Committees form in support of tax questions |

Committees form in support of tax questions

John StroudPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Campaign committees have been formed in three area school districts and the Carbondale fire district to support the respective mill levy override questions that are on the Nov. 1 ballot in Garfield County.”We just crossed the $20,000 mark, and are right where we want to be at this point,” said Vote for Our Kids committee chairman Matt Hamilton of fundraising efforts so far to support passage of Ballot Issue 3E in the Roaring Fork School District Re-1.The district is proposing a $4.8 million mill levy override to help offset cuts in state per-pupil funding in recent years. The reduced state funding has resulted in staffing, programming and other cuts in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt schools. “We’ve spent the past month putting together the campaign,” said Hamilton, who is also running unopposed for one of three Re-1 school board seats that are up for election this fall.”We have broad support from a variety of businesses and residents, and I believe we’re well-positioned to try to be successful with the campaign,” he said.Committees supporting or opposing ballot issues must file with the Colorado Secretary of State Elections Division for campaign finance purposes.Campaign committees have also filed with state election officials in support of mill levy override questions in the Garfield Re-2 School District in Rifle, Silt and New Castle, and Garfield District 16 in Parachute and Battlement Mesa.Ballot Question 3C in Re-2 proposes a $3 million general fund mill levy override, also to make up for state budget cuts over the past three years. Friends of Garfield Re-2 is the committee supporting that measure.District 16 is seeking a $4.8 million override, which will appear as Question 3D. If approved, it would be split between general fund needs ($1.2 million), funding for full-day kindergarten ($583,000) and building technology improvements ($3 million).The building improvements portion, which would primarily be used for energy efficiency improvements in school buildings, would only be in place for three years, according to the ballot proposal.Supporters of that measure have organized as PLEDGE (Pursuing Leadership in Education, Determination, Growth and Excellence).In addition to the school tax measures, Friends of the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District has filed with the state in support of a $775,236 mill levy override question to support the fire district’s general fund.No committees have filed in opposition to any of the local tax measures.School board candidates also fileCandidates for local school board seats have also filed with the Secretary of State. Re-1 voters will decide between incumbent board member Myles Rovig and challenger Daniel Biggs, both of Glenwood Springs, for one school board seat. The other contested race is between newcomers Phil Weir and Terry Lott Richardson, also both of Glenwood Springs, for the seat being vacated by Bill Lamont.Hamilton, of Carbondale, is running uncontested for the Re-1 school board seat being vacated by Debbie Bruell.In Re-2, the only contested race is between Patrick Burwell and Troy Feese, who are vying to fill the school board seat being vacated by Jay Rickstrew. Incumbents Chris Pearson and Scott Doherty are running uncontested.Candidate and issue committees are both required to file their first campaign finance statements with the Secretary of State’s Office by Oct. 11.Those reports and other filing information from the candidates and issue committees can be found on the Secretary of State’s website []. Click on “Campaign Finance” under Division Programs and look for TRACER: Campaign Finance Filing.Election scheduleThe Nov. 1 election will be by mail ballot only in Garfield County. Ballots are to be mailed to registered electors the week of Oct. 11. TABOR notices, including pro and con statements on all tax-related ballot questions, are to be mailed to all registered voters in Colorado by Sept. 30.The last day to register to vote in the fall election is Oct. 3. Citizens can verify their voter status and the address where they are registered to vote at, and make any necessary corrections.

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