Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy

Sheriff position gets term extension


November 16, 2017

One of the highlights for the Nov. 7 election included Question 1B, increasing the limit for Boulder County Sheriff to five four-year terms.

The measure passed by around 10,000 votes, 55.16 to 44.84 percent. Total ballots counted for the county were unofficially 92,811, out of the 237,561 registered voters, representing roughly 39 percent of those eligible to vote.

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle has served four terms, and through this ballot measure will be able to run for a fifth term next year.

Pelle said that the office is better served by someone who knows the ins and outs, as opposed to a person looking for political gain.

“I think it’s an office that requires a career professional,” Pelle said. “It’s not a political office. I think you want someone in there with the experience, training and education that they need to be an effective leader. I just don’t think term limits are as important in that type of office as they are in other offices.”

Though his department doesn’t patrol in the more populated areas of the county, Pelle’s department is still responsible for a wide range of matters — law enforcement in unincorporated areas, the county jail, alternative sentencing, wildfires, search and rescue, emergency management and the county’s 911 system, to name a few.

“It’s not a job where you jump in and make decisions based on politics,” Pelle said. “It’s a job where you manage and lead hundreds of people trying to provide a high level of service in a really wide variety of ways. I think experience and tenure benefit the department in that you have the ability to do that.”

Pelle, who took office in 2003, said that the county has changed over the years he has been at the helm.

“The population is a lot more spread out, our patrol districts are larger,” Pelle said. “We focus on being problem-solvers, working with the communities we serve, trying to be inventive and find ways to do our jobs and keep everyone safe.”

Some of his goals and ongoing projects include dealing with an over-crowded jail and getting more alternative sentences for non-violent offenders. Aside from those big objectives, public safety and law enforcement are at the core of the department’s goals.

The public improvement district in Burgundy Park in Niwot was approved with overwhelming support, providing funds for subdivision road repair.

In other races for area residents, the top five candidates for Boulder City Council included Gunbarrel resident Mirabai Nagle, who came in fourth with 12,424 votes, and earned a seat on the council.

Brian Bagley became mayor of Longmont with a two-percent win in that vote.

Christina Marquis, Donna Miers and Kitty Sargent are the new board members of the Boulder Valley School District with four-year terms in districts B, E and F respectively.

The “worthy cause” .05 percent sales and use tax extension passed with 72 percent of the votes.

These results still need to be approved by the board of canvassers at an upcoming meeting and are still unofficial at this time.


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