Tuesday, December 23, 2014

All Mesa County Government Offices Open December 26

All Mesa County offices will open on Friday, December 26, 2014, following a one day closure on Thursday, December 25, 2014, for the normal business hours of that office or department.  

This includes:
  • Commissioners, Treasurer, Assessor, Surveyor (544 Rood Avenue) 
  • Administration offices (544 Rood Avenue) 
  • Animal Services (Coffman Road) 
  • Attorney's Office (544 Rood Avenue) 
  • Clerk & Recorder’s Offices 
  • Motor Vehicle/Recording/Elections/Clerk & Recorder (200 S. Spruce Street) 
  • Criminal Justice Services (South Avenue) 
  • District Attorney's Office (125 N. Spruce Street); this includes the Justice Center 
  • Grand Valley Transit (GVT) 
  • Health & Human Services (510 29 1/2 Road) 
  • Public Works and Planning (200 S. Spruce Street) 
  • Regional Transportation Planning Office (525 S. Sixth Street) 
  • Resource Management (544 Rood Avenue) 
  • Sheriff's Office (215 Rice Street) 
  • Workforce Center (512 29 1/2 Road) 
  • Mesa County Landfill, Hazardous Waste Collection Facility, Organic Material Composting Facility, and transfer stations

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mesa County Employees contribute $21,875.10 to United Way

Congratulations, Mesa County employees, you are awesome!

Throughout continued difficult economic times, Mesa County employees continue to recognize and respond to community needs. During the 2014 United Way Pacesetter campaign, Mesa County employees contributed $21,875.10 to United Way and the Mesa County community.

United Way Executive Director Julie Hinkson thanks Mesa County for helping to tackle important community issues.


Mesa County receives settlement from construction defect litigation on Animal Service Building

The Mesa County District Court recently dismissed a lawsuit filed by Mesa County relating to construction defects associated with the Animal Services Building. Mesa County entered into a settlement which required the Defendant to pay Mesa County $1,200,000 as a condition of the dismissal of the lawsuit. The funds have been received and will be placed in Mesa County’s Capital fund.

The Animal Services Building, located at 917 Coffman Road, Whitewater, Colorado was constructed between 2008 and 2010. Despite the lawsuit, the building has been in continual operation as Mesa County’s only government-supported animal shelter. The Animal Services staff and volunteers have shown their dedication and resilience during this time.

Mesa County thanks the Animal Services employees and volunteers for continuing to fulfill their mission to “enforce animal ordinances that protect the safety and welfare of the people and pets of Mesa County [and] collaborate with animal welfare agencies to rehome pets and to provide community education promoting responsible pet ownership.”

While no definite plans have been made for how the settlement money will be spent, staff continues to develop options related to the extensive repairs that the building will require. Decisions concerning the needed repairs and other options for the building will be a matter of consideration for the Board of Commissioners over the next several months.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mesa County Offices Closed for Christmas and New Year's Day

Many Mesa County Offices will be closed on the following days and will re-open Friday, December 26, 2014 and Friday, January 2, 2015 during normal operating hours, unless otherwise noted.
  • Thursday, December 25, 2014 (Christmas Day)
  • Thursday, January 1, 2015 (New Year's Day) 

This closure includes:
Commissioners, Treasurer, Assessor, Surveyor (544 Rood Avenue)
Administration offices (544 Rood Avenue)
Attorney's Office (544 Rood Avenue)
District Attorney's Office (125 N. Spruce Street). This includes the Justice Center
Grand Valley Transit (GVT)
Health & Human Services (510 29 1/2 Road)
Public Works and Planning (200 S. Spruce Street)
Regional Transportation Planning Office (525 S. Sixth Street)
Resource Management (544 Rood Avenue)
Sheriff's Office - Records and Civil Divisions (215 Rice Street)
Workforce Center (512 29 1/2 Road)
The Mesa County Landfill, Hazardous Waste Collection Facility, Organic Material Composting Facility, and transfer stations (Closes at Noon on Wednesday, December 24th)
The closure does NOT include
  • Sheriff's Office - Jail, Patrol, Emergency Services (215 Rice Street)
  • Criminal Justice Services (South Avenue)

Alternate Closure Dates/Times: The following facilities have alternate holiday hours:
Mesa County Animal Services (Coffman Road) hours: 
  • Christmas Eve December 24th - Open 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and closed Christmas Day, December 25th
  • New Year's Eve December 31st - Open 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and closed New Year's Day, January 1st 
Clerk & Recorder's Offices (Closed Christmas Day, December 25th and Friday, December 26th. Closed Thursday, January 1, 2015). 
  • Motor Vehicle/Recording/Elections/Clerk & Recorder (200 S. Spruce Street)
  • Motor Vehicle/Clerk & Recorder (3225 I-70 Business Loop, Clifton)
  • Motor Vehicle/Clerk & Recorder (325 East Aspen Street, Fruita)
###

Monday, December 15, 2014

Swearing-In Ceremony Scheduled

Mesa County cordially invites you to the Swearing-in Ceremony for the newly-elected and re-elected Officials

Tuesday, January 13, 2015
8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Ceremony at 8:15 a.m.
544 Rood Avenue
Public Hearing Room, 2nd Floor
Grand Junction, Colorado 81501

A breakfast reception for the elected and their invitees will immediately follow the ceremony

Monday, December 8, 2014

Inside Mesa County Attendees Receive Certificate of Completion

Five Mesa County residents were recognized today for successfully completing the Inside Mesa County classes and acquiring a deeper knowledge of Mesa County Government. Attendees received their Certificate of Completion during the Board of County Commissioners public hearing. 

Those accepting Certificates of Completion from Commissioner John Justman were Mary Watson, Linda Bestland, Kent Brown, Ken Brownlee, and Jody Green.

Inside Mesa County is a 10 week orientation providing insider knowledge about the function and responsibilities of your county government. Classes include interactive presentations from County Departments and Elected Officials as well as tours of several Mesa County facilities. For further information visit http://www.mesacounty.us/administration/insidemc.aspx


Mesa County Finance Department Receives Recognition

The Mesa County Finance Department has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the 2013 Fiscal year by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). This Certificate is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting and represents a significant accomplishment by the Finance Department leadership and staff. Mesa County has been awarded this honor every year since 1993.

In order to receive this award, the financial reports must meet the high standards of the program, including demonstrating a constructive 'spirit of full disclosure' to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR).

The Mesa County Finance Department was recognized for this achievement during the Board of County Commissioners' public hearing today, Monday, December 8, 2014.  Frank Whidden, Chief Administrator of Resource Management, accepted the award on behalf of the Finance Department.

The 2013 Financial Report is located at http://www.mesacounty.us/finance/financial reports


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Effective November 30, 2014 - Ordinance Allowing Off Highway Vehicles (OHV) on County Roads

The ordinance allowing operation of “Off Highway Vehicles” (OHVs) on Mesa County roads becomes effective Sunday, November 30, 2014.

Ordinance 12 was adopted by the Board of Mesa County Commissioners on November 17, 2014, subsequent to the formalities of notice, publication and public comment. A copy of the adopted and recorded Ordinance 12 is attached to this advisory.

Off-Highway Vehicles are defined as any self propelled vehicle designed to travel on wheels in contact with the ground, primarily off of public highways, and generally and commonly used to transport persons for recreational purposes. Operation of Off Highway Vehicles for agricultural purposes, including on County roads, is allowed under Colorado Statute and will not change with the adoption of this ordinance.

The Commissioners believe an ordinance allowing the use of these vehicles on County roads will benefit the residents of Mesa County by increasing recreation and travel options, easier access to public lands and increased economic development opportunities.

For a link to a map of county roads click here.

For more detail about what the Ordinance allows or does not, please refer to past media releases on our news blog:
http://blog.mesacounty.us/2014/10/proposed-ohv-ordinance-gis-map-of.html
http://blog.mesacounty.us/2014/10/proposed-off-highway-vehicle-ohv.html
http://blog.mesacounty.us/2014/10/concerning-proposed-ordinance-allowing.html

Ordinance 12 is inserted below.





Monday, November 24, 2014

Finalist for Mesa County Administrator

The County Commissioners are pleased to announce the sole finalist for the position of Mesa County Administrator:

Frank Whidden, Ph.D.
Fruita, Colorado

Frank Whidden, PhD., is currently Mesa County’s Deputy Administrator for Resource Management, reporting directly to the current County Administrator, Tom Fisher. The Commissioners’ public statements during hearing today indicate that over the last year, Frank Whidden’s experience working with the Board of Commissioners as acting county administrator at the times Tom Fisher was not available, has supplied Mr. Whidden with the experience the Commissioners believe essential.

The Commissioners thank each of the internal applicants who applied. Immediately prior to this announcement, during executive session, the County Commissioners reviewed all applications received from within the Mesa County organization.

The Commissioners are well on the path to meeting the stated goal of December 15, 2014 for completing the process of appointment to serve as Mesa County’s chief executive officer, and requested that the acting county attorney prepare within the next few weeks a contract for consideration by the Board and Mr. Whidden. The contract will be adopted at a future public hearing.

Whidden brings a wealth of executive level management expertise to the County Administrator position. He has served numerous large companies to include, Boeing and Sungard, non-profit organizations such as the Council on Foundations in Washington, D.C. as well as numerous universities including the University of West Alabama, Lethbridge College (Canada), Montevallo University and the University of New England. Whidden was the first Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the Council on Foundations and served as CIO at the universities and colleges aforementioned.

As the CIO for multiple organizations Whidden was generally considered part of the executive leadership at these organizations. Whidden describes himself as a “change agent” who has often been brought in to help organizations innovate. Upon coming to Mesa County, Whidden first served as Director of Information Technology where he led the implementation of a modern messaging infrastructure, Google Apps for Government, as well as leading the effort to upgrade IT infrastructure to bring the concept of ubiquitous computing (working from anywhere on any platform) to fruition. In addition, he introduced the concept of virtual desktop infrastructure which is leading to reduced costs in computing infrastructure.

Since his time with Mesa County, Whidden has worked closely with Tom Fisher, the outgoing County Administrator, in reorganizing County Administration, streamlining efficiencies and adding transparency to County government. In April 2014, Whidden was called upon to replace four County directors and since that time has been responsible for overseeing Facilities and Parks, Fairgrounds, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology and the County’s part of the Tri-River Extension Service. Whidden acknowledges that, "this was a big job but it has been exciting to work with Tom in reorganizing and reorienting Mesa County. Those previous steps have brought me to a great place to serve as County Administrator for our County."

"I have big shoes to fill but feel I'm in a unique position to keep the momentum going that Tom has implemented," Whidden said. He has been on the inside of these decisions and looks forward to furthering the strategic vision of the County Commissioners.

And, Whidden has a great working relationship with the Board and is looking forward to working even more closely with them. "I am very humbled by the confidence the Commissioners are expressing in me and am grateful for this opportunity." 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mesa County Offices Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday

Many Mesa County Offices will be closed on Thursday & Friday, November 27 - 28, 2014 for the Thanksgiving Holiday. All offices will re-open to the public on Monday, December 1, 2014

This two-day closure includes:
  • Commissioners, Treasurer, Assessor, Surveyor (544 Rood Avenue) 
  • Administration offices (544 Rood Avenue) 
  • Attorney's Office (544 Rood Avenue) 
  • Health & Human Services (510 29 1/2 Road) 
  • Motor Vehicle/Recording/Elections/Clerk & Recorder (200 S. Spruce Street) 
  • Motor Vehicle/Clerk & Recorder (3225 I-70 Business Loop, Clifton) 
  • Motor Vehicle/Clerk & Recorder (325 East Aspen Street, Fruita) 
  • Public Works and Planning (200 S. Spruce Street) 
  • Regional Transportation Planning Office (525 S. Sixth Street) 
  • Resource Management (544 Rood Avenue) 
  • Sheriff's Office - Records and Civil Divisions (215 Rice Street) 
  • Workforce Center (512 29 1/2 Road) 
Alternate Closure Dates/Times: 
The following facilities will be closed on Thursday, November 27th and will be open with normal operating hours on Friday, November 28th:
  • District Attorney's Office (125 N. Spruce Street). This includes the Justice Center 
  • Mesa County Animal Services (Coffman Road) 
  • The Mesa County Landfill, Hazardous Waste Collection Facility, Organic Material Composting Facility, and transfer stations 
The closure does NOT include
  • Sheriff's Office - Jail, Patrol, Emergency Services (215 Rice Street)
  • Criminal Justice Services (South Avenue)
Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 17, 2014

Contract signed for new Mesa County Attorney

At public hearing today, the Mesa County Commissioners signed an employment contract with J. Patrick Coleman, who will be taking over the role of Mesa County Attorney on December 1, 2014.

As Mesa County Attorney, Mr. Coleman will report directly to the Board of Commissioners and shall have job responsibilities as outlined in an earlier adopted resolution, and such other as the Board may assign from time to time. The compensation for this position is an annual salary of $140,000.00.

Patrick Coleman has twenty-seven years of legal experience, including ten years representing local governments. Mr. Coleman’s resume and photo were earlier made public when the Commissioners announced his selection as sole finalist for this position. For these details, please refer to http://blog.mesacounty.us/2014/10/commissioners-announce-finalist-for.html.



Internal Search for Mesa County Administrator

County Commissioners announce the search process for the next County Administrator will begin within the organization.

The County Commissioners decided in public hearing today that the search for the next County Administrator will open today, and that it will begin with the Commissioners accepting applications from internal Mesa County employees only. The Commissioners each made statements that it is important to them that the employees of Mesa County know that they are valuable and that internal candidates have opportunities for upward growth within the organization.

The Commissioners will accept applications through Sunday, November 23, 2014, and plan to review the applications received during an executive session on Monday, November 24, 2014.

The Commissioners’ goal is to review the interested internal candidates as soon as possible, and to complete the process of appointment to serve as Mesa County’s chief executive officer by December 15, 2014. The vote was unanimous that the committee will be comprised of the Board of County Commissioners and that the job description and salary range and grade remaining as presently defined.

The job description is included below.  Applications are accepted only through the County’s human resources webpage.



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Western Colorado Food & Farm Forum January 10, 2015

'Unlocking the Secrets of Raising Great Food' is the theme for the 3rd Annual Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum at the Montrose Pavilion January 10, 2015! This Conference focuses on the sustainable production of local foods and attracting young farmers. On January 9th, a pre-conference workshop centers on regional seed saving and systems, a subject of interest to young farmers, followed by a viewing of ‘Open Sesame,’ a documentary about international seed issues related to loss of diversity.

For more information or to register for the conference and pre-conference workshop please visit http://www.foodfarmforum.org/ or call 970-249-3935.



Friday, November 7, 2014

Sign up to Receive Email Notification of Posts on Mesa County Headlines

Sign up to  receive updates as they are posted on Mesa County Headlines (on this Blog) by entering your email address as noted below on http://blog.mesacounty.us/


Mesa County Celebrates Veterans Along With Community

This Veteran's Day, the local community is set to celebrate our veterans and active duty personnel in a variety of ways. You can get connected with these and many other venues to say 'Thank You' to our military, past and present.
  • Veterans Day Parade - Downtown Grand Junction, Saturday, November 8th at 2:00 p.m. 'Honoring America's Veterans for their patriotism, love of country & willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.' 
  • Veterans Day Ceremony - Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial Park at the Colorado Visitors Center (340 Highway 340, Fruita) at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 11th. 
  • Meet the Veterans - Mesa County Libraries' Veterans Remember - a new online video collection kick off includes this Meet the Veterans event November 11th at Chik Fil A from 4pm to 6pm. 
  • Great Clips' Thank a Veteran promotion on Tuesday, November 11, 2014; Military members can go to any Grand Junction/Montrose Great Clips salon and will receive a free haircut or pick up a free haircut card to use, with proof of service, to use any day before Dec 31, 2014. Other customers who get a haircut on November 11th will receive a free haircut card to give to an active/inactive/retired military member of any branch, including the National Guard. 
  • Free Entrance to Colorado National Monument on Veterans Day, Tuesday, November 11th. Free entrance is for everyone at all 401 national parks. The National Park Service also provides active duty members of the military and their dependents with an annual national park pass, an $80 value, at no charge. 
  • 5th Annual Holiday Food Drive to Support Local Veterans - donations accepted October 15th through December 15th, 2014 at the Grand Junction Vet Center at 2472 F Road, Unit 16, Grand Junction (970) 245-4156. You donation of canned and non-perishable food items will help feed local veterans and their families during the holidays.
Happy Veterans Day

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mesa County Administrator Announces Departure

Tom Fisher accepts position of Manager for Summit County, Utah

Tom Fisher, Mesa County’s Administrator, announced this morning that he will soon be leaving Mesa County’s top staff post. Last evening, Tom Fisher was announced as the new Manager for Summit County, Utah after the Summit County Council adopted his employment contract at their regular meeting. Summit County, Utah is located in the northern part of the state and is home to Park City.

Fisher will continue serve as Mesa County’s chief executive officer through the end of 2014, in large part to assist with a smooth transition to the new leadership yet to be decided by the Board of County Commissioners. He will start with Summit County on January 20, 2015. Fisher was recruited to apply for Utah’s Summit County post by the Prothman Group, an executive search firm that Summit County worked with to conduct their search for a new manager.

Fisher has been employed by Mesa County since November 2001, when he was hired to direct the Regional Transportation Planning Office. He has served Mesa County in several management posts since that time, including its Regional Services Director and the Internal Services Director. He was appointed by the current Commissioners to serve as Administrator in 2013.

In talking about leaving, Fisher explained "I leave Mesa County from a point of feeling completely supported by the Commissioners and the organization, but the opportunity that has been offered by Summit County, Utah is too tempting from a professional and personal point of view to pass up." He adds, "Mesa County is a great organization of service-minded people that I have been proud to lead and to be a part of for thirteen years. I have enjoyed every minute of the time I've spent here and relationships that I've built with the Commissioners, elected officials and employees; all in the service of Mesa County citizens".

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Mesa County Offices Closed Tuesday, November 11 2014

Many Mesa County Offices will be closed on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 in honor of Veterans Day.

This one-day closure includes:
  • Commissioners, Assessor, Surveyor, Treasurer, Resource Management (544 Rood Avenue) 
  • Administration offices (544 Rood Avenue) 
  • Attorney's Office (544 Rood Avenue) 
  • District Attorney's Office [includes the Justice Center] (125 N. Spruce Street) 
  • Health & Human Services (510 29 1/2 Road) 
  • Motor Vehicle/Recording/Elections/Clerk & Recorder (200 S. Spruce Street) 
  • Motor Vehicle/Clerk & Recorder (3225 I70 Business Loop) 
  • Motor Vehicle/Clerk & Recorder (325 E Aspen Street) 
  • Public Works and Planning (200 S. Spruce Street) 
  • Regional Transportation Planning Office (525 S. Sixth Street) 
  • Sheriff's Office - Records and Civil Divisions (215 Rice Street) 
  • Workforce Center (512 29 1/2 Road) 
  • Mesa County Landfill, Hazardous Waste Collection Facility, Organic Material Composting Facility, and west transfer stations. 
Mesa County Animal Services hours (Coffman Road): 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Animal Services Officers will be on the road from dawn until dusk.

The closure does NOT include
  • Sheriff's Office - Jail, Patrol, Emergency Services (215 Rice Street)
  • Criminal Justice Services (South Avenue)
All offices will re-open to the public on Wednesday, November 12, 2014.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Election Day Closures of DMV Offices

Election Day is Tuesday, November 4th.  The following Department of Motor Vehicle offices will be CLOSED on Election Day:

  • Clifton DMV at 3225 I-70 Business Loop
  • Fruita DMV at 325 East Aspen Street
         The Main Motor Vehicle Branch at 200 S. Spruce Street will be OPEN during normal business hours.


All offices will return to normal business hours on Wednesday, November 5th:  Main Branch and Clifton; Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Fruita; Tuesday and Thursday 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Proposed OHV Ordinance - GIS Map of Unincorporated Mesa County Roads

County roads in unincorporated areas of Mesa County may be viewed on our GIS mapping system link at http://emap.mesacounty.us/CountyRoads/countyRoads.html. Zoom in or out to navigate to your desired area.

Public comments regarding OHV proposed Ordinance may be made at any of the public hearings or sent to commissioners via email, phone or through social media. Please check the Mesa County webpage at http://www.mesacounty.us/BoCCagendas/ or contact Administration staff (970-244-1885) if you have questions about the public hearing dates.

Disclaimer: This map for viewing purposes only. Roads that are joint municipality and county roadways, as well as possible restricted access roads should be researched by individuals.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mesa County Budget - more opportunities to comment

Learn more about Mesa County's 2015 budget at Area Town Halls hosted by Commissioner Rose Pugliese.
  • October 30th (Clifton Starvin Arvin's-3247 F Road, 5:30-6:30 pm); 
  • November 5th (Old Courthouse-544 Rood Avenue, Public Hearing Room 2nd Floor, 5:30-6:30 pm); and 
  • November 6 (Fruita Recreation Center-324 N. Coulson Avenue, Cherry Meeting Room, 5:30-6:30 pm). 
If you can’t attend the Town Halls, view Mesa County's proposed 2015 budget at http://www.mesacounty.us/finance/.

Comments on the proposed budget are encouraged through December 8th through the following venues:
  • Facebook/mesacounty;
  • by email to mcadmin@mesacounty.us. If you email, please include the word “budget” in subject line;
  • or in person at Board of County Commissioner Hearings, generally held every Monday morning at 9 a.m. at 544 Rood Avenue, Grand Junction CO. (Currently hearings are set for October 27, November 10, November 17, November 24, December 8. Comments on budget may be made during ‘unscheduled business.’ Board of Commissioner Hearing agendas may be found at http://www.mesacounty.us/BoCCagendas/).

Commissioners Announce Finalist for Mesa County Attorney

The County Commissioners are pleased to announce the finalist for the position of Mesa County Attorney.
J. Patrick Coleman 
Denver, Colorado

The recruitment and review process associated with choosing the Mesa County Attorney has been underway since February, 2014. The Mesa County Commissioners thoroughly vetted Mr. Coleman over the last several months and reached a decision on October 28, 2014 during an executive session. Both Mr. Coleman and the Commissioners are thrilled with the mutual selection.

“We are delighted that we have found an attorney with an excellent combination of experience in both the public and private sectors, including years of experience as a County Attorney along with federal public lands issues and transparency and open government,” says Commissioner Rose Pugliese.

Commissioner Steve Acquafresca continues: "The Board of Commissioners is unanimous in our decision choosing Patrick Coleman as the finalist for the role of Mesa County Attorney. Patrick Coleman has many other experiences, and being raised a Colorado native on a ranch in Jefferson County, adds to our decision to select Patrick as the finalist to join the Mesa County organization.”

Commissioner John Justman explains that he finds Mr. Coleman’s degree in agricultural business from Colorado State University, before he obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver College of Law, a large positive. “Background in agriculture, as well as business, is something that will help Patrick advise us -- Mesa County needs to make decisions that take into consideration a balance of business interests and private property rights. We face this in our County on a regular basis. I think Patrick will be the right person to join us.”

Patrick Coleman has twenty-seven years of legal experience, including ten years representing local governments. After working for the past several years primarily as a sole practitioner for Coleman Law Firm, LLC, Patrick recently joined the Denver office of a national law firm, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP.

Working for Mesa County would mark a return to the Western Slope, where he practiced law for fifteen years, including serving as the Routt County Attorney and the Montrose County Attorney. The primary focus of Patrick’s private law practice has been on real estate transactions and related litigation, land use, local government law, federal public lands issues, agricultural matters, corporate law, and general civil litigation.

Patrick is a Colorado native and was raised on his family’s cattle ranch in Jefferson County. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business from Colorado State University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver College of Law. Patrick is the father of two teenaged children.

Mr. Coleman’s resume and photo follow this blog post.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Proposed Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Ordinance

First reading of proposed Off Highway Vehicle ordinance occurred at public hearing Monday, October 27, 2014.  This will be published in the Daily Sentinel in the next few days.  The second reading of the ordinance will occur on November 17, 2014.  Comments welcome.

PROPOSED OR 012 

ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMISSIONERS OF THE COUNTY OF MESA, STATE OF COLORADO 

ORDINANCE NO. 12 

AN ORDINANCE ALLOWING THE OPERATION OF OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLES ON ALL COUNTY ROADS LOCATED IN UNINCORPORATED AREAS OF MESA COUNTY, COLORADO AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION OF SUCH ORDINANCE

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MESA COUNTY COLORADO:

REFERENCES:

A. C.R.S. § 33-14.5-108(1)(f) authorizes the Board of Commissioners (the “Board”) to allow, through written resolution or ordinance, the establishment of off-highway vehicle (“OHV”) routes to permit the operation of OHVs on designated county roads which are not part of the state highway system.

B. C.R.S. § 33-14.5-110 authorizes the Board to regulate the operation of OHVs on County property and on streets and highways within its boundaries.

C. C.R.S. § 30-15-401(1)(h) authorizes the County to control and regulate the movement and parking of vehicles and motor vehicles on public property, except state highways.

D. Authorizing the operation of OHVs on certain additional county roads will assist in promoting economic development within Mesa County and the operation of OHVs on such designated roads can be undertaken in a safe and prudent manner.

ORDINANCE:

Section 1. Definition. The County hereby adopts the statutory definition of OHV from C.R.S. § 33-14.5-101(3) as: any self-propelled vehicle which is designed to travel on wheels or tracks in contact with the ground, which is designed primarily for use off of the public highways, and which is generally and commonly used to transport persons for recreational purposes. “OHV” does not include the following: (a) Vehicles designed and used primarily for travel on, over, or in the water; (b) Snowmobiles; (c) Military vehicles; (d) Golf carts; (e) Vehicles designed and used to carry disabled persons; (f) Vehicles designed and used specifically for agricultural, logging, or mining purposes; or (g) Vehicles registered pursuant to Article 3 of Title 42, C.R.S.

Section 2. Designation of Routes. OHV travel shall be allowed, subject to the restrictions listed in this Ordinance, on all county roads located in unincorporated Mesa County.

Restrictions and Prohibited Acts.

Section 2.01 Any person operating an OHV in the unincorporated areas of Mesa County shall comply with all rules and regulations applicable to such vehicles adopted by the State of Colorado and or the Federal Government, including but not limited to Article 14.5 of Title 33, C.R.S.

Section 2.02 Any person operating an OHV on a county road pursuant to this Ordinance shall be in possession of a valid motor vehicle operator’s license and be at least 16 years of age.

Section 2.03 OHVs operating on Mesa County roads shall be equipped with:
(a) a muffler in constant operation and properly maintained;
(b) a spark arrestor in good working order which has been approved by the U.S. Forest Service as evidenced by the bona fide permanent marking of “qualified” or “approved” on the spark arrestor;
(c) a braking system that may be operated by hand or foot, capable of producing deceleration of 14 feet per second on level ground at a speed of 20 miles per hour; and
(d) At least one lighted head lamp and one lighted tail lamp, each having the minimum candlepower prescribed by regulation of the Division of Parks and Wildlife while being operated between the hours of sunset and sunrise.

Section 2.04 It shall be unlawful to operate an OHV on Mesa County roads in any of the following manners:
(a) On any portion of any street except the far right portion of the street;
(b) To ride together in any pattern except in single file;
(c) On any public or private property or roads without express consent of the owner.

Section 2.05 OHVs operating on Mesa County roads shall be considered to be motor vehicles for purposes of maintaining at least the minimum liability insurance coverage required by the Colorado Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, Title 42, Article 7, C.R.S.

Section 2.06 All ordinances and regulations pertaining to vehicles or motor vehicles, including without limitation the Model Traffic Code adopted in Mesa County, shall be applicable to the operation of OHVs on County roads, except to those which, by their nature, can have no application. In the event of a conflict between such ordinances and regulations and this Ordinance, this Ordinance shall govern.

Section 2.07 On county roads, OHVs shall not exceed 35 miles per hour or the posted speed limit, whichever is less.

Section 3. Limitations. This Ordinance does not authorize or designate the use of OHV’s on lands, roads or trails under the jurisdiction of municipalities or state or federal agencies or on other lands or roads not under the jurisdiction of Mesa County as set forth in Section 1. Nothing in this Ordinance shall prohibit the use of OHVs for agricultural purposes on any public road.

Section 4. Penalties. The following penalties shall apply to this ordinance:

Section 4.01. The provisions of C.R.S. §42-4-1701 are adopted by this reference (references to Article 4 of Title 42 shall refer to the corresponding part of the Model Traffic Code), except that any fine or penalty and the surcharge shall be paid to the County; the penalties and applicable Court surcharges and administrative fees shall be consistent with those applied under the Model Traffic Code adopted in Mesa County.

Section 4.02. With respect to violations of this Ordinance not covered by the Model Traffic Code, criminal prosecution may be brought against a violator in accordance with Sections 30-15-402 C.R.S. and under the penalty assessment procedure provided in Section 16-2-201 C.R.S. Such violations shall be a class 2 petty offense, and, upon conviction or confession of guilt thereof, shall by punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars for each separate violation, plus a surcharge of ten dollars ($10.00), under Section 30-15-402(2) C.R.S. and any applicable Court surcharges and administrative fees.

Section 4.03. Each violation of this Ordinance shall be deemed separate and distinct from any other violation of this Ordinance or of any other federal, state, or local law, rule, order or regulation.

Section 5. Application. The restrictions on operation of OHVs contained in this Ordinance shall apply to every street, alley, sidewalk area, driveway, park, and to every other public way or public place or public parking area, either within or outside the corporate limits of this County, the use of which this County has jurisdiction and authority to regulate. The provisions of Sections 1401, 1402, 1413, and part 16 of the adopted Model Traffic Code, respectively concerning reckless driving, careless driving, eluding a police officer, and accidents and accident reports shall apply not only to public places and ways but also throughout this County.

Section 6. Reevaluation. The Board will periodically re-evaluate this Ordinance to determine the propriety of the terms and conditions herein.

Section 7. Validity. If any part or parts of this Ordinance are for any reason held to be invalid such decision shall not affect the validity of remaining portions of this Ordinance. The Board hereby declares that it would have passed this Ordinance and each part or parts thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one part or parts be declared invalid.

Section 8. Repealer. All resolutions or ordinances, or parts thereof, in conflict with this Ordinance are hereby repealed, provided that this repealer shall not repeal the repealer clauses of such resolutions nor revive any resolution thereby.

Section 9. Safety. The adoption of this Ordinance is in the best interest, safety and welfare of the citizens of and visitors to Mesa County.

Section 10. Publication and Effective Date. The foregoing text is the authentic text of Ordinance No. 12. The first reading of said Ordinance took place on October 27, 2014 at a regular Board of County Commissioners Meeting. It was published in full in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel on October _, 2014. The Ordinance was adopted on second reading at a regular Board of County Commissioners Meeting on __ , 2014 and shall take effect on , 2014.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Concerning proposed Ordinance Allowing Operation of Off Highway Vehicles on County Roads

In an effort to clarify facts surrounding Mesa County’s proposed Ordinance allowing the operation of “Off Highway Vehicles” (OHVs) on County roads, the Mesa County Commissioners offer a summary of the procedural steps involved in considering the Ordinance, and the conduct the proposed Ordinance would allow. (Links to view the proposed Ordinance are found within this advisory.)

Definition of Off Highway Vehicle: Off-Highway Vehicles are defined as any self propelled vehicle designed to travel on wheels in contact with the ground, primarily off of public highways, and generally and commonly used to transport persons for recreational purposes.

Agricultural use: Operation of Off Highway Vehicles for agricultural purposes, including on County roads, is allowed under Colorado Statute and will not change with the adoption of this ordinance.

Why are the Commissioners considering such an Ordinance? Colorado statutes allow for the use of Off Highway Vehicles (OHVs) on county roads upon adoption of an ordinances and regulations. (C.R.S. §33-14.5-101 through -110.) Several rural counties in central and western Colorado have allowed OHVs on their county roads. Mesa County is well-suited for such an ordinance.

The Commissioners believe an ordinance allowing the use of these vehicles on County roads will benefit the residents of Mesa County by increasing recreation and travel options, easier access to public lands and increased economic development opportunities.

Proposed Ordinance would allow:
1. Use of OHVs on all Mesa County roads in unincorporated Mesa County.
2. A person with a valid driver’s license, who is at least 16 years of age and who possesses minimum liability insurance coverage on the subject vehicle, to operate an OHV as a vehicle on Mesa County roads.
3. Maximum speed the lesser of: posted limit or 35 miles per hour.
4. OHVs equipped with muffler, spark arrester, breaking system, headlamp and tail lamp.

Proposed Ordinance would NOT:
a. Require additional licensing or fees assessed for use on County roads by Mesa County.
b. Allow use of OHVs on the State Highway System.
c. Allow use of OHVs within Municipalities (such as Fruita, Grand Junction, Collbran or Palisade).

Procedural timeframe: Any ordinance that the Board of Commissioners considers must adhere to the requirements of C.R.S. §30-15-405 and -406.
1. Notice that the ordinance will be “read” at a public hearing (Oct. 22);
2. First reading at public hearing (Oct. 27);
3. Publication of the complete ordinance in the Daily Sentinel;
4. Second reading at public hearing (to be determined);
5. If changes made at second reading, publish changes;
6. Ordinance may take effect 30 days after publication.

Public comments may be made at any of the public hearings (i.e., First reading, or Second reading) or sent to commissioners via email, phone or through social media.

Please check the Mesa County webpage http://www.mesacounty.us/BoCCagendas/ or contact Administration staff (970-244-1885) if you have questions about the public hearing dates.

Text of the proposed Ordinance: Proposed Ordinance may be found below and within the October 27, 2014 hearing binder http://www.mesacounty.us/BoCCagendas/








New TV Channel for Local Government

MESA COUNTY, COLO October 22, 2014 - Mesa County's Government Cable Access Channel 12 will be Charter station #191 after October 28, 2014.

Programming on Channel 191 includes: 
  • Governmental Decision Making programs
    County Administrative Public Hearing broadcasts (live and pre-recorded), City Council Meetings, City Planning Commission Meetings, Mesa County Land Use Hearings (live and pre-recorded) and other special forums. 
  • Community information and community affairs
    Crime prevention, environmental, public safety and neighborhood information.
  • Cooperative/Community Programming
    School events/information, performing arts, recreation activities, family, senior citizen, health and educational programs that promote the mission of any Mesa County department. This also includes programs that would be of special interest during a particular time-frame, such as; ballot and voting information and community events.

Check us out on the web at 
or go to http://www.mesacounty.us/, and click on "I'm looking for...Channel 191"

Mesa County provides staff support of this channel with the goal of educating, supporting families, and encouraging community involvement. 

For further detail, see the attached summary of the history of Mesa County's Government Access Channel.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Commissioners' letters of support and request for action

Mesa County Commissioners’ letters of support and request for action this week:

Secretary Jewell, Department of the Interior, Washington DC: Roan Plateau, potential settlement of litigation involving Barrett Corporation, BLM and others.
“….On behalf of the citizens of Mesa County, the Board of County Commissioners respectfully request that the finalization of any legal settlement between plaintiffs and Bill Barrett Corporation, BLM and others includes specific provision that Mesa County, Colorado is held harmless for repaying any amounts that may be connected with the settlement of the above referenced litigation...”

Representative Tipton: Roan Plateau, potential settlement of litigation involving Barrett Corporation, BLM and others.
“…Mesa County supports settlement contingent upon the State legislature approving State payment and holding Mesa County, and other local jurisdictions, harmless.
We anticipate that you will include the above sentiments in your letters urging support of, and implementation of any agreement related to the Roan Plateau issue...”

Colorado Water Conservation Board: Comments on the draft State Water Plan.
“…On behalf of Mesa County residents, the Mesa County Commissioners thank you for your work and attention to the critical matter of preserving water for Colorado communities.
Mesa County sits in both the Gunnison Basin and the Colorado Basin….
The mainstem of the Colorado River, as it bisects Mesa County, is the lifeline of our community, our economy, our environment and our entire culture. The very senior water rights associated with the Colorado River diversions in Mesa County are legally established entitlements and must be recognized, respected and fully protected in the development of the Draft Colorado Water Plan…”

Colorado Tourism Office: Palisade Chamber of Commerce, Fruit & Wine Byway, grant application.
“…Mesa County Commissioners applaud the collaborative efforts of our community and fully support the Palisade Chamber of Commerce’s efforts on the Palisade Fruit & Wine Byway. We urge the Tourism Office to award the requested grant to Palisade Chamber of Commerce.”

Colorado Parks & Wildlife: Western Slope ATV Association, grant application.
“…We believe that supporting this type of grant request is not only important to the recreating public, but that the dollars generated by the recreationists help Mesa County’s economy.
We understand that a large portion of the grant funds would be used to provide annual maintenance to portions of the trail systems that experience erosion problems and resource damage, which then can become dangerous for the users. We appreciate and applaud WSATVA for taking time to care for and improve the areas it uses for recreation…”







Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mesa County Fairgrounds at Veterans Memorial Park Receives Daniels Fund Grant

Mesa County is pleased to announce that it has received a $300,000 Daniels Fund grant to support the Mesa County Fairgrounds BMX Improvement Project.

It is estimated that 1,400 youth (local and from elsewhere) will participate at the new complex annually, with numbers/membership anticipated to grow in the coming years.

On March 3, 2014, the Board of County Commissioners approved a partnership commitment to Grand Valley BMX and USA BMX to construct a new BMX venue and track at the Mesa County Fairgrounds at Veterans Memorial Park. The commitment included the possibility of grant funding from outside sources. On June 30, 2014, Mesa County Commissioners approved a grant application to the Daniels Fund, requesting $300,000 to help fund the BMX venue.

Based on budget presentation provided at public hearing on Monday, October 13, Mesa County's Capital Improvement Plan estimates expenditure for BMX venue components at $517,119. Offsetting that expenditure estimate with award of the grant, the estimated contribution by the County is $217,119.

Bill Daniels, a pioneer in cable television known for his kindness and generosity to those in need, established the Daniels Fund to provide grants and scholarships in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. For more information, please visit www.danielsfund.org.

"One of the guiding principles of the Daniels Fund is our belief that boundless opportunity can exist for each and every individual. The work of organizations such as Mesa County Government helps make this a reality. On behalf of the Daniels Fund, we wish you every success."

2014 General Election Ballots Mailed Week of October 13th

Ballots for the 2014 General Election will be sent to all active registered voters in Mesa County the week of October 13th. The ballot must be received by the Election officials by 7 P.M. on November 4th, Election Day. A postmark does not count.

Clerk and Recorder, Sheila Reiner stated, “Our Elections team is ready and excited to deliver another quality election to our community. Colorado has one of the most advanced election models in the nation, balancing voter access with security.”

There are three ways to return your ballot:
  • By mail. Use proper First-Class postage and drop in mailbox, leave for your carrier, or take to a Post Office. Mail early enough for the ballot to return to the Elections office by Nov. 4. Postmarks do not count. The ballot in Mesa County requires one first class stamp.
  • In person at one of the Voter Service and Polling Centers by 7 P.M. on Nov. 4.
  • Deposit in one of the 24-7 Ballot Drop-Off Boxes by 7 P.M., Nov. 4. 

Go to vote.mesacounty.us for locations of Voter Service and Polling Centers and Ballot Drop Boxes.

Go to MyColoradoVote.com to track receipt of your ballot by the Elections office. 

If you haven’t received your ballot by Monday, October 20th, contact the County Clerk and Recorder, Elections office at 244-1662.

The Postal Service encourages all ballots be returned early and with proper postage.

“The Postal Service has a long history in communications, democracy, and the very fabric of our nation,” said David Rupert from the Colorado Postal Communications Office. “We are honored to be part of this process.”
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International Walk to School Month October 2014

Yesterday, during Public Hearing, Mesa County Commissioners proclaimed October as International Walk to School Month.

School District 51 elementary schools will celebrate by participating with the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) educational program, and the Grand Valley 2040 Regional Master Plan.

The Proclamation from was accepted from Commissioner Rose Pugliese by Elizabeth Collins, Mesa County Regional Transportation Planning Office and Greg Rajnowski, Mesa County Health Department

For more information visit
Walk to School Day in the USA - www.walkbiketoschool.org
National Center for Safe Routes to School - www.saferoutesinfo.org
International Walk to School Day - www.iwalktoschool.org
Grand Valley 2040 Regional Transportation Plan - www.gv2040rtp.org



Mesa County Manufacturing Month - October 2014

Commissioners Proclaimed October 2014 as Mesa County Manufacturing Month. At yesterday's Public Hearing Mesa County Commissioners encouraged citizens to learn more about our local manufacturers and how they positively impact our local economy. The Manufacturers' Alliance of Mesa County invites area students and residents to learn about their various industries through a series of public events, tours and open houses throughout the month of October.

Those accepting the Proclamation from Commissioner Steve Acquafresca:
Jon Maraschin, Business Incubator Center
Diane Schwenke, Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce
Eric Goertz, Capco, Inc.



Monday, October 13, 2014

Mesa County's proposed 2015 Budget

Mesa County’s proposed 2015 budget available for review http://www.mesacounty.us/finance

Budgeting and financial management is one of the most important aspects of local government operations. State law requires all local government budgets adopted by December 15. A final budget will be adopted by the Board of Commissioners at public hearing December 15, 2014 at 9 a.m.

You are invited to review the proposed budget and to submit comments on the proposed budget before December 8.

There are several ways you may submit comments:
· through Facebook/mesacounty;
· by email to mcadmin@mesacounty.us. If you email, please include the word “budget” in subject line; or
· in person at Board of County Commissioner Hearings, generally held every Monday morning at 9 a.m. at 544 Rood Avenue, Grand Junction CO. (Currently hearings are set for October 27, November 3, November 10, November 17, November 24, December 8. Comments on budget may be made during ‘unscheduled business.’ Board of Commissioner Hearing agendas may be found at http://www.mesacounty.us/BoCCagendas/)

To allow for processing and consideration, budget comments will be accepted through December 8, 2014. Although Public Comment is welcome at all hearings, to ensure consideration before the final Budget is noticed to the public, comments should be made before December 8.

Thank you for participating in your local government. If you would like more information about budgets in Colorado, please visit www.dola.colorado.gov/budgets

Mesa County Commissioners join the Colorado Clean Water Coalition

Mesa County Commissioners join the Colorado Clean Water Coalition http://www.coloradocleanwatercoalition.com/  and encourage the continued actions of the group "to preserve clean water for all Coloradoans, and the many visitors who come to Colorado to enjoy its bountiful resources, including our greenways, streams and lakes."

The Commissioners joined this Coalition because "the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), or other agencies’ promulgation of new stormwater regulations have been drafted without considering regional specific climate, geology, water quality concerns, water law, cost-benefit study and other important factors necessary for successful protection of Colorado’s water resources."

The Commissioners "share the CCWC’s concerns that the proposed and promulgated regulations appear to have not considered our existing programs, developed specifically for Colorado and proven to be effective. Advanced regulations have serious implications for the tax-payers and businesses at a time when the many counties are struggling to recover from the recession."  

A scan of the letter of support is included below.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mesa County Shouldering and Other Projects for week of Oct 13, 2014

Mesa County Department of Public Works scheduled Shouldering and other Projects for week of October 13th.  Expect delays and use alternate routes as necessary.

Shouldering
  • ALCOVE DR - SH 340 NE 23.00 Rd 
  • E. ALCOVE DR  - Alcove Dr to E Alcove Dr 
  • 20.00 RD - S Broadway N SH 340 
  • F.25 RD - 20.00 RD E SH 340 
  • F.88 RD - BGN E 20.00 RD 
  • Kennedy AV - 29 Rd to END 
  • 30.50 RD - F.75 Rd to F.50 Rd 
  • Price Ditch Ct - 31 Rd W to end of cul-de-sac 
  • F.25 RD - 31 Rd Intersection 
  • 36.10 RD - G.00 RD to G.40 RD 
  • G.40 RD - 36.10 Rd to Palisade-City Limits 
  • F.75 RD - 34.00 RD NE 35.00 RD 
  • 31.30 RD - B.00 RD to B.50 RD
Loaded Trucks over the Monument & 
Empty Trucks down Little Park Rd
(Approximately Wednesday-Friday)
  • Upper Little Park Road  - 3rd Cattle Guard to top of Dugway (18255 CS Rd) 
  • Lower Little Park Road - Grand Jct City Limits to Bus Loop
Reconstruction (ongoing until completed)
Texas Avenue will be CLOSED to through traffic.  Alternate Routes are advised.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Proclamation Presented for Community Planning Month October 2014

October 2014 is National Community Planning Month. Mesa County Commissioners presented a Proclamation today at Public Hearing, recognizing the contribution of our Operations Department staff who advance property development in support of the citizens and the economy of Mesa County.

Those accepting the Proclamation from Commissioner Steve Acquafresca were; Linda Dannenberger, Mesa County Planning Director, Joe Moreng, Chairman, Phil Jones, Vice Chair Planning Commission.



Proclamation Presented for World Habitat Day Oct 6, 2014

October 6, 2014 designated as World Habitat Day by the Mesa County Commissioners. During Monday's hearing, a Proclamation was presented calling all citizens to support Habitat for Humanity and to acknowledge that there are Mesa County residents in need of adequate and safe housing.

Accepting the Proclamation from Commissioner Rose Pugliese; Janet Brink, Executive Director, and Kevin Chesney, Chairman of the Board, Habitat for Humanity Mesa County.