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HOME RULE CHARTER
TOWN OF NEW CASTLE,
Adopted January 12, 1999
With sincere conviction in the belief that the citizens of the Town of New Castle are deserving of all the rights, responsibilities and privileges of self-government afforded any Colorado municipality, the Home Rule Charter Commission respectfully submits to the Town’s electorate this Home Rule Charter which is framed in conformity with Article XX of the Colorado Constitution.
The Charter reflects the Commission’s underlying ideology, that elected officials and employees of the Town provide a representative and economical government which is at all times accountable to the citizens. Where appropriate, this document has been written without redundancy regarding the protections offered under the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Colorado, in order to ensure future flexibility in governance and equitable freedoms for all our citizens.
Consistent with the Board-Mayor structure that presently governs the Town, the Charter provides for a Council-Mayor form of government. The elected body includes six Council Members and a Mayor who are elected to four year terms on a rotating basis to assure continuity in Town government. Municipal elections will be held in April of even numbered years. The current members of the Board of Trustees will serve out their elected terms as members of the Town Council under the new Charter. Through the municipal election process, the people of the Town have the ultimate power governing how long an individual is permitted to serve on the Council.
The Charter includes several new procedures that are meant to maximize the flow of information to the Town’s citizens and encourage participation by every member of the community. Some highlights of the new procedures include the requirement of two readings and advanced publication of ordinances before passage by the Council. This Charter also grants the Town new powers, such as the power of eminent domain outside our municipal boundaries.
The intent of the Charter is not to institute dramatic changes in the Town’s government. Existing ordinances will stay in effect unless superceded by provisions of the Charter. As the Town’s needs and desires change, flexibility in our government will be enhanced by our ability to institute laws, procedures, and boards and commissions through ordinances. Additionally, this design strengthens the voice of our citizens and their ability to become involved in local government by providing for the electorate’s rights of referendum, petition, and recall.
Although the Charter can be amended if the need arises, it has been written as a document intended to serve the citizens of the Town of New Castle for many years to come. The Charter is designed to balance the power of government among the elected representatives, the judicial system, and the direct voice of the people. Through this balance the Charter provides for a responsible government that will maintain and enhance the quality of life for the community, work for the good of the Town as a whole, and respond to the needs and concerns of the citizens.
We believe this Charter fosters democracy and ensures a lasting municipal government that is truly “of the People, for the People and by the People.”
We, the people of New Castle, Colorado, under authority granted by the Constitution of the State of Colorado, do ordain and establish this Charter for the Town government of New Castle.