. Boulderites are still paying for those flood studies, however, even though we have no way to implement all of their recommendations until the 22nd century. Meanwhile, residents in Frasier Meadows and elsewhere remain days away from a life-threatening flood event.

Click through to read the full editorial, Flood protection policy in Boulder is adrift.

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