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February 8 & 15, 2011
In This Issue
Want more information from Jefferson County
County Wins Award
Board Appointments
Open letter to Jeffco Citizens
Changes OK'd to Zoning Resolution
2011 Mail Ballot Election
Staff Briefings

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News from Jefferson County
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County Wins an Award for Jefferson County Insights

During public comment at the February 15 BCC meeting, Rick Assmus from the city of Arvada presented to the commissioners an award for Jefferson County from a national association.


Arvada's staff submitted several videos in the annual competition of NATOA (National Association of Telecommunication Officers and Advisors) in Washington D.C. An introductory video about the county, which was created by Jeffco's Public Information staff in partnership with Arvada's staff, was submitted for an award and received honorable mention. Arvada's KATV came in third place for "Station of the Year."


In early 2010, Jefferson County, in partnership with the city of Arvada, launched a series of short online videos called "Jefferson County Insights." The goal of these videos is to help inform citizens about everything from how their tax bills are calculated to the importance of dog licensing. The videos are available on the county's Media-on-Demand website.


Jefferson County Insights is part of a broader effort by Jefferson County to bring more information to citizens online. Since early 2009, video recordings of the Board of County Commissioners hearings have been posted on the Jeffco website along with the agendas, minutes and other supporting documents. Also online are Planning Commission meetings, videos of groundbreakings, news conferences and other community events.


 Jefferson County Insights

Board Appointments

 The BCC approved the appointment of Joseph Siccardi to represent District 2 on the Jefferson County Cultural Council.  He replaces Karen Helm who is term limited.  Siccardi's term will expire February 28, 2014.

BCC Won't Participate in Library District

At a previous public hearing the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners (BCC) approved a resolution to not participate in a proposed library district.  Below is its letter to Jeffco citizens regarding its decision to opt out of the district.


Open Letter to Jeffco Citizens:

The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners (BCC) is extremely proud of the Jefferson County Public Library. We believe our libraries are among the county's greatest assets.  We are grateful to the citizens who serve as trustees, foundation members and friends of the library; the many volunteers and the talented staff.


Recently we were presented with petitions that asked us to hold an election to form a library district to take over the county's libraries. The petitioners intend that the county would hand over all of its library buildings and assets to the newly formed district, along with a tax increase (increased mill levy) to obtain additional property tax revenues for library purposes. Creating a library district to perform the same or reduced services at a higher cost to taxpayers is fiscally irresponsible. Additionally, an election to form a district could cost up to $600,000. Further, if the library district were formed, the commissioners would still appoint the Library Trustees pursuant to Colorado law, just as we do currently.


As the general governing board of the county, the BCC is ultimately responsible for the overall fiscal well-being, operations and service delivery of the entire county organization. We take the responsibility invested in us by the citizens of this county very seriously. During these challenging economic times, we have developed a multi-year budget strategy that maintains service levels in spite of tighter revenues. All county directors were asked to tighten their belts and reduce administrative costs without cutting services. We expected this of all county agencies so when the Library Board of Trustees decided to close libraries every Monday, we were adamantly opposed. We felt there were many ways to tighten the library's budget without depriving citizens of library service on one of the busiest days of the week.


We urge the current Library Trustees to focus their attention on returning our libraries to their former level of service immediately, rather than creating another layer of government. We don't need a tax increase or another governmental entity in Jefferson County. For these reasons, we decided against participating in the library district, and decided not to pay for an election to form a new library district. We've heard from many Jeffco citizens who don't want to have a tax increase or wish to support another governmental entity.


Let's focus our time, effort and resources on making our outstanding Jefferson County Public Library system even better!






Faye Griffin, Chair                                                  

Donald Rosier, Chair Pro Tem

J. Kevin McCasky

BCC Approves Changes to Zoning Resolution

At its public hearing on February 8, the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners authorized staff to amend Section 10 of the county's Zoning Resolution to standardize the special events permit application process.

pz-logo-blueIn 2001, criteria was added to the Jefferson County Zoning Resolution that required any special event permit application affecting either Deer Creek Canyon Road or Golden Gate Canyon Road to be presented to the Board of County Commissioners in a public hearing to review and approve or deny the application. Since the regulations were adopted in 2001, county staff has reviewed 509 special event permit applications for events held in the county. Of these events, 159 were on various county roads, and only nine have been heard before the Board of County Commissioners.


Amending the regulations will standardize the review process for all special event permit applications, which are currently handled at a staff level with a final decision being granted by the county's zoning administrator in the Planning and Zoning Division. However, special event permit application decisions can still be appealed to the Board of Adjustment, as with any zoning administrator decision. 


November 2011 Jeffco Election Will Be By Mail Ballot  

Elections informationIn its February 15 public hearing, the Board of County Commissioners adopted a resolution presented by the Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder to conduct the November 1, 2011 Coordinated Election as a mail ballot election. Jefferson County has conducted all mail ballot elections in every odd-numbered year since 1993, as well as an all-mail Primary Election in 2010. Generally, mail ballot elections save Jefferson County taxpayers between 40 and 50 percent of the cost of conducting a polling place election. In addition, mail ballot elections have been shown to increase voter participation.


"Eighty-one percent of the people who voted in the 2010 General Election chose to cast their ballot by mail, even when polling places were available," said Clerk and Recorder Pam Anderson. "Based on that information and the potential cost savings to the county's taxpayers, we are very pleased to be able to use this model for our November 2011 Election."


Most Jefferson County voters have expressed a strong preference to receive their ballot by mail for all elections. Currently, eighty-two percent of the active registered voters in Jeffco are signed up as permanent mail-in voters.


"We know that by bringing the polling place to each voter's doorstep through mail ballot delivery, more people are likely to vote," said Anderson. "Increased participation in the odd-year is important, since odd-year elections are typically for local offices and issues." 


Ballots for the November 2011 Election will be mailed to voters beginning the week of October 10 in advance of the November 1 election.


Please visit www.votejeffco.com for more information.

Staff Briefings


Commissioners Send Letter to Secretary of the Interior

At staff briefings, Commissioner Kevin McCasky presented to his fellow commissioners a draft letter to the Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar regarding the transfer of the transportation right-of-way for the Jefferson Parkway. Both Commissioner Faye Griffin and Don Rosier discussed and agreed to the content of the letter, which encourages Secretary Salazar to continue with the sale of the transportation corridor regardless of the request by the city of Boulder and Boulder County that the sale be delayed.


The county has been in negotiations with both the city of Boulder and Boulder County regarding the preservation of the Colorado State Land Board's property known as Rocky Flats Section 16. The county has been working on acquiring the land and anticipates transferring it to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as a part of Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge. The county is willing to put $5 million in an escrow account to specifically be used for the land acquisition.


However, a recent letter Boulder County and the city of Boulder to Salazar requests that the sale of the transportation corridor be conditioned upon the acquisition of Section 16. Although the county has committed to contribute $5 million towards the acquisition of Section 16, the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge Act of 2001 does not require the acquisition of Section 16 as a condition of the right-of-way sale. 


Click here to read the county's letter in its entirety.


Latest From Community Resources Department and Open Space

At staff briefings, the commissioners were given the latest on the county's Community Resources Department by its Director Tom Hoby. 


Recently the Open Space Advisory Committee reviewed applications for 2011 Joint Venture Grants from 14 Centennial Coneagencies consisting of six cities and eight park and recreation districts. These entities were seeking Open Space Joint Venture Grants and Conservation Trust Fund Grants for various projects. The total available funding was $2.15 million and requests totaled  $3,051,669. Some of the projects include improvements to Ralston Central Park in Arvada and phase three of Discovery Park at 38th and Kipling in Wheat Ridge.


Next, Hoby forwarded a recommendation to renew a pest inspector license to current employee, Alicia Doran. Doran began working for Jefferson County in 1998 as the Weed and Pest Management Specialist.


The commissioners were then presented with Open Space's 10-year draft funding plan. In 1998, voters passed a ballot measure that authorized the issuance of $160 million in bonds for open space and park land acquisition. From 1999 through 2010, 23,581 acres of land were preserved. The first $100 million in bonds will be retired in 2019 and the remaining $60 million will be retired by 2024. Open Space is creating a plan to give guidelines to most effectively put remaining and projected sales tax dollars to use.


The plan is still evolving through stakeholder discussions and action by the BCC is anticipated in May or June. Goals include developing guidelines for expenditures, land acquisitions and capital projects. It also seeks to continue to support cities, park districts and nonprofit organizations by creating equitable funding and grant guidelines while retaining flexibility for special opportunities.


Hoby concluded his update with information on the Van Bibber Trail Corridor. In June 2009, the county purchased the Xcel Corridor between Indiana Street and the Fairmount Trail.  The corridor was acquired with Open Space funds to develop a regional public trail that will connect to the existing trail in Van Bibber Park and beyond. Steps to be taken in 2011 for this project include securing access rights for crossings at canals, coordinate pedestrian crossings on various roads, and address private encroachments on Open Space property.

View BCC Meetings

Online!Public Meeting Calendar

Did you know Jefferson County records each County Commissioners Hearing for rebroadcast on its web site? You can also find recordings of other county meetings, videos of events and Jeffco's video program, Jefferson County Insights. To learn more, click here.