Jeffco5 is a continuing effort to bring greater democracy and representation to Jefferson County government. Check here and on our 'Updates/News' page for latest developments.
Contact: Ray Goodhart, 303-829-1492 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeffco5 falls short but resolves
to keep fighting for better representation
(Golden, CO) – After a six-month, all-volunteer effort to collect enough petition signatures to put the Jeffco 5 question on the November 2014 ballot, representatives of Jeffco 5 Grassroots submitted approximately 10,000 signatures. Regardless of the validity rate, this total fell short of the 17,444 valid signatures required by state law.
“I’m disappointed at the outcome, but I am incredibly proud of our effort,” said former Golden City Councilor Karen Oxman, who has led this effort since the beginning. “I think we were very successful in raising the profile of an important issue that is easy to overlook when people are busy living their lives.”
Currently, Jefferson County is governed by a board of three commissioners who run for election countywide. If passed, the Jeffco 5 measure would have increased the number of commissioners to five and required each commissioner to be elected by the residents of one of five districts.
“We heard nothing but positive feedback from the voters we met while collecting signatures,” said Ray Goodhart, another of the group’s founding members. “Nearly everyone we met agreed to sign the petition. We just didn’t get in front of enough people.”
“When I was on Lakewood City Council, I had a Ward to represent and 25,000 people to hold my feet to the fire,” said former city councilor and Jeffco 5 founding member Carl Neu. “With a county as large as Jeffco, the citizens really deserve a commissioner paying attention to the needs of their area – not scrambling to get to every corner of the county.”
Goodhart agreed and pointed out, “Jeffco is the only county in Colorado with more than 350,000 residents that hasn’t increased the size of its board – and we’re almost at 550,000 residents. That’s almost as many residents as the entire state of Wyoming.”
The group remains resolved to push this issue forward in the coming years, and hopes a future Board of Commissioners will take the step of referring the question to the voters directly.
“It’s really a shame that two of our three current commissioners refused to let the voters decide,” said Neu. “That’s exactly what’s wrong with the current system. When they’re supposedly accountable to the whole county, they’re really not accountable to anybody.”
signatures, must be returned to Karen Oxman by June 29, 2014.
"A worthy question on size of Jefferson County Commssion"
Signatures being sought to expand 3-member board to 5
Contact me to pick up a petition.
email@example.com or call the numbers below:
for all of Jefferson County's residents!
on the Jeffco5 petition to place the question of expanding the board of commissioners
from three to five members on the November 2014 ballot.
Better representation and better government
for Jefferson County in the 21st century!
This is the question: Should the Board of County Commissioners of the County of Jefferson, State of Colorado, be increased from three to five members?
So many reasons why!
- County Government was set up over 100 years ago when this was a rural area ... with ability to increase the number of commissioners to 5 when population exceeds 70,000.
- Jeffco has over 500,000 residents ... nearly as many as the State of Wyoming, 10% of the State of Colorado.
- This is not partisan; it is procedural! It is about transparency, communication, representation, and responsible government.
- Minimal impact to the $476,277,696 budget ... less than a tenth of a percent!
- This could go to the voters in the fall of 2014 if the current Commissioners would pass a Resolution allowing it to go to Ballot!
- Community outreach would be enhanced by a board of 5 ... more eyes and brains on County issues!
- El Paso, Arapahoe, Weld, Pitkin, and Adams have already moved to make this change!
- Open meeting laws state that a quorum of Commissioners may speak to each other only in open meetings that are published. At present, a quorum is two, so two Commissioners are never allowed to talk to each other about issues. With 5 Commissioners, a quorum would be three, so two would be able to ‘talk’!
- Five Commissioners would each represent and be elected by a district of 100,000 ... much better connection to constituents.
- If the Commissioners would agree that this is an issue for voters to decide in the fall election of 2014, redistricting would occur in 2015, by July 1.
You can help bring better representation and better government to Jefferson County!
Lend your support to the Jeffco5 grassroots effort.