Term limits question likely headed to Eagle County voters | AspenTimes.com

Term limits question likely headed to Eagle County voters

Randy Wyrick
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

EAGLE, Colo. – Two of the three Eagle County commissioners Monday said they have no intention of running for a third term, but they’re going to put that possibility before voters anyway.

The commissioners have until Sept. 3 to submit a ballot question that would extend the length of time commissioners could serve from two four-year terms to three.

It’s been tried twice before.

In 1998, Eagle County voters stomped a ballot question that would have eliminated term limits for all county offices.

The issue came back in 2002, asking voters to vote on each elected office individually. Everyone’s term limits were eliminated, except the commissioners’, but it was close. That 2002 vote saw commissioners’ term limits upheld by around 350 votes, out of almost 11,000 cast.

So, they’re going to try it again, commissioners Peter Runyon and Sara Fisher said Monday. Commissioner Jon Stavney was absent; they’ll wait until he’s back next week to make it official, they said.

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“It should be a full board decision,” Runyon said.

Some Roaring Fork Valley voters will be casting votes on the term limits issue. The county encompasses a sliver of the valley, including El Jebel and part of Basalt.

It’s not unheard of.

In Colorado, 32 counties have lifted or extended term limits for their county commissioners. Colorado has 64 counties. That’s half. We did the math.

The commissioners had kicked around the idea a couple weeks ago in a work session.

Fisher said if she’s re-elected this November against Republican opponent Claudia Alexander, she would not run again in 2014.

Runyon said yesterday he does not plan to run again in 2012, at least not right now.

“I cannot imagine a scenario in which I would run again,” Runyon said.

Runyon made it clear he’s not a fan of term limits.

“No corporation ever kicked out a successful CEO because they have been in office too long,” Runyon said. “It also says to me that term limit advocates think America voters are stupid.”

Fisher said she thought there there are times when term limits can be beneficial.

“I’m hesitant to have this be a board-initiated action,” she said. “Ideally, the parties would take on the drive to have this happen.”

Fisher said the commissioners have received three e-mails, all saying term limits are fine.

The term limits question is one of two that Eagle County voters may decide in November.

The commissioners also intend to ask voters whether they want to ban the sale of medical marijuana in unincorporated Eagle County.

Reefer retailing would still be legal in the towns that have approved it. So far, Eagle is the only town to just say yes, and has two stores. Avon, Gypsum and Vail have all said they don’t want medical marijuana dispensaries in their towns.

The commissioners will not decide their marijuana referendum’s fate in Tuesday’s meeting.

rwyrick@vaildaily.com