BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER
Election ballots are due by 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 5. For anyone who is still studying theirs, here is some information that might help:
All Colorado voters are being asked to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down on two questions, Proposition CC and Proposition DD.
Proposition CC asks Coloradans for permission to allow the state to keep tax revenue it has received that exceeds the limits set by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which permits increased revenue to the state based only on the rate of inflation and the percentage that population increases, not actual cost increases of services provided by the government. Under the law passed by popular vote in 1992, amounts exceeding those prescribed limits must be returned to every individual taxpayer as a refund. Refunds only occur in economically flush years. All indications are that 2019 is such a year. Required refunds to taxpayers have been estimated at $38 per person for 2019. Voters who say yes to Proposition CC are telling the state legislature to forego the refunds and to instead use the extra money for three identified purposes in equal proportions: K-12 education, public colleges and universities in Colorado, and transportation. The spending for those purposes will be audited to ensure compliance.
Proposition DD takes advantage of a 2018 United States Supreme Court decision that eliminated the prohibition on legal sports gambling in any state that wishes to allow it. Colorado is asking its residents for permission to do just that, including by use of an app on a cell phone, through already-licensed casinos in Central City, Cripple Creek, and Blackhawk. The state would take a ten percent cut of the profits the casinos earn from sports betting and use it to fund approved water projects. The money would flow through the Colorado Water Conservation Board, not the legislature. If approved, the annual revenue from the ten percent tax is estimated at $29 million.
Arapahoe County Question
Arapahoe County, Douglas County, and Jefferson County all have ballot issues designated as number 1A. Voters who read or hear about “1A” in a different county from the one in which they live are bound to be confused.
In Arapahoe County, ballot issue 1A is to approve the construction of a new county jail. The current Arapahoe County Jail, built in 1986 to hold 386 inmates, presently houses 1,100. It is, by virtually all accounts, overcrowded, in dangerously poor condition, and unfixable. According to all five Arapahoe County Commissioners (3 Republicans and 2 Democrats) and a 25-member independent citizens committee, it will take an increase of $68 in annual property taxes on an average home to replace the facility with a new one that is technologically up-to-date and built based on a current understanding of the best methods in criminal justice. The tax would be reduced once the bonds used to finance the construction are paid off.
On November 5 Aurora will elect a city council representative for ward four from Juan Marcano and Charlie Richardson, for ward five from Alison Coombs and Bob Roth, and from ward six from Francoise Bergan and Bryan Lindstrom. Two at-large candidates will be chosen from Curtis Gardner, Angela Lawson, Martha Lugo, Thomas Mayes, Johnny Watson, and Leanne Denise Wheeler. A new mayor for the city will be elected from Mike Coffman, Omar Montgomery, Renie Peterson, Ryan Frazier, Marsha Berzins, and Tiffany Grays, who is running as a write-in candidate.
Greenwood Village’s elections for mayor and city council representatives from districts one and four are uncontested. In district two, voters will elect two people from Jill Burbary, Anne Ingebretsen, and Dave Kerber. In district three, voters will choose two people out of four running, Donna Johnston, Mark Wilson, Brian Strandes, and Elizabeth Barnacle.
There is also a ballot question in which the city is asking for permission to provide subscriber-based telecommunication, cable TV, and high speed bandwith services. GV officials told The Villager that they have no current plans to do any of those things.
Littleton voters will choose a representative for district two from Kathleen Eckel, Jerry Valdes, and Jane Ozga, and for district four from Iftin Abshir and Kelly Milliman. Two at-large candidates will be elected from Pam Grove, Bill Schwanitz, Jessica Mendes Ford, Scott Melin, and Kyle Schachter.
Englewood residents will elect a representative for district one from Monica Johnson, Othoniel Sierra, and Bobby Jennings. In district three, Joe Anderson or Laurett Barrentine will be elected. Two at-large city council members will be selected from Rita Russell, Steve Ward, and John Stone.
Since Sept., The Villager has run articles covering candidate forums for mayor of Aurora and city council elections in Englewood and Littleton. We also interviewed all seven candidates in the two contested races in Greenwood Village. There were several articles on the statewide ballot issues and five on Arapahoe County ballot issue 1A throughout the summer.
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