Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter – Monthly Column

Lew Gaiter III

Lew Gaiter

Your local elected officials, including members of the Board of County Commissioners, are regular people just like you. We might be your neighbor, our children may go to school together, or we could bump in to each other as we frequent the same local businesses. Even though we have a great responsibility in serving Larimer County citizens, we’re also county citizens ourselves.

An important aspect of our jobs is making decisions for the benefit of the community. While sometimes those decisions don’t make everyone happy, they’re made based on information and input from many sources. For example, we often hear from residents, County staff, project applicants, and other related experts who we hope will weigh in on an issue and provide pertinent information to help with our careful consideration and deliberation.

Sometimes when we’re talking about making a decision, discussions can be met with discord and disagreement. We want you to know that we value and encourage your participation and hope we can even disagree about certain aspects of an issue and still maintain respect and civility in public discourse. It’s been said government moves slowly, and partly that’s true by design: to respect the rights of citizens to agree or disagree so those interested in an issue can have the opportunity to be heard. If you’re passionate about an issue, we want to hear from you!

I urge you to consider engagement with local government and your Commissioners as a partnership, the benefits of which help us do the best job we can for you, the citizens of Larimer County. There’s no better substitute than discussion and involvement, and we encourage that.

There are so many ways for you to become involved. In the simplest form, you can speak at public comment at one of our weekly Administrative Matters sessions. Those meetings are held every Tuesday at 9 a.m. You can attend one of our regular citizen meetings held throughout the county. Citizen meetings are a great way to sit down and talk with us on the things that you are passionate about in a more relaxed and casual setting. There are also many Larimer County Boards and Commissions who conduct public meetings you can attend.

While we’re on the subject of Boards and Commissions, now is a great opportunity to apply to serve on one! Our Boards and Commissions give citizens the opportunity to not only learn how local government works, but also fill a very important role in making recommendations to us on a variety of important matters. Boards and Commissions play an integral part in providing valuable information in many, many areas. The deadline to apply is April 22, 2018, and I encourage you to look into this valuable opportunity.

You can apply on-line at www.larimer.org/boards, and if you don’t have internet access or have difficulties, you can also pick up an application at the Larimer County Commissioners’ Office, 200 West Oak St., Fort Collins, Colorado. New members begin their term on July 2018.

 

 

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