Bruce disputes missing deadline to turn in ballot petitions

August 4, 2009

Anti-tax crusader Douglas Bruce failed to meet a 5 p.m. Monday deadline to submit thousands of signatures to get a proposed initiative on the November ballot, City Clerk Kathryn Young said Tuesday.

Seemingly irritated by the decision, Bruce accused Young of being “utterly incompetent” and said she didn’t know what she was talking about.

“She doesn’t have a clue,” he said.

Since about May, Bruce has been collecting signatures for an initiative that would ask voters to stop all enterprise payments to the city over eight years, including an estimated $27 million annual payment in lieu of taxes from Colorado Springs Utilities.

Bruce was supposed to turn in 11,470 signatures of registered voters for signature verification by 5 p.m. Monday to get it on the November ballot, said Young, adding that she needs to certify issues to the ballot by Sept. 4.

“The letter he signed and was given indicated that, should he want these on the November ballot, we needed to have them in our office by Aug. 3,” she said. “He didn’t turn them in yesterday as he was supposed to, so (Bruce and his petition committee) won’t make it to the November ballot.”

Bruce vehemently disagreed, saying Young is flat-out wrong.

“I don’t care what she says,” Bruce said. “She could say we had to collect signatures in the nude. That doesn’t make it the law.”

Bruce said he will continue collecting signatures and aim for November.

“I know what I’m doing,” he said. “The clerk is the one who doesn’t know what she’s doing.”

Although Young said November is out of the question for Bruce’s proposed initiative, Bruce could force a special election, she said.

“If he wishes to continue collecting signatures, he can force a special election because he still has the total 180 days in which to circulate the petition,” she said. “If that were to occur, then we would probably be looking at a special election to occur sometime in the spring.”

The cost of a special election would be about $480,000, Young said.

Call the writer at 476-1623


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