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Jefferson County Commissioner Donald Rosier believes it is important for individuals to be engaged with the community in which they live.
So even after he assumes his role as general manager of the Sterling Ranch Community Authority Board and leaves his Jeffco post, Rosier will continue to be involved.
He will stay in his Littleton-area home in south Jefferson County, and he will continue to coach lacrosse, teach Sunday school and volunteer on community efforts such as park building.
But Rosier, 51, is looking forward to his new professional venture.
“It's going to be brand-new — a learning experience,” Rosier said. “It will be a great opportunity for me to use both my experience in government and as a professional engineer.”
Rosier, a Republican, was elected to the county commissioner seat in 2010 when he ran against incumbent Kathy Hartman, a Democrat. He was re-elected to serve an additional four years in 2014, defeating Democrat John Flerlage and independent candidate Greg Standley. He would have been term-limited next year.
Rosier represents District 3 — the southern part of Jefferson County.
Sterling Ranch is a 3,400-acre community under construction in northwest Douglas County. At completion in 20 years, it is expected to have 33,000 people and 12,000 homes. The Sterling Ranch Community Authority Board offered Rosier the position in early November, and Rosier gave notice in mid-November of his intent to vacate the Jeffco commissioner seat.
Rosier said said his formal resignation will occur after the Sterling Ranch Community Authority Board officially appoints him to the position. He expects that to happen by the first part of December, with another person taking over the county commissioner role in January.
The Vacancy Committee of the Jefferson County Republican Party will choose someone to fill the seat. The committee has set a deadline of 6 p.m. Dec. 12 for applicants to submit applications, said Steve Dorman, vice-chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party.
“From the received applications,” he said, “we will select best qualified people for face-to-face interviews.”
The vacancy committee hopes to have somebody named before Rosier's official departure date, Dorman said.
That person will serve the county alongside Republican Libby Szabo, who is chair of the Board of County Commissioners, and Commissioner Casey Tighe, a Democrat.
Szabo is confident the transition will be smooth, she said in a press release.
“The Board of County Commissioners will continue to work on its many initiatives and remain committed to providing our citizens with the most effective and efficient services possible,” she said.
Whoever is selected would have to run for election to the seat in November 2018 if he or she were to want to continue in the position, Dorman said.
According to records on the Colorado secretary of state's website, two people have registered to run for the seat in November. They are Lesley Dahlkemper, a Democrat who served four years on the Jefferson County Board of Education, and Tina Francone, a Republican who is the Regional Transportation District's (RTD) director for District N, which includes Jefferson County.
Dahlkemper does not believe Rosier's resignation will affect her race at all, and his decision to step down had nothing to do with her decision to run, she said.
Dahlkemper announced her run for the seat in early September and has “hit the ground running,” she said. She has already been out talking with voters and meeting one-on-one with residents.
Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder Faye Griffin served as county commissioner for six years of the two four-year terms that she was elected for the seat. She left the county commissioner seat early to run for the clerk and recorder position — a role had previously held from 1999 to 2006.
“I wanted to continue serving Jeffco citizens, and due to the timing of the terms, it was the right decision,” Griffin said. “I grew up in the Clerk and Recorder Department where I was a staff member long before I was an elected official. This department is my true joy. I love serving Jeffco citizens is this capacity.”
Griffin, a Republican, was elected in November 2014 to serve a four-year term that began in January 2015.
Since Rosier is term limited, Griffin said she wasn't sure if leaving the commissioner seat early would affect the election.
“What I do know,” Griffin said, “is that the county will be losing a great leader. His experience, dedication, commitment and enthusiasm will be missed.”
'Hopefully, I left a good legacy'
Rosier is a fifth-generation Coloradoan who grew up in Arvada. He and his wife, GeriAnn, have lived in the south Jefferson County area since 1992 and raised three children there.
Rosier worked in the private sector as a professional engineer for 25 years. Before becoming a county commissioner, Rosier chaired the Community Development Advisory Board for eight years.
During his time as a county commissioner, he has served on 15 different boards and coalitions in various capacities. His committee assignments will be filled by whoever replaces him.
When citing some of his accomplishments as a county commissioner, Rosier notes his work on economic development, his fiscal management during a recession, his tenure with the Jefferson Parkway and being a part of the formation of the WestConnect Coalition.
He will miss being a part of the important discussions and policy-making that affect Jefferson County, he said. He admitted he would have liked to have served the county longer, and is considering serving on a community-related board or commission in Jeffco.
Being a county commissioner has required more dedication and hard work than any other job he's had, Rosier said.
“But it's been great,” he said. “Hopefully, I left a good legacy here in Jefferson County.”
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