Erie residents will have a unique opportunity to inform the city’s local government’s future plans. The city is conducting a survey to gather feedback from residents on how Erie government will operate in the future.
Currently, Erie operates under a form of government called statutory rule, which means that government is based on state laws. However, the move to autonomy would mean that the government would operate on the basis of a charter drawn up by the residents. In theory, home rule revolves around the idea that residents of the community are best equipped to solve local problems.
As of Monday, however, residents were able to complete a survey using several different platforms. Residents can go to www.erieco.us/home-rule-charter and click on the “take survey” button. Other residents may receive text messages or emails from the city with a link to the survey website, and others may receive a phone call regarding the survey during the week of January 17. The survey ends on January 19.
According to Gabi Rae, director of communications and community engagement for Erie, the city is the most populous municipality in Colorado that has yet to change governance.
“As municipalities grow, it becomes more feasible to assume more specific governance that matches the community itself rather than using only state statutes to govern,” Rae wrote. in an email. “Generally, when a municipality is self-governing, it is able to align its local government more closely with the needs of residents at that particular time. The charter can be written to be updated/edited regularly to change as the community evolves.
To educate more Erie residents about the differences in government, the city launched a campaign called “The Roadmap to Self-Reliance,” which outlines a series of steps leading up to Election Day in 2023.
The issue of the move to local self-government was originally scheduled to appear on the 2021 ballot, however, after receiving public feedback, the board moved the issue to the 2022 ballot to give the public more time to consider Familiarize with Home Rule governance settings.
The move to autonomy would allow community members to have a more direct say in areas of government, including licenses and permits, taxes and budgets, municipal court proceedings, the management of traffic, police fees and fines, community development, as well as the structure of the Board of Directors.
The move from statutory rule to home rule will require the measure to be approved in the 2022 ballot. Then residents can vote for other community members to join the Charter Commission, which will then have 180 days to write a municipal charter, which will then be voted on by the community on November 7, 2023.
To learn more about the House Rule, visit https://www.erieco.gov/faq.aspx?qid=254.