You may remember a story in 2013 about cuts to the Jeffco Sheriff that could have impacted the SRO program in our schools. Sheriff Jeff Shrader and Sheriff Ted Mink before him have both been very good partners to our schools and have avoided cuts that impact the SRO support in our schools.
However, this year, $16.1 Million in cuts is proposed to all County services. In addition to our public safety services, Jeffco Center for Mental Health, Tobacco Free Jeffco, child care assistance, food assistance, housing assistance, medical assistance, library services, 4H programs, and WIC are all services that impact children and families. And don’t forget those potholes in our roads as we and our buses drive our children to schools!
Essentially, what has happened in Jeffco is this: In addition to growth and property value increase, because grants and funding from other sources also impact the TABOR cap, Jeffco has to give money back to the voters. Because the cost and time involved to give back money is also tremendous in such a large county, the previous commissioners just decreased the amount of money they were taking from property taxes. The approved mill levy for county services is approximately 22 and Jeffco has gradually just reduced the mill to 18 (even though 22 is approved!) Essentially, there’s a cup filling with water and when it’s filled to the brim, the water just runs over the top and sides and the county is not allowed to have the extra water, even if it needs the extra water.
Additionally, if the referred ballot measure CC is approved by the voters, Jeffco simply becomes a donor county. Even at this point, if Jeffco gets a grant for something (and those are usually specific), they have to cut their revenue somewhere else.
In a county with limited resources, it’s a bit crazy to continue to cut services because you bring in more revenue.
So, start thinking about this. Will you be willing to volunteer for this campaign to stop the bleeding and restore the services we need to make Jeffco the best place to live? Yard signs are great and important but informing voters is required. The walk, knock, and talk is coming soon – please be prepared to join in!