STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
COLORADO REAPPORTIONMENT COMMISSION
|Time:||12:04 PM to 02:02 PM|
|Place:||Ute Museum, Montrose|
|This Meeting was called to order by|
|This Report was prepared by|
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
|Bills Addressed:||Action Taken:|
12:11 PM -- Witness Testimony
Virginia Selby presented a PowerPoint about why not to include Delta County in District 61. This included geographic barriers such as McClure Pass. She noted that coal mining is key to the county’s economy and that Delta County has nothing in common with Aspen and Glenwood Springs. She said that the community of interest criterion is not met. She submitted written testimony as well (Attachment A).
Commissioner Salazar asked what counties should be included with Delta. Ms. Selby likes the current arrangement. Commissioner Loevey asked about the coal business which is growing. Commissioner Nicolais asked about the county split. Ms. Selby suggested a split along communities of interest. Commissioner Carrera asked about better geographical splits. Ms. Selby agreed that they are important. The most important thing is for Delta County to not be aligned with Pitkin County.
Commissioner Berry took over the chair position and introduced herself. Senator Carroll introduced herself.
Bruce Hovde, Delta County Commissioner expressed his concerns about the configuration of HD 61 with ski resorts in eastern Delta County. He’s okay with the current split in Delta County but would prefer it to be whole. He also has concerns about SD 6 because of the inclusion of ski resorts. The Region 10 Transportation District was discussed. It includes: Delta, Montrose, San Miguel, Ouray, Hinsdale and Gunnison counties.
Ann Evans, Delta County Clerk would like to see Delta County whole. She likes the 2001 division better than being with Pitkin County. She noted that the Hwy 50 corridor is a linking point for counties. She wants it kept with an agrarian economy. Commissioner Nicolais asked about how county splits affect her job. She said that it increases the number of ballot styles and costs. Commissioner Loevy brought up the difference between ski counties and traditional western slope counties. He asked if commonalities are more important than having swing districts. Commissioner Berry asked about voting rates which are high.
Richard Wojciechoski, resident of Ouray County addressed the house plan. He supports the currently adopted plan that includes Ouray with Montrose. He discussed school commonality, transportation sharing, drainage, utilities, medical care, first responders and shopping. He doesn’t want the plan changed to connect Ouray to counties over Red Mountain Pass. Commissioner Berry agreed about Red Mountain pass. Commissioner Nicolais appreciated his focus on what works. He asked about other counties. Commissioner Carrera asked about Hinsdale and Gunnison.
Elizabeth Matz – did not choose to testify.
Brian Ahern, Chair of Democratic Party of San Miguel County cited examples of differences in counties. He referred to Montrose as the most Republican part of the state. He’s okay with the senate map but concerned about house map. He’d like for a Democrat to be able to win in San Miguel County. Transportation needs are different for Montrose and Delta Counties from San Miguel and Ouray Counties. He would prefer to be in HD 59 than HD 58.
Jane Bilberry, advocated for Montrose County. She said that SD 6 is fine but she wants Montrose County in HD 58 and Telluride in HD 59. Commissioner Loevy clarified that she wanted to split San Miguel with eastern San Miguel in HD 59. Commissioner Nicolais asked about commonalities between Delta and Montrose.
Deann Hanson is new resident of Montrose but lived in Gunnison. She asked that Gunnison not be split. She likes region 10 kept together.
Paul Gray, Executive Director for Region 10 Transportation District, suggested that the area has a common interest that isn’t Democrat or Republican. Region 10 started in the 1970’s. After federal funding was cut, counties and municipalities agreed to fund the district. They are economically dependent. He would like to see the 6 counties kept together. Commissioner Carroll asked about the transportation priorities. “You can’t get them from here” is a big problem. Maintenance funding is low. Transit development is the best solution. Commissioner Salazar discussed the process that requires them to split rural counties. Commissioner Carrera asked about Region 10 population since the total population exceeds a district size. Mr. Gray suggested looking a population with similar interests.
Marvin Ballantyne lives west of Montrose. Montrose doesn’t have a lot in common with Telluride. Delta is a lot like Montrose. They share an electric association, technical school, and water users association. He thinks topography is more important than straight lines/county lines. He suggested following ridge lines.
Dea Jacobson, argued about Delta County being split 30 years ago. She’s a former congressional aide for Ben Nighthorse Campbell. She prefers to make Delta County whole with HD 58. Delta and Montrose share the Black Canyon and a growing Hispanic community. She doesn’t want Delta split and put in HD 54. She agrees with putting Telluride with HD 59. Commissioner Carroll asked about a parade she saw in Cedar Ridge. It was the Serenity Run. Commissioner Berry asked about Grand Junction. Ms. Jacobson thinks it should have its own district.
Representative Don Coram, HD 58 addressed San Miguel County and Telluride. He noted that Telluride is serviced by this area. Commissioner Nicolais asked about Delta County commonalities with other counties.
Trudy Mikus, a Crawford resident is concerned about being moved into HD 61 from HD 58. She doesn’t want to be with the resorts.
Barbara Hulet is from Olathe but does business in Delta. She has a choice of where to send her kids to school and thinks that should be considered. She thinks Delta should be with Montrose.
Bill Mikus, a Crawford resident wanted to know who appointed the independent member of the commission. Commissioner Carrera responded. Mr. Mikus disagrees with the values of the people in HD 61.
Commissioner Carroll clarified that differences exist between farming, ranching and tourism. Mr. Mikus doesn’t want to be represented by liberals from Aspen.
Marcia England from Cedar Ridge agreed that agricultural people are not the same as people in ski areas. Commissioner Loevy asked about Crested Butte being different from Aspen.
Tom Hulet from Olathe doesn’t see the county line between Montrose and Delta County as a boundary. He thinks Delta County needs to be with Montrose County.