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Ballot Measure 2I: 
Clerks Appointees


 

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Ballot Measure 2I

Shall the Charter of the City and County of Denver be amended to clarify that the Clerk and Recorder may appoint four at-will employees in addition to the Deputy, all of whom shall be exempt from the career service personnel system?

¿Se deberían enmendar los Estatutos de la Ciudad y el Condado de Denver para especificar que el secretario y registrador podrá designar a cuatro empleados a voluntad además del adjunto, quienes estarán exentos del sistema de personal de servicio de carrera?

Ballot Details

This amendment clarifies the number of employees that the Clerk and Recorder may appoint in his office. The last amendment on this topic had a conflicting legislative history, which led to differing interpretations on the Charter’s language. This amendment will make the legislative intent explicitly clear.

Additionally, this amendment will ensure that the office and its employees are accountable to the Clerk. When the Clerk took office last year, he inherited numerous high-level employees that reported directly to him, but some of these employees were appointed while others were career service. The Clerk wants high-level positions to be appointed instead of career service because he is ultimately responsible to the voters for how the office runs, so he wants high-level employees to be responsible to him. If the voters pass this amendment, the Clerk will have the ability to ensure that the Office’s leadership is working together for a successful and responsible office.

Lastly, this will be a budget-neutral charter amendment because the Clerk will use these appointments on positions that already exist in the City’s budget.

We encourage voters to vote “yes” on this measure

Vote against this deceitfully omissive ballot question that disguises the hidden consequence of a vote to approve. Though it is not clearly stated, a vote for the ballot question will strike from Denver city charter the duty of the Clerk and Recorder to employ a Director of Elections - a position that voters have already TWICE affirmed is an essential role that must be accounted for by being purposefully called out and included in the governing document of the city. This deceptively written ballot question is exactly why voter confidence is so low with politicians. After the voting chaos of 2006, Denver held a special election where voters approved a change to city law to make an elected Clerk and Recorder answerable to voters responsible for overseeing elections, including appointing a Director of Elections. 

In 2018 voters approved, in a question that plainly asked to do so, granting more appointee positions to the Clerk and Recorder AND to change the wording of “appoint” to “employ” to the critical role of Director of Elections. Once again confirming by voter choice the essential nature of that position.

Now in 2020, under the guise of and poor economic timing of asking for even more unnamed appointee positions, this ballot question omits asking the voters to strike “employ a Director of Elections” from charter, an action that will happen with a vote approving the ballot question that is only revealed by examining the full bill. Denver has a charter to outline what is essential in the running of our city government. What is more essential to democracy than the elections process? Why are previous voter decisions, made in a fair democratic process, being disregarded and eliminated from city rule under the deceptive guise of half of a question?

Fellow voters, this critical position of Director of Elections has been our safeguard that the voting chaos of 2006 would never happen again! And the voters chose wisely because for the past 13 years it never has. Since that time, Denver voters have enjoyed the most accessible, accurate and accountable voting experience. Don’t let this misleading question and action take away that progress. Shame on any city officers responsible for writing and signing off on this attempt to take previous voters’ choices away by asking a deliberately incomplete question.

The misrepresentative nature of this ballot question prevents voters from asking important questions: Why are they being asked during an economic and unemployment crisis to approve the city fund even more unspecified appointee positions? Why is the existing career service personnel system not sufficient for any additional positions that are truly needed? And why should an essential position, one that has played a key role in transforming Denver into one of the best cities in the nation to vote, be stricken from Denver’s charter promise to its citizens?

Vote NO on this poorly timed and misleading ballot