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Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3 
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:33 pm
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Post Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
I am Samantha Bertin, most people call me Sam. I've lived in Pk Cty for 25 years, I graduated highschool in Fairplay and married my high school sweetheart, Larry. We have three children, all of whom I have homeschooled. My oldest graduated in 2009. I have been a small business owner all my adult life. My business experience has been in management, contracting, accounting, manufacturing, packaging, distribution and retail establishments. Currently I run a housekeeping business and am a licensed contractor. I take great pride in my relationships with my clients in any of my businesses. I am able to maintain a respectful/honest/caring relationship with them and they always know that I have their best interests in mind. I would like to provide that same kind of service to the citizens of Pk Cty as your commissioner.
We as Americans and taxpayers are facing serious economic distress and frustration with the government system as a whole. Pk Cty is no different, we have issues that need to be addressed in the immediate future and not be put on hold.There are decisions that will be tough to make and hard on some but the truth of the matter is that it must be done all the same. This county does not have the money to do some of the things proposed and cuts will have to be made to keep our funds in a safe place for day to day operations. How can this be done without cutting positions, salaries, or programs? It can't! We have got to look at everything from a business point of view and cut back to the bare minimum and then prioritize new projects and work on them in a stepping stone order, keeping a fist hold on our spending and making smart thought out decisions looking at the future and not just the present. I think we have wasted enormous amounts of money in the past just looking for the quick fix and not taking into acct the future and what it may bring. Also addressing things as they are brought to our attention or starting to develop, not when they have gone past emergency stage, such as our MacNamara building. This building was looked at and warnings were given as to it's condition over two years ago! Why did'nt someone start implementing plans to refurbish/restore or build new back then? This problem would not be pressed in with the current issues if it had been addressed back then and it would not be an emergency now!! This is the very thing I feel our commissioners should be on top of and managing so that decisions can be made properly and to the benefit of the citizens. To be a commissioner means to be a leader and to be a leader you must be willing to stick your neck out there and say whatever needs to be said, like it or not, and then act upon that statement, meaning you can't wait around for someone else to handle the problem, that is your job! I am ready to be a leader and stay on top of the issues that affect this county and act on solutions for these issues.
Lillian says that the commissioner candidate must have experience in all the critical depts. of the county and can not provide an adequate service while learning on the job! I think that is baloney and here is why. My father, Jim Gardner, was never a county employee or commissioner before he served and I am constantly told that he was of great service to this county! He learned on the job! I believe he did a good job because he was constantly learning, meeting and talking to the people of Pk Cty all the time!! He had a passion for this place and the heart to serve his fellow citizens. I have that same vested interest in this county, I plan to spend my lifetime here, and feel that I can provide that same kind of service to my fellow citizens.
If the people of Pk Cty want someone who has been entrenched in the county for years and knows all the goings on and agendas, then by all means vote for that candidate. I happen to believe the citizens of this county want a blank slate, no hidden agendas or personal ties, someone eager to learn and ready to serve with an honest, straight forward, and down to earth common sense approach! If that is what you are looking for in your next commissioner then vote for me! I am not looking for a paycheck or prestige, I have a successful business that keeps me plenty busy, that I am setting aside to be available full time for this. In fact, I am willing to work for less(I know that the salary is state mandated, but thereare ways to reduce my salary back to the county) and still put in full time hours. I am ready and willing to invest my time and money back into our communities to better our way of life. Please cast your vote on Aug 10 and Nov 2 for Samantha Bertin. Thank you!
I may be contacted @ 719-839-0843 or cloudnineranch@hughes.net or go to Samsjustplainsense.wordpress.com


Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:36 am
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
Hello Sam. It's good to see a primary commissioner candidate in here. Candidates who proactively reach out to voters will get more attention, in my opinion.

Is all of your business experience regarding your own or your family business? Have you engaged in the management, accounting, etc. for other companies where standards had to be understood and followed?

What type of contractor license do you hold? For how long?

Thank you. I appreciate your straghtforward message and the time you are taking to reach out. It's also nice to know you know how to use a computer. :-^ (assuming that's really you out there)

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Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:31 pm
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
Hi Samantha. Thanks for coming here to talk to us.

Please tell me what your position is on term limits for elected officials and why.

Do you plan to take a free car for personal travel like the other commissioners?

Enjoyed reading your comments. Thanks.

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Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:21 pm
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
answer to Skyhigh: I am in favor of term limits, I think two terms of four years should be the limit, if someone is in the office too long they forget why they are there in the first place(to serve the people) and I think the power goes to their head. Take the wissel regime for example. But one term is too little to be effective if that person is doing a good job.
As far as the county car, I will be driving my own vehicle for personal or business and find it very offensive that county employees take advantage of our tax dollars in this way, don't they know we are watching them? I also don't plan to have an expense acct for anything other than hotels if required to stay overnight at a county function. They won't be expensive ones either!

Answer to 2cents: my business experience has mostly been my own or family owned although I was a dept. manager @ City Market in Breckenridge for 4 years, I worked there a total of 8 years. While running my own business on the side and raising 2 kids at the time. I can multitask like nobody else!
My contractor license is a class B residential and I have held it since 2008. My husband was the contractor before that so I learned alot from working with him for the past 10+ years.
Use of the computer could be an issue however I again learn something new every day and I am always practicing to improve my skills.
Thank you both for your ?'s and please keep them coming.


Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:16 pm
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
Good information - thanks! I take it you would advise against the term limit removal for the DA who is going to ask for it tomorrow. Are you going to BOCC meetings and work sessions?

Thanks again!

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Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:36 pm
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
Yes I would advise against that term limits removal for the DA. I have been to several meetings and sessions but right now I am slammed with work and campaign meetings so I have been unable to attend lately. I have to keep working for my clients until I am in office as they are my top priority right now. If not elected, I will need those relationships still for my bread and butter as you can understand. When I do not have a job scheduled, I do plan on attending more BOCC meetings of course.


Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:24 pm
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
It's understandable that you might have limited time. Your opponents don't have real jobs. :roflol2: Lilly only campaigns year after year and Mark works part time and doesn't use a computer. It's hard to run against people with that much free time on their hands.

The note on term limits caught my eye. Much discussion currently revolves around putting them back in place for our other county offices where they have grown roots and will likely never be completely cleaned out of there. The fingernail scrapings on the floor from their fight against being dragged out would be the only thing left when some of these people are finally removed. It will take bolt cutters to remove the cobwebs between them and their chairs.

Alien tentacles. NO!! COCOON >-)


Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:35 am
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
oh god 285alive. You just made me laugh so hard I spit coffee all over the computer. If everything shorts out and I'm never seen again, it will be YOUR FAULT!

I agree with the image of strange growths that have appeared in our county offices.

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Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:58 am
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
Samantha, the Sheriff said he arranged to get some prisoners in the jail and this happened right in time for the primary. We don't know what deal he made, like giving them half price just to get bodies in there. The problems that the Sheriff said were causing the jail to be empty have not ended and we could have ongoing problems with an empty building and overspending on overhead and staff.

What are your ideas about the sudden occupancy of the jail and what will you push to do when long periods of vacancy or continued large losses face the county as they have in recent years?

Thank you for your time.

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:28 am
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
I happen to know that this is not a sudden occupancy of the jail, they have been negotiating and meeting with the other depts. for months now trying to get prisoners and finally have succeeded. It just happens to fall right now, that is coincidence. Let me start by saying that I am not in favor of the jail, I can not stand that this venture was pushed onto the taxpayers without our consent some years back and now we have to foot the bill and deal with this issue now. With that said, it is what it is, we have it now and to shut it down and only house our own prisoners does not make good money sense. I will try to make clear how I see this at this point and hopefully you can understand where I come from.
The jail has a payment of $604,000.00 (approx.) every jan for another 4 years, then a last payment of $125,000.00(approx) in 2015. Then the building will be paid for free and clear to the taxpayers.
Right now, while holding prisoners for the other agencys,( be that a small number or to the max of 210) operating costs run approx. $2,700,000.00 per year. If we have prisoners and have had in the past 8 years prisoners, we bring in a revenue of approx. $1,700,000.00 per year. The difference is approx. $1,000,000.00. Last year it was $962,090.00 to be exact. This last # is the actual cost to the taxpayers. Keep this # in mind now to follow the rest of my reasoning.
If we close down the extra pods and only hold county prisoners, (approx. 40 on a monthly basis) The operating cost for that jail will be $1,800,000.00! That is a total cost to the taxpayers. Also I feel it is important to add here that in reality closing the pods is not really an option because of the laws on holding prisoners and being able to classify them as to the level of crime. Min and Med and Max, none of these classifications can be held together. That is three pods there, then you need a womens area and also a special situation area, for such as a prisoner who has a broken leg or arm and has crutches or a cast. These are considered a weapon and therefore can not be housed with other inmates. That is a total of 5 pods which is what we have now.
Back to the money, my proposal is to continue the same as we are now for the next four years until the building is paid for and then stop the money making aspect of it and revamp the building to accomodate the jail for county prisoners only and office space for county offices. Our costs to the taxpayers is reduced right now because of the revenue that the jail brings in. We do not have the funds to revamp that building to accomodate offices or otherwise in the next few years so to shut it down, I feel, shoots ourselves in the foot. We would just have another building that is partially empty and unusable to us.

So in closing would the taxpayers like to pay all of the $1,800,000.00 for another 5 years or pay less than $1,000,000.00 for another 5 years? If you go online and look at the current county budget and the past budget info you will see that what I am saying is true and that even in these hard economic times that jail has had revenue to offset our costs. They have by no means covered the whole cost but a good portion has been. I, as a taxpayer, think that if we can offset our costs from outside sources until we're in a better financial time we should do it. At least until we have the building paid for!

Thank you for your question and I hope I was able to explain my position well enough. I am against more spending and more taxes but as a commissioner candidate I have to look at this from a business point of view and through the eyes of the taxpayers. I don't think we want to spend more money right now.


Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:01 pm
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
Thank you for the detailed answer. What if the numbers you are looking at are blown out of proportion? What if they have overspent all of these years and they don't know how many prisoners are needed to cover the overhead? They said when they expanded the jail that it would make money. Is that impossible now?

If the income and cost numbers are wrong or have things in them that shouldn't be there, then you have no way to analyze the problems. For instance, the Sheriff recently said that they laid off 6 people but he didn't think it would affect service. If that's so, then why were we paying salary, benefits, overhead costs, etc. for those 6 people we didn't need all these years?? If that cost was in the numbers you were given, you can't draw conclusions from the totals because some of those costs aren't necessary.

What about the income? Do you know that they have the right amounts, only jail money in the income amounts?

If you rely solely on the numbers they give you, I don't know if you can formulate a plan. The Sheriff does not seem to be very good at keeping track of waste in his cost numbers. I'm not sure I explained that very well, but I hope you understand what I'm getting at.

Thanks again for your time.

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:18 pm
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
I do understand what you are getting at. I did not however get all my #'s from the jail officials(although what they gave me matched the stuff I got from other sources) I got a copy of the budget from Cathy online and I got copies of supplemental budget meetings and years past budget and actual spending, Flume copies of reports that were posted in the paper of spent money etc. trust me I am not taking anyones word for anything. I need facts at this point. What it all boils down to is that the jail will cost the taxpayers one way or the other, we have to decide if we want to foot the entire bill or take a risk on offsetting our cost until a later, more affluent time. The fact is that the jail from 2000-2009 has brought 17m. in $ to offset our cost. If we shut it down we pay the entire bill. I believe the cost to us for the last nine years is in the neighborhood of 9m. (That's without getting out all the papers again right now.) That is what we paid, it could have been as much as 24m! Another thing to think of is that if we go to only holding our own prisoners, the cost of maintaining the jail and overhead costs will not change because of the way they must by law have it set up. The number of employees will probably not change either because of the shift changes and # of deputies that have to man the station for security reasons. Don't forget that jail is manned 24/7/365.
As far as the comment that the sheriff made about the loss of 6 employees and not affecting service, I think the folks that are still there are having to do more to cover for those positions. In the long run I bet we will see some ill effects from this layoff.
Thank you again for your ?s and I hope that you look into it yourself and see that I am only presenting facts.


Thu Aug 05, 2010 7:22 pm
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
Do you mean Kathy Boyce the Finance Director? Her numbers and the Sheriff's would be from the same places, wouldn't they? So that's not proof. That doesn't mean that Kathy knows if he's spending way too much money on something he could get cheaper or taking stuff home or paying friends for jobs they don't need done.

It doesn't make sense that housing 60 prisoners would cost the same as housing 200 prisoners. Your numbers say that they will never make money on the jail again. They said they would make money when they built the expansion. You're saying that even after they pay off the loan they will still be losing money even in their good years. Were they lying or just that bad at figuring out their finances.

The county could possibly save some money by using extra empty jail space for offices or storage that they are now paying rent for.

The new communications building is 3 million and that will probably run farther over the estimate. That would cover a lot of jail losses and would save us money far into the future because we wouldn't have to maintain a separate new building. With all of the jail competition out there, we're going to suffer constant losses. Bad economy causes more crime, not less. The excuses just don't make sense. It was a stupid move and is being piled up with even bigger batches of stupid.

New library? New comm building? Huge jail expansion? They were paying an architect to plan all new county buildings? Dozens of new cars? Where the hell does everybody think they live? Every construction project they have done has been a disaster financially for this county. They are either financially stupid or financially crooked. Or both.

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Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:04 pm
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
Quote:
Also I feel it is important to add here that in reality closing the pods is not really an option because of the laws on holding prisoners and being able to classify them as to the level of crime. Min and Med and Max, none of these classifications can be held together. That is three pods there, then you need a womens area and also a special situation area, for such as a prisoner who has a broken leg or arm and has crutches or a cast. These are considered a weapon and therefore can not be housed with other inmates. That is a total of 5 pods which is what we have now.

That's a dumb idea. What a con they are running! You don't keep whole empty pods because you might -- years from now -- get one prisoner on crutches!! You need a whole pod?? Just send the one special needs prisoner to another facility that has the proper space for him or her! Paying the daily rate for a few days of housing one special prisoner someplace else would be much cheaper than supporting huge blocks of empty space in a very expensive building for years and years! Do you need to build a new pod for each crutch?!?!?!?

Geeezz #-o


Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:43 pm
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
There are a lot of unanswered questions. That's why Graves wants an independent audit. But give the woman a break. The other three (Dowaliby and the Wissels) have been in county government for years and don't seem to look at the numbers the way Bertin has. She just needs to think a little deeper into it and question information or get somebody to help her with the more complicated questions. The other politicians don't see anything in this at all, they just gripe and threaten people to get elected.


Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:00 am
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
The more inmates the jail has, the more personnel is needed to over-see them. So according to the Flume we're getting 120 inmates that are medium security, in the process of being released. That doesn't sound like long-term holds to me. But we have to have the staff to feed and guard that 120. Once they're released, what happens to the staff? Do we keep them on hoping we'll get more inmates? Do we lay them off, pay unemployment, etc?

All a county is required to have is a jail for their own population needs, which has been bandied around in the 40-inmate range. And even that isn't necessary if we have an inter-agency hold agreement with another county (which I'm not recommending, by the way). We will never have a guaranteed number of other agency holds, it's a crapshoot. Fred keeps saying he has a contract with Denver or DoC. Yes, he does. The contract specifies how much the agency will pay per inmate, the fact that ParkCo is responsible for the medical care of the inmates, etc. It is not a contract that says "We guarantee you X inmates at all times".

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Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:14 pm
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
I'm not busting on Sam here -- I voted for her yesterday morning. But someone's feeding her a line of poo when they tell her that all these inmate groups have to be held in separate areas.

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Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:15 pm
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
Hey it is being brought to my attention that my stance on the jail is negatively affecting my vote out there. I need everyone to understand that I don't like this any more than you do! We can not make a profit on the jail! I know this and in noway am trying to say that. We only by law have to have a place to hold our own 40 but that was expounded on before. We don't have the $ to renovate this building to hold offices or the comm/IT right now. By the way I do not support the building of the comm/IT that is proposed to start in oct either! I think another modular unit should be brought in to hold the equipment until we get a real thought out long term plan made. and have the money in hand!!!!


Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:37 pm
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
Sam, thanks for taking so much time to respond to questions here. It's clear how hard you are working.

Just for clarification, I believe there are 6 pods (a-f) plus temporary holding cells, plus segregation cells. The empty pods are not needed for the special needs, according to my information. Other nearby counties will also take a special placement when necessary. Please correct me if that's wrong.

Thank you.


Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:28 pm
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Post Re: Samantha Bertin for Park County Commissioner Dist#3
I believe you are right. I don't remember how it was set out exactly because it seemed lik we went in circles in there. The "empty" pods are on the one end and there is a admitting area on the other.


Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:59 pm
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