Election Guide: Oak Creek hopes to reduce ordinance publication costs

Advertisement

Election 2011

Click here for complete coverage of this year's races and issues.

Referendum 2F

Shall ordinances adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Town of Oak Creek be permitted to be published by title only rather than by publishing in full, thereby substantially reducing the cost incurred in the publication of ordinances pursuant to Colorado Revised Statute Section 31-16-105, with full copies of all ordinances to be kept as permanent record in the office of the Town Clerk and made available at Town Hall?

Referendum 2F asks Oak Creek residents to decide whether the town can publish adopted ordinances in the Steamboat Pilot & Today by title only, instead of the full text of the ordinance.

The Colorado Revised Statues requires towns to publish ordinances in a local newspaper after they are adopted. The same law states that any municipality can determine by public election whether to allow the town to publish only the title of the ordinance.

Oak Creek Town Clerk Karen Halterman said if the measure passes, full ordinances still would be available for residents at Oak Creek Town Hall. She said the town also plans to have them available online once its new website is completed.

“In these times, we’re all trying to save as much money as possible,” she said. “It’d really be a benefit to the citizens.”

If the ordinance passes, the town still would have to publish its accounts payable and notices of public hearings in the Pilot & Today.

The town spends $1,000 to $2,000 a year to publish its legal announcements in the Pilot & Today. In 2011, the town budgeted $1,800 for legal publications.

Steamboat Pilot & Today General Manager Scott Stanford said it’s a good investment for the town. Stanford said government has a responsibility and a duty to make public information as available and as easy to access as possible.

“Newspapers have proven to be the most accessible and best way to provide government information that is of interest to the public,” he said. “Seeing an incomplete notice in the paper and then having to physically track down the rest of the information is a wholly inadequate alternative. That shifts the burden back on the public.”

Town Board member Bernie Gagne said that in difficult financial times, the relatively small dollar amount doesn’t seem like much. Still, every bit helps, he said.

“Public information and transparency is huge,” he said. “Being fiscally responsible is also important. But if it’s published by title only, should it interest any other parties, they can certainly look it up from there. To me, that should give enough of heads-up to the public.”

Election Guide 2011

Comments

Scott Wedel 2 years, 11 months ago

Well, it would help if the Town would publish ordinances on its website. Last time I checked, the online municipal code was over 5 years old. Citizens including their municipal judge interested in the current municipal code get to look through binders of passed ordinances and resolutions to try to figure out what is the current code.

And if Town had not been forced to publish ordinances then disastrous Ordinance 609 which made property owners responsible for the electrical bills of their tenants might not have been noticed until it took effect. And neither the public notice or the newspaper article on that meeting suggested anything like that sort of change was to be considered.

Makes sense for the Town to save some money. But I note the promise of putting ordinances on a new website is only a promise. This ballot measure only requires that the copies be kept at Town Hall and does not require a working website.

Seems to me that when they get a website which they can post documents such as newly passed town ordinances then they should ask for a vote to publish on their website instead of the newspaper.

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.