• Delta County Citizen Report (DCCR) President and blogger, JoAnn Kalenak, presented several objections to the proposed 2019 County budget to Commissioners. She stated, “The proposed budget lacks fiscal responsibly given the large reserve balance that is carried over, year-to-year, without adequate explanation. And it lacks transparency given its poorly presented format.”
Kalenak cited what DCCR believes to be violations of state statue including: Providing a complete financial plan for each fund and providing explanatory schedules or statements classifying expenditures by object.
One example cited by Kalenak is the Conservation Trust Fund, a fund that has maintained a budget of $400,000-to-$500,000 every year for the past ten years. “This fund’s expenditures are listed in ‘blanket’ numbers by county district without explanation of proposed projects; and without a statement about spending plans or past spending,” said Kalenak.
“The proposed budget fails as a communication device,” added Kalenak. She suggested Commissioners hire an outside firm to “help the County develop a professional, accessible and useful county budget presentation.”
Commissioner Atchley responded to DCCR’s objections saying “the Commissioners take their fiscal responsibilities very seriously.” He agreed that the presentation could be improved, but strongly disagreed that the county had violated any state statue in the budget’s development. “I believe that DCCR is confused about the term ‘by object,’” said Commissioner Atchley. He explained that listing every single expenditure would make the budget huge and unwieldy.
Speaking to the issue of county reserves raised by DCCR, Commissioner Atchley told the audience that the county maintains a 25% minimum in reserve and that “they (the County) are saving for major future projects.” Commissioner Suppes added that he wanted to see even higher reserves.
• In a resolution, Commissioners rescinded an earlier resolution that added three new positions to the Planning Commission (PC) Bylaws. Commissioners conceded the role to develop and maintain the PC’s bylaws to the PC itself.
Commissioners resolved to reconfigure Planning Commission terms, eliminate the Area Planning Committees and add three associate members, representing each district, to the PC.
• Delta County resident and businessman Tom Alvey was reappointed to the Colorado Water Conservation Board. He will serve through 2021.
(Pictured: The Colorado River District Board of Directors for 2018 From left, sitting: Steve Acquafresca, John Ely, Mike Ritschard, Bill Trampe, Al Vanden Brink, Stan Whinnery, and Tom Gray. From left, standing: Doug Monger, Karn Stiegelmeier, Rebie Hazard, Kathy Chandler-Henry, Tom Alvey, (Board President), Marti Whitmore, Dave Merritt (Board Vice President) and Marc Catlin.)