Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Commissioners Urge President Trump to appoint David Bernhardt to the position of United States Secretary of the Interior

On Monday, March 18, 2019, the Board of Mesa County Commissioners sent a letter to President Trump urging him to appoint David Bernhardt to the position of United States Secretary of the Interior.

The letter states: "The Board admires the dedication and professionalism Mr. Bernhardt has shown in his previous efforts in dealing with public land management issues that affect state and local governments with substantial amounts of public lands. Mr. Bernhardt is a Colorado native who understands the role the federal government has with respect to public lands and its impact on state and local governments and their economies.

Mr. Bernhardt recently helped western Colorado counties obtain reimbursement of the oil and gas lease revenue held by the Department of Interior that was owed to rural communities from the Anvil Points Naval Oil Shale Reserve. The federal government had withheld all mineral lease funds, royalties and bonus payments from 1997 to 2008, from Garfield, Mesa, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties. Additionally, the withholding created a surplus in the trust fund, and when the site cleanup was completed in 2011, the funds were not released. This year, thanks to Mr. Bernhardt, the affected counties finally received reimbursement of their funds.

With his extensive background in both the private and public sectors dealing with public lands issues, Mr. Bernhardt is undoubtedly experienced and qualified for the position. We are grateful for Mr. Bernhardt’s leadership and ability to find effective advocacy within complex issues for the benefit of our counties. We consider his level-headedness and focus on what is best for our Colorado communities and the nation as a whole a great asset.

Mr. Bernhardt’s extensive knowledge of public lands and energy issues make him an avid leader with skills to see issues from multiple perspectives to maintain and improve partnerships among federal, state, and local governments.

Without reservation, the Board of County Commissioners highly recommends David Bernhardt for the position of United States Secretary of the Interior. Thank you for the opportunity to comment."

To view the full letter, click here.



Friday, March 15, 2019

ELECTION: LOGIC & ACCURACY TEST


Mesa County Clerk & Recorder Press Release

Media Contact
Tina Peters
(970) 812.2610

For immediate release
MARCH 15, 2019

ELECTION: NOTICE OF LOGIC & ACCURACY TEST

Mesa County, Colo. – Mesa County Elections, a division of the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, will perform a ‘Logic and Accuracy’ test between 10 a.m. and 11a.m., on Monday, March 18, 2019. This test is conducted on voting equipment being used in the current City of Grand Junction Municipal Election.

The test will be performed at the Mesa County Elections office by staff. The test is open to the public and media, as space allows. The Election office is accessed through the west doors, at 200 S. Spruce St., Grand Junction.

The equipment, which has been provided by the Denver-based company Dominion Voting Systems, was adopted by counties in 2016 after the Colorado Secretary of State’s office selected it as the statewide uniform voting system. 

The Logic and Accuracy test allows the Elections staff, the political party representatives and the public to be confident the equipment is operating properly and efficiently.

For further information or if you have any questions, call the Election office, at (970) 244-1662.

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Commissioner Rose Pugliese honored as a Top Woman in Energy for 2019

Denver Business Journal honors commissioner for being “an effective leader in what traditionally has been a male-centric workplace.”


Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese will be honored as one of 40 Top Women in Energy for 2019 by the Denver Business Journal at their Top Women in Energy awards celebration in Denver April 23.

Commissioner Pugliese was selected from over 130 nominees for this prestigious honor. The Denver Businesses Journal wrote in a letter to Pugliese, “Our esteemed judging committee selected you from over 130 nominations received, not only for dedication to making an impact on the Colorado energy industry but also for your unfailing willingness to give back to the communities where you work and live. The Denver Business Journal is proud to recognize you among this elite group of women!”

Commissioner Pugliese is the only western Colorado resident to be honored with this award.

“I am humbled and honored to have received this award. We have so many incredibly strong female leaders all across the state, and we do great work for our communities,” Pugliese said. “I am so fortunate to be able to advocate for Mesa County on a federal and statewide level and be a strong voice for our county’s energy issues.”

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

This Week in Pics

This week, commissioners from across the state gathered in Washington D.C. to hear from Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and discuss issues important to Colorado’s counties. Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese and John Justman (right) attended the event.

Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese (center) stands alongside Acting Interior Secretary Bernhardt (right), Garfield County Commissioners Samson and Martin, Moffat County Commissioner Cook, and Rio Blanco Commissioner Rector after discussing important issues for western Colorado including the potential move of the BLM headquarters to the West.
Mesa County and the City of Grand Junction jointly authored a letter formally indicating opposition to Colorado Senate Bill 19-181. Mesa County officials, as well as Grand Junction City Council members, testified remotely before the Senate Transportation & Energy Committee from Colorado Mesa University.
Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden testifies against SB19-181 before the Colorado Senate Transportation & Energy Committee on Tuesday evening. The hearing lasted 12 hours.

Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden and Assessor Ken Brownlee participate in a hearing for SB19-181 hosted at Colorado Mesa University on Tuesday. Brownlee wrote in an email to the Colorado Senate Transportation & Energy Committee: "I am the County Assessor in Mesa County and I know the impact of the oil and gas industry here. It’s over $153,000,000 in assessed value which is nearly $400,000,000 in actual value and far more in overall economic impact. If we had to replace the tax revenue Mesa County gets from Oil & Gas it would require 11,000 new construction houses at $200,000 each. That’s not happening. I do not believe these bills are providing clarity and assurance to the industry. Further complicating Oil & Gas rules and regulations, and make no mistake that is what this would do, does nothing for me, my family or neighbors, but it will harm investment and good paying jobs in our County. This bill does appear to provide constant pressure to slow roll the industry into oblivion."

Join the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder's Office, along with the City of Fruita and Mayor Kincaid, as well as the Fruita Chamber of Commerce as they re-open the Fruita DMV satellite office.

Mesa County Animal Services is partnering with local area veterinarians to offer spay and neuter vouchers for Mesa County pet owners. With these vouchers, the cost of the procedure will be $25 to the pet owner. https://bit.ly/2EJOt3m
Criminal Justice Services Department (CJSD) Steve Chin takes a phone call.  
Recently, Mesa County Pretrial Services received formal recognition of achievement and adherence to the Colorado Association of Pretrial Services Professional Standards for their proficiency in the documentation of policies and procedures, as well as day-to-day business interaction with system stakeholders. Read more at https://bit.ly/2EIM5c1

Criminal Justice Office Amanda Bambino quickly pauses for a picture as she moves on to her next task. CJSD is a busy place.
Criminal Justice Officer Taylor Korbe prepares for a meeting.

CJSD Lab Technician Kristine Beck runs analysis Monday morning. 

CJSD Case Manager Christina Sullivan reviews a client's file. 
CJSD Case Manager Angelica Manjarrez reviews a client's progress.
CJSD Case Manager Joe Hemmer councils a client Monday morning. 
Residents are invited to an informal open house Wednesday, March 20, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at the Clifton Community Center, 126 2nd St., to talk about the plans to address flooding issues in the Douglas Wash areas. The open house aims to share information regarding the project and gather citizen input.

Starting Monday, March 11, 24 Road and I Road will be closed. Milling begins on Monday and construction will continue until the paving is complete. Traffic on I Road between 23 Road and 24-1/2 Road will be detoured down to H Road. Traffic on 24 Road between H Road and J Road will be detoured to 23 Road. Additional project details may be found, here.

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Great news! HB19-1062, which will give Mesa County the option to purchase the Grand Junction Regional Center was signed by Governor Polis Thursday afternoon. Learn more about the bill at http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb19-1062. Representative Janice Rich (left), and Senator Ray Scott (center) and Senator Rachel Zenzinger (right) were the prime sponsors on the bill.

Human Resources staff, from left to right, Mari Hood, Kira Goodwin, Brenda Moore, Shelley Vehik, Jean Boothe and Cindy Barnett pause for a picture after a meeting. Staff members have been taking a monthly picture of Brenda's baby bump.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Land Development Code In Need Of Updates

Modernizing the county’s land use codes to provide better, faster service


Mesa County is looking for input on much-needed updates to the Land Development Code (LDC) to improve services and processing time to move more projects through the system more efficiently for our constituents. 

The LDC will be updated to modernize Mesa County Land Use Codes and provide a more user-friendly document that combines various ordinance and code standards to avoid redundancy.

“The LDC document was designed to assist in implementing the county’s vision of balancing private property rights with the needs of the community,” Chair of the Board of County Commissioners Rose Pugliese said. “We want to adopt comprehensive changes to the LDC with feedback from the community.”

“I have hosted several focus group meetings across the county and have met with many concerned citizens. It is now time for county residents to make their voices heard and share their comments on how we can improve the LDC,” Pugliese added.

The intended code update, condenses and streamlines processes such as:
• Major and Minor Subdivision
• Site Plan(s)
          Major vs. Minor
          Conditional Use
• Urban vs. Rural
• Landscaping requirements
• Property Line Adjustments
• Density by Design Toolbox

For more information on the Land Development Code update, visit https://bit.ly/2VLtzXp.

Fruita DMV Office Re-Opens


The City of Fruita and Tina Peters, Mesa County Clerk and Recorder, announce the re-opening of the satellite office for the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) in Fruita City Hall. The public and media are invited to a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at 11:45am.

The re-opening celebration will be held in the Fruita DMV office, located at 325 E. Aspen, in Fruita. The celebration will be hosted from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with regular DMV business to follow the festivities. A light lunch and refreshments will be provided.

“Thanks to the support of the City of Fruita, I’m excited to be able to open the Fruita office in the first quarter of 2019,” Peters said. “The feedback from citizens has been steady about their desire for Mesa County to have more than one DMV office.”

“It is a privilege to work with great partners to help make the City of Fruita a great place to live, Joel Kincaid, Fruita Mayor, said. “We have appreciated this partnership in the past with the Mesa County DMV and look forward to that continuing with the new office opening. This is a great service to our community and for those that live here.”

The Fruita DMV office will serve residents from the same office space it previously occupied, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The first full day of DMV business will be Thursday, March 14, 2019.

Fruita City Council has kept the previous DMV space underutilized in hopes the DMV would return. The City Hall office space is provided at no charge to the County and only a small monthly fee of $150 is incorporated into the lease agreement for janitorial services and utilities.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Community Corrections Program Receives Recognition of Achievement


Mesa County Pretrial Services is the first program in the state to receive formal recognition of achievement and adherence to the Colorado Association of Pretrial Services Professional Standards for their proficiency in the documentation of policies and procedures, as well as day-to-day business interaction with system stakeholders.

“The Colorado Association of Pretrial Services implemented professional standards for Pretrial Service Agencies a few years ago,” Criminal Justice Services Manager Steve Chin said. “These standards closely mirror best practices and standards set forth by the National Association of Pretrial Services with the added benefit of being specific to the laws of the State of Colorado.”

Pretrial Services underwent an inspection and evaluation of documentation of policies and procedures and completed a series of 56 questions on how the program runs and interacts with system stakeholders (Judges, Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys, Law Enforcement, etc.).  A team from the state association conducted an on-site review of 17 areas observing the programs day-to-day business and interactions with stakeholders and awarded the program with formal recognition of achievement and adherence to state standards.

“Mesa County Pretrial Services is fortunate to have employees who are dedicated to their work as well as leaders from various stakeholder groups who work in the Criminal Justice field who support Mesa County Pretrial Services and strive to promote a pretrial justice system that is reliable, objective, impartial, responsive, and collaborative,” Chin added.