2015 Election questions

2015 Election questions

Ordinance No. 2015 – 30 
November Election – Even Numbered Years

Shall the Town of Castle Rock Home Rule Charter be amended to: (i) change the date of regular municipal elections to the general election date in November of even-numbered years beginning in 2016; (ii) conduct such elections as coordinated elections with Douglas County under the Uniform Election Code of 1992; and (iii) adopt a transition plan on Town Council terms to implement such change in election date, by revising Sections 2-3, 4-1, 4-2, 4-3, and Article XVII of the Town of Castle Rock Home Rule Charter, as provided in Ordinance No. 2015-30?

Currently, Castle Rock voters elect new Councilmembers in April of even-numbered years. If approved, this change would 
coordinate these elections with Douglas County, placing them instead in November of even-numbered years.

As Castle Rock continues to grow, it makes sense to coordinate these elections. This would help make the election process more efficient and would save taxpayer dollars.

However, a transition plan would be necessary. Council terms scheduled to end in April would be adjusted to November. These changes would be necessary to coordinate the election schedule.

Ordinance No. 2015 – 31
Website Public Notice

Shall Section 7-3 of the Town Home Rule Charter be amended to require the posting of public notices of ordinances on the Town of Castle Rock website rather than publication in a newspaper, as provided in Ordinance No. 2015-31?

Times have changed, and nearly everyone uses the Internet as part of their daily lives. In an effort to work more efficiently and save taxpayer dollars, this question would change the Town’s public notice posting place for ordinances from the local newspaper to the Town’s website, CRgov.com.

Transparency is a priority for the Town. Currently, Town Charter dictates public notices be run in the legal public notices section of the local newspaper. Allowing public notices to be published online would allow Town staff to more quickly publish notices. It would also save the Town money and make these notices more accessible to the public, as not every neighborhood in Town receives the newspaper.

Ordinance No. 2015 – 32
Signature Percentage – Referendum

Shall Section 15-2(b) of the Town of Castle Rock Home Rule Charter be amended to increase the percentage of registered voter signatures required on a referendum petition from five percent to ten percent, as provided in Ordinance No. 2015-32?

Town Council makes local laws by ordinance. In most cases, once an ordinance passes two readings, which both include opportunities for public input, there is a waiting period. Then, the ordinance becomes part of local law. During that waiting period, there is time for residents to protest the ordinance by referendum.

Currently, the Charter requires signatures from 5 percent of registered Castle Rock voters to validate the referendum petition, so it can move forward. Council proposes to increase that requirement to 10 percent, which is allowed under the State Constitution. 

This increase will help ensure the protest of the ordinance is in line with what a greater number of Castle Rock voters want. Town Council is elected by voters to make decisions and keep the Town running smoothly. As a voter, you count on your elected official to represent your needs. This change would allow Castle Rock voters to be heard while keeping the referendum process as an option.

Ordinance No. 2015 – 33
Signature Percentage – Initiative

Shall Section 15-1(b) of the Town of Castle Rock Home Rule Charter be amended to increase the percentage of registered voter signatures required on an initiative petition from ten percent to fifteen percent, as provided in Ordinance No. 2015-33?

Another way voters can create local laws is through the initiative process. Initiatives are ordinances started by voters, rather than by Town Council. 

Voters elect their Council representatives to make decisions and approve ordinances in the best interest of the Town. An initiative would most likely be something that has not been determined a community priority by the Town.

Currently, Town Charter requires valid signatures from 10 percent of registered voters to get an initiative to ballot. Town Council proposes to raise that percentage to 15 percent. This change will help ensure any initiative is representative of as many Castle Rock voters as possible, before the Town invests in an election. (Even if the Town coordinates elections with the County, there would still be a cost to the Town to have an election.)

Ordinance No. 2015 – 34
Withdrawal of Referendum /Initiative Petition

Shall Section 15-6 of the Town of Castle Rock Home Rule Charter be amended to change the timeframe in which an initiative or referendum petition can be withdrawn to not later than 12:00 PM on the date the Town Council is to consider the subject petition, as provided in Ordinance No. 2015-34?

Just as a group can start a referendum, it can also withdraw it.

Here’s how the process works: residents who disagree with an ordinance (local law) Town Council passes can challenge 
it through a referendum. They gather signatures, and then – if there are enough valid signatures – Council must either rescind the ordinance or put it to a public vote. That decision is made at a public meeting.

Currently, the protesters who initiate the referendum have until 20 days before the election to withdraw their petition. However, if a protester waits that long to withdraw his or her petition, money would have already been spent on coordinating the election, printing ballots and even mailing them. Limiting the timeframe for when a petition can be withdrawn would minimize the risk of wasting taxpayer dollars on an unnecessary election.

This new provision would require petitioners who want to withdraw a petition to do so by noon the day of the public meeting where Council must either rescind the ordinance or put it to a public vote. Logistically, this change would help ensure more efficient public meetings and save taxpayer dollars. 
Ordinance No. 2015 – 35
Signature Removal from Referendum / Initiative Petition

Shall Sections 15-1 and 15-2 of the Town of Castle Rock Home Rule Charter be amended to authorize the withdrawal of a signature by a registered elector on an initiative or referendum petition on or before the date of filing of such petition, as provided in Ordinance No. 2015-35?

During a petition or referendum process, petitioners gather signatures from registered voters. They stand outside local grocery stores, the library, or recreation areas. Sometimes, voters sign petitions without having the opportunity to fully research the proposals. 

This new provision in the Town Charter would create a process for voters to remove their signatures from a petition before the petition is submitted to the Town for verification. Thus, if a voter researches and discovers he or she does not agree with the petition, the individual can remove his or her signature before it is used to validate the petition and continue that referendum or initiative through the public process.

This article originated from http://www.crgov.com/index.aspx?NID=2309
This post was originally published on this site

This post was originally published on this site
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