A group of citizens are working to place on the 2015 Denver municipal ballot a measure that would require mayoral appointees to live in Denver. This initiative would be a reversal in policy. Denver used to require its employees to live within its boundaries; however, a series of ballot initiatives chipped away at the rule until it finally was repealed in 2001.
The Hancock administration told The Denver Post that approximately 25% of Hancock’s 59 appointees live outside of Denver. Here’s a partial list of the senior-most Hancock administration employees who could be impacted:
- Chief of Staff Janice Sinden
- Fire Chief Eric Tade
- Community Planning and Development Executive Director Brad Buchanan
The spokesperon for the initiative, Robert Connelly, who apparently has no plans for home renovations in essentially targeting overseer of renovations Buchanan, explained the thinking behind the initiative:
“The effort…is based on the argument that high-level city officials should be subject to the policies they set for other residents.”
This seems like a fair argument; although, with the rising cost of housing in Denver, this may not be a realistic endeavor. Even Sinden noted that she used to have an apartment in Denver, but gave it up due to cost. As his chief of staff, she’s likely one of the highest-paid of Hancock’s staffers.
Nonetheless, the initiative isn’t on the ballot yet. In order to make the ballot, signature gatherers must collect 18,000 signatures or 5% of the number of registered voters in Denver.