Council Receives Information on Legalities of Petition Processes for November Ballot Questions



Attorney Darla Scranton Specht, speaking on behalf of Concerned Citizens of Lamar as listed on the council’s meeting agenda for April 24th, provided a number of facts regarding limitations on contributions for persons seeking petition signatures to present a ballot question for future elections.  Specht referenced item 1-45-117 – Limitations on Contributions, from the Secretary of State’s Campaign and Political Finance Manual.  The information outlines what is considered a timely report on a contribution, cash or in-kind from a business or person that allows petition signatures to be solicited from that operation and how the business can be assessed fair market value for allowing the signatures to be gathered there.  Specht said it is important for a city clerk to be aware of the reporting process required by the petition initiators on these contributions.

She stated that allowing a municipal venue such as a park or a city-owned building for gathering signatures holds the city responsible for that process and would also be responsible for the fair market value of the action as well as other legally-based reimbursements to the party who is the complainant.  Activities such as the annual Oktoberfest at the City’s Welcome Center or Willow Creek Park during Lamar Days would pertain to the ruling.  She said that could hold the appearance of municipal support for the petition issue.  Signatures collected in a private household or gathered from a public area such as a city sidewalk would not be in violation.

One concern expressed by the mayor and some council members was the literal mechanics of being able to monitor petition activities at a public venue such as Lamar Days.  Crespin reiterated the stance of impartiality on marijuana issues taken by the council during the past two elections and was concerned the council could be drawn into these issues for another election cycle.

City Administrator, Rob Evans, noted the city will continue to provide free dump weekends at the transfer station and landfill for Lamar residents until May 7th.  There will be no change in hours or deviation from restricted materials.  Lamar will host an addiction support workshop sponsored by Colorado Behavioral Health Administration April 28th for Providers between 10am and 3pm and Parents and Caregivers from 6pm to 8pm that evening and from 9am to Noon for Parents and Caregivers on the 29th.  The Domestic Safety and Resource Center will host a 5K run/walk at 9am, Saturday, April 29th at Willow Creek Park.  The City Council will host its monthly Common Grounds breakfast gathering on Wednesday, May 3rd at the Cultural Events Center starting at 7am.  The Lamar Library’s book sale will run from 9am to 1pm Friday and Saturday, May 5th and 6th and the Craft Fair will be held that Saturday from 9am to 1pm at the Cultural Events Center.  Kids Fishing Day will be on Sunday, May 7th from 10am to 2pm in Holly.  Prowers Medical Center’s Health Fairs are scheduled every Wednesday morning from 7am to 9pm through July 26th.

A new police officer joined the force as Troy Appel received his oath of office during the Monday evening council meeting.  Earlier in the month, Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller, said there were three openings for an officer on the local force, now down to two.

Following a public hearing, the council unanimously granted a temporary modification of premise for Shae Emick dba/Las Brisas Restaurant to host a private party on May 6th.  The modification allows for the closure of West Elm Street from Main to the alleyway between Main and 5th.  That will be enclosed in temporary fencing from 8am on the 6th to 10am on the 7th. The City of Lamar Parks and Recreation Department concession contract at the Lamar Sports Complex was awarded to the sole bidder, Sergio Sigala in the amount of 13%.  The contract runs from May 1st to August 31st, 2023.  The council also approved use of the Municipal Swimming Pool to the Lamarlins, minus the concession stand from May 1st to August 31st, 2023.

Mayor Kirk Crespin said he and Administrator Evans recently met with Karen Bryant, CEO of Prowers Medical Center to discuss a community cook-out, planned for the night of June 9th.  “We’re contacting High Plains Community Health Center for their input as each of the three parties would contribute to the event with a family movie night, free swimming and a barbecue meal that evening.  More specific plans will be announced at a later date.

The council repeated that watering restrictions are currently on a voluntary basis, and asked residents to refrain from watering between the hours of 11am and 6pm throughout the week.  Administrator Evans noted that one or two of the city’s wells are at a low point right now.

The Lamar City Council moved into executive session for the purpose of receiving legal advice from the City Attorney under CRS Section 24-6-402(4)(b).

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: Chamber of CommerceCity of LamarElectionsFeaturedLaw Enforcement


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