Initiatives and Referendums

Citizens have the right to exercise processes to resolve issues related to governmental action (or inaction) they believe is inconsistent with the will of most citizens. Both the initiative and referendum processes begin with a petition process.

An initiative proposes an ordinance to be adopted in support of a measure or issue brought forward by citizens. A referendum seeks repeal of a previously adopted ordinance. Town Council may either adopt the proposed ordinance brought forward by the initiative petition or reconsider and repeal the ordinance presented by a referendum petition. Town Council may also choose to refer the initiative or referendum issue to an election for a vote of the people.
 
Section XV of the Town Charter provides information regarding citizen initiatives, referendums, and recall elections.

Initiatives


An initiative petition containing the proposed ordinance must be signed by registered electors of the Town equal to at least 10 percent of the total number of electors of the Town registered on the date the Town Clerk approves the form of the petition. A valid petition with the requisite number of signatures requires either that the Town Council adopt the ordinance or that an election on adoption of the ordinance be held.

More specific information regarding the form of the petition (required elements, etc.) and the timelines associated with an initiative can be found in the Colorado Revised Statutes, Sections 31-11-101 through 111.

Referendums


Citizens have the right to pursue a referendum (challenge) to any ordinance, except those necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, which is adopted on an emergency basis.

A referendum is time-sensitive, in that the period within which the referendum petition with the required signatures must be submitted to the Town Clerk is limited to the 30 days after adoption of an ordinance.

A referendum petition shall be signed by registered electors of the Town equal to at least 10 percent of the total number of electors of the Town registered on the date the Town Clerk approves the form of the petition. A valid petition with the requisite number of signatures will suspend the ordinance from becoming effective until Town Council repeals it, or until it is submitted to voters at an election for approval or rejection.
 
More specific information regarding the form of the petition (required elements, etc.) and the timelines associated with a referendum can be found in the Colorado Revised Statutes, Sections 31-11-101 through 111.