Durango City Council is hosting a series of meetings to hear from residents about why they rejected ballot measure 2A.
Ballot measure 2A – which asked residents to raise property and sales taxes to pay for roads, sidewalks and law enforcement – failed by a margin of more than 20 percent. City officials blamed the loss on a lack of communication with dissenting voters and an under-appreciation for the importance of street maintenance.
Mayor Sweetie Marbury suggested after Election Day that the city needs to host listening sessions to try to understand what about ballot measure 2A voters didn’t like. The council plans to use the information gathered from the listening sessions to craft a new ballot question to solve the city’s revenue woes.
City Council hosted dozens of meetings with residents before drafting 2A in an effort to get as much support as possible. The council even performed a statistically valid survey that found a split between those who would prefer a property tax over a sales tax, and vice versa.
While Marbury said she thought the city did a “bang-up job” getting the word out, opposition to 2A sprouted weeks before Election Day. An organization called Citizens for Durango’s Future distributed postcards and yard signs urging voters to reject the tax increase. The city has enough money, the author of the mailer argues; it just isn’t using it appropriately.
Listening sessions will start Monday and be held through Nov. 30 at various locations throughout town.