Boulder County, Colo. – Boulder County Commissioners Deb Gardner and Elise Jones were sworn into office today by 20th Judicial District Chief Judge Roxanne Bailin. Both commissioners, elected to four-year terms in November 2012, will serve their present terms until Jan. 10, 2017. Deb Gardner has been serving as County Commissioner for District 2 for the past year, as she was appointed to fill a vacancy in the Board in early 2012.
The swearing in of Elise Jones this morning as the District 1 County Commissioner marks the first time Boulder County has seated three women commissioners at the same time. While there is at least one other example of an all-female Board of County Commissioners in the State of Colorado, having three women serve on the Boulder County’s Board marks a historic event for our 151-year old county.
After taking her oath of office, Commissioner Elise Jones thanked the voters, her family and campaign team – many members of whom filled the room – and all of the people along the way who helped her during her 18-month run for office.
“What an incredible honor it is to represent and support Boulder County in a position that Commissioner Toor just deemed the best job in the world,” said Elise Jones. “We’re blessed to live in such a remarkable place, and I look forward to taking part in tackling the challenges that lie before us and continuing the hard work of our present and past county commissioners.”
Jones went on to acknowledge the county’s historic role in being both leader and pioneer in tackling a host of pressing issues that will continue to demand attention in the coming years. Some examples of the challenges she named include fracking, climate change, transit improvements, achievement gap, poverty, and ensuring healthy and sustainable food production on county open space lands.
“The county is fortunate to have such a highly skilled and talented staff to address these issues thoughtfully and strategically in the best interest of the community we represent,” said Jones. “I want everyone to know that I have an open door policy and want to hear from residents about what’s important to all of you going forward.”
Following an uplifting presentation by outgoing Commissioner Will Toor who captured in a series of inspiring words and photos the many successes and challenges of the past eight years of his service to Boulder County, the two sitting commissioners Cindy Domenico and Deb Gardner recapped the county’s past year’s highlights and events in a 30-minute State of the County address.
A luncheon was held following the swearing in session to honor all past women county commissioners. Able to attend in-person were former County Commissioners Maggie Markey (1974-1981), Josie Heath (1982-1990) and Jana Mendez (1995-2002). Linda Jourgensen (who served for one year in 1990) joined the women by phone.
The swearing in ceremony and both presentations will be available on the county’s website by the end of today at: http://www.bouldercounty.org/gov/meetings/pages/hearings.aspx.
As part of the annual County Reorganization meeting, Cindy Domenico was re-named Chair of the Board, and Deb Gardner will take over the role of Vice-Chair from outgoing Commissioner Will Toor, who was term-limited after serving two consecutive terms. The Chair and Vice-Chair appointments stay in place for one year.
More about Elise Jones and the Board of County Commissioners can be found on the county website at: www.BoulderCounty.org/bocc.