2022 City-Referred Election Items
The Fort Collins City Council has formally referred three measures to the November 8, 2022 coordinated election ballot. These proposals would require a modification to our City Charter, which necessitates a public vote, and include Ranked Choice Voting, Coordinated City Elections and Council Compensation. Though the Chamber has not yet taken a formal position on any of the ballot measures as of this date, it is important to become familiar with the intent and content of these important issues.
Ranked Choice Voting is presented as a method for electing candidates that appeal to the majority of voters through a method of ranking all candidates for a specific office. Under this system voters would need to assign a preference priority for each candidate. In the event no candidate garners a simple majority of all ballots received, the candidate with the lowest total is eliminated and all second-choice votes are redistributed among the remaining candidates. The process is repeated until one candidate accumulates a majority of votes.
Coordinated City Elections would allow all municipal elections to be held on the first Tuesday following the first Monday of November in odd-numbered years. This would replace the current schedule in which candidate elections are held in April of odd-numbered years. This item is proposed to raise voter participation and lower voter fatigue.
Council Compensation would significantly raise the compensation of Council members while recognizing the additional responsibilities of the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem. Currently, members of Council receive $853 per month ($10,236/yr) and the Mayor receives $1,280/month ($15,360/yr). Council members estimate 20 hours per week or more devoted to official duties. The referred ballot language would increase annual Council compensation to 50% of the Area Median Income for a single-person household, 60% for Mayor Pro Tem and 75% for the Mayor. This equates to $37,600, $45,120 and $56,400, respectively. The stated purpose of this ballot item is to more fairly compensate elected officials for their time while potentially increasing the pool of prospective candidates for public office.
Sources: Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce
Updated July 25, 2022