Moffat County ballot initiatives receive over $50,000 in contributions
This election season, Moffat County and Craig city elections received a total of $50,646.55 in contributions for campaigns in the community’s bond measures.
The biggest spending numbers came from the two ballot measures that would potentially raise property taxes in the county, totaling all contributions from outside sources.
In one of the more controversial campaigns this year, money going into the proposed Health Services District — which proponents hope will secure emergency services across Moffat County and give Dinosaur an ambulance — went well into the tens of thousands. In total, the campaign received $32,108.80.
Monetary contributions — or actual dollar donations — came from various proponents of the initiative, including Memorial Regional Hospital, interim hospital CEO Jennifer Riley, Black Mountain Anaesthesia Group and Daniel Prinster, Vice President Business Development at St. Mary’s. According to campaign finances reported to TRACER (Transparency in Contribution and Expenditure Reporting), in total, individuals and businesses who sent in monetary contributions totaled $9,613.
When it comes to expenditures, Friends Of Moffat County HSD (Health Services District) — the official name of those financially supporting the campaign — spent $5,362.68 on expenses for the campaign. That total includes fees for mail, newspaper advertising, signs around town, fees for campaign coordination and radio advertisements.
For non-monetary contributions — or any action or donation that is not money — the HSD campaign received $22,495.80. All of those contributions came from Healthier Colorado, a non-profit that supports “pro-health policies.” In addition to 6A and 6B, Healthier Colorado supports various health-related legislation across the state. In this campaign, Healthier Colorado contributed approximately $20,000 toward mailers for constituents, $850 in “staff assistance,” and $1,196 for advertisements in the Craig Press.
In October, funds received by the campaign that came from the city, the fire district and the county to be used if the HSD were to pass as a start-up fund, were returned.
Residents of Moffat County who oppose 6A and 6B paid a considerable amount for advertising in the Craig Press and for signage distributed around town, but the total spent is unclear since it was not filed in TRACER.
The other ballot measure, 4A, would raise $39 million in property tax collection and trigger the ability to accept $6 million in matching grant dollars from the state for Moffat County School District capital improvements. Campaign funds to raise support for the ballot measure are filed under “NextGen Moffat County Schools” in TRACER. In total, that campaign received $13,650 in contributions for the initiative.
Unlike 6A and 6B, the school bond measure received out-of-state funds as contributions to the campaign. The highest dollar amount from out of state came from RBC Capital Markets, a financial planning company based in Minneapolis, with contributions totaling $1,800. Another donation came from TreanorHL, the company that performed the capital needs assessment for the school district. The company (according to TRACER filings) is based in Lawrence, Kansas, but TreanorHL also has an office in Denver.
School board members, who have long been organizers and supporters of 4A, donated a considerable amount; 11% of contributions came from school board members, with donations ranging from $100-$500 each.
The largest individual donations were $2500 each from construction and design firms FCI Constructors and TreanorHL. In total, construction businesses donated almost 44% of the campaign’s funds.
For spending by NextGen Moffat County Schools, organizers spent $6,887. Most of that went toward advertising, including ads in the Craig Press and on Steamboat Radio. Other expenses include campaign consultation from Steele Strategies for $1123.99 and just over $1600 for campaign walk cards. Steele Strategies is based in Denver, but is not related to any of the Moffat County Steeles.
No city council members filed campaign spending in TRACER, and most of the Moffat County School District board of education candidates did not file either. The only candidate who had filings in TRACER is Jnl Linsacum, who spent $565.02 on advertising and signs.
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Hayden’s new school was built with a sizable grant and the support of the community as residents approved the more than $22 million school bond measure in 2017 by just two votes.