Home rule charter had better be a simple one | VailDaily.com

Home rule charter had better be a simple one

EAGLE COUNTY ” The two Eagle County Commissioners who supported an effort to change the way county government works have a simple message: Don’t change too much.

“It didn’t pass by a great margin, so the commission needs to be very careful to keep it simple,” Commissioner Arn Menconi said.

Eagle County voters agreed to form a charter commission and elected 11 members to form it. The commission will draft a charter outlining changes to the county government, which voters will then vote for or against next year.

Commissioner Peter Runyon, who spearheaded the effort to get the home rule question on this year’s ballot, said too much tinkering with the way county government works today could backfire. He’s especially wary of the prospect of turning some now-elected officials into county departments with supervisors appointed by the commissioners.

Opponents of this year’s ballot issue warned against the prospect of turning elected jobs into appointed ones in a phone message many voters received in mid-October.

“It would be a mistake to start addressing other elected jobs in this charter,” Runyon said. “Once we have a charter that includes five commissioners, if they want to address the other offices, voters deserve to look at each one as an individual question.”

Even the prospect of five commissioners should be kept simple, Menconi said.

Several candidates for the Home Rule Charter Commission said they would like to see the commissioners elected from distinct districts, with voters casting ballots only for candidates from their districts. Commissioners now are elected from districts, but voters throughout the county vote for candidates from all those districts.

Changing how commissioners are elected today could lose votes, Menconi said.

“I’m in favor of five commissioners,” he said. “But unless they’re elected at large, as they are today, I’ll vote against it.”

Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14624, or smiller@vaildaily.com.

Vail Daily, Vail Colorado

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