The recently incorporated town of Keystone will now become a home-rule municipality after the approval from Keystone voters.
Approximately 83% of voters voted in favor of the town charter on Tuesday, September 26, 2023.
Securing Local Control
Home-rule, which is effective under the new charter, allows municipalities greater independence and self-governing.
Keystone is now able to set specific parameters around government structure, tax collection and rules for boards and commissions. In contrast, if the vote was not approved, a statutory municipality would have directed these decisions to the state.
The home-rule status gives the town more flexibility to meet Keystone’s needs on a local level.
In Summit County, Breckenridge, Frisco, Silverthorne and Dillon are home-rule municipalities while Blue River and Montezuma are statutory.
Like many resort towns, Keystone has a large population of second-home owners.
While non-registered residents, such as second-homeowners and part-time residents won’t be able to vote or hold elected office, they still have a voice. They may initiate petitions and sit on boards and commissions.
Commission members made this decision when second-home owners raised concern of not being able to vote.
Land-use policy will still need to be voted on by the majority of registered Keystone residents through the planning and zoning commission.
The structure for the council will follow the typical operation for small to midsize municipalities, similar to that seen in Dillon, Breckenridge, Frisco and Silverthorne.
A seven-member group will be selected. Each council member will have the same voting power as the elected “weak mayor”. For the first election, council member candidates must be registered Keystone residents for at least one year.
This may change to allow elections to be divided by districts if the council decides to do so.
Residents will now have more power to pass laws custom to Keystone’s needs. For example, there has been a proposal of a lift ticket tax as a revenue source for potential growth.
Keystone residents will be asked to vote for six council members and a mayor. The election is anticipated to be held in late January 2024. Once elected, the council member will establish departments and assign a town manager.
It is anticipated the full transition from county to town will be made by early 2025.