NORWOOD - In the Nov. 5 special election, the Norwood Park and Recreation District will ask voters to approve a ballot question to repeal term limits for elected directors. In recent years NPRD has struggled to keep board seats filled. Additionally, the NPRD has seen a clear advantage to keeping knowledgeable and committed board members to oversee the completion of large-scale projects, like the Burn Canyon Trail project that started in 2010 with the Bureau of Land Management and is still underway.
In the five years since voters created the Norwood Park and Recreation District, the seven-member board has focused its efforts on expanding recreation in Norwood. In addition to partnering with San Miguel County to bring cross-country skiing and ice skating to the fairgrounds this winter, the NRPD unveiled one of its brightest accomplishments to date this spring with the official opening of the regulation high school size baseball field on school grounds.
This fall the NRPD asks local voters for help so the board can continue to focus on expanding recreation for Norwood. NPRD will hold a special election Nov. 5 asking voters to release the board from term limit restrictions.
“The biggest reasons we are asking for this is the challenge of recruiting board members and the scale of the projects the board is undertaking,” said Director and Board President Ken Watt. “It has been a challenge to keep a full board. Plus many of these projects are multi-year. It is a benefit to keep board members who are knowledgeable about a project involved in it from start to finish.”
Watt knows something of this from his work on the regulation baseball field project at the Norwood High School. Watt and the NRPD worked to leverage a Colorado Lottery Award for $350,000 to more than $500,000 in completing the lighted lighted, irrigated top-notch field. This had been a priority for the NPRD as the many youth participating in local baseball programs were unable to continue after age 13.
Because the original ballot question that created the NPRD contained term limits, voters must specifically override that requirement to repeal term limits. This will not eliminate elections; it will simply give voters more choices. When a term expires, this action will allow existing board members to continue to run for vacant seats. As long as there are more candidates than seats, though, an election will be held.
“The voters will still get to choose who serves on the board when elected terms are over, “ said Watt. But without term limits, he said, voters “will actually get more choice because board members won’t term out from participation.”