Lakewood measure to limit housing growth could be kept off ballot over missing “oath”
What is an oath exactly?
That was the central question in Lakewood Thursday as the attorney for a man challenging a proposed ballot measure that would slow home construction in Colorado’s fifth-largest city tried to poke holes in the legitimacy of the anti-growth effort.
Attorney Dennis Polk asked dozens of signature gatherers whether they had been administered an oath upon turning in their election petitions for the Lakewood Strategic Growth Initiative, which would cap annual housing growth at 1 percent of existing units in the city.
Most of those questioned during the administrative hearing at Lakewood City Hall said they hadn’t but assumed by having their signatures notarized they were swearing to the veracity and honesty of their signature-gathering efforts, which included making sure signatories were at least 18 years old and registered voters in the city.
But Polk kept revisiting the fact that the affidavit signed by the canvassers didn’t contain the words “swear” or “oath” and are thus not legitimate. Thursday’s hearing followed one held a week ago.
The Lakewood city clerk determined in July that sufficient valid signatures had been collected to move the measure to the November ballot. But Lakewood resident Steve Dorman filed a protest challenging the way the petitions were processed.
Dorman is vice chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party but he told The Denver Post last week that he filed his protest as an individual, not a party representative.
Lakewood clerk and recorder Margy Greer told attorneys on each side to file final arguments in the case by Monday. She said she would render a decision on the proposed ballot measure no later than Sept. 18.