Excise tax hike passes, clerical change fails in Parker election

One of 10 measures fell short

Posted 11/5/19

Early the morning after the Nov. 5 election, it appeared that all but one of Parker’s 10 town-specific ballot questions had passed.

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Excise tax hike passes, clerical change fails in Parker election

One of 10 measures fell short

Posted
Early the morning after the Nov. 5 election, it appeared that all but one of Parker’s 10 town-specific ballot questions had passed.
 
The lone measure that failed, falling 53% to 47% as of 11:40 p.m. on Election Night, was measure 2J, asking voters whether the town charter should change the job title “town administrator” to “town manager.”
 
“It’s interesting because that specific question, the ‘town administrator’ to ‘town manager,’ that’s just a vernacular change. You see ballot questions that are charter amendments and 99 times out of 100 they’re cleanup measures,” said Mayor Mike Waid. “It doesn’t add power, it doesn’t take away power, all it does is take away six letters from a title.”
 
Measure 2E-2J all were clerical changes, revising the Town Charter to reflect its strong-town administrator form of government. Parker went from a “strong-mayor” form of government to a “council-town administrator” government in 1996, a common form of municipal government where the town administrator directs town staff and its operations.
 
Michelle Kivela is the town administrator.
 
Many in Parker had their eyes on measure 2A, a measure to approve a significant increase in the excise tax on new residential development.
 
The money collected from the excise tax, measure 2A, will go toward funding capital projects related to growth, such as streets, parks and recreation, law enforcement and public safety services and administrative services for the town.
 
The passage of the excise tax is effective immediately and repeals the current impact fee in place for new residential development.
 
“This is an example of development paying its own way,” Waid said. “One of the challenges that have always happened in Parker, and in Colorado, when development happens, you try to plan into the future…and it’s very difficult sometimes to understand what ongoing costs or single-time costs will be at a single point.”
 
The passing of the excise tax measure fulfills the July settlement agreement made between South Metro Fire Rescue and Parker’s urban renewal authority, then known as the Parker Authority for Reinvestment, along with the Town of Parker and other interveners. South Metro filed suit against the urban renewal authority, now known as Partnering for Parker’s Progress (P3), in June 2017, alleging P3 had diverted funds that should have gone to the fire district.
 
Here’s a look at the voting on town ballot issues as of results posted by the county late the night of Nov. 5:
 
• Measure 2D, with revised language for planning commission powers, was leading 51.3% to 48.7%.
 
• Ballot measure 2A, mandating a significant increase in the excise tax on new residential development, passed 57.6% to 42.4%.
 
• Measure 2B, asking to provide high-speed internet telecommunications and/or cable services to residents, passed 66.3% to 33.7%.
 
• Ballot Measure 2C, which would put a 16-year lifetime cap on serving as either mayor or councilmember, passed 72.1% to 27.9%.
 
• Measure 2E, giving more power to the town administrator regarding organization and operation of certain town departments, passed 60.4% to 39.6%.
 
• Measure 2F, giving the town administrator power to appoint special police officers, passed 62.3% to 37.7%.
 
• Measure 2G, expanding the appropriation authority of the town administrator, passed 57.6% to 42.4%.
 
• Measure 2H, increasing the emergency powers of the town administrator, passed 60.6% to 39.4%.

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