Fort Collins, Colorado

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Fort Collins is a city in Colorado.

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of Colorado city websites

Last rated on Jan. 30, 2012

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Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials Y
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Permits, zoning Y
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Audits
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Contracts
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Lobbying N
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Public Records Y
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Local Taxes P
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Transparency grading process

The good

  • Budget is provided.[1]
  • Meeting information and minutes are provided.[2]
  • Term limits, position information and individual officials' biography and contact information is provided.[3][4][5]
  • Information on obtaining building permits as well as online building permit applications and fees are provided. Zoning information is also provided.[6][7][8]
  • Contract applications are available[9][10]. The City also lists vendors by amount, by department and alphabetically.[11]
  • The city provides a public records portal online.[12]
  • Sales tax information is provided.[13]
  • Audits are available.[14]

The Bad

  • Extensive tax information is not provided.
  • Lobbying information is unavailable.

Elected Officials

The city of Fort Collins operates under a council/manager form of government. This means that a city council proposes and enacts legislation, in addition to appointing administrative officials. However, a large part of the city's day-to-day operations are overseen by a council-appointed city manager. The mayor serves as the head of the city council.

Fort Collins is represented by a six-member city council, each member representing an equally-populated district. They are elected on a nonpartisan basis for four-year terms. The mayor is elected at-large for a two-year term. The council chooses a mayor pro tem among themselves, and the pro tem serves a term of two years. Council members are limited to two terms in office. The mayor is limited to three terms.

The city council enacts city ordinances, appropriates funds, and provides policy direction to city staff. The council also appoints the city manager, city attorney, and municipal judge.[15]

Current members of the city council are[15]:

  • Karen Weitkunat, Mayor
  • Kelly Ohlson, Mayor Pro tem, District 5
  • Ben Manvel, District 1
  • Lisa Poppaw, District 2
  • Aislinn Kottwitz, District 3
  • Wade Troxell, District 4
  • Gerry Horak, District 6

Administrative Officials

The main administrative position in Fort Collins is that of the city manager. The manager oversees many of the day-to-day activities of the city, submits the budget for approval,and hires many of the other administrative positions. The current city manager for Fort Collins is Darin Atteberry.

Spending

Total Budget (in millions)[16]
Adopted 2010 2011  % Change 2012  % Change
Operating $448.7 $396.5 -11.6% $405.3 2.2%
Debt $21.3 $22.4 5.2% $23.2 3.6%
Capital $28.0 $27.5 -1.8% $19.1 -30.5%
Total City Appropriations* $498.0 $446.4 -10.4% $447.6 0.3%
Less Internal Service Funds -$58.1 -$55.2 -5.0% -$57.0 3.3%
Less Transfers to Other Funds -$95.4 -$38.7 -59.4% -$37.1 -4.1%
Net City Budget $344.5 $352.5 2.3% $353.5 0.3%

According to the 2011-2012 budget, the costs of Fort Collins government has declined consistently since 2005.[16]

Lobbying

The city of Fort Collins, Colorado has spent as much as $120,000 on lobbying in the past (2003). In 2010, the city paid $10,000 to Patton Boggs LLP.[17]. Patton Boggs does not have a separate ethics statement posted on their website.

Public Records and Transparency

Fort Collins residents are guaranteed access to public records through the Colorado Open Records Act. For formal, in-writing records requests, citizens must be able to receive records within three business days from the time of the request. Some extenuating circumstances may call for a 7-day time lapse, but the requester must be notified of this difference.

In Fort Collins, there is no charge for citizens to inspect public records on-site, unless the records take more than one hour to locate. For records that take more time to locate, the city charges for the labor spent. For routine requests, the citizen is charged $15/hr spent locating the record. For voluminous records, they are charged $25/hr. Copying of letter (8.5" x 11" ) sizes costs $.25/page. For legal sizes (11" x 17"), the charge is $.50.[18]

Taxes

Fort Collins, Colorado Tax Rates[19]
Current Tax Rates (effective January 1, 2011):
State of Colorado 2.9%
Larimer County 0.8%
City of Fort Collins 3.85%
Total Sales Tax 7.55%
Fort Collins Lodging Tax (in addition to above) 3.0%
Total Accommodations Tax 10.55%
Fort Collins Tax on Food For Home Consumption (no other tax applied) 2.25%
Total Food Tax 2.25%

Emergency Personnel

Fire Department

Fort Collins, Colorado uses the Poudre Fire Authority to protect their citizens in emergencies. The PFA is located within the city and serves the city and the Poudre Valley Fire Production District. The fire authority employs 168 full-time employees.

Police Department

Fort Collins employs its own police department. Its mission statement is: "Fort Collins Police Services exists to enhance the quality of life in our community by providing quality, cost-effective service in the areas of law enforcement, public safety, and community well-being."[20]

External links


References

  1. Budget, 11-12
  2. Meetings
  3. Term limits
  4. City Council
  5. Departments information
  6. Building permit fees and information
  7. Building permit application
  8. Zoning
  9. Contractor licensing
  10. General contractor application form
  11. Fort Collins, Colorado -- Browse Vendors
  12. City docs
  13. Sales taxes
  14. Fort Collins, Colorado -- Finance
  15. 15.0 15.1 Fort Collins, Colorado -- City Leadership
  16. 16.0 16.1 [1]
  17. Open Secrets -- City of Fort Collins, Colorado
  18. City of Fort Collins, Colorado. Clerk's Office. "Public Records Policy," Accessed 1 Nov 2011
  19. Fort Collins, CO -- Sales Tax Rates
  20. Fort Collins, Colorado -- Police Department