Letter to the Editor: Yellow Jacket budget

Dear Editor:
To Yellow Jacket Water Conservancy Board president Coryell and members of the board of directors: I am writing out of concern for the future of the Yellow Jacket Water Conservancy District and respect for the work you have invested. While I view any significant allocation of public assets in oil shale as premature and highly speculative, I do respect your right to disagree with me. But, as a taxpayer and a citizen of the district, I am very concerned that during 2011 and in the 2012 budget, The district violates Colorado’s “local government budget laws.”
Colorado requires local districts to adopt a budget that provides “a complete financial plan by fund and by spending agency within each fund for the budget year.” During the fiscal year, local governmental districts may not “expend any money, or incur any liability, or enter into any contract which, by its terms, involves the expenditures of money in excess of the amounts appropriated. Any contract, verbal or written, made in violation of this section shall be void, and no moneys belonging to a local government shall be paid on such contract.” Emergency expenditures above the appropriated budget can be authorized only if money is available for the excess expenditures.
The Yellow Jacket Water Conservation District incurred financial obligations in 2011 of more than $180,000. The 2011 budget approved on Dec. 16, 2010 only appropriated $31,500 for 2011 expenses. The 2012 budget shows the district paid out $40,039 and carried $142,296 in debt over to 2012. Both of these items appear to be a serious violation of Colorado’s budget laws.
I suggest that you consider retaining council who is familiar with Colorado budget law to advise you in this matter and encourage the board to call a public meeting before April 15, 2012 to discuss these issues.
Joe Livingston