Colorado Springs City Enterprise Measure, 2009

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A Colorado Springs City Enterprise Measure appeared on the November 3, 2009 ballot in El Paso County for Colorado Springs voters. The measure proposed phasing out, over a period of 8 years, payments to city enterprises including a stormwater fee.[1] The measure was proposed by Douglas Bruce, an advocate against taxes.[2]

Election results

The measure was approved.[3]

Measure 300
Result Votes Percentage
Approveda Yes 53241 54.55%
No 44352 45.45%
Total votes 97593 100.00%
Voter turnout 46.06%


Ballot title

The ballot language read as follows:[4]

Shall an initiated ordinance be adopted by the City of Colorado Springs to read as follows: Excluding sales and use taxes forwarded from enterprise customers, all enterprise payments to the city shall phase out in eight or fewer equal yearly steps starting in January, 2010, with all yearly savings passed on as reductions to each customer bill in dollar amounts as equal as possible. Hereafter, all loans, gifts, and subsidies between an enterprise and the city or another enterprise are prohibited?

Background

The measure missed the deadline for the November ballot but after much discussion it was concluded that a special election would be too costly. In late August 2009 the city clerk announced that the city would conduct an expedited verification to complete the signature count before September 2009. Petition supporters submitted more than 22,000 signatures.In order to place the measure on the November ballot, petitioners must meet the 11,470 valid signature requirement.[5]

A "yes" vote on the enterprise measure means the stormwater enterprise fee will be phased out by the year 2018, along with other enterprise payments to the city. A "no" vote maintains the current fee.[6]

Text of measure

On September 9, 2009 Fourth Judicial District Judge G. David Miller rejected Douglas Bruce's ballot language challenge. Additionally, Judge Miller rejected Bruce's proposal to attach a 500-word commentary with the ballot measure. Bruce argued that the City Council violated the city charter when they inserted a clause that, he said, makes the question a "yes" or "no" question. Bruce argued that it should be "for" or "against." Of the judge's decision, Bruce said,"They don’t care about misleading the voters. They want to mislead the voters. That’s all they’ve got going for them."[7]

Path to the ballot

Petition supporters submitted 23,650 signatures. In order to place the measure on the November ballot, petitioners must meet the 11,470 valid signature requirement.[5] According to city officials, of the total submitted signatures, 15,483 were accepted while 7,167 were rejected.[8]

Aftermath

The city of Colorado Springs has some legal issues with this ballot measure and have asked Douglas Bruce to discuss he issue. The city council believes that another part of the city charter would override this measure making it so that the measure would have no legal affect in the city. Although the city and Bruce have had a heated past, the council is not looking forward to the meeting, they still feel that it is better to talk with him and address the issue rather than circumvent the will of the people as shown in the vote.[9]

See also

External links

References