Term-limit vote up for vote soon | AspenTimes.com
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Term-limit vote up for vote soon

John Colson

The Pitkin County commissioners may decide as soon as next week whether they will ask voters it they want to eliminate term limits for certain local elective offices.Pitkin County attorney John Ely said Monday that he plans to put proposed ballot language before the commissioners on July 26 that could cancel term limits for the county sheriff, clerk and assessor’s offices.If approved, the question would go to voters in the November general election. The move was recommended by the county’s home rule charter commission, a panel of citizen advisers to the county commissioners.If passed by the voters, it would mean that the current holders of those offices – Sheriff Bob Braudis, Clerk & Recorder Silvia Davis and Assessor Tom Isaac – would not be forced to step down in 2002, as they will under current state law.The idea of eliminating Pitkin County’s term limits has been simmering in local political circles for years, ever since they were first applied to local political offices in 1994.Colorado voters were among the first in the nation to enact term limits for state and federal offices, in 1990.Four years later, state voters extended those limits to city, county, school district and sewer district offices. Pitkin County voters rejected the idea by an 8 percent margin, according to news reports at the time, but the measure passed statewide.Term limits have already ousted former County Commissioner Bill Tuite, who was barred from running in the 1998 election. They also turned Mick Ireland, who is in his second four-year term, into a lame-duck commissioner who will leave office after 2002.A total of 23 out of Colorado’s 63 counties have rescinded term limits for some or all of the affected offices. Voters in 32 other counties have come out in favor of retaining the limits, according to records from Colorado Counties, Inc., an association that represents county commissioners on state and federal issues.


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