Moffat County commissioners take no official position on Amendment 74
October 18, 2018
CRAIG — The Moffat County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday, Oct. 16, took no official position on Colorado Constitutional Amendment 74, though all three commissioners expressed their support for private property rights and urged voters to educate themselves on the issue.
Amendment 74, which will be decided by voters on the Nov. 6 ballot, would require property owners be compensated for any reduction in property value caused by state laws or regulations. The amendment is supported by the Committee for Colorado’s Shared Heritage and the Colorado Farm Bureau. Opponents include the Colorado Municipal League, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Conservation Colorado, Glenwood Springs City Council, Alamosa City Council, Western Resource Advocates, Club 20, and Action 22.
On Oct. 9, the Craig City Council also unanimously adopted a resolution formally opposing the proposed amendment.
During Tuesday’s meeting, county commissioners — though all expressed personal reservations about the amendment — declined to take an official position, mostly due to Commissioner Don Cook’s stance.
Cook said that, while the amendment would not have a great impact on rural Colorado, it was not his place to tell people how to to vote.
“I’m not in a position to tell people how they should vote,” Cook said. “I’m very much a private property rights guy, but I would encourage voters to educate themselves and make their own decisions.”
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Commissioner Frank Moe noted that the amendment is unnecessary, because fair compensation for property takings is already addressed in the rules, and Commissioner Ray Beck said passage of the amendment might work to “hamstring local governments.”
Moe moved to approve a resolution expressing the commission’s opposition to the amendment, but only if passage was unanimous.
Beck and Moe voted in favor, while Cook voted against, meaning the resolution failed.
Commissioners also took action to amend the county’s regulations relating to requests made under the Colorado Open Records Act, or CORA.
The changes deal mainly with charges involved with researching CORA requests. Under the change, the county would charge nothing for the first hour of research involved with CORA requests and $30 per hour for each additional hour spent researching such requests. County Attorney Rebecca Tyree noted that the $30 per-hour charge is the statutory maximum.
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the resolution.
In other business Tuesday:
• Commissioners unanimously approved an agreement between the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and ColoWyo Coal Company to provide hunting patrols on private property owned by the mine. Tyree noted this is a historic practice which allows deputies to earn extra money while getting a better “lay of the land.” The price per patrol unit under the agreement would be $75 per hour. Moe wondered who would be responsible if the patrols result in overtime for deputies, and Tyree said the Sheriff’s Office will manage scheduling so the agreement does not result in overtime.
• Commissioners heard a planning and zoning report from Roy Tipton, director of development services, dealing with the Craig/Moffat Airport, after which they unanimously OK’d a change to the date for approval of the airport budget, which Craig City Council had already approved. Commissioners also unanimously approved the Airport Master Plan/Airport Layout Plan. Tipton said the 10-year master planning process has been in the works for two years. A motion to approve the Airport Master Plan/Airport Layout Plan was approved unanimously.
• Commissioners unanimously approved a personnel request for the County Clerk’s Office for a motor vehicle technician and five personnel requests from the Department of Human Services. Human Resources Department Director Lynnette Siedschlaw noted that all the Human Services personnel requests were the result of staffing shifts, and all are funded between 80 and 90 percent by the state.
The next regularly scheduled BOCC meeting is set for 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 30.
Contact Jim Patterson at 970-875-1790 or jpatterson@CraigDailyPress.com.