Castle Pines voters will see a question on their general election ballots this November asking them to change the city’s form of government. The city council on July 24 gave the final approval …
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Castle Pines voters will see a question on their general election ballots this November asking them to change the city’s form of government.
The city council on July 24 gave the final approval needed to initiate the city’s transition from a statutory municipality to home rule governance.
Home rule essentially allows the city more freedom in handling local issues, city officials have said, where as in a statutory municipality staff and council must defer to state law when making decisions.
The first step in the process to attain home rule status is asking voters to move forward in becoming home rule by creating a charter commission, and second, having them elect the members of that charter commission. Both issues will be handled in the November general election.
City staff estimate the cost of holding the election will be $15,000.
If voters approve becoming home rule, the new charter commission would have 180 days to draft a charter. A second election would then be called for voters to consider the charter. All the commission’s meeting would be public.
City Manager Michael Penny has said the move was in talks for years, but the city is pursuing home rule now so it can begin collecting its own sales tax, something currently handled by the state, and so it can gain more control over local issues.
Councilmembers have spoken positively about becoming home rule and a community survey commissioned by the city was also well-received. Results showed the majority of polled voters did not know what home rule was, but after being read information about the system, they were likely to approve it.
“I think this is a very exciting opportunity for our citizens and for our community to actually tailor our charter for our values,” said Mayor Tera Radloff. “It gives us a lot more flexibility.”
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