The Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce has officially taken a public position on the Mayor at Large ballot question. According to a recent press release, the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce opposes the citizen-driven initiative to change the Town’s charter to allow for an at-large, town-wide election for the office of mayor.
“Although we strongly believe residents and business owners in Castle Rock should have the ability to vote for their elected officials, this initiative should have been vetted through a process that looks at the consequences of moving from our current form of government and resolve those issues prior to an election and the implementation,” said Pam Ridler, President/CEO of the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce.
The Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce states concerns including an unfair balance of representation from current districts which would allow a single district to have a greater voice with two representatives. Additional concerns include the increased cost of conducting a town-wide campaign that could allow money to be solicited from outside organizations or special interest groups affecting policy and procedures.
The release also suggests that the Mayor at Large election could be a step to change the current form of professionally managed day-to-day operations to a ‘Strong Mayor’ system which creates a politically managed system.
“I like how in our current system we have seven equal eyes on everything, and the Mayor is simply a councilperson who runs the meetings. I look at this as a service position. I’m afraid if we glorify the Mayor position and separate it from Council, we will start to see big party politics, outside money, and the big bad political man come to town. We already see developers throwing thousands of dollars at the elected Mayor campaign. I think we should always look to improve, but I do not think what is proposed is better for residents.” —Jason Bower, Castle Rock District 4 Councilmember