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Commissioner Don Suppes selected as CCI President

 Delta County Commissioner Don Suppes
Lisa Young/DCI
Delta County Commissioner Don Suppes

Delta County Commissioner Don Suppes will serve as Board President for Colorado Counties Incorporated for 2024.

Suppes, who represents the Western District, was selected during the CCI Winter Conference held in November. The presidency works as a rotating position among the five districts that make up the organization. (Eastern, Front Range, Mountain, Southern and Western)

“Most of the counties in the state belong to it. Next year 63 of the counties will be members of CCI. There’s many aspects that CCI serves. We help as a training board for new commissioners. We offer legislative help through the legislative session. There’s just a lot of things that are available to counties through CCI. It’s a great networking community and we’re able to get a lot of stuff done and get a lot of help with the state through CCI,” Suppes said.

Suppes became involved in CCI about seven years ago when he was elected as Delta County District Two Commissioner. Three years ago he was elected to the CCI Board as the Western District Representative for Archuleta, Delta, Dolores, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, La Plata, Mesa, Moffat, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, Rio Blanco, Routt, San Juan and San Miguel counties.

As the Western District Representative, Suppes says land use was one of the biggest issues in 2023.

“The governor and some legislators came in trying to change land use inside counties and municipalities, trying to help out the affordable housing issue. The problem with it is there’s no way that one size fits all approaches is going to fit land use in Colorado. There’s so much difference between Delta County, Denver County, and Logan County. You just can't make a one size fits all approach to that.”

As incoming CCI President, Suppes says land use and property tax issues will likely be on the front burner for 2024.

Governor Polis has appointed a ‘blue ribbon’ commission to attempt to resolve property tax problems after Proposition HH failed. Colorado Counties Incorporated was one of several quasi governmental organizations that opposed the proposition which failed in the November election.

With CCI and other state organizations adamantly against the state dictating property tax issues, Suppes mentioned a possible ‘push-back’ coming this legislative session.

“Possible a ballot initiative that would be a constitutional amendment that would not allow the legislature to interfere in setting property tax rates or affecting how local districts receive property tax revenue, ” said the Delta County Commissioner.

In addition to working to protect county land use rights and keeping the state out of property tax issues, Suppes says CCI will continue to battle against numerous “unfunded state mandates.”

“Counties are a subdivision of the state, it's that way in the constitution so we have to administer the state programs. The challenge is the state loves to introduce new programs without any funding source for those programs and then we have to administer programs without being able to pay for them or taking away from something else we need to pay for a state program,” commented Suppes.

While there are a lot of political battles to fight, Suppes says CCI works to find consensus on issues that have a broad appeal to counties without entering ‘contentious territory.’

“ We have to have a 67 percent vote to support or oppose something. If you’re going to get 67 percent of the counties to agree on something it's probably something that’s going to have a lot of common ground to it. We try to stay away from a lot of those conservative, liberal principles. We try to stay away from urban-rural issues and try to stick to more things that affect all counties and all local governments,” Suppes told KVNF.

Copyright 2023 KVNF - Mountain Grown Community Radio. To see more, visit KVNF - Mountain Grown Community Radio.

Lisa Young