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Time for Spring Cleaning!


by Jennifer Fairweather, Human Resources Director
comments open from April 9 until April 28


Many of us may be embarking on spring cleaning in our homes and yards. But you should also take this time to clean out your office space. Why? Having an organized and tidy office area can increase your productivity, allow for enhanced time management and greatly improve your attitude. Here are a few areas to focus on:
• Try to store as much as you can on your computer verses in a paper format.
• Recycle or get rid of items you no longer need.
• Clean out drawers and cabinets -- especially looking for items that you no longer use or things that no longer work.
• Organize both your paper files and your computer files so you can find what you need easily.
• Try to maximize space on your desk with only the items you use frequently.
• Ensure you have a good “In and Out” system with a goal of only “touching” most items one time.
• Make sure electronic cords and cables are bundled and out of your way.
• Make sure your desk area is set up ergonomically to ensure you don’t create unnecessary strain on your body.

Working in a clean and organized office space is a great way to start of your spring while boosting your attitude toward managing daily tasks.

 
 

Help Fight Human Trafficking


by Lynn Johnson, Human Services Director
comments open from April 7 until April 26


Human trafficking is a 32 billion-dollar-a-year industry. It is the fastest growing crime, now second only to drug trade and it is happening here, in our community, in Jefferson County.

The Jefferson County Department of Human Services, through the Children and Youth Leadership Commission, has formed a network of collaboration with law enforcement, public safety, health care providers and the Jefferson County Public Health Department, legislators, educators, mental health professionals, and community outreach agencies as a coalition to best serve victims of human trafficking. U.S. Department of Justice reports that between 2008-2010, 83 percent of sex trafficking victims found within the United States have been involved at one time with the child welfare system, specifically foster care.

Human Services, including child and family services, are working to increase victim safety, support victims in protecting themselves and their children, identify and create appropriate referral options for each victim, and standardize procedures and resources for screening victims.

This year, the Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners, issued a proclamation declaring zero tolerance for human trafficking in Jefferson County. All Colorado counties are now challenged to proclaim the same commitment to putting an end to human trafficking in the state of Colorado.

This is not an issue that can be solved by any one agency; it takes partnership and multiple resources to solve. You can do your part - if you suspect human trafficking, contact our Child Protection Hotline at 303-271-HELP (4357) and/or the Colorado Network to End Human Trafficking (CoNEHT) at 1-866-455-5075, toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 
 

Proposed Changes to Accessory Dwelling Units


by John Wolforth, Planning and Zoning Director
comments open from April 2 until April 21


An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is an additional dwelling that can either be added to an existing single family detached dwelling, or built as a separate accessory structure on the same lot as the primary dwelling. These types of structures are often called “granny cottages.” To be considered an ADU, the unit has provisions for an independent kitchen, and must be clearly subordinate to the main dwelling.

Currently, to qualify for an ADU, a property owner must prove at a Board of Adjustment hearing that the ADU will only be occupied by a family member, the property is a minimum of one acre, and adequate water and sanitation is provided. Currently, Planning and Zoning is processing updates to the Zoning Resolution in order to allow for a broader range of Accessory Dwelling Unit users. With a demographic shift in society, we need to look ahead in order to accommodate those who might have aging parents, other family members, caretakers or renters wanting or needing to live on the same property.

The three major changes proposed are as follows:

Process: The process is proposed to be changed from a Board of Adjustment hearing to an administrative process where the decision is rendered based on specific criteria.

Occupant: The requirement that the ADU be occupied by a family member is proposed to be removed and replaced by a requirement that one of the units must be occupied by the property owner. The other unit could be occupied by a family member, a caretaker, a nanny or a renter.

Lot and Unit size: The minimum lot size has been reduced, but the maximum unit size is also reduced on a tiered scale; so as lot size is reduced, so is the size of the ADU.

Valid proof of water and sanitation will still be required.

The intent of these regulation changes is not to double the density allowed in an area, or to allow the ADU to be sold off as an independent unit. The intent is to create more housing options for Jefferson County citizens. This would allow some citizens to age in place by having a second unit for perhaps a caretaker or grown children.

Draft regulations will be placed on the Planning and Zoning website in the near future. The draft regulations will be presented to the Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners for consideration in late August 2014.

Planning and Zoning Staff will kick off the regulation amendment process with the upcoming public meetings:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Lookout Mountain Room
Jefferson County Administration and Courts Facility
100 Jefferson Parkway
Golden, CO

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Auditorium
Evergreen Fire Protection District
1802 Bergen Parkway
Evergreen, CO

 
 

'Gladius the Show' at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds


by Scott Gales, Jefferson County Fairgrounds Director
comments open from March 26 until April 14

Spectacular acrobatics and aerial work plus giant Belgian draft horses make up an extraordinary equestrian show titled “Gladius The Show.” This show is now performing each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through April 20 at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Golden.

”Gladius The Show” was created by Erik Martonovich, national and international equestrian vaulting champion who grew up in Golden. Martonovich was a featured performer in the Cirque du Soleil equestrian show, “Cavalia.” The 14 performers in “Gladius The Show” hold 24 national titles in two countries. The 20 horses that are part of the show include Belgians, Andalusians, Percherons, Palominos, Paints and one miniature.

Additional show information and tickets can be found at www.gladiustheshow.com. General Admission tickets start at just $15 for children, 12 and under, and $26 for adults. VIP and Xiphos Passes are also available.

If you haven’t visited the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, this is the perfect opportunity to see amazing entertainment for the whole family and check out our event facilities. We’re located at 15200 W. 6th Avenue, in Golden. Exit 6th Avenue at Indiana and take the south frontage road to our complex.

 
 

Get Involved in Making Jefferson County the Best Place to Age


by Lynn Johnson, Human Services Director
comments open from March 5 until March 24


Did you know that Jefferson County has the largest number of adults age 60 and over in Colorado, and that number is expected to double by the year 2030? Six years ago, Jefferson County’s Strategic Plan for Aging Well was created and I am excited to see the community joining together to support this initiative.

Last summer, Jefferson County’s Aging Well Project held its 4th Annual Summit. Over 175 participants from all different aspects of aging attended the Summit from caregivers to businesses, to faith based people and elected officials, transportation and housing experts, financial and medical professionals. The Summit was a call to action to unite and create communities that are senior friendly including funding for assisted transportation, greater options in senior housing, greater awareness of care giving issues amongst businesses, a more structured approach to volunteerism as well as many more topics. Read more about the summit in the '2013 Aging Well Summit Results' from the various breakout groups.

A Summit will not be held this year in order to give members of the community time to implement some of their ideas that they pledged at the Summit. Instead, a spring meeting is being planned for elected officials, community representatives, and economic advisory persons to discuss the economic benefits and implications resulting from the aging population and what steps government and others may want to consider when addressing opportunities and challenges associated with this population growth.

We are inviting everyone in our community to get involved. There are many opportunities to volunteer. Up and coming projects include creating a series of pre-retirement workshops, educating employers on better understanding their caregiving employees, and encouraging neighborhood restaurants to cater more to the senior crowd.

This work is elevating the conversation around seniors and our community is starting to take notice. We all need to embrace the knowledge, skills and abilities seniors bring to their communities. This will lead to better collaboration and resources in the coming decade as the number of seniors continue to grow at exponential rates.

To get involved with the Aging Well Project, contact Susan Franklin, Project Manager at Jefferson County Human Services, at sfrankli@jeffco.us or 303-271-4051.

 
 

Coping Strategies for Managing Change in the Workplace


by Jennifer Fairweather, Human Resources Director
comments open from March 4 until March 23


Now more than ever, the workplace can be stressful as technology is constantly changing and business practices are ever evolving. Alleviating stress as much as possible is an important factor in alsodo know that we can control how we manage change as it occurs.

Here are a few coping strategies for managing change:

• Manage your reaction to changes and events.
• Have a support system.
• Set realistic goals and timelines.
• Engage in stress relieving activities, such as engaging in exercise or hobbies.
• Focus on what is in your control.
• Be realistic about your fears: “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”
• Increase your opportunities for laughter and fun!

Practicing these strategies is another avenue toward enhancing your health and wellness in the workplace.

 
 

Cold Weather Plumbing Tips


by Becky Baker, Building Safety Division Director
comments open from February 20 until March 11


To prevent property damage, repair bills, and the inconvenience of bursting household pipes the following tips can help prepare for winter cold.

Before cold weather hits:

Know the location of your water shut-off switch and regularly test it. If the worst happens and a pipe breaks, you won't want to wait for someone to arrive at your home to find it for you. In most single-family dwellings, the shut-off valve is in the basement or crawlspace on a wall facing the street.

Turn off and drain automatic and manual sprinkler systems before first freeze. If not properly drained the freezing and thawing cycle can create cracks and weak spots in the sprinkler system, triggering silent underground leaks or mini-geysers.

Make sure the faucet and outside piping is fully drained. Turn off outdoor faucets and be sure to disconnect hoses. A valve inside many houses will shut off the water flow.

Insulate water pipes that may be vulnerable to the cold or have caused problems before. Pipes close to exterior walls or in unheated basements can be wrapped with pieces of insulation. Don't overlook pipes near windows, which can quickly freeze. For particularly difficult pipes, consult a professional on how to select and apply heat tape, improper use can cause fires.

During a deep freeze (-5 degrees and below):
• Keep cabinet doors leading to exposed pipes open so that household air can warm them. The natural flow of warmer air will help combat problems.
• Keep attached garage doors shut. Occasionally, plumbing is routed there, leaving it vulnerable to winter's worst.
• Crack a faucet farthest from the place where your water enters the house. A very slow drip will keep water molecules moving, reducing the chance that pipes will freeze. Don't forget to place a bucket underneath the faucet so the water can be saved for other household uses.
• Keep your thermostat set above 65 degrees when leaving your house or business for several days.

 
 

Residents Explore Colorado Wildflowers Through Native Plant Master Program


by Public Information
comments open from February 19 until March 10

Have you ever wandered down a trail in your favorite Jeffco Open Space Park and wondered what those beautiful wildflowers were? Participants in the Native Plant Master® Program are learning not only the names but also the friends, foes and lifestyles of Colorado wildflowers, trees and shrubs in Native Plant Master® courses offered by Colorado State University Extension, a division of Jeffco Parks. Native Plant Master courses are held in “outdoor classrooms” along trails in various Jefferson County Open Space and other nearby parks.

Participants are also delving deeper into unique topics about Colorado plants by taking a Native Plant Master special class. These classes include introduction to Colorado native plants, plant families, native plant landscaping, plant sketching, basic botany and exploring herbicides for controlling invasive weeds. A webinar on rare plants of Colorado is also offered. NPM courses and classes are taught by CSU faculty, NPM Trainers and other experts.

Participants have very positive reviews of the program. One participant said, “It is the best educational experience I have had through my local Extension office. It is outside, hands-on, taught by passionate, intelligent people, and has real world applications.”

The Native Plant Master (NPM) Program has been growing in response to public demand. This year a total of 24 NPM courses and classes are being offered by Jeffco NPM. The program has grown beyond Jeffco to now cover 12 counties statewide.

Impacts beyond the program have been significant. More than 15,000 citizens are educated each year about native plants. There are 594 volunteer certified Native Plant Masters who educate others as part of their volunteer role. New this year, a Colorado Flora Certificate is offered to anyone completing three courses, without a volunteer commitment.

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the Native Plant Master Program is that people save money by implementing what they learn in Native Plant Master courses. Last year, participants reported that they saved a combined total of $157,398 by taking actions they learned about in the program including planting sustainable landscapes and controlling invasive weeds. More than 444,000 acres were affected by these activities.

Sustainable landscapes featuring native plants use fewer inputs such as water, fertilizer, pesticides and maintenance. As a bonus, such areas provide food and shelter for wildlife and help preserve Colorado’s biological diversity. Non-native weeds threaten land productivity as well as Colorado’s wealth of natural beauty and native wildlife.

People really do change what they do as a result of the program. It’s a win-win situation for them and for Colorado. One Native Plant Master participant stated, “In my private landscape design/build business, I have incorporated more native plants and communicated to my clients their unique benefits.” Another stated, “The knowledge has been extremely useful in my contact with the community in leading tours in natural areas. People are very interested in controlling and understanding the alien plants in the area.”

If you’re interested in taking a NPM course or class, register early as many offerings have wait lists later in the season. For more details on offerings or to register, see our eventbright registration site. You can also visit the Native Plant Master program’s unique database of research-based information on more than 1,000 Colorado plants at http://coloradoplants.jeffco.us.

Learn more about the Native Plant Master program at www.nativeplantmaster.org or contact the CSU Extension office in Jefferson County at npmassistant@jeffco.us, 303-271-6620. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer who educates others, see the Volunteer Application on the NPM website.

 
 

Jeffco Needs You! Volunteer Board Opportunities


by Jeffco Public Information
comments open from January 29 until February 17

Each year the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) appoints members of the community to volunteer boards and commissions. These boards are pivotal to the county's operations. They provide valuable feedback to the BCC on issues that range from planning and zoning cases to how grant funds should be allocated. The boards and commissions even make decisions and adopt policies on behalf of the commissioners.

If you think that this is something you would like to do, then the county needs you. There are some vacancies throughout the year, but the majority of terms expire soon and we are taking applications now through Feb. 14, 2014.

Take a look at the Volunteer Board Vacancies page for more information on the boards with upcoming vacancies and how you can apply.

 
 

Make Time to Focus on Professional Goals


by Jennifer Fairweather, Human Resources Director
comments open from January 28 until February 16


One thing we often forget to do at the beginning of the New Year is to spend some time focusing on professional goals. Here is a checklist of things to do:

1. Make a list of the career goals you want to work toward.

2. Challenge yourself to improve your performance in your current role. Perhaps taking on a new project or cross training to learn a new skill would add some inspiration to your daily routine.

3. Think about your educational goals and how additional courses or training may augment your career plans. Now is also a great time to explore degree opportunities with the local colleges and universities.

4. Update your resume and your professional social media sites. You never know when a new opportunity may come up!

5. Consider a new networking opportunity such as joining a professional association.

These easy steps will chart your path for 2014. Be sure to check out jeffco.us/jobs for job opportunities with Jefferson County!

 
 

Severe Weather Resources for Jefferson County's Homeless


by Lynn Johnson, Human Services Director
comments open from November 20 until December 9


We are well into severe weather season for Jefferson County’s homeless and many of the providers who try to keep them warm and safe. Severe weather is defined as when the temperature is below 32 degrees and wet or below 20 degrees and dry. Last year, on a very cold night in January, 1,435 people were counted as homeless in Jefferson County; 72 percent of those households were families with children (2012 Point in Time count, Metro Denver Homeless Initiative, MDHI). Homeless residents end up sleeping in cars, living on the street or staying in shelters when they are available. Other options for the homeless are limited.

The Severe Weather Network, a program of Plan to End Homelessness in Jefferson County, is a collaboration of non-profits, churches, government organizations and others, finding more options for homeless residents. Finding the financial resources for cold weather shelters are often challenging. However, thanks to the faith community, three churches have recently opened their doors through April 30, 2014, with many more congregations providing supportive services and financial help. We are sincerely appreciative for all of their efforts.

The Plan to End Homelessness in Jefferson County was created by Heading Home, a collaboration of individuals and public service organizations from the community determined to end homelessness in Jefferson County, and endorsed by the Jefferson County Child and Youth Leadership Commission in April of 2013. Jefferson County has had, and continues to have, one of the larger homeless populations of the suburban areas surrounding Denver. The Plan shifts our paradigm from one that reacts to homelessness to one that prevents and ends homelessness.

Communities with plans have seen significant savings in the areas of public systems including reduced use of emergency medical systems, homeless shelters, correctional facilities and acute psychiatric services. The community is invited to join this partnership to end homelessness. Contact Heading Home c/o Linda Barringer (lbarringer@thefamilytree.org) or 303-467-2604.

 
 

Economic Impact of Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in 2013


by Kenneth Maenpa, Airport Director
comments open from January 8 until January 27


The Rocky Mountain Metro Airport is a part of Jefferson County and located in Broomfield. Every year the Colorado Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division conducts a statewide economic impact study. The study includes Rocky Mountain Metro Airport’s impact from on-airport activities (administration, operations and maintenance, and activities of airport tenants that provide aviation services or support airport customers), off-airport spending (by visitors that arrive in Colorado through Rocky Mountain Metro Airport) and various other impacts such as annual taxes.

The annual economic benefit includes the “multiplier effect” which captures the recycling of initial economic impacts in the economy, and spending associated with the airports operators, tenants, capital investment, air visitors, and non-aviation businesses that rely on cargo, support of additional jobs, and payroll and economic activity.

Below you can find the impacts:



Annual Tax Impacts of the Rocky Mountain Metro Airport
Local and State taxes linked to the operation of the airport total $12.7 Million.

The Rocky Mountain Metro economic contribution to the communities it serves is $460.5 Million in output and 2,670 jobs with an annual payroll of $153.9 Million.

If you would like more information about the 2013 Economic Impact of Rocky Mountain Metro Airport, please visit the CDOT Economic Impact Study page for RMMA.

If you would like more information about the 2013 economic impact of Colorado Airports, please visit the CDOT Economic Impact Study of Colorado Airports webpage.

 
 

What Our Youth Need is You!


by Jacki Paone, Jeffco's CSU Extension Director
comments open from January 6 until January 25

Consider 2014 to be the year you get involved in 4-H as a mentor to area youth. In collaboration with three area elementary schools, Jefferson County CSU Extension is recruiting mentors to participate in afterschool programs that will teach life skills, encourage creativity in youngsters as well as enhance the personal development of the mentors.

Schools where the 4-H “Youth and Families with Promise” program will be employed are Pleasant View Elementary in Golden; Molholm Elementary in Lakewood; and Parr Elementary in the Arvada/Westminster area. Twenty students will be participating from each school and pairing one mentor to each child is ideal.

By committing one hour a week to meet with youth ages 8-13 in an after school setting, you will open doors to interests in science, technology, engineering and math, as well as help them develop life skills such as self-esteem, responsibility, problem solving, cooperation, sharing and teamwork. Modeled as a 4-H club, your leadership at meetings will include club business once a month and project work at the remaining meetings. The first projects that the youth will work on involve robotics and rocketry. Projects thereafter will be shaped by 4-H curriculum based on the youth’s interests and suggestions. Training will be provided for the projects the youth are interested in.

Mentor candidates must be at least 19 years of age, may apply online and will be subject to a background check and interview. Consider partnering with a family member or colleague to share the experience and bring more value to the interaction with these youth. Initial training prior to leading the afterschool activities will be provided as well as follow-up training offered throughout the year. Scheduled to begin January 14, applications will be taken until the mentor positions are filled.

Being a mentor changes lives.

COLLEGE STUDENTS: Putting academics into practice, college level teaching candidates get valuable experience. Students enrolled in science, technology, engineering and math programs may find fulfillment in sharing their interest in these areas with young people. Additionally, volunteer activities, particularly with youth, are attractive to future employers.

TEACHERS: Build upon the relationships you have established with students and enrich their learning experiences by providing quality time under the 4-H program umbrella. Retired teachers also bring unmatched experience into the learning environment and make wonderful mentors.

PROFESSIONALS: Workplaces that encourage volunteer activity by their employees will see great value in allowing time away from business as a contribution to the future of our community. In tandem with the personal satisfaction of the employee in giving to others, mentorship from professionals helps youth dream about their future careers.

NEIGHBORS and PARENTS: Schools are a hub of activity in neighborhoods. Become a mentor at one of the participating schools and be more aware of activities, programs and events happening at the school. Connect with others in your neighborhood and build relationships with youth that may struggle in school and need adult support.

Apply today on the 4-H section of the CSU website. For additional information, contact Barbie Garnett or Claire Dixon at Jefferson County’s CSU Extension office, 303-271-6620.

Participating Schools:
Parr Elementary, 5800 West 84th Avenue, Arvada, CO
Pleasant View Elementary, 15920 West 10th Avenue, Golden, CO
Molholm Elementary, 6000 West 9th Avenue, Lakewood, CO

Jefferson County CSU Extension empowers county citizens and enhances their quality of life through education, innovation and excellence in service. 4-H is a national youth development program that has been in existence for more than 100 years. The primary goal of 4-H is to assist youth in developing life skills that help them live productive and satisfying lives.

 
 

Forest Wood Slash RFP


by Mark Danner, Facilities and Construction Management Director
comments open from December 18 until January 6


Jefferson County has experienced many wildfires over the last several years. Unfortunately lives have been lost and property destroyed. In an effort to minimize these natural and human error caused fires, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has managed a Slash Collection Program for over two decades. County residents have taken advantage of several slash collection sites per year through this program.

In an effort to significantly increase the amount of forest slash collected and processed, Jefferson County will soon be releasing an open RFP to solicit proposals from commercial industry. We will be looking for creative ideas such as curtain burning, mulching, composting, generating bio-mass energy generation, using biochar, etc.

Proposals will include requested information for potential slash collection site identification, processing methods and possible collaboration with the existing Jefferson County Sheriff's Office slash collection program. Jefferson County will collect all RFP responses and determine which proposals if any, are acceptable to the county.

Follow our website (jeffco.us), industry publications, social media feeds, etc. for the actual release date and details of this RFP.

 
 

Team Weight Maintenance Challenge


by Jennifer Fairweather, Human Resources Director
comments open from December 10 until December 29


Here at Jeffco many of our employees are again participating in our annual 'Hold the Holidays' event. This event is a TEAM weight maintenance challenge designed to keep teammates from packing on the pounds during the holiday season. Teams will choose a “captain” and consist of 2-8 members.

By participating, teammates help keep each other accountable and motivated to make healthy choices during the season. This enables everyone to enjoy the holidays without having to lose weight after they are over!

This is an easy program to implement in your own workplace or even with your family. You will be less stressed, more rested and more active during the holiday season, all of which will make your season brighter.

 
 
 
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