Say yes to extending the rec-center tax

Municipal elections are April 3 across Colorado, and a slew of candidates are running for seats on the three town-governmental bodies in Montezuma County.

Cortez has eight candidates vying for five open seats on its city council. In Mancos, five people are running for four trustee positions, and in Dolores two hopefuls are competing for mayor and a whopping 11 people are seeking four seats on the town board.

Here’s a tip about voting for municipal candidates: Don’t feel compelled to vote for five people if there are five open seats, to use the Cortez ballot as an example. You can vote for up to five. If there are, say, just two candidates you truly care about, your vote will have more weight if you vote for only those two. Otherwise, you could be helping to elect your No. 3, 4 and 5 choices over your top two.

Everyone who’s running deserves thanks for offering the voters so many choices. And if you aren’t sure yet whom to pick, keep in mind that the League of Women Voters of Montezuma County is holding three forums:

  • For Cortez City Council candidates, Thursday, March 15, at 6:30 p.m., at Cortez City Hall
  • For Dolores Town Board candidates, Friday, March 16, at 6:30 p.m., at the Dolores Community Center, 400 Riverside Ave.
  • For Mancos Town Board candidates, Friday, March 16, at 7 p.m. at the Mancos Community Center, 130 W. Grand Ave.

If that isn’t enough to inspire you to fill out your ballot (all voting is by mail), then consider that Cortez residents also will be considering a question to extend the current recreation center tax at a reduced rate.

When the rec center was built, citizens agreed to pay a 0.55-cent tax to fund it. (That’s 5 ½ cents on every $10.) That tax is due to expire at the end of 2021. The city is asking to continue the tax, but at the rate of 0.35 cents, 3 ½ cents per $10 purchase.

The Cortez Rec Center has become a hub of health and activity in the community. It’s busy around the clock, drawing the young, the old, and everyone in between. It helps people stay fit and active year-round, but particularly when the weather is nasty.

The facility is already built, of course, but it needs ongoing maintenance, and the tax would help pay for that. Moreover, it would let the city keep entrance fees affordable, so that the center doesn’t become a club for only the well-heeled.

People who live in the county but not the city won’t get to vote on this question. Under our current system, you don’t get to vote in elections where you shop, only where you reside.

We hope the city’s residents will give a thumbs-up to this tiny tax to keep the center going strong.

From Editorials.