What would change under home rule? | VailDaily.com

What would change under home rule?

Alison Miller
Vail CO, Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY ” Change could be on the horizon if voters approve sweeping government reform through the adoption of a home-rule charter.

Supporters and opponents may disagree on whether home rule is the right thing to do. But one thing is clear: If voters approve the current the home-rule charter, here’s what would change:

Some of the biggest changes the charter would bring are the addition of two county commissioners, the re-districting of the county for elections, the ability for citizens to put their own proposed laws on election ballots and the removal of the county surveyors position.

Under Article Two of the proposed charter, five county commissioners would be elected by the county’s voters to represent five districts. Though each commissioner would be required to live in the district they would represent, the county’s voters as a whole would decide each district’s representative.

The two additional commissioners will be elected in 2008 along with candidates for two of the existing commissioner seats, and the lowest vote-getter of the winners for commissioner would receive a two-year term.

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The county would also go from having three districts to five.

Article Seven of the charter calls for the ability of citizens of Eagle County to have the right to petition initiatives and referendums onto the election ballots. Citizens would be able to create or repeal laws through this process on everything except land use and budget issues.

To include a citizen-led initiative in an election, 15 percent of the total number of registered voters in the county would have to sign a petition in order to introduce the question on to the ballot.

The office of the surveyor would also be abolished if home rule is approved by voters. Under Article Four of the charter, the currently elected surveyor, Dan Corcoran, would finish his elected term and then the position would be dissolved.

The county engineer or someone he appoints would be given the power to perform all of the duties now required of the surveyor. Any business that would not be handled by the engineer would then be delegated to another staff member by the board of commissioners.

Ballots for the special election on home rule were mailed on April 10 to all active voters in the county. The ballots are due back to the County Clerk’s Office by May 1, and can be mailed back or dropped off at any of the county clerks offices in Avon, Edwards or Eagle.

Staff Writer Alison Miller can be reached at 748-2928 or armiller@vaildaily.com.

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