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Voters to decide on limit terms for elected officials

Only county commissioners currently limited on how long they can serve

Grand County voters will decide this November whether to implement term limits for six elected positions in the county. Commissioners, who are already term limited, voted 2-1 on Tuesday to put the questions on the ballot.
Amy Golden / agolden@skyhinews.com

Grand County voters will decide if they want to implement term limits on certain elected positions this November.

Six questions will be on ballots across the county, asking if voters want to implement term limits on the clerk and recorder, sheriff, assessor, coroner, treasurer and surveyor. Currently, only county commissioners are limited to three four-year terms.

If passed, each question would limit the officeholder to three four-year terms beginning on or after Jan. 1. That means the measures would not be retroactive, so current officials would still be able to serve three more terms.



Commissioners Rich Cimino and Kris Manguso were in support of putting the question to voters.

“Let the voters decide,” Manguso said at Tuesday’s commissioner meeting.



Commissioner Merrit Linke, however, has opposed to the idea since it was introduced. On Tuesday, he voted against placing each measure on the ballot.

“I don’t think we should take that away from a future voter, if there’s somebody they want to keep in office, but now they can’t,” Linke said.

Many of the people currently filling these elected positions have done so for decades. County Surveyor Warren Ward and Clerk Sara Rosene have held their positions for nearly 30 years while Assessor Tom Weydert and Coroner Brenda Bock have held their roles for almost 15.

The newest elected officials in Grand County, besides commissioners, are Sheriff Brett Schroetlin, who began his tenure in 2015, and Treasurer Frank Delay, who was elected last November.

Linke did support a 2016 ballot measure that put a limit on terms for county commissioners. He defended his opinion on these term limits saying that other elected offices are more “functional” and don’t make decisions at the level that county commissioners do.

“I don’t know what problem we’re trying to solve by putting this on the ballot,” Linke added. “When we put things on the ballot, that’s implied support.”

Term limits have had an interesting history in Grand County since 1994, when voters in Colorado chose to institute term limits on elected positions. In 1996, Grand County asked to remove term limits for all elected officials, which failed.

In 1998, the county asked to remove term limits for elected officials individually, but voters only approved removing term limits for the coroner. Voters chose in 2000 to remove term limits for the assessor, clerk and recorder, sheriff, treasurer and surveyor as well.

Voters then removed term limits for commissioners in 2002 before reinstating limits in 2016.

Grand EMS is continuing work on another ballot measure that will likely make its way to voters asking for a mill levy override. Language is still being finalized on that measure.


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