Thursday, June 16, 2011

Great parks? It's up to the commissioners

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 2:22 PM

The Great Parks, Great Communities Initiative that would give taxpayer support to a county-wide parks system is approaching one of its biggest hurdles.

On Tuesday, June 21, the initiative will face the El Paso County Commissioners, who have the power to either put the question on the November ballot or refuse to do so.

Most commissioners have been cool to the idea of all November ballot issues, with some saying they are trying to avoid a November ballot to save the associated expense. However, skeptics have suggested that the commissioners' true motivation is avoiding putting a new — and this time, less deceptive — question about their own term limits on the ballot.

Whatever happens, the events of June 21 should be telling. Here are the details:

Board of El Paso County Commissioners To Consider Parks Ballot Question

El Paso County, June 16, 2011 — The Board of El Paso County Commissioners will hear a formal request during their regularly scheduled meeting on June 21, 2011 to put a question on the November election ballot asking voters to approve a new tax to fund ongoing maintenance of City and County parks, recreation services, trails and open space throughout El Paso County.

The request to put the “Great Parks-Great Communities Initiative” on the November general election ballot comes from a citizens group which has been studying funding alternatives for area parks, trails and recreation services for several years. The Board of County Commissioners received a briefing from the group during a joint meeting with the Colorado Springs City Council but the Board has made no recommendations or decisions regarding this matter. Commissioners will consider a variety of factors, including election costs, the impacts of recent voter approved changes in the structure and operations of Colorado Springs City government and current economic conditions in determining whether or not the question should be placed on the ballot.

The ballot question request is scheduled as a regular action item on the June 21 agenda. The meeting will be held in the Commissioners Hearing Room on the third floor of the County Office Building, at 27 East Vermijo starting at 9:00 a.m.

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