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Former commissioner Odom failed to attend meetings after losing seat

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By Ramsey Scott

During the county commissioners’ recent vote to approve Jeffco’s 2013 budget, which included a $688,000 cut to three social-services nonprofits, there was a noticeable — and repeat — absence. 

The budget was approved on a 2-0 vote, with County Commissioner John Odom not in attendance. Commissioners Don Rosier and Faye Griffin voted in favor. 

Starting Nov. 15 — after losing his seat to Democrat Casey Tighe in the Nov. 6 election — Odom did not attend the weekly Board of County Commissioners meetings on Tuesdays, missing a total of five meetings. 

Odom, who made $87,300 a year as a county commissioner, did not respond to the Courier’s request to explain his absences.

A Republican, Odom was appointed in May 2011 to replace Kevin McCasky, who resigned to become head of the Jefferson Economic Development Corp. 

Tighe was sworn into office on Tuesday.

The absence of Odom was noted by state Sen. Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood, when he criticized the county’s funding cuts to the Seniors’ Resource Center, Family Tree and the Jefferson Center for Mental Health.

“Where’s our third commissioner? Why are only two people making this incredibly important decision that impacts out community?” Kerr asked.

Rosier said that planning the county’s budget is a year-long process and that Odom worked with him and Griffin throughout 2012 on shaping the 2013 spending plan. 

But while Rosier was adamant that the budget reflected the work of all three commissioners, he said elected officials have an ethical responsibility to attend meetings.

“I ran for the job, not for the title, and in doing so I get the honor to rep those people who did vote for me and those that didn’t,” Rosier said. “They demand I be here 100 percent of the time, and I show up and I attend.”

 

Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22