Denver Votes

A voter fills out her ballot at the Denver Elections Division May 7, 2019, in Denver.

With all the buzz around Colorado’s Propositions CC and DD, Denver voters may have missed the news about a few ballot initiatives of their own.

Voters will decide four questions elected officials have placed on the Nov. 5 ballot, which hit mailboxes this week.

First up is Referred Question 2A, regarding a charter amendment that would create a city transportation department that replaces Denver’s Department of Public Works (DPW).

DPW currently is responsible for local transportation, as well as sewer and trash services. Those responsibilities won’t change — and neither will the staff — but the new Department of Transportation and Infrastructure’s focus would, shifting mainly to transportation.  

Existing staff will be refocused too, with the majority of them turning toward transportation and mobility projects. The vote does not establish any new money for the restructure but will cost about $200,000 for rebranding materials.

The reorganization plan appears to align with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s $2 billion Mobility Action Plan that aims to declutter city streets over the next 12 years by having more people use fewer cars.

Next comes Referred Question 2B. If approved, the charter amendment would clarify who manages city-owned or -leased venues used for theater, concert, auditorium and arena purposes, such as the Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

The responsibility technically falls under Denver’s Department of General Services, but because the Arts and Venues agency already runs those facilities, the measure will essentially formalize that role by officially reassigning power to the agency. There would be no financial impact associated with the change, according to the city.

Third in line is Referred Question 2C, pertaining to another charter amendment that would add full-time emergency medical technicians to the Denver Fire Department and allow the department’s chief, currently Eric Tade, to designate a shift commander, reflecting the existing agreement with the firefighters’ union.

The goal here is efficiency: Establishing an EMT rank for the department’s medical unit would mean its employees in other roles who work overtime hours in the unit would no longer have to. By more efficiently staffing the unit, the cost savings would allow for longer operating hours and the possibility of expanding services to areas in need, while also providing another career path into the department.

The department’s medical unit is “an alternative response vehicle and an innovative program,” according to the city, that is cheaper than deploying a fire truck.

Last up is Referred Question 2D that refers to a charter amendment aimed at closing “a loophole” in the charter’s language, according to the city. The charter amendment measure, initiated by Councilman Kevin Flynn, would require that the elected official maintain residency during the entirety of the term. If an elected official does move outside the city or district, the measure would require the official to vacate office.

Denver Elections Divisions’ vote center will open Oct. 21, and the city’s in-person voting centers will be open from Oct. 28 to Nov. 5. A map of all voting center locations is found at DenverVotes.org under “Where To Vote.”

Voters must be registered online by Oct. 28 to receive a ballot in the mail. To register online or check registration status, visit GoVoteColorado.com.

If registering online after Oct. 28, voters are required to pick up their ballot or vote in person at one of the city’s voter service centers.

The deadline to submit a ballot is 7 p.m. Nov. 5.  

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