All Politics Remain Local
Solving problems is what municipal leaders do best, and that takes vision. On Nov. 8, voters in nearly 70 cities and towns across Colorado will decide the future of their own communities in municipal elections. They will be voting for candidates, as well as deciding the fate of dozens of ballot questions.
City council and town board of trustee elections are scheduled in 16 Colorado cities and towns, and a recall election for five city councilmembers is slated in Rocky Ford. An additional 52 municipalities have scheduled a wide variety of ballot questions to be decided by voters.
Colorado statutes require an election to allow a municipality to provide broadband service or partner with the private sector to provide that service, and voters in 46 cities and towns already have approved municipal broadband. This fall, 18 municipalities have put the issue on the ballot: Arvada, Aspen, Basalt, Black Hawk, Breckenridge, Carbondale, Cripple Creek, Dolores, Golden, Green Mountain Falls, Hudson, Lafayette, New Castle, Palisade, Parachute, Silt, Superior, and Woodland Park.
Del Norte, Englewood, Federal Heights, Florence, Lochbuie, Palisade, Palmer Lake, Pueblo, and Simla voters will decide whether to allow marijuana sales.
Marijuana taxes are being considered in Central City, Del Norte, Englewood, Florence, Palisade, Palmer Lake, Parachute, Pueblo, Sheridan, Silt, Thornton, and Yuma.
Denver voters will decide whether to allow marijuana use in designated consumption areas.
Two municipalities are exploring term limits: Boulder is asking whether to permit only three terms in a lifetime, while Parachute is asking whether to limit councilmembers to three consecutive terms.
Tax and Bond Issues
Bond proposals for public improvements are on the ballot in several municipalities:
- Basalt - $3.1 million for park project
- Englewood - $27 million for police building
- Firestone - $10.5 million for police building
- Glenwood Springs - $54 million for streets and bridges
- Hayden - $4 million for streets
- Louisville - $28.6 million for recreation/senior center
- Telluride - $4.2 million for parking improvements/parking garage
TABOR override ballot questions face voters in Castle Rock, Crested Butte, Fort Collins, Georgetown, Palmer Lake, and Williamsburg.
Non-marijuana tax proposals will be considered in 33 cities and towns. A sampling:
- Boulder - a two-cent per ounce tax on sugar sweetened beverages
- Dacono - lodging tax to support economic development program
- Glenwood Springs - extend existing one cent sales tax
- Grand Lake - one cent sales tax increase for streets and sidewalks
- Louisville - mill levy increase to construct recreation/senior center and sales tax increase to fund center operation
- Lafayette - property tax to finance free ride RTD bus passes for Lafayette residents
- Pueblo - sales tax for crime prevention and youth programs
- Sterling - lodging tax to finance a convention center
- Telluride - sales tax to support San Miguel Authority for Regional Transportation
Other issues to be decided include:
- Edgewater - use of existing park land for the site of a new civic center complex
- Lochbuie - allow backyard chickens, ducks, pigeons, and doves
- Morrison - ban fuature rooftop patios in the Commercial Transition District
- Palmer Lake - allow publication of ordinances by title only
- Thornton - police officer collective bargaining
- Westminster - firefighter collective bargaining
As ballots are being mailed out statewide this week, voting is not only important at the top of the ticket, but down ballot as well, especially as it relates to cities and towns.