• Public Information

    One More Step toward Effective Public Engagement

    Across the nation, citizens are demanding more ways to be a part of decisions they care about. Now more than ever, public officials in Jefferson County (Jeffco) need help from the community to address issues that affect residents within the county and beyond. It’s important we create more opportunities for the public to engage with decision makers and things going on in Jeffco. Public engagement refers to a broad range of methods used to help members of the public become more informed about and/or influence public decisions. You can read more about how public engagement is evolving in an article by Paul Taylor in the Dec. 2016 issue of Government Technology. He talks about how the continuum of public engagement is bookended by social media and face-to-face consultations, with a variety of public meetings, public comments and a public practice of co-design.

    In response to this change, in January 2016, Jeffco renamed the former Public Information Office the PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT OFFICE (PEO). The name change was just the beginning of this effort. The county also created a plan to guide the county toward a public engagement philosophy (see below for the mission, vision, values and goals of the plan). The plan outlines innovative strategies to expand and modernize our community connections, citizen involvement and public participation. The county’s new Engage Jeffco Newsletter takes us one more step toward effective public engagement.

    To ensure that the public has a say in how the Jeffco community evolves, the county plans to work collaboratively to make our services more interactive. We will also continue to partner with community members and groups to address local issues, so that together we can improve overall outcomes across a variety of issues. We’ll also update you as we track progress on this effort. Let us know what you think!  

    Jefferson County Board of Commissioners
    Libby Szabo, Chair
    Casey Tighe
    Donald Rosier



    Engaging Jeffco residents and communities through inclusiveness, partnership, and innovation.



    Transform the way Jeffco operates through effective public engagement.



    • Diverse communities engaged in decision-making
    • Innovative ideas and tools that enhance organizational capacity
    • Open exchange of information and knowledge
    • Dynamic communication that is relevant to Jeffco
    • Face-to-face, positive interactions with the public
    • Collaborative and swift resolution of challenges
    • Trust as the foundation of all efforts
    • Efficient and effective use of resources
    • Strong service ethic and can-do attitude
    • Accountability and improvement
    • Diversity of social perspectives
    • Professional integrity


    Strategic Goals and Actions

    Expand Jeffco’s community connections.

    1. Build and enhance relationships within the community across county departments.
    2. Orient county toward new partnerships with community groups, including more positive face-to-face interaction between employees and the public.
    3. Increase publicity for existing community partnerships across all county departments.

    Amplify citizen involvement and participation in county programs and services.

    1. Offer more opportunities for citizens to provide feedback across county services.
    2. More cross-promotion of events, programs, and services throughout the region.

    Work with stakeholders and the public to identify and adopt innovative ideas and tools.

    1. Work across county departments to identify feasible new ways of providing services that increase public involvement and improve overall customer experience.
    2. Create a cohesive Jeffco brand applied county-wide to improve customer experience.
    3. Incorporate updates and changes to Jeffco website department-wide.
    4. Incorporate technology enhancements to communications. (Ex.: Live broadcasts and tweets from BCC hearings, web forms for media requests, internal tech for managing CORA requests)

    Modernize county media relations and communications (internal and external).

    1. Assess and update existing communication methods based on target audiences and overall outcomes.
    2. Work internally to improve efficiency in handling requests from the media and general public.
    3. Increase coordination of emergency response and recovery activities.

    Gauge impact to regularly improve efforts.

    1. Ensure Public Engagement Office efforts are fulfilling the PEO mission:
      1. Perform assessments through data collection and analysis.
      2. Track progress on goals over time.
    2. Adapt goals as necessary to align with the overall county mission.




    January 18, 2017

    Last Updated: 1-19-2017