Culture Tax Tally Extremely Close
~ by Guy Priel ~
Following a close race on Tuesday, Nov. 5, John Graham, the former publisher of the old Pikes Peak Journal newspaper, was elected as the new mayor of Manitou Springs.
He will replace current mayor Ken Jaray, who is leaving Manitou Springs well-staffed and well-funded.
Unofficial results from the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s office, show that Graham beat Alan Delwiche, who serves as a member of the Manitou Springs Planning Commission, by 936 to 865. Graham will begin his two-year term as mayor in January.
Three members ran unopposed as City Council Members At Large: Judith Chandler, who
received 1,021 votes; John Shada, who received 1,023 votes; and Julie Wolfe, who received
1,063 votes. The three council members will take office for a four-year term beginning in January.
Issue 2D, which was known as the Manitou Arts, Culture and Heritage Initiative, designed to obtain a 0.3 percent sales tax to support arts, culture and heritage, passed by several votes, according to the latest reports. But this may change and be headed for a recount. On the eve of the election, the issue appeared to lose by a close margin, but unofficial results tallied a day or so later changed this scenario, according to proponents of 2D.
The tax would raise approximately $300,000 to help fund The Manitou Arts Center, Manitou Springs Heritage Center, Miramont Castle and the Manitou Springs Carnegie Library to help make it accessible for all residents. The proposal would include improvements to Hiawatha Gardens on Old Man’s Trail, which some residents opposed.
Issue 2E, a De-TABOR issue, which stated, “without any increase in taxes or the issuance of any new debt, shall the City of Manitou Springs be authorized to retain and expend without limitation $182,912 in excess revenue,” passed with a vote of 1,506 to 469.
Officials at city hall stated that the results are unofficial until the end of November, when all
ballots, including those mailed in and absentee ballots are counted. Because of the small population of Manitou Springs, it is expected that there will be very little change, because most voters dropped off their ballots in person.
Residents of Cascade, Chipita Park and Green Mountain Falls, all lying within El Paso
County, did not have any local issues to cast tallies on.