The League of Women Voters of the Pikes Peak Region today urged a “no” vote on Amendment 300, which would institute a “strong mayor” governance structure.
Spokeswoman Jane Merritt cited several concerns that led the organization to oppose the measure, ranging from the proposal’s inefficient structure to its higher costs.
Issue 300 is “a major revision of our city charter,” Merritt said, ” rewriting nearly a quarter of it. Such major charter revisions are usually made by a commission of citizens drawn from every part of the city and are only proposed after adequate debate of each change.”
She emphasized that the proposed revisions were drafted by “developers led by the Nor’Wood Development Group,” which has since contributed more than half a million dollars to the campaign.
“It is troubling,” she said, “that a group that has a vested interest in city government decisions wishes to design the government that makes those decisions.”
The League is also concerned about the lack of public debate and by an “expensive (campaign of) slick fliers and TV advertisements.”
“The major problems facing our city are fiscal and financial,” Merritt said. “The council-manager system has served us well for 90 years. We may have outgrown government by volunteers, but we can pay our city officials to serve full-time without changing our form of government.”
The League has historically supported retaining the city manager form of government. Council has periodically referred measures to pay the mayor and council members, only one of which passed.
That proposal, approved by voters in 1995, entitles mayor and council to receive annual stipends of $6,250.