Council briefly contemplated placing a proposed six-tenths of one percent sales tax increase to match the same amount being posed to Telluride voters where it would create a dedicated revenue stream to fund local nonprofits, special events and infrastructure improvements.
While the Telluride tax is anticipated to generate roughly $650,000 annually for major programs if approved, in Mountain Village it would likely generate about $259,000 annually.
“There’s no support on our council for increasing any taxes,” said Mayor Bob Delves.
Should Mayoral Choice Go to the People?
Town of Mountain Village voters may get an opportunity sooner rather than later to decide whether they prefer their existing election system in which the members of town council appoint the town’s mayor, or whether they’d prefer to vote for a mayoral candidate directly.
Newly elected Councilmember Richard Child brought the matter up for discussion at council’s most recent meeting after hearing from voters that they might be interested in a change.
“I think it’s a valid point, the voter should be afforded the decision if they want to vote for their mayor or not,” he said.
Councilmember Dan Garner pointed out that in Mountain Village the position is granted far broader powers than in those places where he or she is elected by popular vote.
The mayor of Mountain Village is considered the chief executive officer of the town government who, among other powers, exercises executive control over the town government. With the advice and consent of council her or she also recommends independent contractors and consultants for hire and appointments to town offices including: manager, attorney, clerk, police chief, municipal judge, and the directors of community development and operations and development, among other duties.
In Telluride where the mayor is elected by popular vote, he or she is recognized as the ceremonial head of the town government, presides over council, votes, signs ordinances and resolutions, and sets meeting agendas.
“With the powers that our mayor has, it requires different set of skills,” Garner said, noting that revisions to the town charter pertaining to mayoral powers might be necessary.
“I’d hate to see it come down to a name recognition or popularity contest,” he said.
In the wake of a failed motion to address the issue immediately, council agreed to revisit it in the new year.
“I won’t put it on the agenda in September,” said Mayor Bob Delves.
“But you will consider it in January?” asked the newest member to council, Dave Schillaci.
“Absolutely,” said Delves. “In fact you have my word.”
MVPD Receives Technology, Communications Grants
The Mountain Village Police Department learned recently that it is the recipient of a $130,000 Justice Assistance Grant funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Like the Telluride Marshal’s Office that received a grant through the same program, the MVPD will use the money to purchase a state of the art records management system.
The new system will enable the department to directly access records held by its dispatch center in Montrose County, eliminating the need for some radio communications.
“It will help us offer hope of bringing more perpetrators to justice,” Wood said, anticipating that the new system will be up and running by the new year.
The department has also received initial notification that it has been awarded a second grant through the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
Since 1994, the COPS Office has invested more than $12 billion to improve community policing efforts, according to the program’s website; the COPS Technology grant is not funded by federal stimulus money.
Woods said that his department used COPS Technology grants it won during previous cycles to install a new communications system, and that the new funding will be used to complete that system.