Commission veteran Acquafresca picked for board chairman

Steve Acquafresca, Mesa County commissioner

Monday’s regular meeting of the Mesa County Board of County Commissioners was notably different, as the two new commissioners — John Justman and Rose Pugliese — were seated at the dais instead of longtime fixtures Craig Meis and Janet Rowland.

One of the first orders of business was to vote the third member of the board, Steve Acquafresca, to serve as chairman of the new board for the year, meaning Acquafresca will take the lead during public meetings.

Also Monday, Acquafresca was named to replace Meis as the board’s representative to the county’s Federal Mineral Lease District board, a group responsible for distributing funds generated by the development of natural resources on federal lands in Mesa County.

As is usually the case, county commissioners gravitate to certain areas of focus, and their committee appointments often reflect their interests. This board appears no different.

It was announced that newcomer Justman will represent the board on the 521 Drainage Authority, the Animal Services Advisory Board, the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado, and as the formal alternate to Acquafresca on the Grand Valley Regional Transportation Committee. He’ll also represent Mesa County on the water policy-focused Gunnison Basin Roundtable.

Pugliese will serve on the Community Services Block Grant Committee, the Criminal Justice Leadership Group, the Long Memorial Park Advisory Committee, the local and state committee of the Meth Task Force, and the Purchase Development Rights Committee connected to the Mesa Land Trust. She’ll also be the ex-officio appointee to the Business Incubator.

Acquafresca will continue as the county representative to the Colorado River Water Conservation District, the Colorado Extension Advisory Council, and the Dominguez Escalante NCA Wilderness Advisory Council. He’ll also continue his role with the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.

All three commissioners serve as the governing board for the Board of Human Services, the legislative committee of Club 20, and the many Public Improvement Districts within the county. Acquafresca predicted all three also would drop in on the Riverfront Commission.


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