Eagle voters to decide fate of home rule proposal
Town board putting it before voters for April election
EAGLE — The town’s home rule proposal is headed to Eagle voters in April.
The Town Board made it official this week, voting unanimously to put the proposed home rule charter before voters on the April municipal election ballot.
The Town Board’s vote follows months of work by an elected home rule charter commission that created the document, and two public hearings.
Scott Turnipseed made the motion. Kevin Brubeck seconded it and the Town Board approved it.
“We’re off and running,” Anne McKibbin said.
Essentially, a home rule charter is the community’s constitution.
“This would become the foundational and structural document for the town going forward,” charter commission member Charlie Wick said.
The charter outlines the powers and authorities the town’s voters grant to its municipal government.
Right now, Eagle and Red Cliff are Eagle County’s only statutory towns, operating as a division of the state government. Statutory towns can only exercise powers that are granted by state law. State legislators come and go, but their policies remain.
Home rule communities operate independently of the state government.
“We can do it on our own,” Wick said.
The town would still need voter approval for tax increases — as required by the Colorado Constitution’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which has been enshrined in Colorado’s constitution since 1992.
Statewide, 93.44% of Coloradans who live in cities and towns reside in a home rule municipality, according to the Colorado Municipal League.
Eagle already supports it
Most Eagle voters already support the idea. A survey by Magellan Strategies before the home rule charter commission started its work found that 74% of Eagle voters support home rule after learning that federal and state laws — such as TABOR — still apply, but the town would have the power to create its own laws and policies without state interference.