Time:06:06 PM to 08:27 PM
Place:Western State College - Gunnison
This Meeting was called to order by
This Report was prepared by
Amanda King
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
Bills Addressed: Action Taken:
Welcome and Introductions
Public Testimony
Note: This meeting summary is not an official record of the commission or of the meeting. It is not intended to serve as a transcript or minutes of the commission meeting. The audio recording of the meeting is the official record of the meeting. This summary may be used as a guide to the audio recording. To access the audio recording of a commission meeting, visit the Colorado Joint Legislative Library located in the State Capitol, Room 048 (basement/ground floor level). You will need to note the date, time, and location of the meeting to access the audio recording. Copies of the audio recordings may be obtained at the library if you bring with you blank, recordable compact discs or a flash drive. Librarians are on site and available to assist you with accessing an audio recording.

6:06 PM -- Welcome and Introductions

Commissioner Salazar, chair, called the commissioner to order. He made opening remarks about the process. Commissioners Loevy and Nicolais introduced themselves. Troy Bratton, Reapportionment Commission Staff, read a written statement about the Colorado Reapportionment Commission and its process (Attachment A).

Attachment A.pdf

6:15 PM -- Public Testimony

The following individuals testified:

6:16 PM -- Jim Schmidt, representing the town of Crested Butte, stated that the town of Crested Butte does not have any objections to the Senate map, but they do have objections to the House map. He read a letter (Attachment B) from the Crested Butte Town Council. He made comments about the proposed House map in relationship to Crested Butte. Commissioner Nicolais asked Mr. Schmidt if it would be preferable to keep Gunnison County whole and group it with Chaffee, Park, and Fremont Counties. Mr. Schmidt said that Commissioner Nicolais' suggestion would be acceptable. Mr. Schmidt said that the preliminary map has made Crested Butte feel disenfranchised. Commissioner Loevy asked about the political make-up of proposed House District 61. Mr. Schmidt spoke to the economic and other factors of Crested Butte and its connections with other nearby communities. Commissioner Salazar asked about the population of Crested Butte. Mr. Schmidt responded to the question and made a suggestion of where a split could be made in the county. Commissioner Salazar asked Mr. Schmidt how he would feel if Gunnison County were kept whole and then grouped with Eagle, Pitkin, and Lake County. Mr. Schmidt said that grouping would be more comfortable.

Attachment B.pdf

6:30 PM --
Maureen Hall, from Crested Butte, discussed the split that occurs in Gunnison County in the proposed House map. She shared her concerns about how much interaction the people in the north end of the valley would have with their state representative.

6:34 PM -- Ramon Reed, from Pitkin, stated he agreed with Mr. Schmidt and Ms. Hall. Mr. Reed spoke about Gunnison County being split in the proposed House map. He discussed some of the components of the existing House District 61 and one of the other proposed maps for Gunnison County. Mr. Reed spoke to the communities of interest in Gunnison County and, specifically, between the towns of Gunnison and Crested Butte. He spoke about the priorities of the commission. Mr. Reed read from the Hobbs opinion from the case of In Re Reapportionment of the Colorado General Assembly. Commissioner Loevy asked Mr. Reed's opinion about which political party the proposed map favors. Mr. Reed responded to Commissioner Loevy's question. Commissioner Nicolais spoke about swing districts. Commissioner Nicolais asked about population deviations and with which counties Mr. Reed thought Gunnison County could be grouped. Mr. Reed responded to Commissioner Nicolais' questions. Mr. Reed continued his comments about various communities of interest in the area. He submitted a written statement (Attachment C).

Attachment C.pdf

6:58 PM --
Peggy Moore, from Crested Butte, said she agreed with the previous testifiers and spoke about having a voice in her community.

6:58 PM --
Noelle Hagan, from Gunnison, spoke about her history with the area. She spoke about the communities of interests between Montrose and Delta Counties, that do not carry over to Gunnison County. She spoke to the number of counties in the proposed House District 58 and how that would effect the representation of the district. She spoke to the role of Western State College and the concerns about being placed in the same district with Mesa State College. Commissioner Loevy asked for further clarification about the relationships between Western State College and Mesa State College and the regions they each cover. Ms. Hagan responded to Commissioner Loevy. She submitted a written statement (Attachment D).

Attachment D.pdf

7:07 PM -- Frank Venturo, from Gunnison, spoke about his history with the area. He spoke about maintaining the lifestyle in the area and protecting the economic interests, natural resources, and education in the area. He spoke about the split of the Gunnison County during the 1980's and the effects on the community, especially to Western State College. Mr. Venturo continued his comments about the counties included in the proposed House District 58. He spoke about the water issues in the region. He restated how important it is to keep Gunnison County whole.

7:18 PM --
Steve Glazer, from Crested Butte, spoke about watersheds and topography. He spoke about the role of Lake City in the water conservancy district. He also asked about the southern border of the proposed House District 61 and which district the population of Southern Crested Butte is included in. There was discussion amongst the audience members about the border. Mr. Glazer continued his comments about the communities of interest in the area.

7:23 PM -- Ralph "Butch" Clark, from Gunnison, said he supports the previous statements and the fact that Gunnison County needs to be kept whole. He spoke about the ski community employees living in Gunnison. He spoke about the relationship between the headwater communities.

7:26 PM --
Jim Starr, from Crested Butte, spoke about his involvement in Crested Butte. He read a letter from the town council of Mount Crested Butte (Attachment E). He spoke about the history of Gunnison County and the various communities of interest and county-wide efforts of various organizations in the county. He spoke about the small population in the north part of Gunnison County that is divided by the proposed House map and the difficulty of getting to that part of Gunnison County. He referenced an informal poll by the Gunnison Country Times newspaper and the survey results opposing the splitting of Gunnison County. He spoke about the importance of keeping Hinsdale County with Gunnison County. Commissioner Nicolais asked with which other counties Gunnison County should be grouped. Mr. Starr responded to Commissioner Nicolais' question. Mr. Starr and Commissioner Nicolais continued their discussion. Mr. Starr stated he supported the alternative map of H3004v2. Mr. Starr discussed the relationship between portions of Delta and Gunnison Counties in relation to mineral extraction. Mr. Starr also submitted a letter from the Gunnison County Democrats into the record (Attachment F).

Attachment E.pdf Attachment F.pdf

7:45 PM -- Gary Hausler, from Gunnison, stated he wanted to endorse the previous statements and that he liked the alternative map (H3004v2). He spoke about water issues in area. He spoke about the recent merger of the community foundations in Gunnison County. He spoke about recent election results in the area. He urged keeping Gunnison County in one House district.

7:48 PM --
Cathy Frank, from Crested Butte, stated her supported keeping Gunnison County whole. She expressed concerns about when the meeting was scheduled. She spoke about the weather and shared resources in the area. She spoke about the community of Southern Crested Butte.

7:50 PM -- Paula Swenson, Gunnison County Commissioner, spoke about the desire to keep Gunnison County whole. She spoke about the wholistic nature of the county and how various activities occur throughout the county. She spoke about placing Grand County with Gunnison County.

7:53 PM --
Diana Graves, from Crested Butte, spoke of her support of the previous statements. She stated that Crested Butte is an appendage of the town of Gunnison. She spoke about the various issues in the areas with regards to water, ranching, tourism, and Western State College. She spoke of her support of the alternative map (H3004v2). She asked that Gunnison County be kept together. She said the political parties are organized between the towns of Gunnison and Crested Butte.

7:57 PM -- Don Janney, from Gunnison, said his prepared notes have been covered by the previous statements. He spoke about the issues that mountains, snow, and gravel roads create in traveling in the area.

7:59 PM --
Jonathan Houck, mayor of Gunnison, spoke about the memorandums of agreements and other plans between Gunnison, Crested Butte, and Mount Crested Butte. He spoke about the air travel service in Gunnison County. Mayor Houck spoke about the importance relationship between Hinsdale and Gunnison Counties. He spoke about the importance of the geography of Gunnison County. Commissioner Loevy asked about the ground transportation services in Gunnison County. Mayor Houck responded to the question. Commissioner Loevy asked about establishing light rail in the community. Mayor Houck responded to Commissioner Loevy.

8:07 PM --
Elizabeth Janney, from Gunnison, spoke about her volunteer involvement in various arts communities in Gunnison County and the combined efforts between various arts organizations in Gunnison County. She submitted a written statement (Attachment G).

Attachment G.pdf

8:09 PM --
Representative Roger Wilson, from Glenwood Springs, spoke about his experience representing the area in the state legislature. He spoke about the topography of the area. He spoke about the Elk Mountain Loop. He spoke about the relationship between the Roaring Fork Valley and the Gunnison Valley and the similar activities that occur in both valleys. He continue his comments about representing the area in the state legislature.

8:20 PM -- Monica Piergrossi, from Crested Butte, asked that Gunnison County not be split. She made comments about the elements of the proposed House District 58. She discussed the federal and state funding available to Gunnison County. Commissioner Nicolais engaged in dialogue with Ms. Piergrossi. Commissioner Loevy asked Ms. Piergrossi to further explain her comments about telecommuting and broadband. Ms. Piergrossi responded.

8:27 PM -- Adjournment

Commissioner Salazar thanked President Jay Helman of Western State College for hosting the commission and the public. Commissioner Salazar adjourned the meeting.