Elbert County Under the Radar
        "The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it." -Voltaire


By Susan Shick

1. YOUR PROPERTY TAX CONTRIBUTIONS WERE WITHHELD FROM THE COMMISSIONERS BY THE STATE AUDITOR IN 2022/2023 DUE TO THE COMMISSIONERS’ FAILURE TO DELIVER A TIMELY AUDIT. When the county commissioners failed to account for their 2021 expenditure of your tax dollars, the state auditor ordered the county treasurer to withhold all property taxes from the commissioners from Nov 15, 2022 through Feb 16, 2023. By law, the annual county audit is due to the state by July 31st. After their failure to deliver the audit by the state-granted extension date of Sept 30, the state finally stepped in and ordered the withholding of funds. When the audit was finally delivered on Feb 15 2023, the auditor described it as “high risk” due to mismanagement of funds by several elected offices and departments. Commissioners have failed to deliver the 2022 audit on time this year and recently were granted an extension until Sep 30, 2023.

2. COMMISSIONERS HAVE REVERTED TO FORMER FINANCIAL MISMANAGEMENT PRACTICES THAT ALMOST BANKRUPTED THE COUNTY In 2015. The bad practices started with the failure to deliver on-time financial audits for 5 consecutive years. When commissioners build, approve and spend budgets without audited financial balances, they put all of us at risk of losing necessary services from FIRST RESPONDERS.

3. COMMISSIONERS CALLED A SURPRISE MEETING AND REQUESTED ELBERT COUNTY’S FIRST RESPONDERS CONSIDER LOWERING THEIR MILL LEVY TAX AMOUNTS! Under the guise of “helping to alleviate some of your high property tax bills” the commissioners asked our fire departments to cut back on services and then launched into an attack on the proposed November state ballot initiative called Proposition HH. The commissioners and special district managers of Independence, Spring Valley Ranch, Elkhorn Ranch, Ritoro, etc, did not offer to lower their property tax mill levies at all.

Contact your commissioners and tell them to act responsibly with your tax dollars by providing an on-time audit that is not high risk and a budget that affords all other elected officials and departments the tools to provide required and desired services. Tell them you will not tolerate a reduction in services from our first responders through a reduced mill levy. Tell them to Show YOU the Money…NOW!


Commissioner District 1: 303-621-3132

Commissioner District 2: 303-621-3139

Commissioner District 3: 303-621-3114



“Our opinion is qualified by the following:

The amounts of water in the Denver Basin aquifer, and identified in this letter, are calculated based on estimated current aquifer conditions. The source of water is from a non-renewable aquifer, the allocations of which are based on a 100-year aquifer life. The county should be aware that the economic life of a water supply based on wells in a given Denver Basin aquifer may be less than the 100 years (or 300 years) used for allocation due to anticipated water level declines. We recommend that the county determine whether it is appropriate to require development of renewable water resources for this subdivision to provide for a long-term water supply.” June 22, 2022

The entire 5-page document from the Colorado Division of Water Resources (CDWR) responding to the Independence subdivision expansion application was removed from public documents as the Elbert County Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners, both approved the expansion of the number of homes in Independence (CR 154) from 920 to 1400.

Elbert County personnel claimed a CORA (Colorado Open Records Act) request would be required before it would be shown to the public. CDWR provided the document immediately upon request. No CORA request needed. You can download a PDF of it by clickin here.


Demand that land use regulations, completely controlled by the commissioners, be changed to require developers bring renewable water resources to Elbert County. Call for a moratorium on large housing developments until supplemental water sources are obtained. Ensure your private well is registered in your name; adjudicate your water rights. Recall current commissioners and elect water smart commissioners. Run for elected office.

Contacts: CDWR Home | Division of Water Resources ( Elbert County is governed by the Division 1 Office located in Greeley.

Commissioner District 1: 303-621-3132
Commissioner District 2: 303-621-3139
Commissioner District 3: 303-621-3114

What are Commissioners actually thinking about when they make dumb decisions...?

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