LA VETA — During last week’s City, County, Town meeting in La Veta it became clear the desire to hire a county recreation director via LiveWell’s partner, the District O.N.E. program, had several obstacles to address and overcome. County Commissioner Max Vezzani was the first to speak, “Lots of people have spoken to me about this issue,” said Vezzani. He noted that funding the position had been a ballot issue a few years back that did not pass, asking, “Why do it then?” Vezzani went on to say that in most communities the Parks and Recreation Director is overseen by the P and R board. Related concerns were voiced by Vezzani and others, such as “Why do we have a P and R board if they don’t run a recreation program?” and “Who is appointing these ‘other people’ to hire a P and R Director?” La Veta Mayor Doug Brgoch added, “The P and R board has said no [to hiring and overseeing a Recreation Director], then it is no! Voters can vote them out if they are not happy.” Again, concerns were raised as to who or what entity oversees this person and is this entity accountable to the voters in Huerfano County. Brgoch stated that a private nonprofit organization is unanswerable to voters. District O.N.E.’s Brian Rosino replied his
organization had $77,000 in grants from the El Pomar Foundation to go toward recreation. Brgoch noted El Pomar is based in Colorado Springs not in Huerfano County. Dennis Hoyt, chair of the P and R board and a member of Walsenburg City Council, said the P and R board has no funds to hire a director and no by-laws to have employees. County Commissioner Ray Garcia asked, “Why doesn’t the P and R get grants to do this [fund a director]?” Vezzani went on to commend Live Well and District O.N.E. for trying but added, “Why create a new administrative board?” He added he was against the county giving funds to a nonprofit to pursue this effort. Cindy Campbell of LiveWell said the idea had been run by the P and R board four times and were shut down every time. It was also noted none of the funds that LiveWell and District O.N.E. had could be applied towards personnel. It was agreed a meeting with the P and R board was needed. County Administrator John Galusha will arrange this. The second and last CCT agenda item was related to the possible sharing of water and sewer treatment personnel. It appears sharing personnel could save funds for Walsenburg, La Veta, Cuchara and several other area water districts. Brgoch said he was interested in a scoping study on this issue. Vezzani hoped the idea could bring efficiencies to the county and the various water districts, adding it might help to retain key staff. It was noted the entities all need to have enough certified staff to provide redundancy in water treatment. All agreed the need to move slowly but to start working on this issue right away. Galusha will follow up and arrange a meeting in January.