Thursday, September 1, 2011

Adams County Commissioners to Refer Ballot Question to Voters

State Law Mandates Referral of this Measure to the 2012 General Election

The Adams County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution in public hearing today, directing county staff to prepare a ballot question asking voters whether or not to increase the Board of County Commissioners from three to five members. This resolution represents a commitment the board made as part of the strategic reform package adopted on May 25, 2011.

"We promised citizens we would enact sweeping reforms to bring good and responsible government to Adams County," said Chairman W. R. "Skip" Fischer. "Today, we are following through on another reform measure."

The board recently conducted a public opinion poll to gauge residents' interest in restructuring county government to establish a Home Rule Charter Commission and/or change from a three to five member board of commissioners. The results of the poll, conducted by Ciruli Associates, found more support for considering a board expansion than for pursuing home rule. The survey further showed the public to be closely divided on the issue of expanding the board, with nearly one-half saying they favored the opportunity to vote on the issue.

"We said that we would bring this issue to our citizens, and now we are able to show that we are listening," said Commissioner Alice J. Nichol. "The people have spoken and we are committed to making sure they are heard."

Through the adopted resolution, the Board of County Commissioners authorized Adams County staff to take action to ensure this issue is referred to Adams County voters at the next possible election. Colorado Revised Statute mandates that this type of question may only be referred to the registered electors of the county at a General Election occurring each even-numbered year. The next General Election is Nov. 6, 2012.

"We are following through on every promise we made to citizens in May," said Commissioner Erik Hansen. "This is just one of the many reforms we are moving forward to establish a transparent and accountable system of government in Adams County."

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