Commissioners Appear Poised to Put Secession Question to Voters

Weld County Attorney Bruce Barker is apparently working on a resolution for the Commissioners that will ask voters to decide if Weld County should secede from Colorado. The commissioners do not have to gather signatures; as the legislative head of the County they can simply refer the measure to the November ballot.

At meetings held by the Commissioners to gather input from Weld citizens, there has been no discussion of the financial costs that secession would require; only a lot of talk about how the General Assembly is dominated by the Denver metro area. The State provides funding for education, transportation, prisons and entitlement programs. Another vexing question relates to water. How would North Colorado get any water rights?

Some observers say the secession issue has gotten out of control and the Commissioners never intended to let it go this far. At one of the public forums, Commissioner Sean Conway, who was the most vocal supporter of the secession proposal, said he now favors a plan to change the make up of the Colorado House and Senate so that all counties have equal representation at the capitol. Many Weld citizens feel embarrassed by the whole controversy but it now appears voters will consider the issue, even though the secession has zero chance of success given that Colorado’s legislature and the United States Congress would also have to approve the measure.

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