Municipal elections galore

The Colorado Municipal League, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization established in 1923 to represent the municipal interests of 267 cities and towns at the State Capitol, reports that 76 cities and towns will be holding elections on Nov. 5. Five have cancelled their elections because of a lack of candidates: Cripple Creek, Greenwood Village, Lamar, Las Animas, and Victor. Lochbuie has a recall scheduled for two trustees, and Rifle already held their regular election in September. The following is a round-up of the elections as reported by CML.

Finance Questions

• Seven municipalities are posing nearly $300 million in debt questions covering park and recreation improvements, street improvements, water and wastewater, and broadband investments. The largest issue is in Commerce City ($166 million for a variety of park, recreation, and street improvement initiatives), and the smallest is in Basalt ($5 million for a redevelopment project).

• Seven municipalities will have property tax increases on the ballot covering such items as fire protection (Fountain, Glenwood Springs, and Silver Plume), water and sewer (Fraser), early childhood education and scholarships (Breckenridge).

• Ten cities and towns have a variety of sales tax increases and extensions before their voters, with a majority covering street improvements and transit.

• De-brucing questions are before voters in Fountain, Frederick, Leadville, Mead, and Paonia.

Marijuana

• Twelve municipalities have tax measures on the sale of recreational marijuana: Boulder, Breckenridge, Carbondale, Denver, Eagle, Fraser, Frisco, Littleton, Manitou Springs, Mountain View, Red Cliff, and Silverthorne.

• Eagle and Englewood have questions on whether or not retail sales should be allowed.

Miscellaneous tax questions

• Littleton and Platteville are proposing a lodging tax.

• Telluride is asking voters to tax sugar sweetened beverages.

• Black Hawk is putting forth an increase in its gaming device tax.

• Lafayette voters will be asked to consider an occupation tax in lieu of a utility franchise fee the proceeds of which are to be earmarked for energy efficiency programs.

• Paonia has a $3 monthly utility charge for sidewalk improvements.

A variety of other ballot questions

• Term limit questions are in: Platteville (whether or not to eliminate them); Thornton (whether or not to extend them to three terms); Walsenburg (whether to eliminate them for the positions of clerk and treasurer); and Wray (whether they should be required).

• Black Hawk proposes retirement benefits for their elected officials similar to that which their city employees receive.

• Boulder has two competing ballot measures dealing with municipalizing electric service.

• Boulder has a charter amendment proposed to allow for negotiated or private bond sales.

• Four cities — Boulder, Broomfield, Fort Collins, and Lafayette--have proposals before voters restricting fracking or other oil and gas regulatory matters at the local level.

• Appointing clerks and treasurers rather than electing them are on the ballot in Castle Pines and Walsensburg.

• Backyard chicken regulations are before voters in Broomfield and Fort Lupton, and bee regulations in Fort Lupton.

• Centennial would like the authority to enter into broadband partnerships with third parties. State legislation allows for a local vote on such projects before they can be implemented.

• Deer Trail voters in a special December 10th election will be addressing shooting at drones.

• Durango voters will decide whether to repeal a previously imposed a plastic bag fee of ten cents.

• Durango voters will decide on merging city fire services with an adjacent fire protection district.

• Fountain voters will decide if net metering should be used by the city’s electric system.

• Lafayette voters will decide whether to renew an XCEL agreement and related 3% franchise fee.

• Thornton would like to lower the age requirement from 25 to 21 to serve as an elected official.

• Fraser and Littleton have land use questions on the ballot dealing with a specific annexation (Fraser), and modifying how zoning changes are approved and take effect (Littleton).

• Greeley voters will decide whether or not to retain the city manager. This is a current requirement in the home rule charter, and may be the only one of its kind in the nation.

• Leadville voters will decide if they want to establish special improvement districts for street and sidewalk repairs.

For more information on CML, visit www.cml.org.