Tyler Stevens suspends his candidacy for El Paso County Commissioner District 3.
The Elect Tyler Stevens Campaign team and supporters put forth a tremendous effort to get Tyler elected. Unfortunately, our petition gathering folks failed to deliver adequate valid signatures by today’s deadline. Without sufficient valid signatures, it is not possible to get on the Republican Primary ballot.
“It is with great disappointment that I suspend my campaign. I had tremendous support from the region, and my campaign team was positioned for success, therefore I am deeply saddened to have had this opportunity taken away from the voters. It was an honor to be a candidate for this important office. I look forward to our region’s future and continuing to serve our community. I thank my family, friends and supporters who went forward with me on this journey.” Stevens said.
Said Jake Zambrano, a consultant brought on to help organize the signature effort: "Tyler and his team are talented people, he's a fantastic candidate, and they ran a great race. Very rarely do you see so much energy for a candidate when talking to voters in the community, unfortunately we came up short."
Tyler is honored to support Stan VanderWerf in the primary election for El Paso County Commissioner District 3 and invites his supporters to join in supporting him. "Stan is an experienced and capable leader, who will make a great County Commissioner." Stevens stated.
This RFP represents the first step in the Sheriff's Office and CSPD working together to explore the possibility of a regional call center and combined evidence storage facility. It is seeking proposals from outside architectural/engineering experts to help the County and the City determine the suitability of the South Union property and whether or not either of the existing buildings on the site could be repurposed for these purposes.———ORIGINAL POST MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2016, 4:54 P.M.———————
By way of background: The Sheriff's Office, CSPD, and many other law enforcement agencies are seeing greatly increased volumes of calls in their call centers, driven at least partially by cell phone technology. In the past hundreds of motorists would drive around a traffic accident at a busy intersection and only a few would bother to stop at the next phone booth to call for help; today everyone calls and its not uncommon for local 9-1-1 centers to bog down with dozens or even hundreds of reports on the same emergency creating huge "peaks" in call volumes. To the extent that a high call volume event will usually hit one call and dispatch center (either the Sheriff's Office or CSPD) much harder than the other a combined regional center could be a highly efficient in spreading peak call volume out over more dispatchers.
Similarly, new crime analysis and testing technology has prompted new laws requiring law enforcement agencies to keep certain types of evidence for decades greatly increasing the amount of evidence storage capacity needed. In terms of evidence storage, there is no difference between a crime investigated by the Sheriff's Office and one investigated by CSPD; both are prosecuted by District Attorney's Office and go to trial at the county courthouse. I believe the Police Chief is pretty much "on the record" with everyone in indicating that evidence storage is rapidly becoming a critical need for CSPD and the Sheriff's Office also sees a need for expanded storage in the not too distant future.
With that background - the RFP represents a sincere effort on behalf of the Sheriff and the Police Chief to explore the possibility of using an existing publicly owned property, with arguably a very good location (near CSPD, EPSO, Coroner, DA and Courts) for to meet these needs.
I haven't heard much about possible financing options. Those discussion will be more relevant after a firm selected in response to this RFP completes its assessment and reports its findings.
The El Paso County Public Services Department is seeking proposals from qualified experienced architectural/engineering (A/E) firms interested in providing design/real property development services for El Paso County property located at 301/305 South Union Boulevard, Colorado Springs, CO 80910. El Paso County and the City of Colorado Springs are interested in developing this property. The property is envisioned to become a regional 911 communication operations center and evidence holding facility for the El Paso County Sheriff, the District Attorney, and the City of Colorado Springs Police Department. Options range from upgrading the existing facilities to complete removal of the existing facilities and new construction. El Paso County will receive proposals from firms interested in presenting their concepts for the widest range of functionality and overall best use of the property. The services that may be included but are not limited to providing building analysis, finish design, and cost estimating. The County reserves the right to award contract to the highest ranked firm if such is deemed to be in the best interest of the County.We've asked the county to provide more information, such as how much this project will cost and where the money will come from, and we'll update when we hear something. It came as a bit of shock to find the bid solicitation, considering the city has boasted about its own communications center, as stated on the city's website:
Welcome to the homepage of the Colorado Springs Police and Fire Department's combined communications center. The Colorado Springs Public Safety Communications Center is a state of the art facility that is responsible for answering 911 calls as well as non-emergency calls for police, fire, and medical services with-in the City of Colorado Springs. In addition, we also answer all 911 cell phone calls in El Paso County.The city's communications center apparently doesn't handle 911 calls for the CSPD, and the renovated building or new building, whichever is decided upon, also would provide evidence storage. Both the city and county have mentioned a shortage of evidence space, and the city in 2006 had quite a little scandal about the destruction of evidence that shouldn't have been trashed.
The Center has the added responsibility of monitoring and dispatching police and fire field units to calls for service.
In 2014 the Communications Center was reaccredited by the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch. This process is voluntary and must show compliance with the Academy’s “20 Points of Excellence.” The center retained its status as an Accredited Center of Excellence for another three years. The Communications Center has held this impressive title since January of 1998.
BoCC Report Confirms: No Oil and Gas Drilling Activity in El Paso County Since 2014
Total of Seven Test Wells Were Drilled 2011 – 2014 None Since and Fracking Was Used On Only One
El Paso County, CO., February 17, 2016 – During its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday February 16, 2016 the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) received a report indicating that it has been nearly two years since the last exploratory drilling for oil and gas was done in El Paso County.
Senior Assistant County Attorney Diana May, who is the El Paso County local government designee through the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission permitting process, reported that a total of seven test wells were drilled in the County from 2011 - 2014 and the “fracking” process was used at only one of those sites. May reported that there has been no exploration activity in the County since 2014.
The report also provided information correcting inaccurate statements made by citizens during the Citizen Comment period at recent meetings of the Board Health and the Board of County Commissioners. The inaccurate statements referred to ongoing exploration activity, including fracking and stated that this exploration activity was either sponsored or directed by the operators of the NextEra Windfarm. “The last test well in El Paso County was drilled in April of 2014,” Diana May told Commissioners. “It was a vertical well. It did not involve fracking. It was done by NexGen Oil and Gas from the Denver area. That company name may have sounded similar to Windfarm operator NextEra Energy but it’s not the same the company and there has been no drilling activity and no fracking in El Paso County for nearly two years.”
Windfarm operator NextEra Energy is a publicly traded company based in Florida. NexGen Oil and Gas is a limited liability company (LLC) based in Greenwood Village, Colorado.
Meetings of the Board of County Commissioners can be viewed through live streaming at www.elpasoco.com by clicking on the link in the left side column marked, Live Meetings at Centennial Hall. Commissioners meetings are replayed the following evening on Comcast channel 17, the Pikes Peak Library District Channel.
Michael Seraphin Announces Run for County Commission
FALCON, Colo. - Former Colorado Division of Wildlife Public Information Officer Michael Seraphin announced today that he is a candidate for the El Paso County Commission in District 2.
"I hope voters make history for the first time in nearly 50-years by electing a county commissioner who doesn't have an "R" behind their name," said Seraphin. "It's time for a change from one-party politics."
Seraphin has never run for office before.
He said the reason he entered the 2016 race is because it is time to elect someone who will make hard decisions to fix local problems, instead of grandstanding about national politics in an effort to boost their own ambitions," he said.
District 2 is the fastest growing area in the county. Infrastructure, school funding, public safety, and water use planning are not getting the attention they deserve.
"Every day I hear people complain about how government has let them down," he said.
Seraphin believes residents in Falcon, Peyton, Calhan, and the rest of District 2 want someone who will listen to their needs; make decisions that will protect their property rights and values; and not cave-in to pressure from big-money politics.
Seraphin describes himself as a fiscal conservative who is socially responsible and strives for more efficient government. "I'm sort of a cross between a Democrat, Independent, and conservative all rolled into one. I own guns and believe in gun rights, but on the other hand, I am an environmentalist who understands the dangers of fracking and wants to protect our clean air and clean water. I don't see those issues as mutually exclusive along party lines."
Smaller government is not just about taxes, he added. It's about less regulation, too. "One of the first things I will do is cut red tape by repealing dozens of unnecessary, outdated regulations."
"I am not a lawyer or a professional politician. I don't have any desire to be a State Senator, a Congressman, Attorney General, or run for national office. I am just an ordinary citizen who thinks it's time we focus on the local issues we have right here in El Paso County."
Seraphin is a resident of Falcon who has lived in Colorado for the better part of 35 years. He was a spokesman for the Colorado Division of Wildlife from 1998 until his retirement in 2013.
Citizens Reminded to Make Sure High Efficiency Furnace Vent Pipes Are Clear of Snow
Drifts Can Block Side Wall Ventilation Pipes Critical for Safe Operations of Modern Gas Appliances
El Paso County, CO., February 3, 2015 – El Paso County joins with the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department in reminding area residents with modern high efficiency furnaces in their homes and businesses to make sure the outside vent pipes for those appliances are not blocked by snow and ice.
High efficiency furnaces are not installed using the old style metal vent pipes that extend through the roof. Instead, they use shorter PVC (plastic) pipes typically vented through a side wall near the ground. While these installations offer great efficiency, the side vent pipes can be covered by snow drifts or clogged by snow and ice, leaves, animal nests or other debris. Obstructed vent pipes can result in the furnace shutting itself down, or in the worst scenario, deadly carbon monoxide could be released into to your home or business.
Side wall vent kits that provide added protection against vent obstructions are readily available through local HVAC contractors and online suppliers. But even with a vent kit in place it’s a good idea to check to make sure that snow has not drifted up against the outside wall where the vent pipes come out.
Our community is at a crossroads. The decisions that the voters make in the next election will shape our community and affect the lives of each El Paso County resident. The time has come for new leaders who possess the diverse experience, clear-eyed vision, and courage necessary protect our rights and empower citizens to take our community to exciting next frontiers of prosperity. Showing New Leadership For Great Futures means leading in three priority areas:
- Expand Economic Opportunity
- Rededicate County Government to Customer Service
- Prioritize Public Safety
We will work together and make progress in these three important areas, leaving our community in a much better place for our children and grandchildren, and that's what motivates me. These future generations deserve elected officials who will devote every ounce of brainpower and vigor they have to improving our beautiful home. I'm the results-oriented reformer with the passion, enthusiasm, and servant's heart necessary to achieve these goals and make real and lasting progress possible.
My deep local roots, coupled with my extensive leadership and communications experience, place me in a unique position to provide the visionary leadership we need in District 3 on the Board of El Paso County Commissioners.
Regarding my federal lawsuit against El Paso County and former Sheriff Maketa, if there is no resolution prior to the start of my term, then I would certainly remove myself from any involvement in decisions about how the county should proceed. I stand by my decision to file the initial complaint along with Commander Rob King and Bureau Chief Mitch Lincoln. I believe the citizens of EI Paso County have a right to know the facts that were discovered as a result of our allegations and formal complaint.He also notes that, contrary to our earlier post, he WILL NOT be taking a pay cut if elected. Why? Because the Colorado General Assembly last session passed a bill that bumps up pay for commissioners substantially: from $87,300 to $113,490, which figures out to be whopping 30 percent pay hike. The same pay increase will be seen by county treasurers, clerks and assessors in the state's biggest counties, which include El Paso, Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Douglas, Jefferson, Larimer, Pueblo and Weld.
Rodney Gehrett (R-Colorado Springs) has officially announced his candidacy for the El Paso County Commissioner seat that will be vacated by Commissioner Sally Clark in January of 2017, due to term limits.
“With three of the five county commissioners leaving office due to term limits in January of 2017, the 2016 election cycle is a critical time for El Paso County,” Rodney said. “More than ever, El Paso County needs experienced leaders to answer the call of public service and lead this community into the future. I have been a public servant for more than three decades, and I am not done yet. I have the experience, demonstrated leadership, and courage necessary to address challenges head on, ensuring the highest quality of life for all who call this great community home.”
As a County Commissioner, Rodney plans to focus his efforts to improve public safety services, repair and maintain infrastructure, and diversify and strengthen the local economy. He believes improvements in these three areas will have the most significant impact on the quality of life for all El Paso County citizens. “People prefer to live, work, and play in communities that are safe, with well maintained infrastructure and good paying jobs that allow them to provide for their families,” said Rodney. “Those same issues are equally important to local businesses owners.”
He has already picked up several key endorsements from local leaders. Among his supporters is Sheriff Bill Elder, who recently completed the first year of his four year term as Sheriff. “Rodney’s contributions to our collective success as an agency have been immeasurable during this past year,” said Elder. “I will hate to lose him as a member of my Command Staff, but his style of leadership is desperately needed in this community. He has my full support!”
Rodney is a 20 year veteran of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, where he currently serves as the Support Operations Division Commander. During his career, he has held numerous key positions such as Training Director, Standards and Technologies Manager, Public Information Officer, and Administrative Services Division Commander. His extensive experience managing people, resources, and budgets within the El Paso County government framework makes him uniquely qualified to serve as a commissioner.
In addition to his service with the Sheriff’s Office, Rodney has an extensive military background. He recently completed his 30th year of military service. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He serves as a Major with the US Army Reserve and is currently a Psychological Operations Officer, assigned to NORAD and USNORTHCOM at Peterson Air Force Base.
The Resolution, approved during the Tuesday November 24 BoCC meeting, further states, “The Board is concerned about the considerable financial burdens created by the refugees on our local schools, law enforcement, and community services, as an additional unfunded mandate imposed upon the community during uncertain economic times in which the County budget and other governmental entities and agencies are already experiencing financial stressors.”Regarding those "uncertain economic times," in the county's latest 2016 budget report, the sales tax forecast for next year predicts the county will bring in $91 million, which is 32 percent more than the pre-recession year of 2007. Property tax revenue during the same period is estimated to go up 30 percent — from $37.4 million in 2007 to a predicted $48.6 million in 2016.
Through the Resolution Commissioners indicate that they understand, “the desire for persons to seek freedom and to share in all that is good and positive in the American way of life. (But) the risk to our local citizens in times of global terrorism and economic insecurity cannot be overlooked, and it is necessary for the Board to protect the health, safety, security, and welfare of the citizens of the County by declaring its opposition to the relocation of refugees from the United States Resettlement Program into El Paso County until and unless the refugee is determined by existing immigration procedures to not be a threat by the federal government.”
The item came before the Board as an added agenda item at the request of Commissioner Darryl Glenn. Commissioner Glenn noted that the resettlement efforts would have financial implications and the County will be making budget decisions for 2016 at its next meeting on December 3. Commissioner Glenn said, “Real-world events are not only dictating that we deal with this as a budget item, but also that we work to provide some level of security for the citizens who have expressed a concern with regard to, what is it that is possible for our local governments are able to do.”
Radical Islamic Terrorists have declared war on the United States of America. President Obama, Governor Hickenlooper and Senator Bennet have grossly underestimated the magnitude of the threat that we're facing.
The blanket acceptance of the relocation of refugees to the United States without certification from the directors of the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and National Intelligence should not be tolerated. I stand with more than half of the nation's governors opposing the acceptance of Syrian refugees without a clear certification that their placement would not jeopardize the security of the citizens they've taken an oath to protect. Unfortunately, Colorado's governor is NOT one of them.
While I certainly appreciate the plight of innocent refugees and of those fleeing from terror in their homelands, I simply cannot agree to accept the unknown into our homes at the expense of the safety and security of those we love.
So what should we do if our President, Governor and Senior Senator refuse to show leadership?
As your next Senator from Colorado, I'm asking you to join me in calling for all of our elected officials to seek the immediate suspension of all federal, state and local government funding in support of the Refugee Resettlement Program within the State of Colorado until we receive certification from the directors of the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and National Intelligence that these refugees pose no threat to the security of our citizens.
We must take this moment in time to step up and lead when our President, Governor and Senior Senator have failed!
On Tuesday, September 29, 2015, a use of force incident occurred in the Intake and Release area of the Criminal Justice Center. Information regarding this incident was reported and then given to the District Attorney’s Office for review. A criminal investigation was initiated due to the actions taken by Deputy Francisco Vasquez, in his official capacity as a Deputy Sheriff.
On the afternoon of November 19, 2015, Deputy Vasquez was officially charged by the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office with 3rd Degree Assault (M1) and Official Oppression (M2). Deputy Vasquez has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office since December 12, 2012, and is assigned to the Intake and Release Section.
Deputy Vasquez is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the internal investigation. Facts concerning this investigation will not be released at this time, as it is an ongoing personnel matter. According to Sheriff Elder, “The arrest of a deputy has a significant impact on our Office, its members, and our community. It will be handled in the same manner and with the same integrity as every other investigation.”
Deputy Vasquez is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Marsha Brewer, Candidate
El Paso County Commissioner District 4
Exits the Race
Colorado Springs – Today Marsha Brewer, a Candidate for County Commissioner announced that she would not seek the Republican Party nomination for El Paso County Commissioner District 4.
“To be an effective Candidate requires a great deal of time and attention. Due to a change in my personal circumstances, I will not be able to devote the time and attention I believe is necessary to be an effective Candidate and Commissioner. I wish the other Candidates and the citizens of Commissioner District 4 the very best,” stated Brewer “there are some excellent Candidates in this race and I look forward to supporting the Party’s nominee in June.”