Aside from all the buzz surrounding the upcoming primary elections, it is important to remember that 120 cities and towns in Colorado are holding elections Tuesday.
Coloradans will be voting on candidates, ballot questions, or both. Issues on the ballots range from various tax questions to providing broadband service, according to the Colorado Municipal League.
“In cities and towns across Colorado voters have the opportunity to make critical decisions about their local area and government,” Secretary of State Wayne Williams said. “We’ve worked with local clerks to make this year’s election more secure than ever by making available information so that signatures can be verified on each and every mail ballot. We’re proud of this partnership to ensure the integrity of Colorado’s elections.”
Here is an overview of the issues:
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 86 cities and towns have already said yes. This spring, Firestone, Frisco, Lake City, Limon, Lyons and Severance will ask their voters for authorization to move forward in providing broadband.
In separate questions, Naturita voters will decide whether to allow marijuana sales, manufacturing, testing or cultivation, as well as whether to implement a marijuana sales tax and/or excise tax. Berthoud is asking their voters if municipally licensed medical marijuana dispensaries should be allowed to add retail sales.
Marijuana taxes are being considered in Crawford, Delta, Orchard City, Ordway and Yuma.
Pagosa Springs voters will consider whether to impose term limits of two consecutive four-year terms, voters in Glendale will decide if their mayor and council members shall be limited to three consecutive four-year terms, and Lyons voters will be asked if their mayor and trustees should be allowed to serve four consecutive two-year terms. Red Cliff voters will be asked if they would like to eliminate term limits.
Tax and bond issues
Fruita voters will be asked to allow the city to retain all revenues from 2019 through 2024.
Alma, Elizabeth, and Lyons are requesting authorization to implement a lodging tax.
Sales tax questions are on the ballot around the state:
• Arriba, Ignacio, Limon – new tax for capital improvements
• Nederland – new tax for roads
• Orchard City – new tax for roads and law enforcement services
• Crestone, Crook, Paonia – new tax for general operating expenses
• La Veta – extension of taxes for museum expenses and street improvements
• Milliken – extension of tax for capital improvements
• Glendale – modification of sales tax to remove earmark restricting use to water related purposes
• Cortez – extension of tax for family recreation center
Basalt is requesting a tax on the sale of tobacco and nicotine products.
Pitkin and Wiley are requesting a mill levy increase to fund streets and related improvements, while Carbondale is asking to extend a current mill levy for the same purpose. Orchard City is requesting a mill levy increase to be used for both roads and public safety expenses, while Ault’s requested mill levy increase is not earmarked for specific use.
Debt authority is being requested by:
• Eckley – $165,000 for sanitation system improvements
• Erie – $13.75 million for a town hall expansion, with authorization to increase mill levy if necessary for repayment
• Limon – $8.68 million for capital improvements
• Nederland – $2 million for wastewater improvements
To save money on publication costs, Crook, Hugo, Kersey, Lake City, Milliken, and Springfield are requesting authorization to publish ordinances by title only. Pitkin is requesting authorization to no longer publish the bills list or contracts awarded.
Morrison and Palmer Lake voters will decide whether to move their regular town elections to November of even-numbered years.
Administrative charter amendments
Glendale and Morrison are asking their voters to eliminate, clarify, or otherwise update obsolete provisions of their home rule charter.
Other issues to be decided include:
• Antonito – sale of a public building
• Berthoud – 32.44 acre annexation
• Erie – sale of 0.65 acres of town land
• Frisco – sale or lease of a community park for residential use
• Pagosa Springs – remove council districts and provide for council members to be elected at large