If a group of local residents have their way, voters could be deciding if the term limits for two county positions should be scrapped on the November …
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If a group of local residents have their way, voters could be
deciding if the term limits for two county positions should be
scrapped on the November ballot.
DCProLaw, a group of activists, is collecting signatures to put
a question on the ballot that would remove term limits from the
sheriff and coroner.
The public leaders of the group are probably familiar: Jeff
Wasden, former Highlands Ranch Community Association board member,
and Kory Nelson, a Denver assistant attorney who wrote Denver’s pit
bull ban enacted in 2005.
An online petition shows some sheriff’s office support,
including Undersheriff Tony Spurlock, Bureau Chief Holly
Nicholson-Kluth, and former Chief of Administration Mike
The group says the cost in money and time to bring an elected
sheriff or coroner up to speed is too high, creating disruption in
Term limits have come under fire at the county before.
Term limits were born in Colorado after a huge push by
conservative Republican Terry Considine during his time as a state
Considine’s activism pushed the term limits referendum through
with 71 percent of the state’s voters on his side.
Term-limit frenzy in 1994 propelled the Republicans into
national office, resulting in the Contract with America, which
called for, but did not deliver federal congressional term
Colorado politicians took term-limit pledges and broke them as
their terms came up. Former Rep. Scott McInnis, a Grand Junction
Republican rumored to be running for governor in 2010, did not step
aside in 2000, as he promised in 1992, running twice more before
In the years since, term limits have fallen in and out of favor,
and ballot questions have appeared three times on Douglas County
ballots calling for limits to be retired.
In 2003, questions went on the ballot covering the assessor,
clerk & recorder, surveyor, treasurer, commissioners and the
sheriff and coroner proposing the term limits go to three terms
rather than two.
In 2004, the question came back as a separate question for each
office, also adding one term to the limitation.
In 2006, Amendment 40, a question before all state voters,
called to impose four year limits on state judges.
“We certainly have tried to change term limits before,” Wasden
said. “But we haven’t tried with only the sheriff and coroner nor
by abolishing term limits completely.”
For Wasden, term limits are infringements on a voter’s right to
elect who they want.
The group is collecting signatures to take before the county
commissioners to show interest. The commissioners decide if a
question will land on the ballot.
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