Presentation on theme: "E LECTIONS AND B OARD R ECRUITMENT. Conservation Districts are both Special Districts and political subdivisions of the state. As such, operate based."— Presentation transcript:
Conservation Districts are both Special Districts and political subdivisions of the state. As such, operate based on statutory requirements set forth in: C.R.S. Title 1, the Uniform Election Code C.R.S. Title 32 Article 1, Special District Elections C.R.S. Title 35, Colorado Soil Conservation Act Among other topics, these statutes set forth rules that affect: Board Supervisor Positions District Consolidations Tabor related issues A conservation district supervisor should understand how they became an elected official, even if they were appointed to the position.
Election Procedures DOLA Website The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Division of Local Government provides technical assistance in the area of Specialist District Elections on their website: www.dola.colorado.gov/sd-elections
Elected Supervisors District Supervisors, by law, are elected by the qualified electors of the district at a regular election. Regular elections are conducted on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday of May in every even-numbered year for any supervisor elected or appointed to a term expiring in May of that year. If there are fewer candidates than positions, the District can cancel their regular election and the unopposed candidate is elected.
Appointed Supervisors A supervisor may also be appointed to the board. If a vacancy occurs on the board the remaining supervisors can appoint a successor for the remainder of the term of the seat vacated (Title 35-70-107 (1)(4))*. A vacancy can occur if (Title 32-1-905): no longer eligible, a majority vote to remove member from board, three consecutive unexcused absences, refusal of oath, felony conviction, resignation. *Note: Title 35 of the Soil Conservation Act provides specific election requirements here that differ from the C.R.S. Title 32 Special District Act and Title 1, the Uniform Election Code related to filling vacancies.
Supervisor Eligibility and Term Length Eligible candidates for district supervisor include any person who is a landowner (in district boundaries) and a qualified elector of the district, including a renter or manager of the landowner’s land or the duly authorized representative of a corporation owning lands within the district. District supervisors are elected to serve four-year terms. Terms begin and end in May of even-numbered years. The 4-year terms should be staggered so that the terms of no more than a simple majority expire at any one time. Note: 66% of the board must be agriculture producers who are landowners CRS 35-70-107 (1)(a)(II)
Term Limits By law, Board members may not serve more than two consecutive four-year terms. Districts can eliminate these term limits through a successful election. At that point, a supervisor could then continue to run for election each time his/her term expires. Example Ballot Questions: Ballot Question Number 5B: (As determined for Notice of Election) Shall the limitations of terms of office contained in article XVIII, Section 11 of the Colorado Constitution be eliminated as Applied to the (insert your CD) Conservation District? Yes___ No___
Oath of Office Who takes the Oath of Office? All elected supervisors, regardless of whether they are elected by acclamation through cancellation of the election or an actual election was conducted, must complete the oath of office form. An Oath is required for every election, even by those who have been re-elected or re-appointed. Administering the Oath: Within 30 days after the election or appointment the President of the Board is authorized to administer the Oath. The Oath DOES NOT need to be affirmed before a Notary. The Oath should be administered, whenever possible, during a board meeting and noted in the minutes.
Oath of Office Oaths of office must be filed with DOLA, Clerk of the District Court and the County Clerk and Recorder of counties district is located. In addition a Notice of Appointment form must be completed:
Election Calendar Each year DOLA updates the Election Calendar used by all Special Districts. This is a very helpful document and a great place to start planning your election timelines.
Election Calendar In general (remember refer to DOLA’s election calendar for specifics) 1.Before Election: Board decides whether to have a polling place or mail ballot election. 2.Appoints a designated election official (DEO). 3.By February Completed Form B-3-2, Supervisor only Election Resolution and B-5 Certification of Appointment and Oath of Designated Election Official (maintain in districts election records) 4.Publish Call for Nominations: February 5.Self-nomination form (candidates) March; write-in candidates due March. *A DEO is the person responsible for running the election and can be any person the board appoints (i.e. member of a governing board, secretary of the board, District manager).
Election Times Supervisor Elections: conducted the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday of May in even- numbered years for all supervisors with expiring terms. Tabor related ballot issue elections (Mill levy, de-tabor): can be held in May of even numbered years (District’s regular election) and November of every year. Consolidation elections (special elections) can be held throughout the year. FebruaryMayOctoberNovemberDecember Ballot Questions (not $’s) M/P M/P/CM/P Ballot Issues ($’s) -M Even Years Only -M/C- Regular (Directors) -M/P Even Years Only --- M = Mail Ballot Election, P = Polling Place Election, C = County Coordinated Election
Cancelling an Election If the number of self-nominating and write-in candidates is less than or equal to the number of seats available, the election will be cancelled. If Cancelled: Publish form B-27 one time in newspaper of general circulation and post in office of DEO and clerk and recorder in each county and send a copy to DOLA; Sign and file a Resolution of election Cancelation Form B 81-1; Notify candidates that the election was cancelled and they were elected by acclamation.
Consolidation Elections For 75 years conservation districts have been the starting point for locally led conservation practices and education. Today’s technology, economics, demographics and agricultural practices have greatly changed from our parents’ and grandparents’ time. Consolidation is a process where 2 or more districts can merge and work together to better target and match resources to gain capacity. Merging of district offices, work load, personnel and resources during consolidation can help districts achieve this goal. For more information about consolidation elections and processes, please consult your local Conservation Specialist.
Abbreviated Consolidation Process If the supervisors of two or more districts (or the petitions of a substantial number of qualified landowners) decide to consolidate two or more districts they must hold an election pursuant to Title 35 of the Soil Conservation Act. The district boards must jointly prepare and submit to the CSCB a request for authority to consolidate. The Colorado State Conservation Board determines whether the districts have authority to proceed with election.
Consolidations contd. With approval from the Colorado State Conservation Board: 1.Supervisors of the districts shall hold a public hearing concerning the proposed consolidation. 2.Each board of supervisors shall request that the state board prepare a notice of election on the proposed consolidation, setting forth the circumstance of the proposed consolidation and the date, time, and place of a special election to be held in each of the districts at which the question of consolidation will be voted upon. 3.Notice shall be published as specified in section 35-70-105 (6). 4.The election shall be conducted by the state board as provided in section 35-70-105 (7). 5.Consolidation requires a Majority vote in each district. 6.Each Board certifies findings to the State Board, who in turn certifies with DOLA. 7.Upon final certification, the consolidated districts shall cease to exist as separate districts.
Tabor Issues In November of 1992 Colorado voters approved an amendment to the State Constitution, Article X, Section 20, Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR). The Colorado Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) automatically places revenue-retaining restrictions on state bodies – including conservation districts. This means that if districts increase their income in a given year by more than a certain amount, they will have to return that money to the taxpayers through the state government tax refunds. TABOR does not apply to federal funds/grants. TABOR restrictions are a 5.5% limit based on property tax revenue and local growth rate + inflation for other income. Particularly if a district is planning a financial strategy that may suddenly and dramatically increase it’s income – such as a mill levy or large grant – it will need to “de-TABOR” in order to be able to retain that income. This may be true even for pass-through monies.
How to De-Tabor What does De-Tabor mean: As of May 2012, 53 of the 76 Conservation Districts in Colorado have De-tabored. Ballot Issue Number 5A: (As determined for Notice of Election) Shall the (Insert your CD) Conservation District, located in part(s) of (name) County, Colorado, without adding or increasing taxes of any kind, be permitted to exclude itself from the revenue limits contained in CRS 29-1-301 and following; and contained in article X, section 20 of the Colorado Constitution, and be permitted to collect, retain, and expend all revenues and other funds received from any source from the date of January 1, 1992 and thereafter, to be used in continuing natural resource programs within in the district? Yes___ No___ Example Ballot Question: For Conservation Districts – an election would be held to ask voters to approve future budget preparations WITHOUT any of the spending and revenue restrictions of Amendment One (TABOR).
Mill Levy By statute (35-70-109) Conservation Districts can ask the voters to levy a tax on the assessed value of all real property within the district boundaries of up to 0.5 mill. A mill levy election also de-tabors the fiscal year spending limit for a district. Please consult your Conservation Specialist or Title 35 The Colorado Soil Conservation Act for specific requirements, but in general: The District must: Prepare a budget and distribute within the district Hold a public hearing concerning the imposition of a tax levy Publish notice which includes: election date, rate or amount of levy, statement as to why levy is necessary and other election information Follow Election procedures for a Tabor issue election Successful election occurs with a majority vote
Example Ballot: Shall _______ conservation district be authorized to establish a tax of one half mill on all real property located within the district, to be certified in 2006 and collected in 2007 and continuing each year thereafter, all such tax revenue to be credited to the district’s general fund for operational expenses, and shall the district be authorized to collect, retain, and expend all revenue from such total tax rate, and all other revenue received from any source, as a voter-approved revenue change, offset, and exception to the limits which would otherwise apply under TABOR (Article X, Section 20) or any other law and as a permanent waiver of the 5.5% limitation under section 29-1-301, CRS? Yes___ No___ Mill Levy
KEY POINTS Supervisors are term limited to serve for 2 consecutive 4 year terms. (Unless term limits have been eliminated.) Districts can eliminate term limits through a successful election. Conservation Districts are both political subdivisions of the state and special districts. All elected supervisors, regardless of whether they are elected by acclamation through cancellation of the election or an actual election was conducted, must complete the oath of office form.