County Commissioner Doug Atchley, District #2, was chosen Tuesday to serve as chairman of the Delta Board of County Commissioners during 2017. District #3 Commissioner Mark Roeber was chosen vice chairman at the new commission's first meeting.
One of the principle items of business each January is for the Board of County Commissioners to reorganize. The commissioners themselves, county staff, and others in community service roles are assigned to serve on various councils, committees and boards.
Work responsibilities go far beyond the twice monthly commissioner business meetings held at the county courthouse. In addition to their individual roles, the Board of County Commissioners as a group is responsible for participating with the Delta County Library District Board, Fair Board, and the county housing authority. Commissioners are sometimes the county's voice in the 7th Judicial District, Club 20 and the Airport Advisory Board. In perhaps the commission's most important role of all they are responsible ultimately for administration of the county's $31.5 million budget for 2017.
There are nearly 60 positions that have to be filled and/or ratified by the commissioners to maintain the organization's functioning.
The commissioners appoint staff to represent the county in public lands and economic development forums, such as county administrator Robbie LeValley serving as BLM cooperating agency representative and with Club 20. Others receiving appointments for the year are county attorney Jin D. Ho Pack; county emergency manager Jeff Wright; and regional emergency medical services representative Kirby Clock. But the commissioners themselves also take on numerous roles from the county level to those with statewide influence.
Some of the organizations that benefit from representation by county commissioners include Colorado Counties Inc., at which Roeber will represent Delta County on the all-important legislative affairs committee. Among his other duties this year, Roeber will be the county's representative on the Gunnison Basin Roundtable, Gunnison Valley Transportation Committee, BLM Resource Advisory Committee for the Southwest Region and the 11-county Gunnison Sage Grouse Steering Committee.
A few of the duties taken on by Doug Atchley for the coming year include representing the county on the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area Advisory Council and the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Advisory Council; the local broadband steering committee; the Colorado Rural Workforce Consortium; chair of the county's Board of Health and Board of Human Services; and as the county's emergency preparedness commissioner.
Commissioner Don Suppes, in addition to representing commissioner District #2, will serve on the Delta County Housing Task Force, Juvenile Diversion Board, Delta County Transit Advisory Committee, Delta County Economic Development and the Delta County Tourism Cabinet.
The election results are in at the local, state and national level, and as expected, Democrats are doing well in state and national races. Colorado has elected Jared Polis as governor; nationally the Republicans appear to retain control of the Senate while Democrats now control the House of Representative.
With a ballot full of local and state measures, voter turnout in Delta County topped 71%, with 15,889 ballots cast. Statewide, voter turnout was just over 52%.
Of the three Delta County residents seeking state offices, Matt Soper won over Thea Chase in State Representative Dist. 54; Mike Mason lost to Julie McCluskie in State Representative Dist. 61; and Olen Lund lost to Kerry Donovan in State Senate Dist. 5.
Locally, in the City of Delta voters rejected a .5% sales tax increase to fund recreation, as well as recreational marijuana sales. The sale of medical marijuana and cultivation/manufacturing facilities was approved by a slim margin. Delta voters also gave the city the green light to move forward with selling or trading the Cottonwood and Riverbend Park, and to sell the old Municipal Light and Power Building.