Lots of reformers out there | VailDaily.com

Lots of reformers out there

EAGLE COUNTY – Apparently, there is no shortage of local residents willing to help reform local government. More than 20 residents want to join a committee that, if voters give their approval of the so-called “Home Rule” question in November, will re-design county government by writing a form of mini-Constitution. The biggest anticipated change, and the proposal driving the ballot question, is expanding the board of county commissioners from five members to three. Voters Nov. 8 will only decide whether to form the committee, not make any of the actual changes. That committee would have 240 days to write what’s known as a county “charter.” If a charter is written, if will also have to approved by voters. A charter also could also reduce the role of political parties in local elections, meaning commission candidates would not run as Democrats or Republicans. More than a third of the active voters in Eagle County are not affiliated with a political party.Other changes that could be made include whether the top administrative positions – such as clerk, treasurer, assessor, sheriff, coroner and surveyor – are should be elected, as they are now, or appointed positions. The charter could also determine whether part-time residents of the county, such as second-home owners, should be allowed to vote on local issues, like tax increases.Voters will see two ballot questions regarding home rule. The first will ask whether they want to pursue home rule by forming the committee. The second will allow voters to choose members of the committee.The committee will have three representatives from each of the three county commissioner districts; and two at-large representatives. Smoking ban A ballot question that would allow the county commissioners to ban smoking in public places in parts of Eagle County could been finalized Tuesday. The vote will act like a poll – if the majority of voters endorse a ban, the county can pass a law that would apply only to unincorporated areas of Eagle County such as Eagle-Vail, Edwards, Beaver Creek, Cordillera and Dotsero, among others. A town-by-town breakdown of the vote would also tell officials in Vail, Avon and Eagle, for instance, whether their residents want a smoking ban. ==========================================Reform candidatesThe following residents are candidates for a committee that, with voter approval, will redesign Eagle County’s government and perhaps expand the Board of County Commissioners. Three people from each district and two at-large candidates will be chosen: District 1 (Upvalley)Bill Jewitt, VailHeather Lemon, AvonDon Lemon, AvonColleen McCarthy, VailDistrict 2 (Midvalley:John Horan-Kates, EdwardsDick Bourret, EdwardsRon Wolfe, AvonDon Cohen, EdwardsCharlie Wick, EaglePeter Buckley, AvonKathy Chandler-Henry, EagleDistrict 3 (Downvalley):Robert Schultz, El JebelJacque Whitsitt, BasaltTom Edwards, GypsumJon Harrison, Eagle (Eby Creek)Harvey Branscomb, BasaltMichael Bair, BasaltAt-large:Rohn Robbins, EdwardsDave Mott, WolcottMike Mathias, VailKara Hide, Edwards==========================================Vail, Colorado

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