City plans to ask voters to reconsider legal publication methods – Estes Park Trail-Gazette
The City will soon begin to prepare for the next ordinary municipal election on April 5, 2022 to elect three director seats currently held by directors Bangs, Cenac and Webermeier – all of whom are eligible to stand for re-election. It is also time for the City to consider putting questions on the ballot. The city council recently discussed two issues related to the publication of ordinances and bills.
In a recent study session, council considered a potential voting question that would eliminate publication of the full text of ordinances passed by city council in the newspaper. Instead, it would require the title to be published only in the newspaper, with the full text placed on the City’s website as it currently stands. A second ballot question would eliminate the publication of invoices and statements of concern related to contracts and discounts in the newspaper, and continue the current practice of placing all of these documents on the City’s website. You can watch the October 26 Council study session at www.estes.org/videos.
As a statutory community, the city is able to consider these matters as described in the revised Colorado statutes. Voters in communities large and small, statutory and autonomous, endorsed these issues, reducing publication costs for their communities.
You might be wondering, “Why is this important to me as a voter for Estes Park and why now?” The City presented these questions to voters in 2012 and the measures failed. Since then, the city has invested heavily in developing a robust website and enterprise-wide document management system in which you can easily retrieve minutes, orders, resolutions. and current and previous city council documents, including invoices. Finding public records is easier than ever. Information is available earlier, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and in perpetuity, thanks to our site’s powerful search engine. For those who do not have Internet access, or who prefer paper, we continue to make these files available in paper form at the town hall.
The next step is for city council to review the final verbiage of the ballot questions, tentatively in January, and make its final decision on the procedure. If the ballot questions are adopted by voters in 2022, they would save Estes Park taxpayers about $ 6,000 per year in publication costs, as well as considerable staff time. The City, in turn, would use the cost savings and staff time for services that our clients deem important to them.
Until voters have a chance to consider these issues in April 2022, please take the time, as many have done since the pandemic began in 2020, to check out the city’s robust records portal at the address www.estes.org/recordsportal. If you have any questions about the proposed questions, would like to organize an educational presentation with local groups, or need more information on how to use the Records Portal, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-577-4777. Most importantly, your voice matters, so don’t forget to vote on April 5, 2022.