Thursday, June 28, 2018

This Week in Pics

Mesa County Department of Human Services staff members pause for a picture alongside the Board Mesa County Commissioners, Monday morning. The Commissioners proclaimed June 2018 as Adult Protection Awareness Month.

DHS Adult Services Director Grant Jackson accepts the Adult Protection Awareness Proclamation and tells the Mesa County Commissioners that raising awareness is a fundamental prevention strategy. The elderly and people with disabilities are vital members of families, communities, and society. Often, these residents are vulnerable to assault, burglary, fraud, abuse, neglect, exploitation and other crimes since they may not be able to provide their own care and protection.

The Board of Mesa County Commissioners highlights Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Reporter Gary Harmon in public hearing Monday morning for his fairness and dedication in sharing information about Mesa County government.

Grand Junction Daily Sentinel Reporter Gary Harmon gets the inside scoop from Commissioner Scott McInnis.

Reporter Gary Harmon hits the gavel and adjourns the last public hearing he will be reporting on. Congratulations, Gary, and best of luck in your future endeavors.
This week the Board of Mesa County Commissioners met with the Daily Sentinel's Editorial Board to discuss a ballot question the Board is considering which would exempt state grants from our TABOR cap, without increasing any taxes.

Commissioner Pugliese told the editorial board, "As you know, I am a huge supporter of TABOR and want to protect it. But, capping state grants does not make sense to me. Federal grants are not capped so we can take as much federal money (with all of the strings!) as we can justify without limit. Most of our state grants are for infrastructure projects, so this actually grows the private sector; not county government, which should be limited. This would include pass-through grants for our non-profits like Mind Springs. If we continue to turn away grants, our taxpayer money will continue to go to the state and be used in other communities for their projects. I believe it is time to bring Mesa County taxpayer money home to work for Mesa County residents."
Mesa County Public Works leaders gave the commissioners and the county administrator a capital infrastructure and transportation project update Monday afternoon.

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis listens to a briefing from Rudy Bevan, road supervisor, regarding road work and chip seal. Over 50 percent of the chip seal project for this year has been completed.

Mesa County Fleet Supervisor Eric Brown gives the Board of County Commissioners an update on what his division is doing as well as a budget update. Their operating budget is $2,495,555.

A couple hours after having a minor surgery on his foot, Commissioner Scott McInnis is back into the office and ready to work.

On his way into the office, Commissioner McInnis spotted two tiny, hummingbirds in a nest next to the old Mesa County Courthouse. Fun fact: hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly both forward and backward.

The hummingbirds' nest is made mostly of spider webs. This is the second year that hummingbirds have come back to the nest.

Elections Coordinator Jesse Redmond works on Election Day, which was also his last day with Mesa County. Redmond has taken a position with a local non-profit. Best of luck, Jesse!

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Sheila gets a very early start on the Election's Day workload! This is the first election where non-affiliated voters were able to vote in the primaries.

Clerk to the Board Lori Westermire, Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner and Division Director Jackie Campbell pause for a picture on Election Day, June 26.

Mesa County Recording staff Rose Tafoya and Kathrin Gardea pause from reviewing recorded documents for a picture. 

Mesa County Fairgrounds Manager Donna Redd and some of the 2018 Fair Ambassadors stopped by KAFM Radio to talk about the Mesa County Fair.   
Ambassadors are the face and voice of the Mesa County Fair. Don't forget, admission is free this year!
KREX News Channel 5 Reporter Colette Bordelon visits the Mesa County Landfill to report on the waste characterization study that is currently taking place for the Western Slope region.

Volunteers help sort through waste at the Mesa County Landfill to get a better understanding of what items are being discarded that can be diverted and re-purposed.

Adoption Supervisor, Dena Neujahr is retiring after 28 years with the Department of Human Services. Dena and Tracey Garchar share one more great story.

Child Welfare Director, Kari Daggett shares a memory about Dena during her retirement celebration on Tuesday.

Child Welfare Supervisors, Dena Neujahr, Hannah Webster, and Joni Bedell celebrate Dena's retirement Tuesday.

It was a great turn-out of co-workers to wish Dena a fond farewell. Best of luck Dena!
U.S. Deputy Director David Bernhardt made a presentation regarding Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Wednesday morning in Grand Junction.


U.S. Deputy Director David Bernhardt announces that Colorado counties will be awarded $40,144,620. Mesa County will receive $3.6 million.

Mesa County Commissioner John Justman, center, and other neighboring counties' commissioners attend U.S. Deputy Director David Bernhardt's presentation regarding PILT. "This funding is just one more example of promises made and promises kept by the President and Secretary Zinke," Bernhardt said.

Mesa County Commissioner John Justman, left, and Rio Blanco County Commissioner Jeff Rector talk to KKCO News Channel 11 Reporter Megan McNeil about the importance of PILT funds for western Colorado counties. See the interview, here.

Commissioner Justman tells Channel 11 News that the PILT program helps Mesa County provide services such as law enforcement, search and rescue, and fire protection, which are essential services to the public and to users of public lands.


U.S. Deputy Director David Bernhardt, left, and Commissioner John Justman.

Commissioner John Justman talks to KREX News Channel 5 Reporter Camila Barco and tells her, "In Mesa County, more than 70 percent of the land is managed by the federal government. The federal government owns approximately 28 percent of all land in the U.S., and these lands are not taxable by local governments. PILT helps to offset these losses in tax revenues and help communities provide essential services to federal employees and families, the public and users of public lands."

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