2003 Charter Changes
Dazed and confused coverage of the proposed changes in the City Charter for the fall 2003 election.


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  Thursday, November 13, 2003

Denver Charter Changes for the November 2003 Ballot

The Friends of Denver Municpal Service are dropping their lawsuit against the Charter changes contained in Referred Question 1A. From the article, "City employee Dan Brown, president of the employee group, said the move to withdraw the lawsuit was based on the judge's harsh criticism of the group's actions." The harsh criticism occurred last week. From the Denver Post, "U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham denied the workers' request for a temporary restraining order to delay implementing the new pay-setting system for most city workers."
7:21:35 PM    

  Friday, November 7, 2003

Denver Charter Changes for the November 2003 Ballot

Yesterday U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham refused to block the changes mandated by Referred Question 1A, according to the Rocky Mountain News [November 7, 2003, "Ballot measure is upheld in court"]. From the article, "Nottingham ruled that the employee group failed to show how the ballot measure that voters approved by a 2-to-1 ratio Tuesday caused irreparable or legal harm. The judge also denied the group the right to petition the court for a preliminary injunction without a hearing." Here's the coverage from the Denver Post [November 7, 2003, "Judge won't halt city pay plan"].
6:47:19 AM    

  Thursday, November 6, 2003

Denver Charter Changes for the November 2003 Ballot

The group Friends of Denver Municipal Service filed a lawsuit on Wednesday hoping to overturn Referred Question 1A, according to the Rocky Mountain News [November 6, 2003, "City workers group sues to block overhaul of pay"]. From the article, "Friends of Denver Municipal Service filed the lawsuit in federal court. The group wants a temporary injunction to block the planned changes. The lawsuit names Hickenlooper, all 13 City Council members and the city and county of Denver as defendants. The ballot measure - 1A - strips the Career Service Authority system out of the City Charter, transforming it into an ordinance, which can be more easily be amended to save money during tough economic times. The change also gives the City Council more flexibility and sole discretion in setting salaries and benefits and allows incentives for workers." Well now, this is interesting.

Here's the coverage from the Denver Post [November 6, 2003, "Unhappy city workers file suit"]. From the article, "Hickenlooper hopes to create an incentive system that will reward productive workers with bonuses. Such a system wasn't possible under the existing charter rules for setting pay. Hickenlooper also contended that rising salary costs were adding to the city's financial burdens. The emotions of city workers on the day after the vote ranged from rage to stoic. Several listeners called a local radio station to vent their frustration anonymously at the Hickenlooper-backed change to the pay system. Last month, David Bufalo, deputy manager of public works, sported a button against the charter change while he escorted City Council members on a tour of the Colorado Convention Center's construction zone. On Wednesday, Bufalo, without his button, said he accepted the vote. 'I work for the citizens,' he said. 'The citizens have spoken.'"

Here's a editorial from the Denver Post about Referred Question 1A [November 6, 2003, "Mayor's first victory"]. From the editorial, "Now it's up to Hickenlooper and company to ensure that a fair system is created, where employees are valued and political patronage is non-existent. The old system made it illegal to give bonuses to employees who found ways to save the city money. Everyone knew that didn't make any sense. Now managers will be able to reward employees who work more effeciently and streamline government. The days of everyone getting the same raise, regardless of work ethic or success on the job, are over. Handsome rewards for top employees will speak volumes to those city workers still edgy about the changes. This campaign caused some employees to feel like they weren't valued. It's important that Hickenlooper begin to heal old wounds by being responsive to what city workers would like to see in the new rules. It was Denver's system, not the majority of its workers, that wasn't working.
5:52:35 AM    

  Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Denver Charter Changes for the November 2003 Ballot

Referred Question 1A passed by a huge margin, according to the Denver Post [November 5, 2003, "Hickenlooper wins change in pay system"]. From the article, "Denver voters overwhelming supported rolling back the personnel reform of an earlier era to allow current city leaders to pay incentives to productive workers."

Here's the coverage from the Rocky Mountain News [November 5, 2003, "Denver residents approve overhaul of city's pay plan"]. From the article, "But the work on crafting the new measure begins now. A commission has until the end of May to draw up new rules governing the personnel system. That will be the foundation, Hickenlooper said, for coming up with a way to measure the work of city employees and to reward the best ones with incentives. 'This is not a three-month or a six-month process,' Hickenlooper said. 'This is going to take several years to make sure that the incentives and the structure are fair.'"
6:06:03 AM    

  Monday, November 3, 2003

Denver Charter Changes for the November 2003 Ballot

Mayor Hickenlooper and Councilwoman Kathleen MacKenzie are trying to get voters to pass Referred Question 1A on tomorrow's ballot. Here's a story about the Career Service Authority and employee evaluations from the Rocky Mountain News [November 3, 2003, "Making the grade"]. The methods used in evaluating employees are not part of the charter, as the article makes it sound, but are written into Career Service rules which are set by the Career Service Board. The mechanism for annual reviews is in the Charter and will be removed by the amendment, along with a similar mechanism for elected officials. Charter language that establishes the Career Service and it's governing board will be largely unchanged. This confusion has dogged the issue since the Mayor began asking for reform.
5:55:31 AM    

  Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Denver Charter Changes for the November 2003 Ballot

Here's an article about Referred Question 1A, on next week's ballot, from the Rocky Mountain News [October 29, 2003, "Overhaul or overdone?"]. Mayor Hickenlooper and many of his appointees, along with a unanimous City Council, feel that the Charter needs to be changed to allow more flexibility in times of declining revenue. City workers and others point out that the Mayor and Council have managed to balance the budget during the worse crisis Denver has ever seen without changing the Charter. Coyote Gulch has predicted that the changes will pass by a wide margin.
8:19:28 AM    

  Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Denver Charter Changes for the November 2003 Ballot

Mayor Hickenlooper is on TV plugging for the proposed charter changes contained in Referred Question 1A, according to the Denver Post [October 28, 2003, "Mayor wheels out ad"]. From the article, "Hickenlooper wants voters to shift the power of setting city workers' salaries away from the independent Career Service Board and give it to the elected Denver City Council. The goal is flexibility, according to the mayor. The current system forces the city to give raises to workers - even when the city can't afford it."
10:53:58 AM    

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