November ballot to include 13 questions
SUMMIT COUNTY – State and county election administrators had finished certifying ballot questions Thursday for the Nov. 4 election, giving voters 13 questions on which to cast their votes.
In Summit County, arguably the most contentious issue voters will face is whether to ask county commissioners to draft an ordinance banning smoking in public places – including bars and restaurants – in unincorporated Summit County.
A second referendum, County Referred Measure 1A, will ask voters to extend another 12 years a mill levy that funds open space purchases and capital improvement projects. Those projects could include construction of a recycling facility, water storage and a community health care facility.
Currently, that property tax levy generates $1.59 million a year toward various projects. Voters first approved it in 1986 to build the Summit County Justice Center, then voted to extend it to buy open space and build the County Commons.
Frisco residents will get to vote on Referendum 2A, which will ask voters if the town should impose a 2.35 percent lodging tax, expected to generate about $250,000 each year.
Revenue would be spent on economic development, special events, advertising, marketing, recreational amenities, multi-purpose facilities and open space.
The funds would not be subject to TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) that requires the state, counties, towns and districts to return to taxpayers extra money they don’t spend each year.
Voters will get to vote for an array of people in Summit, West Grand and Colorado Mountain College (CMC) school districts.
Six people – Stuart Adams, James Shaw, Robert Bowers, Ruth Hertzberg, Jay Brunvand and Jon Kreamelmeyer – are running for four Summit School District at-large school board seats.
Two people, Thomas Boas and John Patillo, are running for the CMC Board of Trustees in District 2; Richard Bateman is the only contender in the fourth district; Robert Dick is the sole contender in the fifth district; and Chet Gaede and Helen Ginandes Weiss are on the ballot for CMC’s District 6 Board of Trustees seat.
Six people – Marke E. Grey, Larry Banman, Erika Robinson, Mike Ritschard, James Ellison, Kristin Prewitt – are running for the school director at-large seat on the West Grand School District. Students from the northern end of Summit County attend West Grand schools.
The Colorado River Water Conservation District will present Referendum 4A on the November ballot, asking voters to allow them to keep money it generates in excess of the limitations put in place by TABOR laws.
A variety of term-limit questions are on the ballot, including two that ask voters to eliminate both the Summit County School District’s and the Frisco Sanitation District’s limitations of two consecutive terms. A third asks voters to limit Red, White and Blue Fire Department board seats to 15 consecutive years.
Statewide, voters will cast ballots for Amendment 32, which would set the residential property tax ratio at 8 percent of actual value. This would overturn the existing Gallagher Amendment.
Voters also will decide if video lottery terminals will be permitted at five dog tracks on the Front Range. This would be Amendment 33. Some of the proceeds from the terminals would go to Great Outdoors Colorado and help fund tourism in the state.
Among the more controversial issues voters will get to decide is whether to allow the state to sell $2 billion worth of bonds to make improvements to water storage facilities in the state. Proponents for Referendum A cite the need for more water storage facilities for an ever-growing population, while opponents believe the wording is too vague and lends itself to a Front Range “water grab.”
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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