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Referred Question 2A - Department of Transportation and Infrastructure


 
 

Ballot Title

Shall the Charter of the City and County of Denver be amended to create the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, to require the department to perform the powers and duties formerly performed by the Department of Public Works, and to assign to the department new powers and duties in regard to transportation services, transportation safety programs, and non-motorized transportation facilities?

Note: The Ballot Title will not appear in the Denver Revised Municipal Code. The text of the measure that will appear in the Denver Revised Municipal Code is listed below under Full Text.

Ballot Question Details

Referred Question 2A - Department of Transportation and Infrastructure

BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER:

Section 1. There is hereby submitted to the properly qualified and registered electors of the

City and County of Denver for their approval or rejection at a special municipal election to be

conducted at the same time and in conjunction with the coordinated election to be held in the City

and County of Denver on November 5, 2019, a proposed amendment to the Charter of the City and County of Denver, as follows:

            Effective January 1, 2020 and after publication and filing with the Secretary of State

pursuant to the Constitution and laws of the State of Colorado, the following sections of Article IV of the 2002 Charter of the City and County of Denver shall be and are hereby amended to read as follows:

 

Part 3 of Article II shall be repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

 

PART 3. – TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE

 

§ 2.3.1 - Department of Transportation and Infrastructure created.

 

There shall be and hereby is created a Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.

§ 2.3.2 – Manager of Transportation and Infrastructure.

 

            The Manager of Transportation and Infrastructure (hereinafter called the "Manager")

shall be the officer in full charge and control of the Department and shall devote full time

to the duties of the office. The Manager shall be appointed by the Mayor and hold office

at the pleasure of the Mayor. The Manager shall be a member of the Mayor's cabinet and

shall be a member of the Board of Equalization.

 

§ 2.3.3 - Powers and duties of Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.

 

The following duties and powers are hereby vested in the Department of

Transportation and Infrastructure.

 

(A)  General public improvements. Management and control of the designing,

planning, construction, and reconstruction of all general public improvements,

including such remodeling thereof as requires designing or structural changes,

for the City and County and for all departments, agencies, boards,

commissions, and authorities thereof except the Board of Water

Commissioners and the Department of Aviation. Such designing, planning,

construction, reconstruction, and remodeling may be performed either by the

Department, under contracts let by the Department, or with the permission of

the Manager and to the extent and in the manner provided by ordinance or

resolution of the Council, by any person, firm, or corporation entirely at the

expense of the person, firm, or corporation, all subject, however, to the

following limitations: No general public improvement shall be designed,

planned, constructed, reconstructed, or remodeled without prior approval of the

department, agency, board, commission, or authority charged with the

operation of such general public improvement; no rights-of-way for streets,

alleys, highways, or other thoroughfares shall be established, changed, or

vacated and no site for any public purpose shall be accepted until first approved

by ordinance or resolution of the Council; the Mayor may assign to another

department, agency, board, commission, or authority the designing, planning,

construction, reconstruction, or remodeling of a specific general public

improvement, or part thereof, in which event the department, agency, board,

commission, or authority to which the assignment is made shall be governed

and controlled by all limitations and provisions imposed on the Department of

Transportation and Infrastructure.

 

(i)            All construction, reconstruction or remodeling of general public

improvements not performed by the Department, or with the

permission of the Manager and to the extent and in the manner

provided by ordinance or resolution of the Council by a person, firm,

or corporation entirely at his or her, their, or its 1 expense, shall be

performed under contracts let by the Department without any action of

the Council except in the passage of the original ordinance or

resolution authorizing the improvements or contracts. All such

contracts shall be: (1) let to the lowest, responsive, qualified bidder,

or if not let in that manner; (2) let through a competitive selection

process. All solicitations for such contracts shall be advertised in an

official publication or in some other manner as provided by Charter or

ordinance, provided however, that if public advertisement is

impracticable, proposals shall be requested from at least three (3)

qualified bidders or proposers. The right to reject any or all bids is

reserved. No such contract for more than fifty thousand dollars shall

be made without a bond for its faithful performance, with sufficient

surety or sureties. No other surety than a surety company approved

by the Manager and Mayor shall be accepted. Any other mode of

letting such contracts shall be illegal and void.

(ii)           The aggregate payments under any such contract shall not exceed

the aggregate estimate of the City Engineer or the amounts

appropriated. Upon notice and for substantial cause, the work under

such contract may be suspended or terminated forthwith by the Mayor

or the Manager. Every such contract shall be subject to the provisions

of this Charter and the provisions of any ordinance or resolution

authorizing the improvements or contracts.

 

(iii)          In the letting of such contracts, the Department may impose such

conditions upon bidders and proposers with regard to bonds and

securities and such guarantees of good faith and responsibility on the

part of the bidders and proposers for the faithful completion of the

work or keeping the same in repair and providing for any other

material matter or thing in connection therewith as may be considered

"in the best interests of the City and County," as the same may be

defined by ordinance. In the absence of an ordinance, "in the best

interests of the City and County" shall be determined by the Manager.

The terms "qualified," "responsible" and "responsive," and

"competitive selection process" as used in this Section, may also be

defined by ordinance or, in the absence of an ordinance, determined

by the Manager.

 

(iv)          Upon default in the performance of any such contract, the

Department may advertise and let a contract for the uncompleted

work in like manner, without further ordinance or resolution, and

charge the cost thereof to the original contractor upon his or her

contract; and when a deficiency shall in such case occur, the

Manager, with the approval of the mayor, may advance the amount

thereof out of any available fund in the City and County and recover

the same by suit on the original contract and bond.

 

(B)  Supervision and management of local public improvement districts. Supervision

and management of all proceedings relating to local public improvement districts.

 

(C)  Control of public ways, thoroughfares and other public facilities. Supervision and

control of all streets, alleys, highways, thoroughfares, sewers, bridges, viaducts,

tunnels, off-street parking and other like structures wherever located, including the

supervision of lighting and all facilities for the lighting thereof, to conduct traffic

engineering studies of pedestrian and vehicular movements thereon, to mark

streets and related structures and to provide, operate and maintain traffic signals

and controls.

(D)  Non-motorized transportation facilities. Supervision and control of all pedestrian

facilities, bikeways, non-motorized trails and other like structures, except those that

are maintained and operated under the authority of or by agreement with the

Department of Parks and Recreation.

 

(E)  Transportation services. Planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation

of mass transportation systems and other public transportation services, either

individually or jointly with the Regional Transportation District or any other public or

private entity.

 

(F)  Safety programs. Planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operation of

programs and public improvements related to enhancing and improving the safety

of all users of the right of way, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicle

operators.

 

(G) Surveying functions. Management and control of all functions assigned by general

law to the County Surveyor.

 

(H)  Custody of documents. Custody of all plats, maps, records, notes, surveys, papers,

files and documents heretofore or hereafter belonging to the Office of the City

Engineer, the Office of the County Surveyor and the Department of Improvements

and Parks or pertaining to surveys of the City and County; provided, however, that

all such documents, including all private memoranda made by the City Engineer or

any of his or her assistants relating to surveys or to the City Engineer's data of the

City and County, shall remain the property of the City and County and shall be

transmitted in their entirety to successors in office.

 

(I)    Employment of professional and technical personnel. In the manner and pursuant

to terms and conditions fixed by the Mayor and the cabinet, to employ qualified

professional or technical personnel for the performance of the duties imposed on

or the powers vested in the Department and to employ such professional or

technical personnel for any other department, agency, board, commission or

authority to which is assigned any duty or power of the Department.

 

(J)   Rules and Regulation. The Council shall provide, by ordinance, for the

enforcement of the rules and regulations of the Department.

 

§ 2.3.4. Division of Public Works

 

There shall be and hereby is created within the Department of Transportation and

Infrastructure a Division of Public Works. The following duties and powers are

hereby vested in the Division of Public Works.

 

(A)  Operation of certain municipal facilities. Management, operation, and control of all

public utilities belonging to the City and County (except the water works system

and plant) and of all facilities owned by the City and County for sewage, trash,

garbage, and offal disposal, and management and control of the operation, care,

repair, and maintenance of all structures in which and all land on which those

facilities are located and operated, except for solid or hazardous waste disposal

sites under the management and control of the Manager of Public Health and

Environment.

 

(B)  Collection of sewage, trash, garbage, offal and other offensive substances.

Management and control of the collection, removal and disposition of all sewage,

trash, garbage, offal and other offensive substances either by the Department or

under contracts let by the Department. For the purposes of this Section, and in the

manner and pursuant to terms and conditions fixed by the Mayor and the cabinet

and subject to ordinance or resolution approval by the Council, the Department

may enter into such contracts as in the judgment of the Manager are to the best

interests of the City and County.

 

(C)  Privately owned sewers. To permit or not permit private sewers to be constructed

or reconstructed and attached to municipal sewers, either temporarily or

permanently; provided, however, that no expense shall be incurred by the City and

County in constructing, reconstructing or maintaining such private sewers.

 

(D)  Management and control of the designing, planning, construction, and

reconstruction of the facilities described in subsection (A) of this section, in

accordance with the requirements set forth in section 2.3.3 (A).

 

(E)  Employ qualified professional or technical personnel for the performance of the

duties imposed on or the powers vested in the Division by this section in

accordance with the requirements set forth in section 2.3.3 (F).

 

Subsection 2.2.10 (A) shall be amended by deleting the language stricken and adding the language underlined, to read as follows:

 

§ 2.2.10 - Mayor's cabinet.

 

(A)  The Mayor and the cabinet, which shall consist of the Manager of the Department

of Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure, the Manager of the Department

of Finance, the Manager of the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Manager

of the Department of Public Health and Environment, the Manager of the Department of Safety, the Manager of the Department of General Services, the Manager of the Department of Human Services, the Manager of the Department of Aviation, the Manager of the Department of Community Planning and Development, and the City Attorney, shall formulate the general administrative policies of the City and County, and each Manager and Officer in its department, shall be responsible for and have full power to carry out such policies.

 

Subsection 2.4.4 (D) shall be amended by deleting the language stricken and adding the language underlined, to read as follows:

 

§ 2.4.4 - Powers and duties of Department of Parks and Recreation.

 

The following duties and powers are hereby vested in the Department of Parks

and Recreation.

 

(D)  Landscaping of public ways and thoroughfares. Landscaping and

beautification, together with such horticultural maintenance as appears desirable in

the public interest, of suitable portions of any public ways, thoroughfares, pleasure

driveways and similar facilities as determined by agreement with the Department of

Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure.

 

Section 7.4.6 shall be amended by deleting the language stricken and adding the

language underlined, to read as follows:

 

§ 7.4.6 - Board of Equalization.

 

There is hereby created a Board of Equalization to consist of the President of Council or the President's designee, the Manager of Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure or the Manager's designee, the Manager of Finance or the Manager's designee, the Clerk and Recorder or the Clerk and Recorder's designee, and the Manager of General Services or the Manager of General Services' designee, any three of whom shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, to perform all the duties and functions in reference to the equalization,

reduction, abatement and rebate of general taxes required by the constitution and general laws of the State to be performed by County Commissioners, except the levying of the taxes, which shall be levied by the Council.

 

Sections 7.6.1 and 7.6.2 shall be amended by deleting the language stricken and adding the language underlined, to read as follows:

 

§ 7.6.1 - Local public improvement districts.

The City and County shall have the power to contract for and make local public

improvements, to assess the cost thereof wholly or in part upon the property especially benefited. Any procedures necessary to implement this power, to the extent not governed by this Charter, shall be established by ordinance. In all cases when the cost of a local public improvement is to be assessed wholly or in part upon the property benefited, the improvement shall be initiated and proposed by filing a petition therefor with the Department of Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure; or the Manager of Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure, without receiving a petition therefor, may initiate and propose such local public

improvements. In all cases when the cost of a local public improvement is to be assessed wholly or in part upon the property benefited, the cost shall be assessed in proportion to benefits received, subject to any provision for reduction or waiver of assessments as may be provided by ordinance.

§ 7.6.2 - Local maintenance districts.

 

The City and County of Denver shall have the power to create local maintenance districts, conferring special benefits upon real property within such districts and general benefits to the City and County at large under provisions as the City and County may by ordinance provide, for the continuing care, operation, security, repair, maintenance and replacement of local public improvements. The City and County shall also have the power to consolidate or dissolve local maintenance districts according to procedures as may be provided by ordinance. In all cases when the costs of the continuing care, operation, security, repair, maintenance and replacement of local public improvements are to be assessed wholly or in part upon the real property benefited, the district therefor shall be initiated and proposed by filing a petition therefor with the Department of Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure; or, in the alternative, the Manager of Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure without receiving a petition therefor

may initiate and propose the establishment of such a District. In all cases when the costs of the continuing care, operation, security, repair, maintenance and replacement of local public improvements are to be assessed wholly or in part upon the real property to be benefited, the costs shall be assessed on said real property in proportion to the benefits received, subject 1 to any provision for reduction or waiver of assessments as may be provided by ordinance.

Subsection 9.2.1 (B) shall be amended by deleting the language stricken and adding the language underlined, to read as follows:

 

§ 9.2.1 - Salaries and benefits of certain Charter officers set by ordinance.

 

The annual salaries and benefits of the following officers of the City and

County of Denver shall be set by ordinance as hereinafter provided:

 

(B)  Appointed Charter officers. Manager of the Department of Public Health and

Environment; Manager of the Department of Public Works Transportation and

Infrastructure; City Attorney; Manager of the Department of Safety; Manager of the Department of Finance; Manager of the Department of Parks and Recreation; Manager of the Department of General Services; Manager of the Department of Human Services; Manager of the Department of Aviation; Manager of the Department of Community Planning and Development; Director of Excise and Licenses.

As prepared by the Department of Finance:

Methodology:
Referred Question 2A proposes amending the City and County of Denver’s Charter to create the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure would be required to perform the powers and duties formerly performed by the Department of Public Works and would also have strengthened powers and duties regarding multimodal transportation and safety for all users of the city right of way. The City anticipates minimal rebranding costs associated with this change.

Financial Impact:
The financial impact of creating the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure is estimated to be a one-time cost of $200,000 for rebranding expenses, primarily for marketing and communications contracts and materials.

Over the past decade, Denver’s population has grown by more than 20 percent, and every weekday, our population swells even more as people from all over the metro area commute to jobs throughout the city. As our roadways become more congested and traffic fatalities continue to mount, it is critical that we re-position city government to better address the demands being placed on our transportation system today and in the future. Denver can take a significant step forward by passing Measure 2A, which would amend the city Charter to create a Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. This new Department would continue to perform the duties of the Department of Public Works, and more importantly would accelerate and enhance new transportation-related functions such as mobility services, safety programs, and pedestrian and bicycle facilities. By re-organizing ourselves to reflect transportation as one of our highest priorities and an essential city service, we can expedite mobility projects, sharpen our focus on next-generation, innovative solutions, and ensure social equity is infused in all of our transportation-improvement efforts. We can concentrate on more quickly moving transportation and infrastructure projects from concept to completion in an integrated, sequential and coordinated manner. The Department will focus on establishing complete and connected multi-modal networks, including bicycle, pedestrian and transit infrastructure; on deploying new technologies; and trying innovative approaches such as city investments in transit services to supplement those provided by RTD. The new Department also will advance the goals and objectives in Denver’s Mobility Action Plan, Denver Moves plans and other key planning documents. Those goals include reducing the high percentage of single-occupancy vehicle commuters by encouraging shifts to alternative, cleaner and more active modes of transportation; cutting transportation-caused carbon pollution; encouraging and increasing electric-vehicle usage; and making our transportation network safer for all users. Achieving these goals is essential for Denver to address increasing population growth and to stay economically viable and environmentally sustainable. By voting yes on Measure 2A, you will be completing a realignment, reorganization and refinement process that began in 2018 and prepares us for the future of transportation and mobility for decades to come.  

No arguments against this question were submitted.

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