Jeffco Ballot Measure Testimony

On Tuesday, July 23rd, Jonna and Shawna attended the Jefferson County Commissioner’s meeting and spoke in support of a ballot initiative to de-Bruce Jeffco.

As one of a handful of counties that hasn’t done this yet, Jeffco has been losing funding each year. This year, the cuts total $16.1Million with many services that impact children and families. Thankfully, the commissioners ended up voting 3-0 to put the initiative on the November ballot.

Here’s the complete detail from the county that you should take the time to read:

https://www.jeffco.us/3839/Financial-Challenges-for-Jeffco

Here is our testimony to the commissioners:

My name is Jonna Levine, I am Co-founder and Co-chair of Support Jeffco Kids.

I usually find myself addressing our Jeffco School Board or testifying at the Capitol, on issues that impact our kids and students in Jefferson County and likewise, today is about an issue that will ultimately impact Jeffco’s kids and families.

We (Support Jeffco Kids)  believe the De-Brucing measure the Board is considering today is a must do in order for Jefferson County to maintain the quality of life our residents have come to know and which has been a primary factor in drawing so many new businesses.  But we are especially concerned  the $16.1 million reductions in the next year to balance the budget, ( which will be required across all offices, departments and divisions whose budget is impacted by the General Fund)  will ultimately have an impact on the safety & well being of our children.  And we understand that without De-Brucing, the County will likely be forced to seek additional reductions the following year.

Support Jeffco Kids is a strong advocate for what the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office (and the County) does to support our students’ safety and security.

Many Jeffco residents may not realize, the Jeffco Sheriff’s office provides 14 School Resource Officers to our schools to help provide safe and secure facilities for our students – at no cost to Jeffco Schools.  Sheriff Shrader has been very clear in demonstrating that our students’ safety is a priority of the sheriff’s office and the County Commissioners.   Without these 14 SROs provided by the County, there would be a significant hardship on Jeffco School’s Safety & Security department & the district to fund this same kind of coverage.

We greatly appreciate that the commissioners have announced their priority will be to public safety, and we also understand the assignment of the 14 SRO’s is a hardship on the Sheriff’s and the county’s budget. We know, to maintain this level of support for our students’ safety will require cuts in other areas of the Sheriff’s budget and the county’s budget.

There are many reasons beyond this specific one to support the proposed De-Brucing measure.  As Jefferson County residents, we consider ourselves fortunate to be able to enjoy all of the great services and opportunities that make our community this special place.  Allowing that to go away because of TABOR’s restrictions would be travisty.

We strongly urge this Board to move forward with the proposed De-Brucing measure.

Thank you.