Chris Hanson — 2023 Superior Home Rule Charter Commission Candidate Questionnaire


Tell us a little bit about your personal and/or professional background and why it makes you a good fit for the commission (I.e., how long have you lived in Superior? Do you work there?, etc.). 

I have lived in Superior for 26 years and served two terms as a Trustee from 2010-2018.  I currently manage North American operations and distribution out of Superior for an international manufacturer of topical analgesics for athletes.

Why do you want to serve on the commission? 

During my tenure as a Superior Trustee, we engaged in many discussions concerning the transition of Superior to a Home Rule municipality.  I firmly believe that this represents the most favorable path for our town, and my experience as a Trustee would be a valuable asset to the commission.

Why do you think a home rule charter is right for Superior? 

Being able to govern locally would allow Superior to better manage what the residents of the town need and allow for decisions to be made at a level closer to the citizens most impacted.  Statutory towns are required to follow state statutes that are potentially more limiting with regard to local decision making.  Home Rule allows municipalities to create policies and make decisions that are specific to the local needs.

What do you think is the biggest pro of a home rule charter? Having the ability to govern in a way that is best for our town and residents.  What is good for one municipality is not necessarily good for another.  What is the biggest con? Drafting a charter that is too restrictive.

What should be included in the charter? What should be left out?

There are too many items that need to be included in the charter to list here, but some of the elements of the charter should include a delineation of powers and authority, provisions related to ethics and conflicts of interest for elected officials and specifics on the processes for citizen initiatives allowing residents to propose and vote on local laws and policies. 

The items that should not be included in a home rule charter will vary depending on the needs and values of the community, but general exclusions should include provisions that would conflict with or violate state and federal laws.  The charter also should not be overly imposing, should not detail every administrative task which could limit the flexibility of our government and should not include provisions that infringe on fundamental individual rights.

What are some of the values and priorities you think the charter should reflect? 

Local control and autonomy, transparency and accountability (public access to government records and provisions for open meetings), fiscal responsibility (balanced budgets and prudent financial planning), and provisions for public participation, among many others

The Town website says that a possible disadvantage of a home rule charter is the “possibility of a restrictive Charter that could make completing Town business more difficult.” How will you aim to mitigate that disadvantage?

While the charter should provide a framework to govern, we should aim at limiting how prescriptive the charter would be so as to allow flexibility for the Town in responding to future changes.

What do you hope to learn from community members that will inform how you draft the charter?

In order to draft an effective and prudent Home Rule charter specific to the Town of Superior, it is important to interact with and learn from the community to better understand the community-wide core values and priorities that should be reflected in the charter.

What is another home rule charter in Colorado you like and why?

I am currently reviewing multiple home rule charters.  Each one is unique, and I do not have a favorite at this time.


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