Will voters reform county government? | VailDaily.com

Will voters reform county government?

Edward Stoner
Preston Utley/Vail DailyVoters on both sides of the issue have strong opinions of changing the way the county government operates.

VAIL ” Joyce Newton of Eagle-Vail said home rule is too expensive for what the county would get from it.

“I was turned off by the price tag,” she said. “I didn’t see the cost justification.”

But Chuck Anderson of Avon said he likes home rule because it would improve representation by increasing the number of commissioners.

“In my eyes, that’s probably a better thing,” he said.

Voters went to the polls Tuesday to decide whether the county will adopt the home rule charter, which would reform the county government. It would increase the number of county commissioners from three to five and remove party affiliations from county races.

Opponents say home rule would be too costly and that the county is working well as it is run now. Kara Chandler of Avon said Eagle County shouldn’t mess with the way the government was set up by the founding fathers.

“Government was created the way it was for a reason,” she said.

Jim Broghammer of Avon said he voted against home rule, even though his understanding of it was a bit hazy.

“That’s one of the issues I didn’t know a lot about,” he said.

Broghammer said home rule hasn’t seemed to work in other Colorado counties that have adopted it, such as Pitkin and Weld counties.

Chris O’Shea of East Vail said home rule would provide better representation.

“I think it could get the opinions out there better, more voices heard,” he said.

The cost of home rule, which would be about $386,000 per year for salaries, benefits and administration, was not a big issue to him, O’Shea said.

“I think it’s a small price to pay,” he said. “You’re not going to get anything for free.”

Lines at Donovan Park reached the door the morning, with voters waiting up to an hour to cast votes. One of the eight electronic voting machines was broken and not being used.

Janet Anderson of Avon said home rule gives residents a more defined voice.

“Sometimes cost is good when you have the benefit we will acquire from it,” she said.

Two more representatives on the Board of Commissioners would help, said Chris Evans of Avon.

“More minds is better than fewer,” he said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.

Vail, Colorado

Support Local Journalism