July 26, 2018
Recently, there has been media coverage about a citizens’ initiative that would increase the number of Boulder County Commissioners from three to five. The ballot language would also offer two choices for how those five commissioners would be elected.
Option one is for each of the five commissioners to be a resident of a specific district and be elected only by the voters living in that district. Option two would be for three of the commissioners to be a resident of a specific district and to be elected only by the voters living in that district, and the other two commissioners to be elected at-large by all Boulder County voters. (Currently, the three commissioners are residents of a specific district, but are elected by all Boulder County voters, regardless of which district the voters live in.)
The League of Women Voters of Boulder County (LWVBC) supports increasing the number of County Commissioners from three to five, and the League would support option two.
Five commissioners would broaden the input into complex decisions by our County government and would allow for more voices to be part of the decision-making process when a commissioner is absent. In addition, expanded representation could help to reflect the diversity of interests and opinions within the county. By having three commissioners elected by district, voters in each district can choose their own representative. The two commissioners elected at-large could provide a county-wide view on the commission as well.
Looking further into the future, the League would like to see enabling legislation to allow county elections to use a voting method that promotes proportional representation rather than only geographical representation. Meanwhile, LWVBC strongly endorses this issue for the 2018 ballot, whether through petition signatures or by the Boulder County Commissioners referring this to the ballot.
Peggy Leech, President
League of Women Voters of Boulder County