Politicos are joining the effort to sway El Paso County commissioners to place another term extension question on the Nov. 1 ballot.
State Rep. Marsha Looper, a Republican from Calhan who represents the southeastern portion of El Paso County, is calling for voters to submit comments on her website, www.gomarsha.org, if they want “another opportunity to vote on extending the term limits” for certain elected officials in the county, including the county commissioners.
“Regardless whether voters support extending term limits or not, they deserve clear and direct ballot language!” she writes on her website.
Looper notes that last fall’s county ballot language to extend terms was markedly different from the 2006 version:
“Shall the voters of El Paso County, Colorado, have the right to elect the Clerk & Recorder of El Paso County to a third consecutive term beyond the current limitation of the two consecutive terms …
“Shall persons elected to the officer of County Treasurer, Clerk & Recorder, Assessor and County Surveyor be limited to serving three (3) consecutive terms, a modification of the current limits …
And a group called Americans for Prosperity Colorado announced Wednesday that it will ” use all the activists and resources at its disposal to convince undecided commissioners that putting the question back on the ballot is the right thing to do.”
State Director Jeff Crank, who twice made a run for Colorado’s 5th Congressional District Seat, said the group will launch radio ads, action alerts to activists and generating comment at two upcoming public meetings to urge commissioners to give voters a second chance at deciding whether terms for some of the county’s elected officials should be extended from a possible eight to 12 years. Crank also hosts an 8 a.m. Saturday morning talk show on KVOR 740 AM and has discussed the issue on his program.
Voters approved extended term limits last fall, but some claim that the wording of the question was misleading and are calling for a revote. Opponents say such an action would set a precedent that whenever people don’t like the outcome of an election, they can get a second chance to vote.
Two commissioners, Darryl Glenn and Peggy Littleton, said while they were running for office last fall that they oppose extended terms. Sallie Clark and Dennis Hisey, who would benefit from the vote as it stands because they could run for another term next November, have not taken a stand. Neither has commission Chairwoman Amy Lathen. Only commissioners can refer another question to this November’s off-year election.
Two public meetings will be held next week for the commissioners to gauge public sentiment: Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Pikes Peak Regional Development Center, 2880 International Circle, and Thursday, June 30, at 9 a.m. at the County Administration Building, 27 E. Vermijo Ave.