Elected officials headed to Steamboat

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— Routt County's elected representatives will have some company next week. County commissioners from around the state arrive Monday to hash out concerns that affect local governments in Colorado.

Colorado Counties Inc., an advocate for counties in the state, holds two conferences annually. Colorado Springs is a mainstay for the winter conference, but the summer location is always up for grabs.

Steamboat Springs got the honor this year, which means the town will host as many as 500 county officials and employees.

County Manager Tom Sullivan is pleased so many people from other regions of the state have a chance to appreciate and enjoy what Routt County has to offer.

The conference affords commissioners and employees in various departments, such as health and human services and road and bridge, opportunities to jointly address pertinent issues faced by counties across the state.

The three-day seminar also provides an education of sorts, Sullivan said.

Representatives of Routt County get to look at ways other counties deal with similar problems, and Routt County's neighbors may learn a thing or two from the way business is done in the Yampa Valley.

People who attend the biannual conferences quickly realize problems are not isolated to one county.

Taxes are on the table for discussion. A panel of speakers, including Senate Majority Leader Norma Anderson, House Majority Leader Keith King, Carol Hedges of The Bell Policy Center and Bob Ewegen, deputy editorial page editor of The Denver Post, will talk about pending legislative proposals, TABOR research and other local tax concerns.

Larimer County Commissioner Kathay Rennels, chair of CCI's Tax Policy Subcommittee, will moderate the discussion. Other session topics include homeland security, forest management and county and state budget crunching.

State lawmakers will be on hand to talk about the 2003 Legislative Session and how certain decisions would impact counties.

Breakout sessions are scheduled for districts comprised of counties in the state to meet and discuss issues facing their region.

Routt County belongs to the Western District, which includes more than a dozen districts that run from Moffat County in the north to Durango County in the south.

The Sheraton Steamboat Resort is hosting the three-day seminar, which concludes Wednesday afternoon.

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