HIGHLIGHTS, Jan. 22, 2019, County Commissioner Meeting

  • DCCR blogger and board president, JoAnn Kalenak, spoke to commissioners for a second time about issues resulting from Elyse Ackerman Casselberry’s employment as a contract Administrator and Planner for the Town of Collbran while holding a full-time job with Delta County. Kalenak asked commissioners for a “responsible resolution in this matter from the Board of County Commissioners that promotes fair, honest and equitable treatment and policies for all Delta County employees while prioritizing the public’s interests.”Kalenak cited Article XXIX of the Colorado Constitution’s code of ethics telling commissioners that they had violated the public trust by not addressing her concerns.“Commissioners, many local residents believe their trust has been violated. Clearly, the county’s employment policies, particularly the moonlighting policy, are woefully inadequate to protect the interests of Delta County; timesheet certification is unlawfully lax; and leadership accountability is nonexistent,” said Kalenak.

    Commissioner and Chair Don Suppes told Kalenak that the commissioners believe that Casselberry’s contract with Collbran, resulting conduct and county leadership’s response “is a non-issue.” He praised the work done by Casselberry and refuted timesheet fraud allegations and conflicts of interest in time management. “I have received no complaints from constituents” concerning Casselberry’s management of both positions, explained the commissioner.


  • Delta County Community and Economic Development Director, Elyse Ackerman Casselberry, and contract planner, Kelly Yeager, presented commissioners with an analysis of the department’s activity from 2006 to present. Data gathered by Casselberry showed a significant increase in address access applications but a decrease and, later a flattening, of subdivision growth indicating that people are beginning to buy vacant lots in already approved subdivisions. In 2006, there were 20-plus address access applications compared to more than 100 in 2018. Conversely, there was a spike in subdivision growth in 2007 that has since flattened.

Casselberry anticipates a busy 2019 for her department including:

  • Possible Outdoor Retailers Summer Show participation
  • Land Use Regulation Update
  • ENGAGE Steering Committee
  • E2 Conference (ENGAGE Energy Conference)
  • Oil & Gas Working Group
  • Individual Quick Freeze fruit study next steps
  • Federal Lands Coordination
  • Opportunity Zone
  • Dominguez-Escalante Engineering/Design
  • Dominguez-Escalante Grants for Build


  • Dave Dearstyne, soil scientist and volunteer coordinator for the Soil Health Conference, asked commissioners for help to recover funding from Delta County Economic Development (DCED) that he believes is earmarked specifically for the conference. Commissioners Suppes told Dearstyne that he would take up the matter at the next DCED meeting.
  • Staff from Delta County Human Services Department expressed concern to commissioners about the continued government shutdown and their funding ability to help local residents needing assistance.
  • Sheriff Mark Taylor introduced commissioners to a new officer to the Delta County Sheriff’s Office and his talented and unique partner — Sheriff Deputy Keith Sanders and Oxx, an eight-and-a-half years old, drug sniffing, Belgian Malinois canine.

Coming from a long career in Montrose, Sgt. Sanders and Oxx have been instrumental in removing large quantities of illegal drugs off the streets. “Delta County is extremely fortunate to have an experienced K-9 team,” says Sheriff Taylor.

Sanders is a United States Navy veteran and has over 1S years of experience in law enforcement and was recently awarded the Colorado American Legion Colorado Peace Officer of the Year recognition.

Sanders and Oxx are available to the community for demonstrations, meet-and-greets, school sweeps, and functions. You can contact the Delta County Sheriff’s Office if you would like more information.

Pictured: Sgt. Sanders, Oxx on right and Roo, drug-dog in training, on left.