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Larimer County Board of County Commissioners 11/21/23

by Nanci Wendland


For more information see the full notes document here.*


View the meeting agenda and packet.


Members Present:

Commissioners: Kristin Stephens, District II; Jody Shadduck-McNally, District III, Chair; John Kefalas, District I, Chair Pro Tem.


Members Absent: None


Others Present to Note: BoCC Admin Team: Tessa Beaty, Clerk; Lorenda Volker, County Manager; Laurie Kadrich, Asst County Manager; Tom from the Commissioner’s Office; Sarah, Administrative Clerk; Shane Atkinson, Legislative Coordinator.


From the Board of Commissioners website: Larimer's three-member Board of County Commissioners is the main policy-making body in the County and works to represent the interest of the citizens of Larimer County at local, state, and national levels. Commissioners are elected at large from one of three geographic districts for four-year staggered terms. In Larimer County, Commissioners are limited to serving three four-year terms.


Summary

Tina Harris, Larimer County Clerk and Recorder, was asked to review her first election experience with the commissioners. Harris was unable to attend and is rescheduled for the Dec. 5th meeting.

First of its kind in Colorado: the 2023-2024 Larimer County Legislative and Policy Agenda. In April of 2023, commissioners requested the creation of a county Legislative and Policy Agenda to help navigate legislation at county and state levels. What bills are before the legislature, which ones take priority, and why? What is Larimer County’s policy statement on those bills? Does the county support or oppose, and why? After completion and final vote, the agenda will be made available to the public on the county website in 2024. More details below.


Public Comment - none


Consent Agenda Voting

District III Chair Shadduck-McNally read 14 items from the Consent Agenda. The commissioners voted and approved all items. (file:///C:/Users/nanci/Downloads/AgendaPacket-Admin%20Matters%20CONSENT%20AGENDA-November%2021,%202023%209.00%20AM-1.pdf):

  1. Agreements: 1 - Intergovernmental Agreement for Solid Waste Programming and Infrastructure Improvements.

  2. Appointments: 1 appointment to Crown Point Public Improvement District; 1 youth member appointment to the DEI board.

  3. Liquor Licenses: 3

  4. Miscellaneous: 8 items – agency overpayment, tax year 2023 values.

Discussion Items

The first Larimer County Legislative and Policy Agenda seeks to assist the State Legislature Affairs program.

In April of 2023, the board of commissioners asked for a countywide legislative and policy agenda to assist with the State Legislative Affairs Program. Legislative Coordinator, Shane Atkinson, took on the project, and presented a draft to the commissioners. According to Shane, this legislative and policy agenda is the first of its kind in Colorado and was a collaborative effort by numerous city and county departments. The purpose of the agenda is to assist the county in navigating legislation, while providing state legislators with the views and future vision of Larimer County. According to the 2020 census, Larimer County is the seventh most populous county in Colorado with a population of 362,533. Atkinson said this will be an important document for the public, the city, and the county.


The draft agenda has approximately 25 topics addressing items such as:

  • county budget climate and sustainability

  • emergency management housing

  • human services childcare

  • taxes transportation

Each section by topic in the agenda shows Larimer County’s support or opposition to specific legislation, initiatives, and/or policies. Atkinson said the last session of the Colorado Legislature passed 600 bills. This agenda would provide a guide to Larimer County’s views.

Board Comments and Questions:

Commissioner Stephens asked where this agenda will reside and how often will the agenda be updated?

  • Atkinson said the agenda will eventually be located on the website www.larimer.gov and printed copies would be available to non-residents of Larimer County. Each department would track and update their own policies with an overall annual review prior to the next executive session of the state legislature.

Commissioner Kefalas wanted to know how the public will be informed this agenda exists and where they can access it. How does this reflect Larimer County and advance the priorities of the County Commissioners?

  • Atkinson said he hasn’t put together a marketing blitz yet. He’s just been working on finishing the draft. He told Commissioner Kefalas the introduction page is robust and explains the county and its vision for the future. The agenda will show the Larimer County guiding principles.

Commissioner Shadduck-McNally liked how the phrase “local control” was changed in the agenda to “local flexibility”. McNally believes this will help educate the state on how counties proceed based on state mandates, and the state should know that “counties have to make thoughtful choices.” She thinks a colorful spotlight should be created on the website for the public to notice and have easy access to the agenda.


Since this is the first Legislative Policy Agenda in the state of Colorado, Commissioner Shadduck McNally would also like to have a paper copy for all the commissioners to carry around with them.


The draft agenda was unanimously approved with a few minor changes from the commissioners. A second updated draft will be reviewed at the next meeting.


The meeting wrapped up with a few updates from County Manager Volker, and each commissioner reviewed their recent activity reports.


At 10:47 a.m. the regular meeting was adjourned, and the Commissioners went into Executive Session for 2 items. County employees and members of the public were asked to leave the room.


Legal Matters

No decision expected.


From the Agenda:

  1. Executive Session pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes 24-6-402(4)(b): Conference with an attorney for the purpose of receiving legal advice regarding public comment sessions and protected speech.

  2. Executive Session pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes 24-6-402(4)(b): Conference with an attorney for the purpose of receiving legal advice regarding oil and gas spill on October 31, 2023, enforcement actions at ECMC regarding flaring of oil and gas, cooperative agreements related to oil and gas matters, and state level plugging and abandoning request.

Nov. 28, 2023, meeting canceled.


Next Meeting: Dec. 5, 2023 @ 9 a.m. Hearing Room, 1st Floor, 200 W. Oak St., Fort Collins


Questions

  1. Red Feather Lakes is working on its policies and vision for 2024-2025. Is the new Legislative and Policies Agenda the guide that Red Feather Lakes and other unincorporated communities of Larimer County should reference or contribute to for this work? Have any of the communities submitted their policies?

  2. What is the target date for completion of the agenda, and when will it be shared with the public?

*Citizen Observers further the commitment of the League of Women Voters to its principle of Citizens Right to Know, however, we are not acting as journalists. Omissions and errors are possible. It is assumed that users of this information are responsible for their own fact-checking. This could include contacting a government clerk, conversing with an elected official or staff, and/or asking us to speak to the Observer who attended. Share


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