At Monday’s Delta Health Board Special Meeting, members agreed to pursue a ballot measure even though their agenda only mentioned discussion and a presentation by public affairs firm 76 Group. Board Chair Jean Ceriani opened the meeting explaining that they were there “mostly to listen” to the consultants and hear suggestions about what steps the board might take next.
The consultants presented two taxation options during the meeting that would address the hospital’s financial crisis:
1) Sales tax increase
2) Property tax mill levy increase (reset to past levy)
While the board is unsure which of the two avenues it will take, or whether they will pursue a combination, they voted unanimously to refer a Tabor measure that would appear on a May Special District 2022 ballot. The vote came after Julie Huffman, council for Delta Health, erroneously told members that they were “free to vote now” since the meeting itself had been noticed and was open to the public. Colorado State Statute requires specific public notice of any and all actions being proposed by an elected board. There was no mention of any action on the special agenda.
Consultants from 76 Group (pictured) presented survey results suggesting Delta County voters would be favorable to a tax increase despite the earlier passage of Back the Badge, which increased sales tax from 2% to 2.8%. They did not specify the number of respondents to the survey and stressed that the results should be taken as general direction. The survey was conducted via telephone using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) pre-recorded automation where the customer responds vocally to questions or types numerical responses using the keypad.
Listen to the presentation