Initial budget recommendations must be made soon, and I believe it is important to share financial impacts with those of you who enjoy the services of CSU Extension in Jefferson County.
The Jeffco Extension 2020 budget was reduced by nearly $70,000. Reductions were made across all county divisions in the general fund because of TABOR limitations.
Extension staff minimized impact to the public by reducing supplies and services with least effect on our programs. The staff anticipated that we could manage with those cuts for one year and recoup in 2021.
Lacking approval of the November ballot measure, however, the county is again faced with cuts for 2021. For Extension, the cuts will have much greater impact on the services we are able to provide.
The cost of each Extension program, class and service is largely the staff who so capably put them together. Although the university is facing its own budget, they have made a priority commitment to university staff. However, many of the staff in the Jeffco office are fully funded by the county.
And thus, our dilemma! A recently conducted community needs assessment will help identify high priority interests for the future, although budget reductions must be prepared before the end of July.
The Board of County Commissioners will be making tough decisions in the months ahead, with decisions on proposals the week of August 21, a budget hearing on the proposed budget scheduled October 13 and adoption October 27. Your voice about priorities for spending the limited dollars in the county budget is important.
For additional information on the county’s financial challenges, [ https://www.jeffco.us/3839/Financial-Realities-for-Jeffco ]
What can you do?
- What do you value most about Extension programs? What suggestions do you have to reduce costs, reallocate or??? E-mail me directly: email@example.com or our general e-mail: JeffcoExtension@jeffco.us
- Stay informed. Listen in to the Virtual Board of County Commissioners meetings to stay on top of current county issues. Visit the Commissioners’ Calendar of Meetings for agendas and links to meetings. [https://www.jeffco.us/calendar.aspx?CID=24]
- Speak up with your opinions about Extension or any other county service. Speakers are allowed 3 minutes at Public Hearings generally held each Tuesday at 8 am. You will find those dates at the calendar link noted above.
- Contact individual commissioners with your thoughts on budget priorities:
- Lesley Dahlkemper, District 3 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Casey Tighe, District 2 email@example.com
- Libby Szabo, District 1 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Know that as we move into 2021, the Jeffco Extension office may not be able to provide the same services you have come to expect. We will make the best decisions we can knowing that it will not meet everyone’s needs.