County’s policy on threats will be tweaked

Mesa County commissioners plan to revise and adopt policies on threats and violence in county buildings at an administrative hearing July 14.

At the behest of department heads, the board decided Wednesday morning in a meeting with Acting County Attorney Dave Frankel and Staff Attorney Nina Atencio to re-examine their policies on hostile behavior in county facilities. Current policy bans “intimidating, threatening or hostile behaviors, physical abuse, vandalism, arson, sabotage, use of weapons, carrying weapons onto County property without authorization, or any other act, which, in Mesa County’s opinion, is inappropriate in the workplace.”

At the board’s suggestion, Atencio presented an amended resolution that would lift the item about carrying weapons from the policy. County Administrator Tom Fisher said at a previous meeting June 24 about the policy that the county does not track which employees have concealed-carry permits or who uses those permits because there “might be other legal things we have to do” if the organization began tracking or authorizing that activity.

In addition to the revision, the board plans to adopt another policy that includes procedures for handling threatening or hostile behaviors with or without weapons. The policy says members of the public can be ejected from county property if they behave in “intimidating, threatening or hostile manners,” employees can refuse to serve people who misbehave, and the county may post signs that warn of the policy and repercussions of not following it.

DRAINAGE DISTRICT DISPUTE

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, commissioners discussed sending a letter as early as this week to Grand Valley Drainage District disputing a $13,250 monthly fee the district began charging the county in June. The district created the fee with the intention of charging the county and local municipalities for stormwater that runs off government property into district drains, but the board of county commissioners believes the district does not have the authority to charge a fee because of its tax-exempt status on real property.

While a letter from Grand Junction City Attorney John Shaver proposes a “summit meeting” between district personnel and members of the Grand Junction City Council to hash out a possible resolution about the new fee, all three county commissioners agreed they do not feel a summit is necessary.

“What’s there to talk about? We’re not paying it,” said Commissioner John Justman.


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