The Roadmap to Home Rule

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Take the survey

What do you know about Home Rule? This year, the Town of Erie wants to explore whether it should remain a statutory town or implement Home Rule. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing information about what Home Rule is, how it could impact you, and ask you to be involved in this process.

So what is Home Rule? Home Rule is a form of government based on a charter written by residents rather than following state statute. It is based upon the theory that the residents in the community know best how to solve local issues. A Home Rule Charter could give you the chance to determine if Erie should become a city or stay a town, whether the Board of Trustees should become a council, what the term limits are for elected officials, and so much more. Going Home Rule could affect finance, taxation, land use, elections, and administration in Erie.

Ultimately Home Rule is all about YOU! If the community votes to “go Home Rule” in November, the Charter the Town uses to govern the community will be created by residents and you get to participate in the whole process. Want to be really involved? Apply to be a Charter Commissioner. Have just a few opinions? Join our discussion boards or attend a Community Conversation.

Help put your stamp on the future of Erie! We want to hear from you about your priorities, needs, and expectations for how the Town of Erie government should operate as the community continues to grow. Use some of the tools below and be sure to check out other ways to participate on our social media pages.

Results of January 2022 Survey of Residents:


Take the survey

What do you know about Home Rule? This year, the Town of Erie wants to explore whether it should remain a statutory town or implement Home Rule. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing information about what Home Rule is, how it could impact you, and ask you to be involved in this process.

So what is Home Rule? Home Rule is a form of government based on a charter written by residents rather than following state statute. It is based upon the theory that the residents in the community know best how to solve local issues. A Home Rule Charter could give you the chance to determine if Erie should become a city or stay a town, whether the Board of Trustees should become a council, what the term limits are for elected officials, and so much more. Going Home Rule could affect finance, taxation, land use, elections, and administration in Erie.

Ultimately Home Rule is all about YOU! If the community votes to “go Home Rule” in November, the Charter the Town uses to govern the community will be created by residents and you get to participate in the whole process. Want to be really involved? Apply to be a Charter Commissioner. Have just a few opinions? Join our discussion boards or attend a Community Conversation.

Help put your stamp on the future of Erie! We want to hear from you about your priorities, needs, and expectations for how the Town of Erie government should operate as the community continues to grow. Use some of the tools below and be sure to check out other ways to participate on our social media pages.

Results of January 2022 Survey of Residents:


Home Rule Charter

Curious about how Home Rule might impact you as a resident? Ask here! We will share answers and create a place to keep all information transparent for everyone.

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    An Advantage per the presentation is "Potentially condemn or annex land to preserve it or stop encroachment of certain activities". What Land would you be seeking to annex? What would you do with said newly acquired land?

    Steve S asked 19 days ago

    To be clear, the Town staff and the Board or Trustees cannot and will not be involved in the creation of a Town Charter if Home Rule moves forward. The Charter will be drafted by an elected body of community members and then voted on by all registered Erie voters. So this is really a question for a future, theoretical Charter Commission. This topic is just and example of something they can consider when drafting the Charter. The Charter Commission will have access to Charters from other communities and can use resources like legal experts to determine what topics make sense for Erie to consider in a draft Charter.

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    What voter and election procedures do you feel limited by? What would change and why? Malcolm mentioned electing trustees by district. Can you elaborate what that means? Would we split the town into districts and candidates would have to run in a designated district only; like congress? How many districts can you foresee the town splitting into and what would be those dividing lines?

    Steve S asked 19 days ago

    To be clear, the Town staff and the Board or Trustees cannot and will not be involved in the creation of a Town Charter if Home Rule moves forward. The Charter will be drafted by an elected body of community members and then voted on by all registered Erie voters. So this is really a question for a future, theoretical Charter Commission. 

    But a Charter Commission could write a Charter that: 

    • In Home Rule municipalities, the Charter could provide for the clerk’s deputies and assistants to be under the general authority of the manager or the clerk.
    • Home Rule Charters adopt all, or parts, of the Municipal Election Code by reference, frequently permitting it to be superseded by ordinance or other Charter provisions.
    • A local government could choose to have appointed judges or adopt the council-manager system with an appointed manager rather than an elected mayor.
    • The Charter could be written to have district boundaries, but that would fully be decided by the Charter Commission and up to them to determine numbers of districts, boundaries of districts, etc. 

    **Nothing about the election process or current voting districts (there are none - all are voted at large) would change unless the Charter Commission writes it into a draft Charter. If they don't mention it, then elections remain status quo.


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    what can you not manage and plan in the streets and traffic that home rule would allow you to?

    Steve S asked 19 days ago

    To be clear, the Town staff and the Board or Trustees cannot and will not be involved in the creation of a Town Charter if Home Rule moves forward. The Charter will be drafted by an elected body of community members and then voted on by all registered Erie voters. So this is really a question for a future, theoretical Charter Commission. 

    But a Charter Commission could write a Charter that would: 

    • Give the Town would have greater flexibility, clarity, and effectiveness in adopting regulations related to:
      • Speed limits and traffic regulations
      • Road closures
      • Oversized weight and size of vehicles
      •  Parking regulations and signs
      • Code enforcement for parking violations


    Yes - the Town can certainly influence and change many things with regard to these this category right now as a Statutory government, but it is typically a much longer and more arduous process than if the procedures were written directly into the Town's Charter.

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    What tax collection and use are you seeking to take advantage of?

    Steve S asked 19 days ago

    To be clear, the Town staff and the Board or Trustees cannot and will not be involved in the creation of a Town Charter if Home Rule moves forward. The Charter will be drafted by an elected body of community members and then voted on by all registered Erie voters. So this is really a question for a future, theoretical Charter Commission.

    That being said, below are just a few things that Commission could consider:

    • Direct tax collection by the Town improves tax procedures and guarantees that local tax dollars remain in the community to fund local projects. This means Erie has the ability to choose how to raise and deploy revenue free from state mandates.
    • The ability to operate as self-governing taxing authorities, adopting and administrating their own sales and use tax code, enforcing compliance, and conducting audits.
    • Determine whether local sales and use tax applies to more than a dozen types of sales that are exempt from the state sales and use tax, including food for home consumption or renewable energy components. 


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    When Will a published plan containing official direction be formally published? So far the reasons for why moving to home rule have been listed as to progress, to mature and it's what's good for Erie. However, Malcolm stated in the home rule Q&A on 4/18 that he cannot recall any past situations that would have been easier with home rule, nor is he aware of any active problems that home rule would help solve. Will the town be formally publishing their intent and plan for what they envision home rule accomplishing?

    Steve S asked 19 days ago

    The Board of Trustees has discussed this on multiple occasions in the past when giving staff direction to explore this topic and will discuss it once more on June 14 when results of public engagement are presented to the Board. At most of these meetings the Board members give their thoughts on why they individually are wanting to explore Home Rule and present feedback on the process.

    In order for this question to officially be places on the ballot in Nov. 2022 for voters to consider, the Board has to make their intentions known to the counties by July - so the meeting in June is a chance to see final engagement information and a meeting in July will be to officially decide if it will be added to the ballot and the ballot language.

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    When will the town issue communications correcting the % of residents living under home rule municipality? According to https://dola.colorado.gov/lgis/municipalities.jsf, Column F for census, the math of residents living in home rule municipalities + City of Broomfield & Denver since they're listed separately is only 36%.

    Steve S asked 19 days ago

    Thanks for the question - the information we have based on Census demographics is that 93% of the population of Colorado live within a municipality that is currently Home Rule. This is because it tends to be something that communities larger than roughly 10,000 residents take up. Many small communities have not yet explored the option.

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    I would like to see a comparison chart of what specific areas affecting residents would look like under current state statute vs Home Rule. Very specific examples not generalities.

    Sue asked 2 months ago

    While we would absolutely love to give specific examples - that isn't actually possible to do before the Charter Commission drafts the Town Charter. 

    If the residents vote to move forward in creating a new government structure - the Town will then be ruled by a Charter. That Charter will be written by a group of residents who also have to be approved by a vote during the election. This short-term Commission (only lasts until the Charter is voted on at a future election) will be the ones who determine the ways they want the Town governance to change and which ways they want it to remain the same. 

    For example, if they write in the Charter that they want to collect a lodging tax from anyone who has their property up on AirBnB - they could draft that into the Charter language. Same with things like how the Board of Trustees are elected - currently they are all elected at-large (by the whole Town) but maybe the Charter Commission wants to draft the Charter to include districts by which Trustees are elected. That could go in the draft. 

    No matter what, that full draft Charter goes to the people in an election (targeted for Nov. 2023) and it is either approved or denied. The Charter is approved or denied in whole. It will not be broken into specific pieces/parts to be voted on. So most Charters are fairly high-level and explain ways the process to add a tax instead of actually adding a specific one into the draft itself. 

    I highly suggest attending an upcoming Q&A webinar about Home Rule to learn more and ask more questions! 

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    Why was Northridge subdivision not included in the "what neighborhood do you live in" for the Town of Erie survey about home rule vs. statutory rule system? Is that worthy of correction? I hope so.

    imapatreeott asked 4 months ago

    We have added Northridge and a few other neighborhoods who are not technically incorporated HOAs. Originally the survey was created based off of our list of HOAs and we later found the few neighborhoods that are not technically under homeowner associations. 

    Apologies for it being missed and it should be in there now!

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    What assessment has been done with data points around... (1) financial benefits of implementing HR now. (2) downsides / costs of ongoing staffing/admin/etc vs not having HR (3) Mistakes made and/or lost opportunities from the past that would have been avoided if we'd had HR back then?

    Aaron Levey asked 4 months ago

    These are good question and as we gather more information, we can share this to begin with:

    1. We can't be sure if there will be financial benefits to implementing Home Rule until we see what the resident-led Commission adds to the Charter. We do believe there are operational benefits for staff to more efficiently do their jobs, in particular when it comes to collecting tax revenue.

    2. Similar to the above question, we can't be sure if there will be any additional costs to the Town until we see what a draft Charter might include. The residents on the Charter Commission will work closely with experts, legal teams, and Town staff to better understand how the Town currently operates and then determine if any changes to operations should be added to the Charter.

    3. There are some places where the Town could have potentially collected specific taxes (think about other municipalities who collect taxes on marijuana sales or on plastic bag usage) that we cannot do as a Statutory Town. There are also some areas with regard to land use - and in particular oil and gas regulations - where we are more restricted in authority because of the Statutory Town status. 


    We are still gathering more specific information (for question 3 in particular) and appreciate your patience as we dive deeper into this topic with you all. 

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    What was the reason this change was considered and who were the groups or individuals supporting the change?

    ErieRes24768 asked 4 months ago

    More than 90% of municipalities in Colorado have made the switch to Home Rule style governance and the Town of Erie is the larges Statutory Town in the State based on population. 

    The Board of Trustees directed staff to conduct education, outreach, and research with the residents to see if there is an appetite to put a Home Rule question on the 2022 Ballot. So we are currently talking with the community to see if there is support to add a Home Rule question to the ballot in November. 

    The Board of Trustees will review survey results and public comment in the summer and determine whether to add the question to the November Ballot. At this point we are truly just providing information about what Home Rule is and asking the residents to weigh in with their thoughts.

Page last updated: 21 May 2022, 09:24 AM