Grand Junction mayor apologizes for ballot language mistakes

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO, KJCT) Grand Junction Mayor Barbara Traylor Smith is apologizing for confusing language on Measures 2A and 2B.

Residents will vote on these potential tax increases in the April municipal election.

She says the math is correct but the wording is confusing and for that, admits it was a mistake.

She also brings up Measure 2C which she says people were confused about.

The problem in the 2C ballot language is with the word 'million'.

It appears to duplicate the total when it references two numbers on the ballot.

She says that was also an error and there should only be numbers, not the additional word 'million'.

Read the mayor’s full statement below:

“Questions have been raised about the April ballot - on behalf of the City Council and staff I would like to respond to the concerns we have heard.

This week we heard concerns regarding question 2A and 2B. If these ballot questions pass, the tax rate will be .25% in 2A and .5% in 2B. The concern expressed is about the part of the ballot language that attempted to illustrate how the tax increase would impact a purchase; the language has raised questions. It was written with the intent to add further clarity; however, it has done the opposite. There is a mathematical explanation to the language; however, we erred in believing that would be the only explanation required. Only reading the verbiage, which is the same in both questions, (WHICH IS AN INCREASE OF ONE QUARTER CENT ON EACH TEN DOLLAR PURCHASE in 2A) and (WHICH IS AN INCREASE OF ONE HALF CENT ON EACH TEN DOLLAR PURCHASE in 2B) without doing a calculation, does result in an error. The City Council and staff had no intent to make the questions less clear or to purposely deceive anyone. This error was inadvertent and for that, we apologize.

It has also recently been brought to our attention that question 2C states $79,000,000 MILLION and $150,000,000 MILLION. In both of these instances the word MILLION should not have been included and therefore is in error. The numbers and the words are duplicated. It should simply read $79,000,000 and $150,000,000, respectively.

The City Council is concerned that the recent discussions about the form of the questions will take away from the true and important public discussion about content or why the questions are being asked. The City Council trusts that voters will decide these questions based on their own convictions about the importance of City services not the errors in the form of the questions that you may have read about or heard reported. The City needs an engaged citizenry and we welcome your input through the election process. Please carefully consider the substance of each question with your vote.”

-Barbara Traylor Smith, Mayor, Grand Junction.

Election Day is April 2nd.

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