GMF Mayor Outlines Benefits of Local Ballot Issues

Dear Editor:

Green Mountain Falls has four ballot measures on the election ballot and I wanted you to be the most informed voter possible.  To that end, I’m bringing some information to you that I hope you’ll find useful:

1 Ballot Title:  Lodging Occupation Tax

Plain English explanation:  GMF is asking that an occupational tax of up to $4.50 per day be placed on hotel rooms & similar accommodations in Town.  This would replace a percentage tax that was removed by the Colorado State legislature.  This has to be a public vote as dictated by TABOR laws.  The ballot language makes it appear that it is a tax increase and this is not so.

This measure will NOT increase taxes in GMF.  It impacts only visitors, and is only a replacement and NOT an increase in what they are paying.  It will not impact your property taxes.  The lodging taxes go into the general fund to support parks, roads & other Town functions.  If the measure is NOT passed the municipal budget will drop by close to $32,000 which will hurt Green Mountain Falls.  PLEASE vote YES to pass this measure!

  1. Shall the Town elect to NOT publish in the newspaper its proceedings related to payments of bills, contracts awarded & rebates allowed with such information being reported publicly as part of the Board of Trustees packets?

Plain English explanation:  The Town has not published all proceedings in the paper previously, but from a legal standpoint (Colorado revised statutes) we need to go before the voters and ask permission to not publish everything.  All information is still public information and will be in the Board packets which are available to everyone online.

If this is passed it will save the Town a lot of money in publication fees.  Most ordinances that are published currently cost the Town more than $600.  If we are required to publish all bills, etc. every week, the Town will be paying a lot of money to publish proceedings.  Please vote YES!

  1. Shall the Town ordinances, after they are adopted be published in the paper by title only, with full text being made available at Town Hall and when possible on the Town’s website?

Plain English Explanation:  Similar to above, publishing by title only is the request before the voters.  Currently the full ordinance is published costing the town at least $200 per publication.

Passing this ordinance will again save the town money, and the full ordinance will still be available at Town Hall to anyone interested in reading it.  Please vote YES!

  1. Shall the number of Town Trustees be reduced in number from six to four?

Plain English explanation:  Currently the board consists of 7 members – 6 Trustees and the Mayor.  This requests the number to be reduced to a total of 5 members – 4 Trustees and the Mayor.  Many smaller communities in Colorado have this size council, and in recent years it has become difficult to fill all of the volunteer positions.  Additionally, a smaller number means that there is a correspondingly smaller quorum, resulting in fewer canceled meetings.

A smaller council is easier to fill.  This will result in fewer canceled meetings & possibly a more efficient board.  It should make no difference in public representation.  Please vote YES – OR – consider volunteering your time to serve on the Board of Trustees!

Jane Newberry, Mayor of Green Mountain Falls