The Roadmap to Home Rule

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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.


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.


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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    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 18 days 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 16 days 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 16 days 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.

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    What is the history behind this process? Why Home Rule? What would Erie look like in 20 years with Home Rule?

    joshuavanauken asked 21 days ago

    Thanks for the questions!

    History of Home Rule:

    In 1912, Colorado adopted Article 20 of the Colorado constitution, which allowed municipalities to adopt a home rule charter. In 1970, an amendment to Article XIV was adopted by the voters of Colorado which among other things authorized counties to form a limited version of home rule.

    The Colorado Home Rule for Cities and Towns Amendment, also known as Measure 8, was on the Nov. 5, 1912 ballot in Colorado as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure granted home rule for cities and towns.[1]

    Source: https://ballotpedia.org/Colorado_Home_Rule_for_Cities_and_Towns,_Measure_8_(1912)

    Home Rule and the Future of Erie

    Home Rule is the embodiment of the principle that the best government is the one that is the closest to the people.

    By empowering local residents to design and write their own Charter, Home Rule enhances community control, interest, and involvement in municipal government. 

    Why Home Rule?

    A well-written Home Rule Charter would give the Town flexibility and control to address foreseeable changes and resident desires as they come up.

    Home Rule could make changes and impacts the following areas specifically in the Town of Erie:

    • Administration – licensing and permits
    • Elections – process and scheduling
    • Finance – taxes and budget
    • Municipal Court – process and procedures
    • Public Works – streets, traffic management, and Right of Way issues
    • Police – fees and fines
    • Board of Trustees – structure and terms
    • Community Development – zoning and land use processes
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    I am for smaller government, less regulations, lower taxes and lower water rates in Erie. How will Home Rule benefit those issues?

    Mrs. asked 6 months ago

    Thanks for the question. We will address some of your ideas separately:

    • Smaller Government: Home Rule creates a government framework that will ensure the Town grows strategically and to the community's standards. A Home Rule Charter is created by a resident commission which can help set the foundation for more government efficiency, more revenue-generating options, and more control over land use, which provides long-term benefits to the community.
    • Less Regulations/Lower Fees: The regulations and Town utility rates can be addressed when the commission is creating the charter. Under Home Rule, the Town would have greater flexibility, clarity, and effectiveness in adopting specific regulations and fees.
    • Lower Taxes: Direct tax collection by the Town can improve tax procedures and guarantees that local tax dollars remain in the community to fund local projects. (Lowering taxes is still regulated by TABOR law- but what is taxed, how, and where the Town can collect those funds can change under Home Rule.)
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    Does TABOR still apply under Home Rule?

    Michele asked 6 months ago

    Yes, TABOR still applies under a Home Rule Charter. 

    Any proposed increase in taxes will still require voter approval (per TABOR laws).

    By changing to Home Rule, the Town can adopt different types of taxes that are not available to Statutory municipalities, such as lodging, admissions, and excise taxes. However, even those tax changes would need to be approved by voters.

Page last updated: 26 January 2022, 10:13