Three reasons to applaud Garfield County |

Three reasons to applaud Garfield County

Post Independent Opinion
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

Garfield County government is making great strides on three fronts and deserves a hearty pat on the back.

The county has:

• Shifted its document-handling processes away from paper copies and toward electronic documents.

• Launched an online system that provides streaming video of county commissioners’ meetings, audio recordings, interactive agendas and, over time, an archive of approved meeting minutes.

• Used a state grant to begin swapping out old woodstoves in the homes of low-income residents for new, clean-burning, high-efficiency models.

We are pleased to see this kind of multifaceted progressive action on the part of our county government.

Many city governments in the area moved to a paperless workflow in recent years, as have many businesses and organizations. It’s the smart way to go, cutting out the time spent making, assembling and distributing copies, and reducing the expense of buying cases of reams of paper.

Being in the newspaper business, we note the touch of irony in our calling for less government paperwork and more government e-documents. But we already experience the efficiency in workflow from e-documents and welcome the change.

Garfield County’s other game-change is its adoption of far-reaching online access to meetings and document archives. In a county with residents living from Carbondale to Parachute and points west, these online programs open up county governance to anyone with an Internet connection, whether by computer or mobile device.

People living or doing business in Garfield County can go to the county’s website,, to stay abreast of current decisions and actions in county government. And as time passes, the system will build up into an archive library of public meeting videos and government records that are cross-linked and searchable by keywords.

This all adds up to powerful ways for the public to keep track of what county government is doing without having to go to the meetings or making document requests.

On a different front, Garfield County Public Health deserves kudos for going after a state grant that is funding the woodstove exchange program.

This is a win-win effort that will cut down on woodsmoke emissions and give three dozen low-income homeowners an up-to-date, efficient woodstove.

Garfield Public Health has been on a mission for years now to clean the air in Garfield County, through emissions-related upgrades to school buses throughout the county, widespread public education on clean air issues, and now the woodstove exchanges.

We enjoy clean air in our county most of the time, but there are days when dust, smoke and other pollutants obscure the view and make it hard for some to breathe. We appreciate this county department’s vigilance in improving air quality and making life better for residents.

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