Special Election in Salida

January 14, 2013

Salida residents are taking part in a special election tomorrow. The town is considering whether or not to become a home-rule city. As KRCC's Liz Ruskin reports, the question has stirred some controversy in this community of 5,300.

State law now dictates the structure and function of Salida's government, and the stat collets the city's sale tax. Mayor Don Stephens says homerule would allow the city to create a charter and decide more for itself, rather than leaving it all up to the state.

"I don't think there's too much wrong with it, but we have no say in how things run. The state of Colorado's Constitution tells us how to run our government. This is a chance for local folks to get a grassroots effort to create this document."

Opposition group Salida Citizens for Accountable Government says homerule would be a step toward intrusive city power and higher taxes. But May Stephen says that's just conjecture. The measure on the ballot asks voters if they want to creat a charter-drafting commission. A second question asks them to select eleven commissioners from eighteen candidates running. The charter itself would go to voters at a later election. THis city is accepting ballots until 7pm Tuesday.