Arapahoe County, Colorado

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Arapahoe County is one of 64 counties in Colorado. The county seat is Littleton.

Website evaluation

Transparency Grade
Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials Y
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Permits, zoning Y
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Audits Y
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Lobbying P
Public records
Local taxes Y
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Transparency grading process

See also: Evaluation of Colorado county websites

This site was last reviewed on Sept. 19, 2012.

The good

  • The 2011 budget is posted.[1] There are also budget documents available dating back to 2006.[2]
  • The most current audit is available, as well as archives of comprehensive financial reports dating back to 2004.[2]
  • Meeting calendars, agendas and meeting minutes for 2012 are available.[3] There are also archives of meeting minutes available dating back to 2007.
  • Elected officials are listed with biographies and contact information including: office address, phone number and a personalized e-mail.[4]
  • Department heads are listed with an office address, phone number and e-mail address.[5]
  • The site has comprehensive information on zoning[6] and has information on fees and permit applications.[7]
  • The county provides information on local taxes, property taxes and allows citizens to pay taxes online.[8]
  • The purchasing division provides information on registering as a vendor, bidding opportunities and how to submit a proposal.[9] It also provides closed contract bids.
  • The public works department has noted it is lobbying for federal grants.[10]
  • The county's fee schedule notes it charges $1.00 per document.[11]
  • There is a link to a public records search.[12]
  • The Communications Director is identified at the public information officer and provides a phone number, email and physical address.[13]

The bad

  • Membership to lobbying associations, membership dues, or amount spent on county lobbyists are not disclosed.

Elected officials

The Board of County Commissioners oversees the County by serving as the administrative and policy-making body. The Board approves the budget, hires staff, and oversees land-use planning and development in unincorporated Arapahoe County. The Board also administers County services, such as Road and Bridge, Transportation, Snow and Ice Removal, Human Services and Animal Control.[14]

Voters elect the Clerk and Recorder, Sheriff, Assessor, Treasurer, Coroner and District Attorney. The Board sets the budget for these offices annually. The County has roughly 1,950 employees.

Administrative Officials

The county board of commissioners serves both as a legislative and administrative body of Arapahoe. There are, however, eleven departments[15] that assist with the management of the county.


The total adopted 2011 budget for Arapahoe county is $328.3 million, a three-year low for the county. "Services and other" comprise the largest expenditures for the county at $112.7 million -- the second highest the county has budgeted for that expense in a three year period. Salaries and Wages are the next largest expense, totaling just over $110 million. Revenues for the county were estimated to be $318.8 million, meaning the county is budgeted to overspend itself by $10 million.

2011 Adopted budget expenditure summary[16]
Expenditure category 2008 Actual 2009 Actual 2010 Amended Budget 2010 Estimate 2011 Adopted budget
Salaries and Wages $108,805,580 $105,374,054 $113,492,348 $111,292,495 $110,006,741
Employee Benefits $28,780,606 $26,882,755 $31,308,853 $29,725,464 $31,211,274
Supplies $12,449,282 $14,470,230 $14,980,417 $12,787,456 $14,757,872
Services and Other $105,923,359 $100,688,782 $170,927,101 $99,108,300 $112,705,290
Community Programs $20,526,686 $17,439,414 $23,702,846 $19,700,365 $21,193,100
Capital Outlay $38,067,636 $39,641,802 $97,392,372 $72,041,299 $14,960,736
Central Services $6,578,966 $6,100,060 $7,177,307 $6,287,935 $7,391,064
Transfers $31,410,633 $35,107,906 $18,573,556 $18,555,192 $16,147,358
Other - $2,577 $341,907 - -
Total County Expenditures $345,707,581 $352,542,748 $477,896,707 $369,498,506 $328,373,435


Main article:Colorado government sector lobbying

Arapahoe County has reported $680,000 spent lobbying since 2002 (see table). Despite this spending, there is no information about it on the county's website.

Reported lobbying expenditures, 2002-2009[17]
Year Amount spent on lobbying
2009 $60,000
2008 $120,000
2007 $120,000
2006 $120,000
2005 $120,000
2004 $120,000
2003 $120,000
2002 $20,000


County Total mill levy Sales tax
Arapahoe 14.949 0.25%
Douglas 19.774 1.0%
Boulder 22.467 0.65%
Denver 26.007 3.62%
Jefferson 24.346 0.5%
Adams 26.899 0.75%
Broomfield 28.968 4.15%
Revenue Sources (in millions)
Taxes $163.8 51.4%
Licenses & Permits 5.0 1.6%
Intergovt. & Grants 94.6 29.7%
Charges for Services 17.5 5.5%
Fines and Forfeits 1.1 0.3%
Investment Earnings 5.7 1.8%
Interfund Revenues 13.6 4.3%
Transfers In 16.1 5.1%
Other Fin. Sources/Misc. 1.4 0.4%
TOTAL $318.8

Open Space Tax

"On Nov. 4, 2003, the electors of Arapahoe County voted to impose a 0.25% County Open Space sales and use tax on the sale of tangible personal property at retail and the furnishings of certain services within the County as provided in Section 29-2-105(1)(d), C.R.S. This tax is effective Jan. 1, 2004, through Dec. 31, 2013 for the purpose of preserving open space in Arapahoe County."[18]

Emergency Personnel

Arapahoe County citizens elect a sheriff to serve its citizens. The current sheriff of Arapahoe is Grayson Robinson. The Sheriff's department is divided into several bureaus: Administration, Detention/Admin Services Bureau, Professional Standards Bureau, and the Public Safety Bureau. Arapahoe has a comment card form for their citizens to fill out regarding service satisfaction, but data from this survey is not available.[19]

External links