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A poll of 500 frequent voters conducted by Ciruli Associates July 31 to August 6, 2003 shows that city budget and fiscal problems are the top issues of concern (37% of voters label as top issue). The poll was conducted as part of ongoing research regarding Denver Public Library financial issues.

The poor economy/jobs are the second most important issues for Mayor Hickenlooper and the city council to focus on (27%). Among Latino and Black voters, the economy and jobs are either the top issues or are tied with budget and fiscal problems. The quality of local schools (6%) and police problems and shootings (4%) rank distant third and fourth positions.

Other findings of the poll are:

  • The public is generally satisfied with the transition from the Webb to Hickenlooper administration. Sixty-two percent say it is either excellent or good.

  • Although there were few new appointments to the Hickenlooper cabinet or senior staff as of Aug. 6, 56% of voters say they approve of appointments up to that point. Thirty-seven percent did not answer the question.

  • More than two-thirds of voters (69%) support a ballot issue that would change the city charter concerning salary and benefits for elected officials and employees. More than half of supporters say they “strongly” support charter changes.

  • Large majorities of voters support the main elements of charter changes
    - 84% believe it’s a good idea to limit pay increases for elected officials to either the rate of inflation or average raises of regular city employees
    - 80% believe it is a good idea to create a more flexible merit-based system that allows bonus pay
    - 68% believe it a good idea to remove automatic pay raise language from the charter

  • After considering pro and con arguments most frequently heard concerning changing city charter language on salaries and benefits, 73% of Denver voters agree with the pro-change position.

  • Mayor Hickenlooper is still in his honeymoon phase. He and Attorney General Ken Salazar are Denver voters’ most highly rated politicians.
  • Governor Bill Owens and former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb are known by most voters, but have unfavorable ratings from large groups of voters (especially members of their respective opposite political parties).

  • The Denver Fire Department and Public Library are the highest rated city organizations tested.

    Survey of Denver Voters > >

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