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Term limit question to be finalized

Josh Nichols

At the urging of several community members 471 to be exact the Moffat County commissioners agreed at the end of June to put the question of whether to remove term limits for all elected officials except the commissioners on this fall’s ballot.

The commissioners at a meeting Monday will decide how the question will be worded.

Craig residents Saud Tayyara and John Ponikvar, who conducted the recent petition drive to demonstrate the local interest in getting the term limit question on the ballot, submitted four examples of how the question was worded on ballots in other Colorado counties.

Two of the examples submitted have the offices of clerk and recorder, treasurer, assessor, sheriff and coroner all lumped into one question.

The other two examples ask five different questions of whether term limits should be removed for each office.

“We’ll go either way,” Ponikvar said. “It’s going to accomplish the goal we want.”

But Ponikvar, who is in favor of removing term limits, did say he might favor posing five different questions.

“I would hate to see all of them not get eliminated because some people still want term limits on just one of the offices,” he said.

But regardless of how the question is worded, it is good that the issue is being placed on the ballot, he said.

“I’m happy the commissioners made the decision they did,” he said. “I feel they made the right choice.”

Moffat County Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos said she didn’t have any preference on how the question or questions were posed.

“In other counties it has passed both ways and failed both ways,” she said.

Since the commissioners guaranteed at the beginning of June to place the question on the ballot, Raftopoulos said she has not received much feedback from community members.

One e-mail asked her why it is being placed on the ballot again after being voted down twice already, she said.

“I realize people have voted on it twice,” she said. “But there seems to be a different view of term limits because people are realizing the effects of them now that they are going into affect.”

The first eight-year cycle is up for elected officials since term limits were put in place in 1994.

Those stepping down from office because of term limits include Moffat County Commissioner T. Wright Dickinson, Treasurer Joy Hammat, Assessor Dennis Shanahan and Coroner Bruce Zobel.

Ponikvar and Tayyara have said the key difference in what they have proposed to the commissioners this year and what has been voted on

in the past is the fact that the commissioners are not included this

year.

Because the office of county commissioner is viewed as a policy-making position, they said, it might have been the reason term

limits were not removed in the

past.

Monday’s Moffat County Commissioner meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Maybell

Community Center.

Issues pertinent to Maybell will be discussed in the meeting, Raftopoulos said.

They include:

A discussion on County Road 116.

A discussion on a grant for Maybell Roping Arena.

A budget workshop and timeline for 2002.

A discussion on the Maybell ditch drainage issue.


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