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A Castle Rock group called Castle Rock Citizens for Elected Mayor on July 10 submitted to the town a petition to begin electing the town's mayor by a vote of the people.
The mayor of Castle Rock is currently elected by a vote of the seven-member town council and does not have more authority than their fellow councilmembers. Changing the mayoral election process requires amending the town charter, which can be requested through the form of a petition but must ultimately be approved by voters.
The group began circulating its petition in April and - per state statute - needed to acquire signatures from least 4,288 registered voters, or 10 percent of the electorate, in order to put a question on the November ballot.
The Castle Rock town clerk has until July 31 to verify all the signatures on the group's petition. An unofficial count is not available, a town spokeswoman said, but Castle Rock Citizens for Elected Mayor reported gathering more than 5,300 signatures in a July 11 news release.
"The response from Castle Rock residents has been extremely positive," Castle Rock Citizens for Elected Mayor Chairman Wayne Harlos said in the news release. "Residents are sending a strong message, they want to elect their mayor."
In addition to having an at-large mayor system, the petition also calls to move from seven town districts to six.
The movement has been met with mixed reactions from town council and citizens alike. Mayor Jennifer Green and Mayor Pro Tem Renee Valentine have voiced their opposition, while Councilmember George Teal and former mayor Randy Reed are in support.
"It's simply time," Reed said in the group's news release. "It's time for Castle Rock to make this small change to our town charter so more residents can participate in our government and our future."
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