September 5th BOCC: BOCC: Printz: “Vague” Building Codes Ballot Wording “In Our Best Interests”

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)

—September 5, 2017
by Jackie Bubis, Reporter
The meeting started at 9 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed. The crowd overflowed into the hallway.
There were no public comments.
Commissioner Items:
Mrs. Hood has spoken with Jeff Wood the DU instructor that brought students to Custer County to do the building assessment. There will be a BOCC meeting on September 19th at 5:30 pm (THIS DATE CHANGED IN THE NEXT MEETING – see next article) for this building assessment presentation to be made to the public.
Attorney Items:
Mr. Smith presented Resolution 17-16 appointing Dawna Hobby as the Finance Officer when John Piquette leaves in mid-November. (Note: John Piquette’s salary was just under $10K per year. The BOCC will address salaries in the October budget meetings.) This resolution passed unanimously.
Another Resolution 17-17 was presented to the Board vacating the subdivision agreement for Shining Mountain Estates. This resolution passed unanimously as well.
With regards to the ballot wording for the building codes question to be placed by the BOCC on the ballot, Attorney Clint Smith proposed language for the Board’s approval. They suggested a few changes to the wording and Mr. Smith will return in tomorrow’s meeting with those revisions. Commissioner Kattnig felt the wording was vague. Commissioner Printz explained that the vague language was “in our best interests,” that the question was simply to get a feel for whether the county wants building codes. He further explained that if the electorate votes yes on this question, the details would be worked out after November. Commissioners Hood and Printz wanted to make sure that the question reflected a consistency with the Towns of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff. They voted 2-1 (Mr. Printz and Mrs. Hood – Aye, Mr. Kattnig – Nay) to approve the language pursuant to a few minor changes.
Ann Barthrop asked from the audience just how many public opinion “polls” they were going to take and how far this would go. She commended Mr. Kattnig for his stand against putting this item on the ballot merely for yet another measure of public opinion. Mr. Kattnig responded that “in our democratic process, the final say is our voters.” (Reporter’s Note: Sir, we are not a democracy. We are a representative republic which means we elect representatives to make decisions on our behalf. There is neither time nor money to have a vote on every issue. And there is great danger in doing so. If majority rules, slavery would still be legal.)
Staff Reports:
County Health Nurse Elisa Magnuson gave her report.
The Board then went into their job as County Board of Health and went into Executive Session with regards to a wastewater treatment issue.
When they returned from that Executive Session, they went back into the BOCC meeting and went again into Executive Session with regard to a “security issue.”
When the Board returned from the second Executive Session there was no discussion or decisions made.
The Board discussed ongoing CenturyLink issues in Wetmore. Since there has been no satisfaction from speaking with CenturyLink, the Board will send a letter to our state and federal representatives.
Mr. Bogle from the Custer County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) reported to the Board that the broadband plan is moving forward with $2.3 Million in funding that the CCEDC has put together (no details on those sources) and that construction of six towers should begin next summer.
The Road and Bridge Report was given by Gary Hyde and Roger Squire. After the significant rains we’ve had, the department is beginning to catch up on getting the roads back in shape. There was a discussion regarding a gate across CR139. A citizen reported several incidents with Jack Canterbury accosting for leaving the gate open. Mr. Kattnig reminded the Board that Colorado law states that cattle must be fenced out. Gary Hyde will speak with the two cattle owners involved to see if they can reach a solution.
Rusty Christensen reported on the landfill. He has decided to hold off on purchasing a truck and using the $14K in the budget for what it was budgeted for: a new compactor engine.
Dawna Hobby gave the HR/Finance report. There are ongoing issues with getting bids on propane since most of the tanks are not owned by the county. The Board may look at putting the purchase of tanks in the budget.
Tim Swartz, the Veteran’s Service Officer gave his report. His database of vets is up to 395. The Veteran Trust Fund applications begin on Monday the 11th so he expects to be very busy. He will host a Town Hall Meeting with VA officials at Lange Hall on the 19th of October from 5-7 p.m. The Board unanimously accepted his report.
Cindy Howard, Office of Emergency Management (OEM), brought two Resolutions to the Board for approval. Resolution 17-14 adopted the 2017 Emergency Operations Plan and 17-15 reaffirmed the BOCC’s authority over the OEM. (Note: Resolutions are not routinely put up on the county website but can be obtained by emailing Brenda Gaide at The COCO Grant, helping to clean up properties damaged or destroyed in the 2012 Wetmore fire, was signed by the Board.
Sara Shields, from the Extension Office updated the Board on results of the State Fair. She also mentioned that Bill Nobles from CSU is in the first stages of putting together the job description and search committee for another CSU Extension Agent to replace Robin Young. The 4-H awards ceremony will be held October 9th at 2:30 p.m. at the school.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.