by Pam Zubeck
The blog stated, “Turns out, the mayor might even have the authority to veto an initiated measure.” While it is true that City Charter § 3-70(e)(2) does not extend the Mayor’s veto power to Council referrals of initiated ordinances or Charter amendments, City Code § 1.2.108(B)(3) does:
3. The Mayor shall not have the power or authority to disapprove by veto the following types of ordinances:
a. Ordinances pertaining to quasi-judicial decisions or acts.
b. An ordinance approving bonds to be issued by the City on behalf of Colorado Springs Utilities, Memorial Health System or any municipal enterprise.
c. An ordinance pertaining to any act permitted by article VI (Utilities) of the Charter.
d. An ordinance submitting a Charter amendment, referring an initiated ordinance or Charter amendment, or referring a Charter convention question to the qualified electors. (Emphasis added.)
When we were working through the comprehensive revisions to the City Code to implement the Council-Mayor form of government, we identified the lack of Charter clarity as it pertained to the veto power over Council referrals of initiated ordinances and Charter amendments. This language was added to the City Code to ensure that any initiated measure meeting the signature requirement would be placed on a ballot for the electorate to consider.
I'm not sure I entirely agree with your assessment of the Charter. 12-10(e) of the Charter says "...the Council may, of its own motion, submit to electoral vote for adoption or rejection at a general or special municipal election any proposed ordinance or measure in the same manner and with the same force and effect as is provided for initiated ordinances.15 (1979; 1985)"So we went to the author of the latest version of the City Charter, Kevin Walker, who headed up the Mayor Project and drafted the change that brought us the mayor-council form of government in 2010.
I think it's important to note that the wording says "...Council may, of its own motion..." That implies to me that Council, on its own authority, can submit an initiated ordinance.
I think it's also important to note that the years mentioned after this part of the Charter (1979 and 1985) indicate that this part of the Charter was not changed in 2010 when the Charter was changed to reflect a Council/
Managermayor form of government (often, erroneously, referred to as a "Strong Mayor" form of government.
If you point out that the Charter is in conflict with itself over this issue, I would agree. As we have previously discussed, there are other items in the Charter that are in conflict as a result of the 2010 vote.
Notwithstanding the foregoing subsections, the Mayor shall not have power to disapprove by veto the following listed types of ordinances, this limitation applying only to the following specifically identified ordinances: an ordinance accomplishing any quasi-judicial act; an ordinance approving bonds to be issued by any City enterprise; an ordinance pertaining to article VI, "Utilities," of this Charter; an ordinance submitting a Charter amendment to a vote of the qualified electors; or an ordinance proposing a Charter convention. (2010)To translate, the mayor can't veto zoning, annexations and other land-use actions (quasi-judicial act); nor can the mayor veto Council's votes to issue debt by one of its enterprises, such as Springs Utilities; nor can he veto any action involving Utilities.
Mary Lou Makepeace, candidate for mayor of Colorado Springs, has announced her support of legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado Springs.In any event, Suthers has promised not to stand in the way of a ballot measure approved by Council, and Makepeace is ready to let retailers open shop.
"The people of Colorado Springs voted to legalize recreational marijuana, and I support their decision," says Makepeace. "Legalizing marijuana will make our community safer by marginalizing the black market. We will be able to regulate it, as we do cigarettes and alcohol. And we will be able to benefit financially from its legal sale."
Makepeace notes that support for recreational marijuana cuts across all sectors of our community.
"I have heard from young professionals and senior citizens, liberals and conservatives that they want their voices to be heard," she continues. "I say it is time for Pot for Potholes."