Lots of Elections
Wow! We surely did have a lot of municipal elections a few days ago. Voters in almost 80 cities and towns across the state voted for mayors, councilmembers, tax measures, and lots of other stuff. Turnouts seemed to be high, and voter interest in local community issues was robust. All politics truly are local, and I like that.
Election Day is the one day when the only poll that counts is taken. We get a pretty good idea of what people think.
I always look forward to it. I like reading municipal ballots - consider it a long-standing hobby! You cut through the legal mumbo-jumbo and find out about the needs of our cities and towns, needs such as parks, fire protection, and street improvements. These are the things that matter.
You can look at the summary of the election results for yourself. When I read them, I think the following:
- Don’t overreach. Be specific and clear in your ask.
- Sales taxes, especially on marijuana, are very popular. Property tax increases appear to be less so.
- Leadership matters. Voters trust their local officials and still tend to say “yes” to requests at the local level more than they say “no”- just look at the success on some important municipal debt questions in both larger communities like Commerce City as well as smaller towns like Basalt.
- People like to access their municipal ballots. A number of measures were put on the ballot by initiative. It remains a highly popular tool to make public policy both at the state level and in municipalities.
Next April, voters in 158 statutory towns will be going to their polls – that’s a lot more elections, and lot more local politics showing what matters at the local level.