Featured, Sherrie Peif, Transparency, Weld County

Grassroots non-profit pops up in Weld to watch-dog commissioners

GREELEY — A Facebook page challenging the Weld County Board of Commissioners that until now has remained anonymous, officially has names and faces attached to it.

People United for Responsible Government, (PURG) is officially a 501 (c) (4) nonprofit and has registered with the secretary of state as a nonprofit.

A news release said PURG is a grass roots effort to improve and promote responsibility in the Weld County government, with a special focus on the Board of Weld County Commissioners.

The group’s president, Dave Kisker, said in the release that the group’s objective is to oversee, investigate, report, and educate residents about the actions of the BOCC and other government officials.

Kisker, a Weld County resident who lives near Johnstown, has been vocal against the board for their actions over land use decisions, spending and other possible decisions.

He said he and  other PURG board members have spent the past few months talking to people from across the county about their concerns and what direction residents can take to improve how Weld County government functions. Together, they decided to form PURG, but needed a way to educate the rest of the county.

“We intend to scrutinize the actions of all members of Weld County Government,” Kisker said. “Local media appears to have put all its focus into discrediting and calling for the resignation of one member and in doing so is blind to what the other four are doing. Additionally, that same media gains financially by a publishing contract with the county, so it’s hard to take serious the credibility of its opinion page as far as the county is concerned.”

Kisker said the group intends to use a broad range of activities to help get the county back on the right path and will use the pending audits by the IRS and an independent performance audit ordered by the Weld County Council to support its efforts.

“We need a citizen-driven watchdog to keep the public informed at every step of the way,” Kisker said in the release. “We will not stand idly by when public officials try to conduct the people’s business under the cloak of secrecy. As information comes to light and these audits expose what’s really going on, it’s critical for our citizens to be thoroughly informed.”

Kisker wouldn’t comment specifically on what those items could be, but didn’t rule out ballot initiatives to change various aspects of the Weld County Charter, recall attempts or supporting candidates in primary races in the 2018 election.

Kisker said its board members include residents of all three Commissioner Districts, and represent various political parties.

“People United for Responsible Government is a non-partisan organization, and welcomes discussions with and especially participation by all Weld County residents,” Kisker said in the release. “As the activities of the current elected officials are better understood, it is anticipated that the organization’s actions may include requests for information under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA); attendance at and publication of information from BOCC meetings and work sessions; seeking changes to the Weld County Code as it relates especially to ethics and abuse of power; and initiation of changes to the Weld County Home Rule Charter, as appropriate, to clarify both the elected officials’ power and especially, its limits.”


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