Recently, the Town Board has been exploring the option of switching Monument’s form of local government from Statutory Rule to Home Rule. Colorado communities are allowed to be either. The process to make the change takes about a year and involves a large amount of resident involvement.
What Does It Mean For Monument?
The Town Board has been researching the pros and cons of switching Monument’s form of local government from Statutory Rule to Home Rule. Colorado communities can be either.
The process takes about a year, requires a resident involvement, and voter approval.
Municipal Home Rule is a type of government with greater control by local citizens rather than state government.
Home Rule and local control are in the Colorado Constitution and stem from the belief that the best government is the one closest to you and over which you have the most control.
Currently, as a Statutory Town, the state legislature sets the parameters by which the elected Board of Trustees has the authority to develop local ordinances.
If no specific state authority has been granted to statutory towns to address a problem, then the Town may not address it.
Moving to a Home Rule form of government creates better efficiencies in Town operations and improves the Town’s ability to serve the community.
How Would it Work for Monument?
Each Home Rule community operates under a charter written by local citizens elected to a Charter Committee and approved by voters.
Home Rule municipalities have the power to make laws relevant to local problems and exercise control over issues of “local concern” with minimal state intervention.
Federal and state laws on matters beyond local concern still apply.
Home Rule would give the Town more flexibility and control to address foreseeable changes and citizen desires.
What Are the Potential Issues?
Adopting Home Rule is a very calendar driven process requiring election, drafting, and proposal deadlines to be met.
Charters created by the commission of residents can’t be amended after proposal, only voted up or down.
Once adopted, changes to a Charter require a new election.
Charter changes could create additional work and new processes for Town staff (Clerk, Treasurer, Public Works, etc.)
Home Rule Charters if drafted poorly can create additional issues for the Town and Town Administration.
Who Else has Adopted it?
More than 92% of Colorado municipal residents live in a Home Rule community.
Neighboring municipalities that are Home Rule include Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Larkspur, Manitou, and Fountain.
The vast majority of cities and Towns in Colorado with Monument’s population are also Home Rule – this includes Colorado Springs and Pueblo.
What Are The Main Areas of Change for Monument?
The biggest areas of change center on community development and the overall financial well-being of the Town.
The State imposes several laws on statutory municipalities that tend to restrict land use and zoning. Monument would have more control over community development and economic incentives for incoming businesses.
Monument would also have access to more revenue opportunities. For example, with voter approval, the Town could adopt taxes on visitors that are not available as a statutory municipality, such as lodging tax and some user fees.
How Does This Affect Me?
Changing to Home Rule would not have an immediate impact on daily life but can enhance citizen input, long term quality of life through better planning, and interest and involvement in municipal government.
Making the change would assist the Town with long-term planning and allow for greater flexibility in funding sources.
The process of changing to Home Rule will require a large amount of community involvement for at least a year.
How Do I Get Involved?
Sign up for our e-Newsletter to stay up-to-date on the process.
Run to be on the Charter Commission - contact Town Clerk Laura Hogan at email@example.com to get more details.
Check out additional information on Home Rule through the Colorado Municipal League presentation at: https://www.cml.org/
Watch the Home Rule presentation from the April 5th Board of Trustees meeting: Video Starting at minute 40:10