Friday, December 14, 2018

This Week in Pics

Wishing you holiday cheer!
Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and staff learn the functions of the clerk to the board position to ensure multiple staff members are well-versed and can backfill and cover for one another.

On Monday, Dec. 10, the Board of Mesa County Commissioners approved the 2019 county budget, which prioritizes core government services and construction of capital projects for public safety. Read more at

Mesa County Administrator Frank Whidden talks to KREX Reporter Brandon Thompson about the adopted budget for 2019, which is approximately $172 million, a 4.4 percent increase from the 2018 adopted budget. Watch the interview at
Mesa County Treasurer Sheila Reiner bought flower bouquets for her staff on her first day in office. Pictured here (from left to right): Heike Buenning, Jackie Campbell, Sheila Reiner, Michelle Staples, and Amy Bosse. Not pictured here is Chris Horner who was on vacation, so Sheila is holding her flowers for her.

Elf on the Shelf continues to make his rounds in Engineering. Looks like he's been naughty and has shot Rudolph. Will Santa still be able to deliver his presents?!

Mesa County Assessor's Office staff members gather to celebrate Operations Support Manager George Salazar's retirement. 
George Salazar has been with the Mesa County Assessor's Office for 27 1/2 years. His official hire date was July 22, 1991. 

George was initially hired on as an appraiser for about 2 years and then was promoted to his present position as the operations support manager, which he has held for the last 25 1/2 years. Pictured here, Mesa County Assessor Ken Brownlee, right, thanks George, center, for his patience and dedication and shares a few anecdotes of the times he has needed George and how George has always graciously helped.

Assessor's Office personnel listen as many of their co-workers bid a farewell to Operations Support Manager George Salazar.

Over the lunch hour, Assessor's Office staff members gather to share a meal with George Salazar and wish him a happy retirement.

Calm, smiling and patient George will be deeply missed, but nevertheless, his co-workers wish him the very best. During George's tenure, he has worked for many assessors including Jim Farley, Mark Eckert, Ron Teck, Curtis Belcher, Barbara Brewer and currently Ken Brownlee.

Elected officials and staff members honor George Salazar at a potluck during the lunch hour Wednesday afternoon.

Happy retirement, George! Your calming demeanor and your warm smile will be missed.

Here is an overall picture of the Bosley Wash project. Construction is moving along, but the completion date will be delayed until summer 2019.

Shawn with DOWL completes a density test on the sand filter toe drain. So what is a toe drain? It's an open-jointed tile or perforated pipe located at the toe of the dam used in conjunction with horizontal drainage blankets to collect seepage from the embankment and foundation and conveys the seepage to a location downstream from the dam. 

Everyone from DOWL, SEO (Colorado State Engineer's Office), Williams Construction and Mesa County, anxiously await the results from DOWL to make sure density specifications are met.

Shawn with DOWL receives nuclear testing results from the sand filter toe drain at Bosely Wash. SEO, Williams Construction and Mesa County await the results.

Teresa Nees with Noxious Weed & Pest Management bundled up to help Colorado Parks and Wildlife spray Russian knapweed that grew in abundance after the Skipper's Island fire burned nearly 200 acres of public land between Fruita and Loma in the spring.

Noxious Weed & Pest Management attended a planning and information meeting with the Southeast Utah Riparian Partnership in Moab to learn about restoration techniques and results along the river. Members of Southeast Utah Riparian Partnership include members from the BLM, Utah Department of Natural Resources, youth conservation corps, county weed managers and non-profit organizations focused on invasive species removal and environmental restoration.

Teresa Nees and Courtney Patch bid farewell to Kaye Simonson on Main Street. Kaye was the Long Range Planner and worked for Mesa County for 9 1/2 years. She is moving on to a job as the Planning Director in Telluride. Thank you for your service to our community, Kaye!
On Thursday, the Treasurer's Office received property tax notices 'test decks'. Mesa County Treasurer Sheila Reiner relays that in a way it is equivalent to a test deck of ballots to test to make sure votes read correctly. The Treasure's Office has a test deck of tax notices that they will be running through a process to make sure everything reads correctly.

Meet the new Mesa County Sheriff's Office recruit, he comes all the way from the North Pole, and he's ready to join the ranks.
The new elf recruit took on the fitness test this week. Twenty-two sit-ups in 1 minute, 18 push-ups in 1 minute, a 300-meter sprint (76 seconds or less), and a 1.5-mile run (18:17 or less). Apparently, a lifetime of eating candy canes in the North Pole made him really fast! The elf broke the fitness record for the 1.5-mile run. He ran it in a blink of an eye! The Sheriff's Office cameras barely caught him. Learn more about what it takes to be a deputy at
Time for fingerprints! As part of the hiring process at the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, all new applicants are fingerprinted. Who knew an elf’s fingerprints were so festive?! If you need to get fingerprints done visit the Mesa County Sheriff's Office website for more information

Look who passed the integrity interview with flying colors! He did come with a pretty impressive reference –  from Santa Claus himself! This elf is a tough nut to crack! No matter how many times he was asked he wouldn’t tell who is on Santa’s naughty list! Do you want to join the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office? Learn more about the hiring process at

Congratulations! The elf is now officially a part of the Mesa County Sheriff's Office. He was sworn in by Sheriff Matt Lewis as Deputy Ralphie!

Deputy Ralphie reporting for duty! On Monday the elf started his training with patrol. Normally new recruits go through a 16-week training program, but modifications were made for Deputy Ralphie. After all, he's only here on special assignment from the North Pole until Christmas. Follow the Mesa County Sheriff's Office Facebook page for more of Deputy Ralphie's adventures!

Deputy Ralphie got a little tangled up in the crime scene tape. 

On Thursday, Deputy Ralphie learned about a vital communication tool, the police radio. Turns out Deputy Ralphie is quite the chatterbox!
Deputy Ralphie putting the finishing touches on the Mesa County Sheriff's Office Christmas tree in the Record's lobby. It is decorated in blue in honor of those who’ve sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

Mesa County Department of Human Services (MCDHS) held a meeting for the finance, operations, and quality assurance team.
Ingir Beman, MCDHS clerical supervisor, gets festive.

Kaitie Hutton, child welfare case services aide, is one of Santa's elves.

Elf on the Shelf helps Regulatory Programs Manager Carrie Gudorf with her "Mission Impossible" of enforcing stormwater and irrigation policies. The creative visual was constructed with help from Construction Manager Wesley Thomas.

And then he busily went to work to help Engineering Director Scott Mai get in the holiday spirit. Office decor was a team effort between Carrie Gudorf and the elf.

Many Mesa County offices will be closed Tuesday, Dec. 25 and Tuesday, Jan. 1, in observance of the Christmas and New Year holidays.

County offices will be closed for Christmas and New Year's Day

Mesa County administrative offices will be closed Tuesday, Dec. 25 and Tuesday, Jan. 1, in observance of the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Closure includes:
Administration, Assessor, County Commissioners, County Attorney, Financial Services, Human Resources, IT, Surveyor, Treasurer (544 Rood Ave.)
Animal Services (971A Coffman Road)
Clerk & Recorder: Motor Vehicle, Recording, Elections, Clerk to the Board (200 S. Spruce St.)
District Attorney's Office and the Justice Center (125 N. Spruce St.)
Department of Human Services (510 29 1/2 Road)
Facilities and Fairgrounds (2785 U.S. Hwy. 50)
Grand Valley Transit fixed and paratransit services (525 S. 6th St.)
Public Health (510 29 1/2 Road)
Public Works, Building, and Planning (971 Coffman Road & 200 S. Spruce St.)
Regional Transportation Planning Office (525 S. Sixth St.)
Sheriff’s Office: Records and Civil Divisions (215 Rice St.)
Solid Waste Campus: all facilities (3071 U.S. Hwy. 50)
Tri-River Area CSU Extension (2775 U.S. Hwy. 50)
Workforce Center (512 29 1/2 Road)

Closure does NOT include:
Coroner's Office
Criminal Justice Services (all locations)
Sheriff's Office: jail, patrol, emergency services (215 Rice St.)

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Mesa County Noxious Weed Advisory Board needs you

Mesa County Noxious Weed & Pest Management is seeking citizens with diverse backgrounds interested in getting involved in the socio-economic prosperity of our county by joining the Mesa County Weed Advisory Board as a member or adviser to the board.

Join us on Monday, Dec. 17 at 3 p.m. for a quick meet and greet and informational session at the beginning of the next board meeting.

Meeting location is 971 Coffman Road (Building B) in Whitewater.

Weed Advisory Board members will work with the Coordinator for the Noxious Weed & Pest Management program to uphold the requirements of the Colorado Noxious Weed Act (CRS 35-5.5) with the overall goal of implementing effective management strategies for invasive plant species for the betterment of Mesa County and Colorado.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Teresa at 970.255.7121 or

Monday, December 10, 2018

Board of County Commissioners adopts $172 million budget for 2019

Budget prioritizes public safety and capital improvement investments

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners today approved the 2019 county budget, which prioritizes core government services and construction of capital projects for public safety.
The total budget for 2019 is $172,874,784, a 4.4 percent increase from the 2018 adopted budget. The general fund budget is $60,896,898 which is a 7.6 percent increase from the 2018 adopted budget.

“We have adopted a strong budget that honors the Board’s obligation to fiscal responsibility while delivering much-needed services for the citizens of Mesa County,” Chair of the Board of County Commissioners John Justman said.

The 2019 county budget invests $31.5 million in capital projects, including:
  •          Public Works including road infrastructure and improvements—$20.1 million
  •          Facilities$2.5 million
  •         Regional transportation—$858,959

For more information on the 2019 budget, visit Additional information will be posted online as it becomes available.

Here is the 2019 Mesa County Budget PowerPoint Presentation displayed in public hearing.

Friday, December 7, 2018

This Week in Pics

On Dec. 3, Mesa County Commissioners honored Dave Norman for his 44 years of commitment and dedicated service to the residents of Mesa County. From left to right: Commissioner Scott McInnis, Commissioner John Justman, Dave Norman, Adult Services Division Director Grant Jackson, and Commissioner Rose Pugliese. Read more at
Mesa County Commissioners declare Dec. 15 as Bill of Rights Day in Mesa County and present the proclamation to Members of Sons of the American Revolution in public hearing, Monday, Dec. 3. Pictured: Garry Brewer, left, and Gary Parrott. On December 15, 1791, the founding fathers of the United States of America approved a document that contained amendments to the Constitution that would become the foundation of the freedoms, privileges, and rights we enjoy today. The first ten amendments of the Constitution of the United States of America are what we know as The Bill of Rights.

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners proclaimed Dec. 5 as Grand Valley Gives Day in Mesa County and invited everyone to donate to their favorite local non-profit organizations. The Grand Valley Gives Collaboration was formed in 2012 on the Western Slope to increase awareness of giving back to the local community as part of the statewide movement of Colorado Gives Day. Pictured: members of local non-profit representatives accept the proclamation during public hearing.
Jackie Campbell trains Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, right, how to take minutes for public hearings on her first day in office. 

Information Technology Support Specialist Paul Mitts is known for his willingness to help, sense of humor and his love for Hawaiian shirts. Yes, it is freezing outside, so to keep warm Paul wears a vest. It's always a good day to wear a Hawaiian shirt.
Mesa County Commissioners Rose Pugliese and John Justman, right, along with County Administrator Frank Whidden participate in a conference call with Secretary Ryan Zinke and the White House Intergovernmental Affairs Committee to discuss information on the proposed relocation of the Bureau of Land Management's headquarters.
MCPH Executive Director Jeff Kuhr spoke with KREX Anchor Colette Bordelone about the 2GO grant we received to assist with the Mesa County Child Care 8,000 initiative!

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and Douglas County Deputy of Motor Vehicles Sheri Davis spend time on a conference call learning about the new Colorado DRIVES system.

The Nurse-Family Partnership team celebrated the holidays together, this week!
Thanks to Pam Hawkins' creativity, here is a visual of how The Elf on the Shelf is helping Engineering's Construction Group Manager Laura Page, keep her team rounded up.

A friendly snowman welcomes all county personnel to the Mesa Couty Employees Association's  (MCEA) Winter Hearth at Fairgrounds. And, wait, is that Santa doing pull-ups? Hmm.
MCEA hosted a Winter Hearth celebration alongside the Board of County Commissioners. Personnel received a mug with a sweet little something inside as a token of appreciation.

MCEA Members (pictured here left to right): Rene Romero, Amy Joy, Heidi Belatti, Lisa Petty, Donna Redd, and Lisa Snyder. Thank you, MCEA, for putting a wonderful winter celebration for all employees! The Mission of the MCEA is to create an environment that values, encourages and supports employee engagement and promotes a united organization by developing internal programs and events for Mesa County employees.

Pinecone table favors or just one of the lovely details the MCEA so carefully chose to make the Winter Hearth a cozy and welcoming event. 

Fairgrounds Crew Manager Ryan Sears "Puppy" helps set up for live music at the Winter Hearth. 

All the finishing touches are done, and after lots of hard work and dedication to make the Winter Hearth a joyful event, the MCEA is ready to host. 

Looks like MCEA President Heidi Belatti is ready for a nap after countless hours of gift assembling and decorations.

It's cold outside, and sitting by the fire and roasting s'mores is the perfect thing to do. MCEA had a variety of hot beverages, warm cobblers and a "build your own designer" s'mores bar. 

Puppy Sears, left, and Commissioner John Justman roast their marshmallows to perfection. 

Heidi Belatti and Amy Joy check-in employees at the event to make sure they receive their gift.

Local country music singer, Morgan Crouse, performed holiday songs during the Winter Hearth. Crouse was recently named Female Entertainer of the Year by the Colorado Country Music Association. 

Mesa County Department of Human Services personnel pause for a picture to show off their gifts.

Employees had a choice of warm peach or blueberry cobblers (or both), yum!

County elected officials and personnel attend the Winter Hearth hosted by the MCEA. From left: Kira Goodwin, Shelley Vehik, Pat Steinkirchner, Sheila Reiner and Scott Mcinnis.

Commissioner Scott McInnis and Paul Mitts enjoy conversation at the employee winter event.

Employees from all county agencies stopped by the Winter Hearth for a hot beverage (coffee, chai or hot chocolate), sweet treat and a surprise gift. 

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis enjoys catching up with employees at Winter Hearth event.

Human Resources Generalist Kira Goodwin (left) and Human Resources Manager Brenda Moore.

MCEA Communications Strategist Amy Joy offers DHS Accounting Technician Dalys Otberg a gluten-free treat option at the employee event. 

Fiscal Accountant Sara Tourney builds a s'more and gets sticky fingers. Roasted marshmallow problems.

Mesa County Surveyor Patrick Green (right) sits by the fire and watches as CJSD Case Manager Dave Wetherald eats his s'more. Thank you, Dave, for posing for the picture!
Road and Bridge crew members roast marshmallows over the fire.
Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese thanks the MCEA for putting on such a wonderful event for all county employees.

Elections personnel stopped by for some yummy sweets. From left to right: Brian Williams, Lily Thorpe, Tim Long and Becky White.
Commissioner John Justman chats with Mesa County Sheriff's Office employees.

Regulatory Programs Manager Carrie Gudorf (left) and Public Works Construction Group Manager Laura Page.
Public Work's Engineering team sits by the fire.

Enjoy the little things.

Fairgrounds personnel Stacy Pinnt (left) and Linda Robinson enjoy hot chocolate. 

MCPH staff members Charity Weir and Sarah Robinson.

Administrator Frank Whidden (left), Commissioner Scott McInnis and Road Supervisor Rudy Bevan pause for a picture at MCEA's Winter Hearth event.

MCPH staff members enjoy good conversation and sweet treats. Left to right: Chelsea Stacy, Diana Williams, Andy Tyler, Katie Nelson, Sara Rinaldo, Sarah Schultz, Regina Clark.  

Commissioner Rose Pugliese makes s'mores alongside Kelsey Fife (left), Shane Chatfield, and Troy Ward.
Today, Friday (Dec. 7) is Mesa County Treasurer Janice Rich's last day in office. In honor of her public service, her staff made an album for her. 

Risk Administrator Jean Boothe (right) and HR Generalist Cindy Barnett present Mesa County Treasurer Janice Rich with a going away gift.

Staff had a treasure map cake baked from Janice's going away party. For the last eight years, Mesa County Treasurer Janice Rich has managed all the county's (treasures) funds.   

Senior Support Specialist Eric Farslow writes a farewell message to Mesa County Treasurer Janice Rich, who will soon start her new role as Colorado House Representative for District 55.

Two Colorado Representatives: Mesa County Treasurer Janice Rich (newly elected Colorado House Representative for District 55) and Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis, a former Colorado Representative.

County Administrator Frank Whidden and Commissioner John Justman sign Janice Rich's farewell card. 

Many employees and elected officials stopped by to wish Janice Rich farewell at a surprise celebration hosted by her staff Thursday afternoon. 

Mesa County Treasurer Janice Rich and Accounting Specialist Christine Horner. 

Mesa County Treasurer-elect Sheila Reiner and Mesa County Treasurer Janice Rich. 

This morning, Sheila Reiner was sworn in as the Mesa County Treasurer effective at 5 p.m. today. Congratulations, Sheila!
It's official, Mesa County Treasurer Sheila was sworn into office by 21st Judicial District Chief Judge Flynn Friday morning. Treasurer Reiner is assuming her responsibilities a little under a month early.