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

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