The article “Commissioners Teal, Laydon vote to investigate Thomas again” points to more than just the dysfunction of a Board of County Commissioners. The series of incidents of internal disputes on the Douglas County BOCC highlights a serious and growing issue of governance.
The governance structure of having three county commissioners in a county of around 345,000 citizens with a mega “non-city” Highlands Ranch (pop. 107,000) invites dysfunction at the least and far worse problems of ineffective governance. Citizens of the municipalities in Douglas County have a far closer and more responsive relationship with their government officials, with each having a council of seven members. Yes, even Larkspur has more than three council members!
A much overdue but partial solution is to increase the size of the BOCC from three to five and require that commissioners be elected in-district rather than at large. Our neighboring counties, Arapahoe and El Paso, made this change years ago, following the procedure set out by the state.
We should call on the BOCC to refer this measure to the ballot in 2023 to be effective in 2024, if possible. This is at least a start to more representative, responsive, and transparent governance in the county.
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