The next to last agenda item for the April 9 Board of County Commissioners meeting will be a dialogue between Chaffee County Commissioners and Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze regarding his request that the county declares itself a Sanctuary County. The request is his response to the passage of Colorado HB19-1177, the Extreme Risk Order Protection order, otherwise known as the Red Flag Bill, which passed the Colorado Senate March 28.
During the March 23 Kerry Donovan town hall meeting in Salida, Spezze announced that he intended to ask for sanctuary status.
“When the sheriff approached me after the town hall meeting and said he was going to make this request, my response was, please don’t just make a broad request, give us your specific issues, and give us a chance to address those,” said Commissioner Greg Felt during the April 2 commissioner’s meeting. “We need to address his concerns and work on the things we can control that we can do – work for positive outcomes and leave the other aspects to work through the courts.”
Felt went on to say “the constitutionality of the bill itself is not our role – we can address the problems the sheriff sees and many are valid concerns whether this bill had ever been filed in the first place. The issues are important – period. This supports the stance we put forward to the [Colorado] Senate and to the governor…we need to do what we can as a county about the issues that have been raised about mental health and firearms.”
No public comment will be taken during the discussion, but the public may submit written comments through the close of business on April 8.
Also on the agenda, commissioners will determine the eight event days in June under the county “Recreational In-Channel Diversion Program supporting the county’s signature water events. Each year they select the eight days when water rights for the RICD will be running at least 1,800 cubic feet per second. Typically, these fall after the CKS Paddlefest on Memorial Day weekend in Buena Vista and include FibARK in Salida, as well as the 4th of July weekend.
Other agenda items include a public hearing on actions regarding several smaller subdivision projects recommended by the planning commission, a conservation easement discussion with Wade Shelton, and the resolution rejecting the limited impact review appeal for Antelope Road Outfitters.
Commissioners have scheduled an executive session at the end of their regular meeting to receive legal advice on questions in connection with the possible re-negotiation of the settlement agreement between Pueblo West Municipal Utility District and the re-vegetation of the former Hill Ranch lands.