Category Archives: elections

Nonprofit recommends new consideration in Denver city council race

From The Examiner April 14, 2015

By Caryl Buckstein

Buckstein

Denver Non-Profit Business Examiner

Original article can be found here

Denver Public Schools clears land adjacent to Cherry Creek considered park land by nonprofit Friends of Denver Parks. The nonprofit recommends voters consider the courtesy voting issue in this municipal election. Friends of Denver Parks

 

Denver voters participating in Ballot Trace received emails Monday that their ballots had been printed. Some were emailed Tuesday that the ballots in the municipal election had reached their local post office. They will soon be asked to decide.

A local nonprofit, Friends of Denver Parks, recommends voters consider a new factor: a commitment to avoid courtesy voting.

Courtesy voting reportedly leads to “courtesy zoning” — where the Denver City Council approves site-specific zoning matters according to the wishes of that particular district’s councilperson.

The informal practice is unethical but not illegal in Denver city government, said the nonprofit’s website. “But under the Colorado Constitution, courtesy voting in the state legislature constitutes the crime of bribery,” it said.

The nonprofit alleges that courtesy voting was behind a secretive land swap between the city and Denver Public Schools that resulted in construction of an elementary school on park land in southeast Denver. The matter is currently before the Colorado Court of Appeals. The group had attempted to present petitions with nearly 8,000 signatures to bring the matter to a vote in 2013. City Clerk Debra Johnson refused to accept the petitions.

By April 14, many of the city council candidates had signed a pledge to avoid courtesy voting. “I envision a city council that is transparent to its citizens, works cooperatively to acquire and preserve open space, and is collegial but independent from the mayor,” the pledge says. Three had refused.

Of the candidates for the two at-large city council seats, one of the five refused to sign — Robin Kniech. The four who signed were incumbent Deborah “Debbie” Ortega, Jose Silva, Jeffery Washington and Kayvan Khalatbari.

Signing in district races were candidates in:

  • District One: Rafael Espinoza and Susan Shepherd.
  • District Two: Fran Coleman Kevin Flynn, Jeanne Labuda and Danny Lopez.
  • District Four: Kendra Black, Carolina Klein and Halisi Vinson.
  • District Six: Liz Adams and Paul Kashmann.
  • District Seven: Luchia Brown, Jolon Clark, Aaron Greco, Ian Harwick, Mickki Langston and Jake Viano.
  • District Nine: Michael “Borch” Borcherding, Albus Brooks and Ean Thomas Tafoya.
  • District 10: Chris Chiardi, Anna Jones, Travis Leiker, Wayne New and Chris Cornell Weder.
  • District 11: Sean Bradley, Shelli Brown, Tim Camarillo and Tea Schook.

Along with Kniech, refusing to sign were Anne McGihon, District Seven and Stacie Gilmore,

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Courtesy Voting is the Norm on Denver City Council

where council members approve each others deals and the mayor’s deals with real estate developers.

Jeanne Robb writes that courtesy voting is the customary practice in Denver City Council. To see the full letter press on picture

 Full letter is here

 

 

 

 

 

 

But under the Colorado Constitution, courtesy voting constitutes the crime of bribery

Colorado Constitution

Article 5, Section 40 of the Colorado Constitution, which prohibits courtesy voting in the state legislature. Select the picture to see the full section of Constitution

Full page of Constitution is here

Friends of Denver Parks, Vision For Denver

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Carolina Klein, an authentic dog lover, squared off in the District 4 Denver City Council race at Calvary Baptist Church against Kendra Black, the favorite of incumbent Mayor Michael Hancock, and Halisi Vinson, the protégé of former Mayor Wellington Webb.

The winners? The citizens of District 4. All three candidates committed in writing that, if elected, none of them would engage in courtesy voting, and all of them would remain independent of Mayor Hancock.

Click here to see the signatures of every city council candidate who has committed to the “Vision for Denver.”

District 4

Candidates are listed as they will appear on the ballot

Carolina KLEIN

Carolina KLEIN

 

Kendra BLACK

Kendra BLACK

 

Halisi VINSON

Halisi VINSON

 

 

 

 

 

 

District 1

Rafael ESPINOZA

Rafael ESPINOZA

 

 

 

 

 

 

District 6

Paul KASHMANN

Paul KASHMAN