Opened with prayer and pledge of allegiance.
Approval of agenda with following changes:
-discussion items listed on agenda moved to January
-addition to action items: county manager approval to sign closing documents on Hoo House
Consent agenda: approved vouchers, acknowledged receipt of variance reports, inmate health care services and liquor license renewal for South Forty Saloon
ELECTED OFFICIALS/STAFF REPORTS:
-Sheila Kelly, CSU Extension, thanked the county for their support of 4H. She then introduced 3 Clover Bud participants (Theresa Davis, Nathan Hudson, Sarah Carriker) who shared their experiences and projects. Also introduced was Rylie Blakeley, a senior at Elizabeth High School, who has been involved in 4H since the age of 6. Rylie shared about her career/projects/valuable lessons learned in 4H.
-The 4Hers then presented Christmas wreaths to the commissioners. 4H also gave money to ECCO in the commissioners’ names.
-Dallas Schroeder, County Clerk, reported on updates in his office: 25% increase in recorded documents, voter registration numbers up 20% in last 2 years, DMV 4.7% increase in transactions over 2016. New building satisfactorily meeting county needs.
-Commissioners acknowledged local newspaper coverage: Ranchland News, Prairie Times, and Elbert County News. Commissioner Richardson stated that “unlike social media,” these papers represent quality news coverage. (Translation: they print what the commissioners want to see/hear). Plaques were presented to representatives from these newspapers.
-Tom Peterson reported on a water break in Gamble Oaks; he thanked the commissioners and staff for their accomplishments in 2017 (finances, services to citizens, facilities management, elections
-Approval of December 13, 2017 minutes
-Minutes from Independence hearing will be taken care of in a special meeting before 2018. Date to be determined.
-Approval of Appointments Policy:
1) The updated BOCC Appointments Policy was not available on the county website nor were copies available at the meeting. Additionally, the document was not projected on the overhead. Therefore, citizen Rick Brown asked that voting on this policy be delayed until citizens had time to review and provide input. Request denied by the commissioners.
2) Commissioner Richardson said that “this appointments policy is not necessary.” He also stated that these commissioners were “elected pretty overwhelmingly” so it’s only natural that they would select folks who supported their vision for the county. (Editorial comment: while this may be true, just because one doesn’t share the commissioners’ viewpoints shouldn’t disqualify one from serving on a county board. Diverse backgrounds and viewpoints strengthen our county). He then read the 3 page proposed policy aloud; due to the absence of any available document in hand, the presentation was difficult to follow and understand.
3) Rick Brown then addressed the unconstitutionality of the provision in this policy regarding the prohibition of citizens involved in litigation being allowed to serve on a county committee. (Violates first amendment protections for citizens’ rights to petition for redress from their government). Brown also corrected Commissioner Richardson’s recounting of why he (Brown) resigned from the Planning Commission. Regarding the library board, Mr. Brown reviewed the statutory scheme which sets up the library district that was approved by EC citizens. Library boards are a political subdivision of the state, separate from the county....governed by state statute.
4) Tom Peterson spoke to the problem of citizens who are not reflective of the majority of the overall viewpoints of EC being counterproductive/disruptive on committees that they serve on.
5) Frank Reeves spoke about why county employees shouldn’t be allowed to sue the county and therefore, shouldn’t be able to serve on county boards. He also stated that the library board process is “awkward,” regardless of the fact that library boards are governed by state statute, unlike other county boards.
6) Jill Duvall then asked for clarification of the term “generally reflective of overall citizenry of the county” in the BOCC Appointments Policy as it applies to appointees - gender balance? political balance? Commissioner Thayer responded that he searched for geographical balance and talents of appointees. She also addressed concerns about unconstitutionality of not allowing citizens who have been involved in litigation to serve on any county boards. Commissioner Richardson’s response was that it’s “common sense” to exclude someone from serving on a county board who is currently in litigation against the county.
-Approved resolution designating funds within the road and bridge fund 20 as dedicated line item known as “contingency funds.” Kyrie Zion explained justification.
-Approved 2018 budget
-County manager authorized to sign closing documents for the sale of Hoo House
-Agenda items for 1/10/18: update on Rush Creek Wind Farm, organizational resolution, workshops/study sessions/pending hearings
BOCC Town Hall meetings - no locations/times scheduled yet
January 10 in Simla
January 11 in Kiowa
County Board of Health 1:00
-items scheduled to be covered: introduction of Tom Butts as temporary Public Health Director, report on onsite wastewater permits issued in 2016 and 2017, restaurant licensing update (fee changes), community health assessment process update, staffing updates, public hearing - onsite wastewater treatment system regulations