In the summer of 1998, Randy Pye, John Brackney, Brian Vogt, Ed Bosier and Pete Ross gathered at a pancake house to consider the advantages of incorporating the City of Centennial. They established a volunteer organization known as the Arapahoe Citizens for Self -Determination and an incorporation steering committee that filed a petition in the District Court in October 1998 requesting an election to determine whether the City of Centennial should be formed. The District Court conducted hearings and determined the petition was invalid. The volunteers corrected the petition and on December 12, 1998, in six hours obtained more than 2,500 signatures on a second petition known as the "Centennial Petition".
Colorado Legislature Gives Credence to the Movement
While the Centennial Petition was pending in District Court, House Bill 99-1099 was drafted and introduced in the Colorado Legislature to clarify existing law that established a priority for forming large cities, such as Centennial, over smaller competing municipal annexations. House Bill 99-1099 passed out of the Colorado House of Representatives without a single dissenting vote, and out of the Colorado Senate with only six dissenting votes. This Bill was the first piece of legislation signed into law by Governor Bill Owens on February 1, 1999.
Colorado Courts Approve an Election
On April 8, 1999 the District Court found the Centennial Petition to be valid and to take priority over competing annexation proposals and ordered an election on whether Centennial should be incorporated but interveners in the District Court case appealed the ruling. The Colorado Court of Appeals transferred the Centennial case directly to the Colorado Supreme Court for determination. The Colorado Supreme Court held oral arguments on May 3, 2000 where the Centennial volunteers once again turned out in mass to support the principles of self determination and the formation of Centennial. The Colorado Supreme Court in a unanimous opinion announced July 21, 2000, that an election should take place to determine if the City of Centennial should be formed.
Election Scheduled, Incorporation Approved
The volunteer Election Commission for Centennial was appointed, and convened and scheduled an election for September 12, 2000 to determine if the voters within in Centennial wished to form a city. On September 12, 2000, 77% of voters approved the formation of the City of Centennial.
City of Centennial Established
On February 7, 2001, the City of Centennial was legally established as a Colorado City.
In 2001, Centennial was incorporated as a statutory city, governed by state laws. On November 6, 2007, the citizens of Centennial elected 21 Home Rule Charter Commissioners to draft a Home Rule Charter in 120 days. On June 10, 2008, the citizens of Centennial voted to approve a Home Rule Charter by a large margin. Home Rule makes it possible for local governments to have control over local matters of local concern, including sales tax collection and audit. The approved charter serves as a “constitution” for the City. Read the Home Rule Charter(PDF, 821KB).