Referred Question 2A – Establishing City Department of Transportation
What it would do – This proposal would amend the city charter to rename the existing Department of Public Works as the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Context and history – In recent years the administration of Mayor Michael Hancock has placed increasing emphasis on transportation and what planners like to call “mobility.” That includes projects ranging from the expanded and more prominent bike lanes around the city to the long-discussed proposal for bus rapid transit on Colfax Avenue. City planners also have taken steps to discourage automobile use.
Hancock earlier proposed creating a separate Department of Transportation, which was dropped in favor of the current proposal. In 2017 he pitched a $2 billion “mobility plan” whose implementation remains somewhat vague and for which no new taxes have been raised.
How it would work – Passing this measure changes the department’s name and, in the words of the ballot title, assigns it “new powers and duties in regard to transportation services, transportation safety programs, and non-motorized transportation facilities.”
For instance, the measure includes a clause giving the agency responsibility for “Planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of mass transportation systems and other public transportation services, either individually or jointly with the Regional Transportation District or any other public or private entity.”
The measure doesn’t request any new funding, and the department will continue to also be responsible for its old, unglamorous duties like maintaining city streets and other infrastructure.
Long-term changes in city transportation policy depend more on obtaining future funding, the city’s relationship with RTD and what happens after Hancock, now in his final term, leaves office.
The only spending associated with the change is $200,000 for “rebranding” the agency—new letterhead and logos.
Referred Question 2B – Arts and Venues Facilities
What it would do – This proposal removes obsolete language from the city charter that lists management of theaters, concert facilities, auditoriums and arenas among the duties of Department of General Services. Such facilities in fact already are managed by another agency named Denver Arts and Venues.
Referred Question 2C – Fire Department Ranks and Grades
What it would do – This technical proposal adds “emergency medical technician” to the list of fire department ranks listed in the city charter. It also would allow the fire chief to assign assistant chiefs to perform the duties of shift commander.
Referred Question 2D – Elected Official Residency
What it would do – The current city charter contains requirements for how long a person has to live in the city or a district before they can run for a city office. This proposal would explicitly require elected officials to maintain proper residency during their time in office.