Municipal election ballot deadline April 2

       The deadline for ballots is Tuesday, April 2 at 7 p.m. for the Colorado Springs municipal election.
       Six district seats - including 1 and 3, which include Westside areas - are up for grabs, along with two ballot issues.
       Although it's termed a “mail-in” election, voters can save some postage by dropping off ballots at two locations. One is a “secure mail ballot drop-off box,” available around the clock at the turnaround outside the El Paso County Citizens Service Center at 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road. And, on election day, the City Clerk's Office will provide a curbside ballot drop-off from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. outside the city building at 30 S. Nevada Ave., for southbound and westbound motorists.
       The District 1 candidates are Joe Barrera, Don Knight, Tim Leigh, Linda Mojer and Julie Naye.
       District 3 started with five candidates also. Tom Gallagher and Bob Kinsey have since announced they've dropped out, although their names remain on the ballot. Still actively campaigning are Jim Bensberg, Keith King and Brandy Williams.
       In each district, one candidate will be elected to a four-year term. Council has nine members in all, with three at-large whose seats will not come up for election until 2015 (the same time as the mayor).
       The ballot issues are:
  • A request to increase councilmembers' pay from $6,250 a year to half what the mayor makes. That amount is not stated in the ballot wording, but since the mayor makes $96,000 a year under the charter, the requested amount would be $48,000 a year for each council member. The request is based on the number of hours councilmembers say they spend in public service.
  • A request to allow up to 20 percent of the revenues from the Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) sales tax be used for general parks maintenance. Currently it's 15 percent. The request is based on the shortage of city general-fund money for needed parks maintenance.

    Westside Pioneer article