The City of Fort Morgan has placed a ballot question on the November election ballot to delete a single sentence in the city charter to streamline procurement processes, and officials urge a YES vote on this measure, listed as Ballot Question 2G.
The City Council unanimously approved a resolution this month in support of 2G, and Mayor Ron Shaver published a letter to the editor in the Fort Morgan Times last week explaining the reasons for the proposal. Both are reproduced here:
To Residents of Fort Morgan:
This November, Fort Morgan voters will be asked to consider removing a single sentence from the City Charter to help streamline the approval process for contracts and purchases above a certain dollar amount.
For decades, City staff has been required to seek additional approval from the City Council for any contract or expenditure exceeding $9,999, even though the City Council had already approved these expenditures during the budget process.
For example, the city is now developing the 2022 budget, which includes numerous capital expenditures for equipment, vehicles and capital projects next year. In November the City Council will approve the final 2022 budget, including these expenditures. However, unless the proposed charter amendment is approved by voters, staff will be required to bring every one of those purchases and expenditures of $10,000 or more back to another council meeting during 2022 for another redundant approval.
This is a needless use of time and can delay purchases and projects. And it’s worth noting that $10,000 does not go nearly as far as it did when that limit was implemented decades ago, so the number of expenditures required to take up time getting repetitive approval at council meetings only continues to grow.
The City Council has always had the ability to set purchasing and procurement limits, from time to time, under the city code. But this one sentence in the charter prevents the intended use of that Municipal Code policy, which already ensures public oversight and transparency.
City staff and the Council needlessly spend time and taxpayer funds seeking this unnecessary additional approval. We ask that you help us in removing these additional unneeded hurdles to conducting the business of the city. Please join me in voting yes on issue 2G this November.
City of Fort Morgan
RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT:
RESOLUTION NO. 2021-10-02
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF FORT MORGAN, COLORADO TAKING A POSITION OF ADVOCACY IN SUPPORT OF BALLOT ISSUE 2G, AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE III, SECTION 4, SUBSECTION (a) OF THE CITY OF FORT MORGAN CHARTER
WHEREAS, the City of Fort Morgan (the “City”) has directed that an amendment to Article III, Section 4, Subsection (a) of the City Charter (the “Charter”) be presented to City voters at the regular election to be held on November 2, 2021; and
WHEREAS, this Charter amendment has been designated ballot issue 2G at said election; and
WHEREAS, the purpose and origin of the language in Article III, Section 4, Subsection (a), which requires that every City contract costing over $10,000 be individually approved by the City Council, is unclear; and
WHEREAS, the current requirement requires Council to approve, for a second time, expenditures that have already been publicly considered and approved by Council, as part of the City budget process; and
WHEREAS, the current requirement is thus redundant, needlessly consumes City resources, and serves no identifiable public purpose; and
WHEREAS, the Colorado Fair Campaign Practices Act expressly authorizes the City to take a position of advocacy on an issue of this importance to the City of Fort Morgan; and
WHEREAS, the City Council finds it desirable and appropriate to publicly declare to City of Fort Morgan voters, the Council’s strong support for voter approval of Ballot Issue 2G at the upcoming November 2021 election.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY the city council OF THE CITY OF FORT MORGAN, COLORADO:
SECTION 1. The City Council hereby takes a position of advocacy in support of Ballot Issue 2G, the Charter amendment to Article III, Section 4, Subsection (a) to be considered by City voters at the regular election to be held on November 2, 2021.
INTRODUCED, PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED this 5th day of October, 2021