Did you know there is a County official whom you did not elect?
Many Colorado Counties have a position called Public Trustee that oversees foreclosures in the County. This position is appointed by the Governor. If Public Trustees do not perform, you can’t vote them out; they have no direct accountability to the people they serve.
Fifty-four counties combine the Public Trustee duties with the County Treasurer—an elected position. If voters are not happy with this elected official, they can use the ballot box as a remedy.
Makes sense to me. Why should the Governor have the power to appoint a county official? And the icing on the cake: Counties choosing to combine these roles save money. The County Treasurer receives a small portion of the Public Trustee’s salary for the extra responsibility, but there is no longer an additional high-level state employee.
Now, Representative Ray Scott from Grand Junction has offered a bill, 12-1329, that allows counties to place themselves in the appropriate category to be able to combine the roles. Thus far, only 3 Counties (El Paso, Mesa and Weld) are part of this bill allowing them local control over the decision to combine the elected County Treasurer role with the appointed Public Trustee duties. This seems like a straightforward yes vote.
Find the text of this bill here.
After brief testimony on Monday in the House Local Government Committee, with Douglas County joining the three others, the bill was laid over until at least next week for additional hearings.