Latest News – March 27

Political Roundup: From Golden Dome to Capitol Hill

It’s good to see representatives for Leadville and Lake County at the state and federal level post regular reports, updates and videos on their websites and social media platforms. Leadville Today readers pay attention to politics and how decisions made under Colorado’s Golden Dome and on Washington’s Capitol Hill affects their lives and businesses.

Colo. Gov. John Hickenlooper addresses the crowds at the historic Tabor Opera house during his stop in Leadville in August 2015. Photo: Leadville Today/Brennan Ruegg.

Therefore when HB17-1128: Salary Adjustment For Lake County Officials popped up in legislative updates last week, there were questions. Vaguely worded as a bill, requested by Lake County, which addresses a technical correction in the salary categorization of locally elected officials in Lake County, readers were looking for more details since this bill has already passed both the House and Senate, and is headed to Governor Hickenlooper for his signature. 

Representative Mille Hamner makes friends with some political animals at the Kiddie Korral during a 2014 campaign stop. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell.

You had questions and LT found the answers, and supporting documents.

Thanks to State Representative Millie Hamner’s political aide Phil Robinson who immediately rose to the occasion, clarifying the measure. In short, the bill changes the categorization of Lake County from category IV-A to IV-B, which decreases the salary of Lake County elected officials whose terms began on or after January 1, 2016.  The specifics can be found HERE. The information includes the salaries of Lake County’s elected officials, which is determined at the state level, and if all goes according to plan, will be reduced to the IV-B category.

It’s encouraging to know that the Board of County Commissioners who initiated the support of the change, understands their “fiduciary duty to the citizens of Lake County,” as described in Commissioner Dolores Semsack’s letter to the House Local Government Committee.

However, there is some concern in the language used in the “Fact Sheet” provided by Colorado Counties, Inc., specifically: This request for a salary reduction is appropriate and necessary, given the county’s financial condition.

The county’s financial condition? Hmmmm. Is the bill finally coming due on 8 years of excessive spending, in-kind and cash matches for grants, and what some political insiders say is a more than 30% increase in county staff? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, readers can find links to their representatives’ websites below. Now is the time to stay more tuned in, not tuned out! So stay tuned to Leadville Today for your regular political roundup report.

Donovan Link

Latest News – March 26

Meals On Wheels and County Deals: Leadville Seniors

Since its initial report more than 14 months ago, Leadville Today remains committed to bringing readers updates about the progress being made for senior citizens in Lake County. Below is the March 2017 Lake County Senior Citizen Center Newsletter.

The Lake County Senior Citizen Center provides community meals and a place to socialize in Leadville.

It includes information about local services and programs for senior citizens. The newsletter also includes a first-hand report from Ruth Purkat who has been the Lake County Representative to the Regional Advisory Council (RAC) of the Area Agency on Aging  (AAA) for the past couple of years. It was a seat she accepted after a more than 7-year gap of Lake County representation. RAC consists of laypersons and service providers who represent the interests of older adults in the AAA Planning, and advocate on their behalf.

The RAC reviews agency outreach, long-term planning, programs, and service delivery that affect older adults. The RAC encourages and supports the involvement of older Coloradans in sharing their views on these policies and programs.

In addition to her local commitment to senior services, Purkat was born in Leadville, she went to school here, raised a big family here, owned a business here, and volunteered for countless boards and committees in Lake County.  Most would consider her opinion not only valuable, but perhaps essential to good, open, accountable democracy, especially in a small community like Lake County.

The Leadville/Lake County Board of Directors provides an update on their progress to residents and county officials during their April 2016 meeting. Unfortunately, budgetory politics would play heavy in the final negotiations, and instead of necessary services, Lake County Seniors would receive a $24,000 study to be conducted by Lake County Build-A-Generation, a youth-driven group. Photo: Leadville Today

Leadville Today thinks leaders like Purkat should be heard, which is why you will find the March 2017 Lake County Senior Citizen Center newsletter posted below. You may click on each image in order to generate a larger, more easy-to-read version of the newsletter. Also for readers who are interested in comparing the progress with older LT reports: March 2016 and May 2016.

There’s a lot of serious changes on tap for senior services under the current administration in Washington, including the coveted Meals on Wheels programs. Stay tuned to Leadville Today for updates about how many Lake County residents will be affected by this decision and how the local community can help.