BY DORIS B. TRUHLAR
The Centennial City Council recently in a study session considered ballot initiatives that will be on the ballot in the Nov. 6 election, and indicated unanimously that it will recommend that voters cast their ballots against Initiative 108, which an assistant city attorney said would drastically and negatively impact local government.
The council last year adopted a policy that permits it to take a position on certain ballot initiative questions. Previously, the council did not take a position on ballot measures. A vote of at least seven members of the nine-member council is required for the council to take a position on any initiative measure. The council’s position will be posted on the City of Centennial website, centennialco.gov.
An initiative is a question on the ballot that has been initiated by obtaining the signatures of voters. Assistant City Attorney Jennifer Madsen was the presenter to the council. Initiative 108, which likely will have some other designation when it is on the ballot, would amend the “takings” law in the Colorado Constitution to allow private property owners to sue state and local governments when the fair market value of their property is reduced by some government action.
Madsen said in a written report that was also from City Attorney Robert Widner to the council that, if approved, the proposal would “turn takings law on its head and would require governments to compensate property owners for even the slightest decrease in property value.” The Colorado Municipal League is strongly opposing Initiative 108.
Councilman Ron Weidmann stated that the initiative is a “bad idea” that would have “significant impact on the city.”
The council also voted not to support Initiative 153, which would impose a 0.62 sales tax for 20 years to fund transportation projects across Colorado, with the revenues going 45 percent to the State Highway Fund, 15 percent to a Transportation Options Fund, and 40 percent to the Local Transportation Priorities Fund. Councilwoman Carrie Penaloza said she was “very reluctant” to take a position, and by a 5-4 vote the council turned down the recommendation of the city attorney’s office to support the initiative.
In other business, the council:
Heard a report from Arapahoe County Sheriff Dave Walcher that his department is “going pink” to support breast cancer awareness and that the new Unified Metropolitan Forensic Crime Laboratory will have its grand opening Thursday, Sept. 27. Walcher also said that Littleton Adventist Hospital is doing “good work” related to breast cancer. The laboratory will be a partnership between Douglas and Arapahoe Counties, the City of Aurora, and the 18th Judicial District.
Received a report from Arapahoe Sheriff Chief Glenn Thompson that the sheriff’s department has several investigations involving child pornography and/or internet luring of a child.
Heard a report from South Metro Fire Rescue Chief Bob Baker that Station 32, under construction at South Quebec Street and East Arapahoe Road in Centennial, “should be done in October.” He also reported that a number of South Metro firefighters went to other states to fight forest fires this summer.
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