In November, Avon voters will vote for four vacant seats on the city council. Those open seats are currently filled by Mayor Sarah Smith Hymes and Council Member Scott Prince, both time-limited, as well as Council Members Tamra Underwood and Chico Thuon.
Aspiring candidates had until Monday, August 29 to submit their application to Patty McKenny, Deputy Director and City Clerk of Avon. According to McKenny, the city has received five nomination petitions for open council seats.
Those five candidates include incumbents Underwood and Thuon, and former Avon City Councilman Rich Carroll. Calyn Rieger and Ruth Stanley are also in the running.
Candidates each run for a four-year term in nonpartisan elections. And, according to the city charter, the four candidates who receive the most votes in the general election will fill the vacant seats.
The city council vote will be part of the Tuesday, Nov. 8 election, which is conducted as an election by mail and is coordinated with the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder’s office.
Following the November elections, the mayor and acting mayor will be elected by council members. The mayor and acting mayor will serve two-year terms in these roles. Amy Phillips is the city’s current pro tem mayor.
What else will be on the ballot for Avon?
Along with the City Council election, Avon voters should expect to see a number of additional county, statewide and federal ballot metrics and candidates. This includes congressional and senate races, county elections and more.
Initially, the city of Avon considered adding multiple taxes on this November ballot. This included a possible marijuana tax, a building use tax as well as a sales and/or lodging tax to fund a new regional transportation authority.
However, after polling voters on each of these tax issues, a concern emerged that voters would be more likely to drop certain taxes if there were too many taxes on the ballot. This concern stems from the overall results of the Avon survey, which showed voter support for the building use tax, marijuana tax and a lodging tax to prop up the regional transportation authority. . However, respondents were not in favor of a sales tax to support authority.
“Knowing that there were other polls that Avon supported the RTA tax and that our poll asked that question third and that we had people who didn’t support it, the assumption is that asking three tax questions of what followed was probably not conducive to a yes vote,” City Manager Eric Heil said at the Avon City Council meeting Aug. 23. “The discussion with council and what staff presented is pretty than to potentially dilute Avon voter support for the RTA with other voting matters is to put it off until next year and focus all of our efforts on the RTA.”
At its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 23, some members of the Avon City Council expressed a desire to see the marijuana tax in the November ballot as well.
“I just feel the demand is there. The city, in my opinion, is open to it. I don’t want to take anything away from the RTA, but it seems like every time the marijuana issue comes up, something supersedes it as more important and it gets pushed back down the road,” Council Member RJ Andrade said. “The poll showed 75% to 76% in favor of this tax, with 35% in favor of the RTA, that’s a pretty huge gap and I think the 75% who were in favor should be ignored and not at the minus even putting it on the vote is very irresponsible of us.
However, this desire – which was also backed by council members Thuon and Lindsay Hardy – was not supported by the majority of council, who voted to put only the regional transport tax issue on the ballot. of Avon voters so as not to “obfuscate the issue”, as Prince put it.
“I oppose the imposition of the marijuana tax because I believe this RTA is a monumental effort in all jurisdictions and has huge implications for the community,” Smith Hymes said. “I don’t want to compromise the RTA.”
Specifically, Avon voters will be asked to approve a new sales tax as well as vote on the formation of the regional transportation authority. According to the resolution passed by council Aug. 24, voters will be asked to approve a new half-cent sales tax to fund the proposed Eagle Valley Transportation Authority. This tax, if approved, would be supplemented by the existing half-cent sales tax that funds ECO Transit to fund the new authority and its plans.
The ballot question indicates that this tax is expected to generate approximately $15.5 million in the first year.
The Eagle Valley Regional Transportation Authority effort covers all jurisdictions in Eagle County, which includes Eagle County and the cities of Avon, Eagle, Gypsum, Minturn, Red Cliff, Vail and the metropolitan district of Beaver Creek.
And while each of the councils and councils in those jurisdictions will have to pass a resolution to put the intergovernmental sales tax agreement and regional transportation authority to a vote by its residents, the authority will only be formed if Vail, Avon , Eagle County (representing unincorporated parts of the county), and the Metropolitan District of Beaver Creek pass the resolution and are confirmed by voters in each jurisdiction.
Avon’s board has passed its resolution to put the issue before voters, but has a special “pencil” meeting for Wednesday, Sept. 7, if those other required jurisdictions don’t decide to put the issue on the ballot. However, those jurisdictions appear set to do so, as the eight municipalities submitted letters of intent to do so earlier this month to the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder.
Municipalities have until September 9 to certify the contents of the ballot for the 2022 election to the county clerk.
To check your eligibility and registration information, visit GoVoteColorado.com. For Avon-specific election information, visit Avon.org or call the city clerk’s office at 970-748-4001. For more information on the Eagle County general election, visit EagleCounty.us/ClerkandRecorder or call the county clerk’s office at 970-328-8715.