The Loneliest Number? 3

The citizen's group Jeffco 5 has been lobbying the Jefferson County Commissioners to consider a proposal to add two new county commissioner seats. As we wrote in August:

The argument for 5 commissioners is difficult to refute. Jefferson County has about the same number of residents as the entire state of Wyoming, and Wyoming has two U.S. Senators and one member of the House of Representatives on top of dozens of county commissioners. It makes little sense for a county the size of Jefferson to have a government controlled by just 3 elected officials, particularly when all are approved countywide; what ends up happening is that local constituencies (such as the mountain communities of Evergreen and Conifer) have no designated commissioner fighting for their concerns, since each commissioner is ultimately accountable to the entire county.

Two of the three Jefferson County Commissioners (Don Rosier and Faye Griffin) have been cool to the idea of moving to 5 commissioners, making absurd excuses about a lack of available office space as a primary argument to stay with 3 commissioners. They've tried to avoid the discussion, enough so that they have buried it in a planned Telephone Town Hall this evening. According to Jeffco 5, getting on the call list might be tough, so you'll want to call in yourself:

This Wednesday, October 9, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., the commissioners are conducting a telephone town hall to take feedback from Jeffco citizens about "priorities for budget dollars as well as the county’s mill levy, requests for added funding for the sheriff’s office, and an initiative by a group to increase the number of county commissioners." The call will go out to 100,000 randomly selected phone numbers, but you can also dial in to join the town hall at (877) 229-8493 using PIN 110646 (click here for more information).

 

he argument for 5 commissioners is difficult to refute. Jefferson County has about the same number of residents as the entire state of Wyoming, and Wyoming has two U.S. Senators and one member of the House of Representatives on top of dozens of county commissioners. It makes little sense for a county the size of Jefferson to have a government controlled by just 3 elected officials, particularly when all are approved countywide; what ends up happening is that local constituencies (such as the mountain communities of Evergreen and Conifer) have no designated commissioner fighting for their concerns, since each commissioner is ultimately accountable to the entire county. – See more at: http://coloradopols.com/diary/48331/jefferson-county-officials-being-asked-to-add-commissioners#sthash.q3mOlCUt.dpuf
he argument for 5 commissioners is difficult to refute. Jefferson County has about the same number of residents as the entire state of Wyoming, and Wyoming has two U.S. Senators and one member of the House of Representatives on top of dozens of county commissioners. It makes little sense for a county the size of Jefferson to have a government controlled by just 3 elected officials, particularly when all are approved countywide; what ends up happening is that local constituencies (such as the mountain communities of Evergreen and Conifer) have no designated commissioner fighting for their concerns, since each commissioner is ultimately accountable to the entire county. – See more at: http://coloradopols.com/diary/48331/jefferson-county-officials-being-asked-to-add-commissioners#sthash.q3mOlCUt.dpuf

3 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Dark Cloud says:

    It does not follow that a need for more Commissioners requires wards or districts. How those would be conformed would be key, of course, but the chances are good that communities that think they get no respect and are dumped on now will feel it worse when most commissioners don't have to worry about their votes and won't campaign there.

    They try this in the City of Boulder as well. If politicos can configure a support group in a district and 'win', she or he'll have to comport themselves as puppets of often petty and selfish neighborhood groups. They'll be warlords, and some lust for that. There'll be an enthused college kid from the Hill pushing some ecological fiasco or college level must have, a religious and FoxNews fanatic from East Boulder, a homeless person or stripper from North Boulder, and the usual toned and edSee More

    Reply · Like · Follow Post · about an hour ago

  2. Craig says:

    As I said the last time this came up, residents have rejected this proposal twice already.  In addition, despite what Pols says, the cost is substantial.  Further, the Gang of 5 hasn't yet articulated what's so good about 5 vs. 3.  Finally, the ideas of districts is just nonsense.  It means exactly what you say.  4 commissioners vote for something that doesn't affect their residents but mightly the voters in the 5th district.  It's just stupid.  Further, having districts just raises the possibility of gerrymandering the entire county into a 4-1 Republican stronghold when the Dems are able to win a non-controversial, non-issue based race already.  Why would they want to give up the power when they are just about to control county government for the first time since, well, ever?

     

    What this really is is a fight over policy.  The Dems don't like what the Republicans have done.  Personally,  the Dems are on the cusp of winning this county and will be in control of all  decisions in a few more years.  In addition, there's just no articulated non-partisan reason for residents to do this.

  3. observe says:

    If three commissioners are no good what good are five?

    If……If the county goes to five, there is no reason (beyond pure political motivations) to have voting be within just one district. Have them reside in districts but elected countywide.

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