Expanded county commission backed by present, former elected officials

Supporters of a ballot question seeking to increase the size of the Mesa County Commission stood shoulder-to-shoulder as they promoted their proposal Friday morning in front of the old Mesa County courthouse.

In the crowd of nearly a dozen were current and former elected officials. Among them: former county commissioners Jim Spehar and Doralyn Genova, Fruita Mayor Ken Henry, Palisade Mayor Dave Walker and De Beque Mayor Dale Rickstrew. The posse is the tip of the spear for the political organization Citizens for Five Commissioners, which has the slogan: “Better government, rural representation, no tax increase.”

“We all agree this is an idea whose time has come,” Grand Junction Mayor Gregg Palmer said. “We hope this is one of the items on an overcrowded ballot that does not get overlooked.”

The group supports Referred Measure 1A, which would increase the board from three to five commissioners.  Its members are also calling for voters to support what’s called election method No. 1 on the ballot. That option would have three commissioners residing in districts, elected by voters of the district, and two commissioners elected at-large by voters throughout the county.

The second option for seating five commissioners, if voters approve expanding the board, would have all five residing in specific districts, but each would be elected by voters of the whole county. Citizens for Five Commissioners does not support the second election method.


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