Home Rule Governance
What would Home Rule governance mean for the Town of Eagle?
The Board of Trustees is beginning the process to change the Town’s form of local government from Statutory Rule to Home Rule. The nearly yearlong process includes community participation with opportunities for community member’s input.
What is Home Rule Authority?
Municipal Home Rule is a form of government under the control of local citizens rather than state government. Home Rule and local control is in our state’s constitution and is based upon the belief that the best government is that which is closest to the people.
Currently, as a Statutory Town, the state legislature sets the parameters by which the elected Board of Trustees has authority to develop local ordinances to address the needs of the residents of Eagle. Moving to a Home Rule form of government creates better efficiencies in Town operations and improves the ability to protect and preserve the community.
Home Rule Facts:
93% of Colorado municipal residents live in a Home Rule community. These communities operate under a Charter written by local citizens elected to a Charter Commission. A charter establishes the city's form of government and specifies certain rights and responsibilities. As an independent body, the charter commission represents citizen viewpoints and considers and recommends appropriate revisions to the charter, balancing the best interests of city government and the citizens. Home Rule municipalities have the power to make relevant legislature and exercise control over issues of “local concern” with minimal state intervention. Federal and state laws that address matters beyond local concern still apply, including Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). Home Rule would give the Town more flexibility and control to address foreseeable changes and citizen desires.
|How would changing to Home Rule affect me?|
|• Changing to Home Rule won’t impact your daily life, but does impact citizen control, interest, involvement and pride in municipal government.
• Making the change would assist the Town with long-term planning and allow for greater flexibility in funding sources.
|How do I apply to be part of the Charter Commission?|
|• The Charter Commission will be elected and Nomination Petitions will be available August 1st, 2019. Nomination Petitions must be picked up from the Town Clerk at 200 Broadway Street.
|Why should Eagle change to Home Rule now?|
|Home Rule creates a government framework that will ensure the Town grows strategically and to the standards of the community. Home Rule helps set the foundation for more government efficiency, more revenue generating options and more control over land use, which provide long-term benefits to the community.
|What is the cost of changing to Home Rule?|
|• Total cost for the entire Home Rule process is less than $50,000 over a three-year period. The bulk of the expense is for managing and administering up to two special elections.
• The cost of the Charter Commission is minimal and only includes staff time to attend extra meetings and any materials the Commission may need.
|How does Home Rule affect sales and use tax collection?|
|Home Rule governance allows a Town to directly collect and audit sales and use tax, which, under Statutory Rule, is first collected by the state. Direct tax collection by the Town improves tax procedures and guarantees that local tax dollars remain in the community to fund local projects.
|How would Home Rule affect streets and traffic management?|
|As a Statutory municipality, state regulations limit the Town’s ability to regulate the use of public streets and highways. Under Home Rule, the Town would have greater flexibility, clarity and effectiveness in adopting regulations, related to:
• Speed limits and traffic regulations
• Road closures
• Oversized weight and size of vehicles
• Parking regulations and signs
• Code enforcement for parking violations
|How would Home Rule affect zoning and development?|
|As a home rule municipality, the Town would have greater ability and autonomy to adopt regulations, in the following areas:
• Public notice requirements for land use and development applications
• Utilities management in public rights-of-way and on private property
• Drafting legislation to address local issues
• Marijuana regulations
• Sex offender registration and spacing requirements
• Zoning regulations and development approval procedures
• Downtown revitalization and economic development
|Will changing to Home Rule make it easier for the Town to raise my taxes?|
|No. Any increase in taxes will still require voter approval (in accordance with TABOR laws).
By changing to Home Rule, the Town has the option to adopt different types of taxes that are not available to Statutory municipalities, such as lodging, admissions and excise taxes. However, even those tax changes would need to be approved by voters.
|What are the limits of Home Rule?|
|Although going to Home Rule gives local municipalities more freedom, some laws and constitutions must still be followed:
• Federal and state constitutions still apply as they provide provisions and protections to residents
• Federal and state laws that address matters that are more of statewide or national concern still apply
• Other national and state tax-related laws such as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) and the Gallagher Amendment still apply
|Are there disadvantages to changing to Home Rule?|
|The only potential disadvantage to becoming Home Rule is if the Charter is not written well. Residents can ensure the Charter is written well by encouraging leaders in their community to serve on the Charter Commission.
|Are there other communities that are Home Rule?|
|Yes – More than 93% of Colorado municipal residents live in a Home Rule community.
☑ City Council Initiates Home Rule Process
• Town of Eagle Board of Trustees look to adopt a resolution to set the ballot measure and to form the charter commission by the end of July.
• The special election to be held in coordination with the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder will be on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
☐ Community Engagement and Education
• During the phase prior to the ballot certification in July, the Town will work to educate the community about all aspects of Home Rule and the process required to move to Home Rule governance with community events and outreach.
☐ Election to Approve Home Rule Process & Elect Charter Commission Members
• Residents will vote in November 2019 whether to move towards Home Rule and elect members to serve on the Charter Commission.
☐ Charter Commission Work Begins
• Based on a vote of the Town in November 2019 if the result is in favor of moving toward Home Rule.
☐ Election to Adopt the Town Charter
• Residents will vote in the regular Municipal election held in April, 2020 to approve the Charter. If the vote passes, the Town of Eagle will be governed by its new Charter effective immediately.
• If the proposed charter is rejected by the voters, the Charter Commission will reconvene, revise the Charter, and submit the revised Charter to Council, following the same timeline outlined above. Council will then call for an election on the revised charter, as outlined above.
The Charter Commission will be elected and Nomination Petitions will be available August 1st, 2019. Nomination Petitions must be picked up from the Town Clerk at 200 Broadway Street.
Please contact us with any questions.