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Tina Francone will be sworn in as the newest member of the Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners at 3 p.m., Feb. 6 in Hearing Room One, located on the first floor of the Administration and Courts Facility, 100 Jefferson County Parkway.
Following the ceremony there will be a brief reception.
In Tina Francone’s opinion, Jefferson County is a place where people should want to be.
“We all move to Jefferson County for a reason,” she said, and “we all have a responsibility keep Jeffco great.”
The Vacancy Committee of the Jefferson County Republican Party announced on Jan. 19 that Francone, 59, will replace Donald Rosier as county commissioner.
Rosier was term limited next year, and vacated the seat early to become the general manager of the Sterling Ranch Community Authority Board, a 3,400-acre community under construction in northwest Douglas County.
“We liked her approach and philosophy, in terms of government,” said Joe Webb, the chair of the Jeffco Republican Party. “She doesn’t believe in government favoritism … We feel fiscal responsibility is needed at all levels of government.”
Originally from California, Francone has lived in her Littleton home for 20 years where she and her husband Frank raised one child — an 18-year-old son who is an Eagle Scout, active in theater arts and his high school’s mountain bike team.
Francone has been the president of her homeowners’ association for eight years and is a small business owner in Jefferson County. She opened Straightforward Shooting, a firearms training business, in 2010.
Amber Knill has known Francone for about 20 years. They have a friend-and-neighbor relationship, and when Francone runs to keep the county commissioner seat this November, Knill said she will help with the campaign.
Francone is honest and reliable, Knill said.
“If she says she’s going to do something, she does it,” Knill said. “Her focus is on all people — in the community, in the county and in the state.”
Come November, Francone will run as the appointed incumbent to keep the seat. According to records on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website, one other person is registered to run against her: Lesley Dahlkemper is a Democrat who served four years on the Jefferson County Board of Education. Dahlkemper announced her run in early September.
County commissioners have to make difficult decisions about priority, said Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader.
He appreciates that Francone has taken the time to understand the complexity of the sheriff’s office and some of the issues it faces, such as funding needs. Shrader suspects that Francone has done the same for other county organizations as well.
“She listens,” Shrader said. “She takes in information from a wide variety and makes good decisions.”
Francone will represent District Three, which is the southern part of Jefferson County. As a commissioner, a couple of her priorities will be “thoughtfully and carefully managing growth,” and “reducing red tape and regulation in the county government,” she said.
Whether it be developing a piece of property, getting a permit to build a chicken coop or obtaining a liquor license to open a restaurant, the most common complaint that Jeffco community members have voiced to Francone, she said, is that the process is complicated and time consuming.
“My goal is to be a partner at the county level to help people get things done,” Francone said. “The tax payer comes first. We are elected to serve them, not the other way around.”
It is important to note that the seven-member Vacancy Committee had the responsibility of selecting the right person for the commissioner seat in a county that has approximately 300,000 plus voters, Webb said. It was handled as a job vacancy, he added, which included an application, a questionnaire and formal interviews.
Some of Francone’s best attributes that stood out, Webb said, are that she’s a quick learner, she’s eager to study and she has a willingness to participate.
But another reason the committee chose Francone was because “people know her, and are familiar with her,” Webb added.
Francone was elected to serve as the Regional Transportation District (RTD) director for District N, which includes Jefferson County, in 2014.
To the best of her understanding, Francone said, the county commissioners will appoint someone to fill the seat until voters elect a new director in November 2018.
“Everything (Francone) does is meaningful and thoughtful,” said Claudia Folska, the RTD director for District E, which includes Aurora, Denver, Centennial and Greenwood Village.
“She brings a lot of depth to any subject matter. She did at RTD, and she will as a commissioner.”
Folska is sorry to see Francone leave RTD, she said, but added that Jefferson County is lucky to have her.
“She’s a very determined, results-oriented person,” Folska said. “She’ll bring that to the citizens of Jefferson County.”
Being a county commissioner is both a “huge honor and a huge responsibility,” Francone said.
“It’s almost too good to be true,” she added. “I’m excited to get to work.”
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