Idaho Springs Briefs for Dec. 1

Staff report
Posted 11/30/21

Idaho Springs news

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Idaho Springs Briefs for Dec. 1

Posted

Recount of sales tax vote

The City Council has voted to spend approximately $1,000 to request a recount from the County Clerk & Recorder’s Office.

Idaho Springs’ Ballot Question 2B, which proposed a 1% sales tax citywide to offset water and wastewater rate increases, failed by two votes. Election results were certified on Nov. 18.

Clerk & Recorder Brenda Corbett said an automatic recount would have been required if the margin was one vote. However, Idaho Springs has the right to request a recount “as an interested party,” according to City Attorney Carmen Beery.

On Nov. 22, the City Council approved sending a notarized letter to the Clerk & Recorder’s Office officially requesting a recount. The office has until Dec. 9 to do so, and the results will be shared directly with the city, Corbett said.

Council voted 4-0 to request the recount. Councilmen Scott Pennell, John Curtis and Jim Clark were absent.

Mayor Mike Hillman said he felt that a sales tax was the best solution to offset users’ rate increases, as it would pass most of the costs to Idaho Springs’ visitors.

Councilmen Arthur Caccavale and Chuck Harmon agreed, saying that they believe those who voted against the tax likely didn’t understand the implications.

“There’s too much riding on this,” Harmon said. “We need to give the citizens the relief they deserve. I’m willing to spend the $1,000.”

The proposed 1% sales tax was estimated to provide an additional $750,000 for the city’s water and wastewater fund. It received 279 for it, and 281 against it.

If the failure stands, the city is including a 6% increase in water rates and a 24% increase for wastewater rates in its 2022 budget. Council members have discussed revisiting the ballot question for Nov. 2022, as they feel scheduled increases will be too much for the city’s users.

 

Adams resigns as city treasurer

Phyllis Adams, who was elected treasurer on the Nov. 2 ballot, has resigned the position effective immediately.

In a letter dated Nov. 5, Adams remarked how the position is only on the ballot because Idaho Springs is required to have it, and the office doesn’t have any real duties or salary. Thus, she wrote, “it is only a figurehead.”

Because the offices of treasurer and clerk can be held simultaneously, Adams recommended the city find a way to combine them on the ballot “to avoid this kind of ridiculous outcome in future elections.”

Adams and Diane Breece, who’s the current city clerk and treasurer, ran for both offices on the Nov. 2 ballot. Breece was reelected clerk, but Adams was elected treasurer.

During the Nov. 22 City Council meeting, City Attorney Carmen Beery explained that, with Adams’ resignation, the city had 60 days to either appoint someone else to the office or to call a special election. She also clarified that the city was not required to advertise for interested parties.

The council members voted to appoint Breece as treasurer, noting how she was the only other person who showed an interest when it was up for election. Breece will be sworn in as treasurer and clerk at the council’s Dec. 13 meeting.

Beery clarified that while the treasurer typically serves a four-year term, Breece will only hold it until the Nov. 2023 election.

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