Voters support switch to at-large mayor system in Castle Rock

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Castle Rock voters favored changing the town charter and creating an at-large mayoral system, which means at some time in the future, residents will vote for the mayor, rather than the mayor being appointed by town councilmembers.

The change was approved with 67 percent of the vote in the Nov. 7 election.

Castle Rock's charter, established in 1987, declares the mayor shall be voted on by the seven members of the town council. With the passing of Ballot Question 300, the town's charter will now need to be amended, and councilmembers will be charged with forming a transitional plan and timeline for implementing the change, including when the first mayor would be elected.

The number of council districts will also be cut from seven to six, and council could call a second special election in February to get input from voters on how to make the transition.

Karen Carter, community relations manager for the Town of Castle Rock, said the community will be involved throughout the process, beginning with a discussion at the Nov. 14 town council meeting.

"Now that the ballot question has passed, town council will develop a plan for how to move forward with the charter amendment," Carter said in a news release. "Council will schedule special meetings as necessary, or reschedule meetings due to holidays."

Council meetings are streamed live at CRgov.com/WatchCouncil.

Castle Rock Town Councilmember George Teal, who represents District 6, said he was pleased with the early results, and believes the transition will be a relatively easy one for the town.

"It looks like a good solid win for the people of Castle Rock," Teal said. "I believe we have set things in place along the way, such as the language of the petition and the ballot question itself, that could potentially lead us to our first election next November."

Langford Jordan, a member of the citizens group Champions of the Charter, which opposed Ballot Question 300, said he wasn't surprised by the outcome.

"It's hard to fight against a question like that," he said. "Now they won the vote, but it's going to take several years to implement changes."

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