Littleton residents approve new restrictions on City Council

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Three incumbents re-elected; one newcomer joins council

By Ramsey Scott

Littleton’s City Council has a new member to go along with new restrictions on how it operates. 

The city's voters re-elected Councilmen Bruce Stahlman and Bruce Beckman to their at-large seats. The two incumbents overcame challenges from John Watson and James Dean.

In the final unoffical count, Beckman had received 4,318 votes; Stahlman, 4,002 votes; Watson, 2,755; and Dean, 2,342. 

Councilman Phil Cernanec in District 3 and newcomer Randy Stein in District 1 ran unopposed. Stein will be serving for the first time on the council; he replaces Councilman Jim Taylor, who was term-limited.

“I appreciate and am grateful to the citizens for choosing me to represent them and giving me the opportunity to serve them again,” Stahlman said. “The next couple of years are going to be exciting.”

Beckman echoed Stahlman’s appreciation to voters for re-electing him.

“I’m very excited the citizens gave me their trust to serve them again as a council member,” Beckman said. 

The new City Council will be working under a new set of rules approved overwhelmingly by Littleton voters that will make it harder for property to be rezoned and for the council to go into executive session. 

Ballot Measure 302, which in the final unofficial tally had received 4,649 yes votes to 3,305 no votes, requires a two-thirds vote of council members if 20 percent of property owners within 100 feet of a property, or 20 percent of property owners in an area up for rezoning, file a protest 24 hours before a rezoning hearing.

It also triggers a two-thirds-vote requirement if the city’s Planning Board votes against a rezoning.

Ballot Measure 301, which in the final unofficial tally had received 5,960 yes votes to 2,166 no votes, means the council will be held to stricter regulations when it comes to meeting behind closed doors.

Under the new rule, the council will be allowed to go into executive session only to discuss matters required to be kept confidential by federal and state law or to confer with an attorney regarding a legal action already filed in court.

Along with limiting the reasons to go into executive session, the measure requires that all executive sessions be recorded and kept on file at the city. 

While they won’t see retail marijuana shops anytime soon in the city, Littleton voters approved a 3 percent sales tax on any future sales. The tax would be added to the statewide tax approved by voters Tuesday. 

The city tax, in the unofficial tally, received 5,502 yes votes and 3,117 no votes.

A proposed lodging tax that would have placed a 3 percent levy on all hotel and motel stays under 30 days in Littleton was voted down, 5,415 to 3,128. 

Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22, and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine.