Official: No vote on entrance initiatives
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – A special hearing officer ruled Monday that two Entrance to Aspen ballot initiatives don’t qualify for a special vote.
Karen Goldman, a Lakewood-based administrative hearing officer, deemed the two ballot measures “administrative” actions, not “legislative” actions, after an Oct. 22 hearing.
An administrative action is a matter for government staff; a legislative action is a matter for a legislative body, such as a city council, according to Aspen City Clerk Kathryn Koch.
Residents can introduce ballot questions over a legislative issue, but not over an administrative matter, and that was the substance of the dispute, Koch said.
Jeffrey Evans and Curtis Vagneur proposed two ballot questions asking voters to decide on two four-lane solutions to the traffic on Highway 82 as it enters Aspen.
Les Holst, Clifford Weiss and Terry Paulson protested the ballot questions, claiming that the proposals were administrative actions and not appropriate for a resident-spawned vote.
Goldman found in favor of the protesters.
In addition, Evans and Vagneur claimed that Holst, Weiss and Paulson filed their protest incorrectly; the pair also contested the hearing officer’s jurisdiction on the matter.
But Goldman said the protest was filed with “substantial compliance” with election rules.
Evans said he will take the initiatives on to district court, and even on to an appellate court, if necessary.
“We’re in the early innings,” Evans said.
Charles Agar’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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Local fire officials in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties are heightening their fire concerns, and starting this week Stage 1 fire restrictions will be enacted. Stage 1 means no campfires in undeveloped sites, no fireworks and no smoking outside unless it’s in an area cleared of all combustible materials.