King: No city-referred measures in November

voteIt looks as if Colorado Springs City Council won’t refer any charter amendments to city voters this fall. Here’s the text of an email from Council President Keith King to his colleagues (in italics).

Council Members: We just finished the agenda planning session for Monday and Tuesday. There are two issues that I want to inform you about. The first is when a ballot issue is referred to the voters. The stormwater task force referred measure is going to be referred by the county. We do not know yet whether or not the county is expecting the city to help pay for that to be put on the ballot. If we put anything on the November ballot: city council employees, marijuana, city specific infrastructure vote, utility signature by Mayor, district run-off for council, etc., we need to finalize those issues by the end of July. 

After thinking about the cost of up to $450,000 to place city referred measures on the November ballot, I am no longer in favor of referring issues in November and think that the city issues should go on the April ballot. If the majority of Council want to put ballot issues on the November ballot, we need to have those discussions about the issues beginning with next week’s work session agenda. 

SO IF A MAJORITY OF COUNCIL WANT THESE ITEMS TO BE DISCUSSED ON THE TUESDAY REGULAR MEETING AGENDA, I NEED TO KNOW BY WEDNESDAY AT NOON SO WE CAN PUT THEM ON THE TUESDAY AGENDA.

 …

IF I DO NOT HEAR FROM YOU BY NOON TOMORROW, I ASSUME YOU DO NOT WANT THE MEASURES PLACED ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT.

Keith 

That seems like a highly reasonable decision, given the cost to the city and the cluttered November ballot. It does mean the April 2015 city elections will be extraordinarily interesting and contentious. We’ll be electing a mayor and three at-large councilmembers.

Jan Martin can’t run again, thanks to term limits, but incumbents Val Snyder and Merv Bennett are free to run if they so choose.

Mayor Steve Bach can also run for another term, but has yet to announce his intentions. It seems almost certain that John Suthers, who will complete his final term as Colorado’s attorney general this year, will enter the race. And it’s clear that Jan Martin’s many fans would like to see her enter the race.

A Suthers/Bach/Martin contest would certainly generate some fireworks, and having three or four Council-referred charter changes could make things even more interesting.

One Response to King: No city-referred measures in November

  1. It seems insane for him to put off the ballot referral to MJ since that could be a great revenue stream in the near future. The stormwater issue is also paramount as we enter the rainy season.

    All other issues aside, the citizens want our city to thrive. The citizens interested in the MJ issue decided not to petition after we all had some great conversations with Council Members. In addition, we were pretty much stopped in our tracks by city administration when we went to begin the petition process, which is not surprising as most of those folks are probably worried about losing their jobs if Bach so much as blinks at them.

    In a landslide, we approved Amendment 64. On any other issue, Colorado Springs would be regulating responsibly rather than allowing the black market to continue to hold sway over the MJ industry in the Springs. Crime is on the increase (versus Denver, who regulated and is seeing a decrease), and regular citizens cannot get help because we can barely afford to pay our police force to keep the streets and our kids safe. Parks are infested with people dealing, and they’re not dealing marijuana.

    Instead of the greatly feared cannabis, we’ve got an influx of folks dealing cocaine, heroine, and other hard drugs like the legal but highly addictive substance, oxycodone. If we want a city that is deemed family-safe, we need to put smart, responsible policies in place.

    In addition to public safety and health concerns if we do not regulate retail, there’s the money issue. We could have already made $5 mil plus on this, and the revenues will only continue to grow, providing more money to localities that were smart enough to enact special taxes.

    I’m just saying. If we’re worried about money, maybe we should worry about putting in place policies that ensure we make it, regardless of our personal qualms. Cannabis is legal, and it’s here to stay. It’s our responsibility as citizens, aunts, uncles, parents, and grandparents to hold our government accountable for the kids and for our city’s future.

    Lindsay Deen
    June 20, 2014 at 11:14 am