Lake County Political Round-Up: The Ballot Issues
Today marks three weeks until Election Day, November 3. And it can’t come soon enough! The signs are out and the discussions are heating up as campaigners take their message to the voters. Here’s the second Leadville Today Political Round-Up report.
This week the spotlight is on local Ballot Issues. There are five total, although a majority of the discussions this political season has surrounded questions 1A & 5A which concern tax increases to support healthcare services. To read the official ballot questions for local issues: CLICK HERE.
“Meet The Candidates” Night was held on Tuesday, Sept. 28. This annual event is presented by the Leadville/Lake County Chamber of Commerce and hosted at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville and introduces local candidates and ballot issues to voters.
Leadville Today was there to record the discussions. This week, readers can view the videos concerning Lake County Ballot Issues 1A & 5A, as well as the city’s issue 2A which concerns a tax on marijuana cultivation.
Please note that these recordings have been edited – for time – due to intermittent pauses for organizational points of order and some technical difficulties with audio during the presentations. That said, the videos present the discussions pretty much in their entirety, allowing readers to hear each sides’ position for themselves without interpretation.
In the first video, Lake County Commissioner Bruce Hix discusses ballot issues 1A & 5A with Dr. Lisa Zwerdlinger with Rocky Mountain Family Practice. Bob Hartzell is the moderator and poses questions from the audience.
In the second video, St. Vincent Hospital CEO Sam Radke and Dr. Lisa Zwerdlinger with Rocky Mountain Family Practice discuss the 1A & 5A issues, and answer questions presented by Moderator Bob Hartzell.
In the third and final video for Ballot Issues, Leadville City Council Member Jacob Mohrman discusses the city’s 2A question.
The Other Two Ballot Issues: 1B and 4D
There was no representation at “Meet The Candidates” Night for Ballot Issues 1B and 4D which allow for both the county and college to provide high-speed internet services (advanced services), telecommunications services, and/or cable television services to the area. This referendum is the one being used across the state by numerous communities and acts as somewhat of a go-around for Colorado Senate Bill 05-152 (also known as SB-152), which was adopted 10 years ago to prevent local governments/districts from taking full advantage of local fiber assets by removing local authority to offer any services that compete with incumbents. In order to reclaim that authority, the question must be taken to the voters. While neither Lake County or Colorado Mountain College have expressed the desire to establish municipal fiber networks, with the passage of 1B and 4D, they are asking for the ability to determine their own broadband destiny.
Another Healthcare Forum for Ballot Issues Tonight
Voters will have an additional chance to educate themselves on the choices surrounding the future of health care in Lake County tonight. An additional forum on 1A & 5A will be held at CMC’s Climax Leadership Bldg., from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. tonight Tuesday, Oct. 13, featuring panelists from A Better Plan for Lake County and Save St. Vincent Hospital.
Still Time to Register to Vote in November 3 Election
According to Lake County Clerk and Recorder Patty Berger, anyone wishing to register to vote can do so up to Monday, Oct. 26, 2015 and receive a mail ballot. After the October 26, registration can be done in the Clerk’s Office or on-line. Voting will have to take place at the Voter Service and Polling Center.
Another important note for November’s election is that property owners may request a ballot if the person is registered to vote in Colorado and owns property or is the spouse of someone that owns property in Lake County for the hospital question only.
Colorado Health Foundation in Town This Morning
The Colorado Health Foundation has begun a listening tour through the mountain region and the Leadville/Lake County stop is scheduled for this morning, October 13 from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. at Colorado Mountain College.
This will be president and CEO Karen McNeil-Miller’s second tour trip in her official new role to learn more from Colorado’s mountain communities.
The goal of the tour is to hear from residents and decision-makers about how their communities approach and view health.
“In our healthiest Colorado, a community’s health is shaped by those who live, work and play within it. Its most valuable influences are the ideas and energy of community members. We want to hear more about each community’s unique blend of history and collaboration, and the different approaches they are taking to improve health,” said Karen McNeil-Miller, president and CEO, Colorado Health Foundation.