Douglas County, Colorado

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Douglas County is one of 64 counties in Colorado. The county seat is Castle Rock.

The county is located midway between Colorado's two largest cities: Denver and Colorado Springs. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the county population was 280,621 in 2008, a 59.7% increase since U.S. Census 2000, making Douglas County one of the fastest growing counties in the United States.[1] Douglas County is part of the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Denver-Aurora-Boulder Combined Statistical Area. The county seat is Castle Rock, named after a prominent castle tower-shaped butte just north of the town.

Most residents commute to workplaces elsewhere in the metropolitan area outside of the county. Suburban development is displacing the ranching economy of the county.

Website evaluation

Budget Y
600px-Yes check.png
Meetings Y
600px-Yes check.png
Elected Officials
Administrative Officials Y
600px-Yes check.png
Permits, zoning Y
600px-Yes check.png
Public records
Local taxes
County websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process

In 2011 Douglas County earned a Sunny Awards for having a perfect website transparency score.

This website was most recently evaluated an unknown date.

Main article:Evaluation of Colorado county websites

The good

  • Budget
    • The most current budget is listed.
    • Budgets are archived for 4 years.[2]
  • Administrative Officials
    • Department heads are listed for each department.[3]
    • Contact information for administrative officials is provided including a mailing address, phone number, and personalized email.
  • Elected Officials
    • Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and group email.[4]
  • Meetings
    • Archived meeting minutes and agendas are currently unavailable due to coming implementation of new agenda system. The website discloses this information and gives contact information for getting documents.[5]
    • A meeting calendar is available and names the times and locations of public meetings.[6]
  • Audits
    • The most recent audit is posted.
    • Audits dating back to 2009 are available.[7]
  • Contracts
    • Bids and RFPs are posted online.[8]
    • Approved contract statements are provided for vendors.[9]
  • Public Records
    • The public information officer is identified and maintained by county attorney, but each request should be sent to the relevant department. The open records page lists the departments and what records they have.[10]
    • A fee schedule for documents is provided.
  • Taxes
    • Tax revenues are broken down by federal, state, and local funding in the budget.
    • Local taxes, like property taxes, are available online.[11][12]
    • Residents are able to pay taxes online.[13]
  • Lobbying
  • Permits and zoning
    • Zoning ordinances are posted online.
    • Permit applications can be downloaded on the site, along with information on how to apply for the permits.[16]
  • Usability
    • Updated site in order to work on mobile devices.

Elected Officials

For most purposes, Douglas County acts through its Board of County Commissioners (BCC). The three-member board acts, by majority vote of a quorum present, to adopt ordinances in those limited areas for which specific authority has been given by the State Legislature, and to adopt resolutions to conduct all of its other business.[17]

The BCC performs legislative, executive and quasi-judicial functions. The Board serves as the legislative, policy-making and administrative body governing the unincorporated areas of Douglas County.[17]

The BCC appoints a County Administrator to carry out the policy directions of the Board and to supervise and coordinate the work of the staff in the departments that fall under direct control of the Board. With the exception of the County Attorney, the County Administrator will have line authority over all County divisions under the BCC.[17]

The County Attorney is a constitutionally prescribed county office. By statute, the County Attorney is a position that is filled by appointment of the BCC. The County Attorney’s Office provides legal advice and representation for the BCC. The County Attorney, with the approval of the BCC, also advises and represents all other Douglas County elected officials, the County Administrator, department and division heads, and appointed commissions, boards and committees.[17]

The other constitutional officers elected to four-year terms are the County Clerk and Recorder, County Assessor, County Treasurer, County Sheriff, County Coroner and County Surveyor. Constitutionally and statutorily, they are independent from each other and from the County Commissioners. Their powers and duties are prescribed by state statute. The County Commissioners have no direct authority over the other elected officials in the county except that commissioners approve budgets for all other elected officials’ departments.[17]

County Administration

The County Manager is responsible for implementing policies set by the Board of County Commissioners, recommending improved management practices, and directing county operating divisions. The County Manager and his staff prepare current and long-range operational plans; review all existing and future planning systems, personnel, equipment and facility requirements; and recommend procedures and standards for sound, effective county management. The County Manager also coordinates and maintains relations with other jurisdictions and agencies.[18]

The Mission of the County Manager's Office is to:[18]

  • Implement Board of County Commissioner policies by providing an efficient and effective support system that enhances each department’s ability to carry out its mission.
  • Cultivate an environment of respect, support, and leadership that inspires and encourages organizational excellence, cooperation, innovation, superior customer service, and empowered employees.
  • Act as a liaison between the Board of County Commissioners and other county departments, governmental entities, and the business community.


2011 budget expenditures by fund:[19]

Fund Expenditures
General $91,232,079
Road and Bridge $39,803,260
Human Services $27,374
Developmental Disabilities $5,021,042
Law Enforcement Authority $15,626,843
Road Sales and Use Tax $32,176,595
Justice Center Sales & Use Tax $2,427,198
Open Space Sales & Use Tax $2,420,061
Conservation Trust $2,485,000
Capital Expenditures $292,750
Debt Service $5,609,600
Other Funds $101,838
Total $224,570,528


The County Treasurer website provides information on taxes, including a 'Guide to County Taxes'.[20]


In 2008, Douglas County reported $100,000 spent on lobbying.[21]

External links