The Colorado Springs City Council is considering five charter changes for the November ballot, including the question about Memorial, according to a memo obtained by The Gazette.
During his State of the City address, Mayor Steve Bach talked about possible charter amendments to “clean up” the strong-mayor form of government that voters approved last year, and some of the proposed charter changes reflect amendments that Bach discussed in June.
To read more about what Bach said in June, click here.
But city officials haven’t discussed any of the proposed ballot questions in public.
On Monday afternoon, Council President Scott Hente confirmed that council members were considering five proposed charter amendments, but he declined to provide a copy of the memo outlining the proposals to The Gazette
The memo, dated Aug. 12, was written by City Attorney Patricia Kelly and addressed to the mayor and council.
Here is the full text of the memo:
TO: City Council and Mayor Bach
FROM: City Attorney/Chief Legal Officer
SUBJECT: Draft Ballot Questions for Review
DATE: August 12, 2011
According to the Election Calendar as established by law and available on the County Clerk & Recorder’s website, September 2, 2011 is the last date on which ballot issues can be referred to the County Clerk & Recorder.
If City Council wishes to refer any ballot questions to the November 1, 2011 Coordinated Election, it can make that referral at the Formal Council Meeting of August 23, 2011 or at a Special Meeting of City Council upon at least 24 hours of public notice on or before September 2, 2011.
Ballot questions that involve the City Charter must be referred by ordinance; other ballot issues not involving the City Charter may be referred by resolution. Due to the timing of preparing the ordinances and/or resolutions and because these have not been discussed directly with City Council or the Mayor for the most part, I request that you give me any feedback to these draft questions no later than close of business on Monday, August 15, 2011 so that I may prepare the full ordinance and/or resolution for the agenda packet on Tuesday, August 16, 2011. The agenda packet is available sometime shortly after noon on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 for the August 23, 2011 combined Council Formal/Informal Meeting.
Draft Ballot Question #1 re MHS (This question is prepared at the request of the Task Force)
As City Council may lease the assets of Memorial Health System to a nonprofit organization responsible to the City to assure continuation of the mission and services currently provided by Memorial Health System, shall the following ordinances be repealed: Ordinance No. 1854 (1949) that requires City Council to levy a tax to pay for any operating deficit of Memorial Health System, and Ordinances No. 1856 (1949) and No. 3131(1965) that provides for City Council to appoint the Board of Trustees’?”
Draft Ballot Question #2 re Charter delegation of Mayor’s signatory authority (This question is prepared at the request of Chief of Staff)
“Shall the City Charter of the City of Colorado Springs be amended to provide for more efficient administration of the Municipal Government by amending City Charter Art. IV, section 4-10 to read, in part, ‘The Mayor shall execute all contracts for the Municipal Government of the City of Colorado Springs, specifically excluding contracts of Colorado Springs Utilities and Memorial Health System, or may delegate such signature authority solely over Municipal Government contracts in writing, and shall see that all contracts and agreements with the City’s Municipal Government are faithfully kept and fully performed.’?”
Draft Ballot Question #3 re City Council staff; Mayor’s attorney (The part of the question re Council staff is prepared at the request of the Chief of Staff. The part of the question re City Attorney and the Mayor’s Counsel is prepared to accommodate the need of the Mayor for his attorney and to align the City Attorney and City Attorney’s Office with the other provisions of the Charter that have Council authorizing the hiring of staff attorneys, occasional hiring of outside counsel and setting compensation for all attorneys (City Charter Art. XIII, sections 13-80 and 13-90).
“Shall the City Charter of the City of Colorado Springs be amended to provide staff to City Council by amending City Charter Art. III, section 3-10(e) to read, in part, ‘The Council shall appoint by the concurring vote of a majority of its members, the City Attorney and any other staff that City Council may need in the performance of its responsibilities for the entire City’ and by adding a new sentence to City Charter Art. IV, section 4-40(e) to read, ‘The Mayor may also appoint an attorney to serve as the Mayor’s legal advisor that is not a part of the City Attorney’s Office and shall not provide litigation services to the City’ and by deleting the position of City Attorney from City Charter Art. IV, section 4-40(f)(2).’?”
Draft Ballot Question #4 re Strategic Plans (This question is prepared at the request of the Council liaison)
“Shall the City Charter of the City of Colorado Springs be amended to provide for one strategic plan of the City Municipal Government by amending City Charter Art. IV, section 4-40(b)(1) to read, in part, ‘The Mayor shall work with the City Council to develop one strategic plan that prioritizes goals for the City Municipal Government and that establishes measurable outcomes.’ and further amending City Charter Art. III, section 3-10(c) to read, in part, ‘In accordance with the Strategic Plan for the Municipal Government, City Council shall prioritize its goals and establish measurable outcomes for those goals.?”
Draft Ballot Question #5 re Ordinances and Resolutions (This question is prepared to align consistent responsibilities for the Mayor)
“Shall the City Charter of the City of Colorado Springs be amended to provide for the Mayor’s signature on ordinances and resolutions solely for the City Municipal Government, specifically excluding Colorado Springs Utilities and Memorial Health System, by amending City Charter Art. III, section 3-70(f) to read, ‘The City Clerk shall sign and attest all ordinances and resolutions. The Mayor shall sign and attest those ordinances and resolutions pertaining to the City’s Municipal Government.’?”
Please let me know if you have any other questions that you may wish to consider. Thank you.
Patricia K. Kelly
City Attorney/Chief Legal Officer