This November, voters in Manitou Springs will select the town's next mayor, vote on city council members and decide on two local issues. Recently, a forum was held to debate the issues and hear from the candidates.
The forum was moderated by Ralph Routon, and sponsored by the Pikes Peak Bulletin, Briarhurst Manor Estate, Citizens Project, the Colorado Springs Independent, and 91.5 KRCC, with assistance from the League of Women Voters.
You can listen to the full forum below, beginning with opening remarks from Deb Walker, Executive Director of Citizens Project. You can also jump to specific audio for each race or issue using the links below.
Jump to specific excerpts from the forum:
There are two candidates on the ballot for the mayoral race in Manitou Springs. In the order in which they appear on the ballot, the candidates are Alan Delwiche and John Graham. Forum moderator Ralph Routon introduces the candidates and terms of the debate, which can be heard in its entirety here.
As printed on the ballot, Issue 2D reads the following:
Shall the City of Manitou Springs Sales and Use Tax be increased by an estimated $400,000 annually in the first full fiscal year commencing January 1, 2020 and expiring December 31, 2035, and by whatever amounts are raised annually in each subsequent year, providing for an increase in the city's sales tax rate from 3.6% to 3.9% and the city's use tax rate from 3.5% to 3.8%, such additional 3/10ths of 1% in tax revenue to be collected retained and spent as a voter approved revenue change notwithstanding any revenue or expenditure limit contained within Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution, or any other law, 66% of the proceeds of such increase to be allocated to a special fund, subject to appropriation by the city council, for facility improvements and operations at the Carnegie Building, Manitou Art Center, Manitou Springs Heritage Center, Miramont Castle, and the Hiawatha Gardens property and the remaining 34% of the proceeds of such increase to be allocated to a special fund, for distribution by the city council through awards and grants to foster the arts, culture and heritage within the city of manitou springs?
The discussion regarding Manitou Springs Ballot Issue 2D began with an explanation on sunset terms from current Mayor Ken Jaray.
Moderator Ralph Routon explains the ballot measure:
Then, moderator Ralph Routon introduced the speakers representing both sides of the issue: Natalie Johnson representing the proponents, and city council member Bob Todd, representing opposition to the measure.
As printed on the ballot, issue 2E reads the following:
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 one hundred eighty two thousand nine hundred twelve dollars ($182,912.00) in excess revenue remaining in the city's downtown public facilities fund, which was received by the city from the sales and use taxes levied by the city pursuant to ballot issue 2A passed by the city's registered electors on November 4, 2003; provided that the funds shall be used for the construction, repair, maintenance, and replacement of public improvements in the city's downtown area?
Moderator Ralph Routon introduces current Manitou Springs Mayor Ken Jaray, who explains the issue:
Moderator Ralph Routon explained that for both the school board and city council races, they are largely uncontested. Each race has three open seats and three candidates. You can hear from those candidates here.