Jeffco’s new audit committee should be able to investigate any areas
It was with interest that I read your article titled “Commissioners set to resurrect county audit committee.” As chair of the previous Jefferson County Audit Committee, I wondered when the county would again focus on accountability. As your article stated, prior to formation of the first audit committee, Jeffco was beset with numerous financial problems. The audit committee worked hard to help restore credibility to the county government. Jefferson County has been regularly recognized with Certificates of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. With that history, last year’s decision to disband this effective oversight committee was very concerning.
Forming a new audit committee is a welcome first step in restoring accountability to Jefferson County government. However, I remain concerned over the level of commitment the Board of County Commissioners has to the effectiveness of the audit committee. For an audit function to be effective, it must have the freedom to look at tough issues and ask hard questions. Commissioner Faye Griffin’s comment that the previous audit committee was “getting into some areas they weren’t supposed to get into” raises concerns that the commissioners intend to limit what the audit committee can review. Griffin goes on to say the board needs to “be aware of the areas they’re looking at.”
I hope the Board of Commissioners gives the audit committee the authority it needs to be effective. The audit committee should be composed of qualified and independent citizens. The committee must be allowed to objectively evaluate the areas of risk for the county and audit where there is the greatest risk and exposure. The citizens of Jefferson County deserve that level of accountability.
former chair of the Jeffco Audit Committee
county commissioner candidate, District 2
School district should release results of investigation into Columbine incident
It was chilling to read the quote from Jefferson County Schools spokesperson Lynn Setzer that the internal investigation at Columbine after student violence “will not be made public once it’s completed.”
This is the same policy that was said to be necessary to allow staff to report honestly about circumstances prior to the 1999 massacre, which my daughter survived thanks to courageous staff, especially coach Dave Sanders.
The old adage is that when we fail to learn from history, it will repeat itself. Copycats based on false legacies regarding student bullying occur so often none of us can recite the names of all the dead children. It would seem to me the Jefferson County school board might reconsider whether pertinent information gleaned from internal investigations should be released in the aftermath of “physical injury violence” in our schools.
Even the Erickson Commission, seeking truths about the 1999 massacre, could not get past professional courtesy to see the internal investigation they sought. Lacking subpoena power, facts were intentionally concealed and still are. If staff are reluctant to tell the truth, unless they know their words will be hushed, this example of leadership we are teaching our children ought to shame us.
DeGette inflicted on South Jeffco
In previous years, we have been fortunate in South Jefferson County to enjoy elected representation from the likes of congressmen Tom Tancredo and Mike Coffman. With the reapportionment maps drawn by Democrats and rubber-stamped by their majority state Supreme Court, we find ourselves at the mercy of representation by progressives Jared Polis and Diana DeGette. In our case, Coffman was replaced by DeGette.
It was with interest that I read Greg Romberg’s article lauding DeGette for “reaching out” to her new constituents and starting her campaign in the Columbine area. I waited for Romberg to comment on DeGette’s voting record versus that of Congressman Coffman, our currently elected representative. Would Romberg show contrasts, such as DeGette receiving a 3 percent rating from the National Taxpayers Union versus Coffman’s 97 percent, tying her with Socialist Party Rep. Bernie Sanders? Would he mention that Citizens Against Government Waste gave DeGette a zero percent voter rating versus 97 percent for Coffman, tying her with Nancy Pelosi for their worst rating in fighting wasteful government spending? To be fair, Romberg also failed to credit DeGette with her consistent 100 percent ratings and support from both the National Abortion Rights Action League and Planned Parenthood.
DeGette’s public positions and voting records are clear. She supports increased spending and government debt (HR 1954, 4314, 2560, HJ Res 77, 98, S 365); opposes a balanced-budget amendment (HJ Res 2); and favors more regulation of business (HR 10, HR 3010, HR 527) while limiting religious freedom (Jan. 20 press release supporting HHS regulations on religious health-care providers). DeGette also voted to increase government funding and support of abortion (HR 3, 358, House Amendment 95), strengthen costly EPA regulations on Colorado energy production and other business sectors (House Amendments 398, 799, 800, 2681, 2018, 2273, 2021), limit 2nd Amendment rights (HR 822), favor union organizers (HR 3094, House Amendment 398,) end school choice (HR 471), and support Obama’s government health-care mandates (HR 3590, 4872). Compared to the record of Coffman, that is truly a 180-degree shift from how majority South Jeffco voters had cast their ballots.
History is replete with instances where political gerrymandering was used by a party to deny a citizenry of their duly elected representation by minimizing their voice. We can accept our fate, suffer in silence, or openly oppose. DeGette can’t deny her voting record for Obama administration policies and the mounting federal debt, expanded government intervention, continuing high unemployment, and the general decay they have wrought.
South Jeffco voters now forced into CD 1 have the right and responsibility to step up and be heard, holding DeGette accountable at every venue.