Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Thanks to efforts by Commissioner Sallie Clark, the Manitou Environmental Citizens' Action (MECA), El Paso County Parks, citizens and volunteers gathered on Saturday, April 21st to bring Rainbow Falls back to its original splendor, encouraing more families and citizens to enjoy this historic and beautiful area. Coincidentally, the clean up took place on Earth Day.

Clean up activities included painting over destructive graffiti on the bridge and picking up trash along the trails, roadway and in the water fed by Fountain Creek. Over the last seven years, El Paso County, MECA and many other organizations have been making strides in improving the area, which until recently, had been under private ownership. Thanks to persistent efforts and the transfer of ownership to the County, picnic tables and trash cans have been installed, graffiti has been sandblasted from the rocks, the parking lot has been increased and trails have been built, including the restoration of the overlook trail with railings. One of the projects included that of Boy Scout Martin Rendleman, for his successful Eagle Scout project to build a trail access and picnic area near the entrance to the park area.

Rainbow Falls, located just west of Manitou Springs off of Serpentine drive is on the old Ute Pass Stagecoach route and is a historically significant recreation destination. After years of neglect and abuse by vandals, the property was deeded to El Paso County for a $10 transfer fee. Families are now using the area in the park and picnic area and law enforcement has come together to assist in changing the culture of destructive graffiti on the natural outcroppings and the waterway.

L'Aura Montgomery Williams, the founder of MECA, said, "Through increased family recreation and utilitization as well as citizen and sheriff/police patrols, Rainbow Falls is no longer a haven for graffiti vandals. We are sending a message that the Falls is now a park to be enjoyed, not  a place to be destroyed."

Financial contributions can be made through the MECA website:

Monday, May 7, 2012


Commissioner Clark with Paul Richards

Spring of 2012 has been a busy one for the El Paso County Board of Commissioners with many projects and events happening in the Pikes Peak Region.In the coming weeks, I'll be sharing some important issues that I've been involved with. 

Each year in April, the Commissioners recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month and this year was no different. With more the 12,300 reports of child abuse and neglect, El Paso County leads the state in referrals. As a member of the Child Welfare Allocation Committee at the State level, it's more important than ever to make sure counties (including El Paso) need to receive our fair share of dollars to answer these calls and keep Colorado's most vulnerable children safe from abuse and neglect. In April, I had the opportunity to take the message to the radio and TV waves and I personally appreciate their support of this important and yet difficult to discuss issue.

A County in Crisis? NOT ONE MORE CHILD Initiative: Last year in El Paso County, we saw the alarming number of 10 child fatalities due to abuse or neglect. All of these little ones were under the age of five and six of the 10 were not even one year old.   

After seeing these tragic numbers and knowing that we were close to crisis mode, District Attorney Dan May and I started the "Not One More Child" initiative with the goal of not seeing one more child in El Paso County die due to abuse or neglect.   

Dr. Bruce Perry at a recent child abuse prevention forum

Now more than 100 representatives from law enforcement, military installations, the Department of Human Services, hospitals and community groups like Family Connections, KPC Kids Place, Pikes Peak United Way, CASA, TESSA and Safe Passage are all working toward the goal of "Not One More Child" in El Paso County dying due to abuse or neglect.  To reach our goal we have divided the group into six smaller task groups. 
-  A Hotline Committee: looking how one local call number, to include online resources, can assist parents in crisis 
-  Mentors: researching how best to connect new parents with mentors and support systems
- A Communications Committee: creating the messaging to reach out to the community
-   A Data Committee: analyzing the data about child fatalities over the last five years
-   First Responders: creating more avenues for first responders to reach out to parents
-  The Medical Community: researching the best ways to reach out to parents in the hospital as well as at doctor’s offices before and after birth

Not One More Child Initiative Meeting
    Since the initiative began in January we have seen great media coverage on important resources for parents.  All the local hospitals either have a Crying Baby Plan presented to new parents or are working on getting one. We have a data report looking at the child fatalities over the last five years. First responders are putting together information to hand out to families they encounter as well as creating a special training for first responders to identify at risk families. We are all working together and very aware of what other local organizations are doing so there is not a duplication of efforts and we are not all working in our own little silos but leveraging the power of all the organizations involved so not one more child will die due to abuse or neglect. If you are interested in becoming involved in this effort or would like to learn more about it.  

    If you are interested in attending the upcoming meetings, please contact me by email:
   Coming soon...No Man's Land-West Colorado Avenue project on the road to success, Rainbow Falls Restoration and Clean Up, Fort Carson Growth Plan, Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Range, and more!

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Colorado Springs, Wednesday, March 28, 2012 – At its March 27 meeting, the El Paso County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution declaring April 2012 as “Earth Month” and April 22 as “Earth Day.” “We all can help raise awareness and encourage our community…to voice their appreciation for the planet, to promote its protection, and to conserve our resources to make El Paso County a better place to live,” Commissioner Dennis Hisey said as he read the resolution into the record.

El Paso County Commissioners Sallie Clark, Dennis Hisey
Amy Lathen, Peggy Littleon and Darryl Glenn recognize
the importance of Earth Month 2012 and encourage
residents to recycle through the County's facility.
Kathy Andrew, Environmental Division Manager, announced that as part of Earth Month, El Paso County will begin offering a free porcelain recycling program, giving residents an environmentally friendly way to dispose of old toilets and sinks. The items will be crushed and used in road maintenance. Porcelain will be added April 2, 2012 to a long list of items ranging from motor oil and electronics to fertilizer and paint which are accepted for recycling at no cost at the County’s Household Hazardous Waste Disposal facility.   To make it even more convenient for County residents to do the right thing, in addition to its regular schedule, the facility at 3255 Akers Drive will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. three Saturdays in April; the 14th, 21st, and 28th.

Commissioner Hisey, who remembers the first Earth Day, mostly because his high school canceled a bon fire to prevent air pollution, said, conservation, is not new. “Not everybody is or has been wasteful. Previous generations were aware of their limited resources. They had less and made due with less. I think we can learn a lot by looking backwards.”

Commissioners at the El Paso County Household
Chemical Waste Collection Facility off of Akers Dr.
Board Vice Chair, Commissioner Sallie Clark, said, “Like Commissioner Hisey said, conservation is not a new thing, the products we have invented over the years have created part of the trash and the waste, like electronic equipment, we just throw it away. We don’t want to reuse a computer. That’s what’s different; the products we now use are creating some of our landfill issues and the County's facility offers a voluntary alternative for proper and safe disposal.”

Allison Plute and Megan Andreozzi of Pikes Peak Earth Day told Commissioners of many activities the organization has planned in April, including a presentation by Dennis Hayes, the organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970. A list of Pikes Peak Earth Day activities is available at:

For more information on the El Paso County’s recycling programs and events call 520-7878 or check out the Environment Division’s page on the website.

*El Paso County Public Information

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Role of counties in economic recovery tops agenda at NACo legislative conference-El Paso County Colorado representation critical on national issues...

Washington, D.C. - In the last week, I had the privilege of carrying the county government message to Capitol Hill during the National Association of Counties' (NACo) 2012 Legislative Conference. The continued issues of the federal government's budget was a major focus as national officials reported and provided information on future funding for important local services which are mandated by law including public safety and transportation.

I was joined by more than 1,400 other county officials from across the country to convey to Congress and Administration officials the great challenges face by county government to continue to deliver essential services to the American people in a troubled economy. The conference was held March 3-7 in Washington D.C.

It was important for me to attend the many steering committees on which I serve: Justice and Public Safety, Veterans and Military Task Force, Arts and Culture, Membership, Policies and Services and my most recent involvement with Cybersecurity.

Last week, I was able to visit with staff members from Senators Udall and Bennet and Congressman Lamborn to discuss issues specific to El Paso County. As I head to the Hill tomorrow, I will accompany commissioners across Colorado to make our concerns for various issues known to our delegation members of the entire state including both rural and urban communities to speak with one voice and to add to the discussion and issues of NACo's leadership.

The gathering provided NACo, the only national organization devoted to the collective interest of the nation's counties, the opportunity to sharpen its message to the federal government that counties are playing a key role in helping communities grow their local economies and create jobs through business friendly policies.

During the five-day conference, county officials debated and set policies on issues and legislation important to counties and communities. The issues include justice and public safety, agriculture and rural affairs, taxes, environment and energy, telecommunications, economic and community development, labor and employment, public lands and transportation.

Washington needs to understand that in an economy struggling toward recovery, services at the county level are needed most and the mandates with the associated requirements provide challenges for local taxpayers and our elected officials. With the large amounts of dollars we send to the federal government, it's important for us to receive a return on investment for our local build roads, to keep our communities safe and to reduce the onerous regulations that we must meet without the support to meet them.

A high priority at the NACo Legislative Conference was transportation infrastructure. A new NACo survey of county engineers found that the nation's roads and bridges, nearly half of which are under the financial control of local governments, are in desperate need of assistance for long-delayed maintenance and repair work. It's estimated that 86% of counties have roads in poor condition nationwide. This is especially troubling with the failure of Congress to pass a reauthorization of the surface transportation bill which provides infrastructure support for the federal highway system, a national responsibility which cannot be accomplished by passing the buck onto local community taxpayer dollars.

With the large number of military in El Paso County (estimated at 156,000 military, veterans and families), I am grateful to the have the opportunity to be on the Veterans and Military Task Force of NACo. Issues such as mental health, homelessness, healthcare and transportation were discussed and ways to serve those who have served us. The current Network of Care for service members and families is being managed by our own Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments ( was highlighted as an excellent model for other communities to emulate.

Speakers at the conference included officials from top government offices and agencies, elected officials from both political parties including Rep. Kay Granger and Sen. Mike Enzi, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and political commentator Tucker Carlson. In addition, Ambassador Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative, addressed the NACo International Economic Development Task Force.

I look forward to participating in more ways and representing El Paso County because we must be at the table to look for solutions and let our local voice be heard in the Nation's capital.

For more information, visit

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


The El Paso County Board of Commissioners (BoCC) approved an important Intergovernmental Agreement between El Paso County and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to begin development of an improvement plan for Colorado Avenue as it passes from the Westside of Colorado Springs through unincorporated El Paso County and continues into Manitou Springs. 
Highway Advisory Commission
members receive a briefing by
Commissioner Sallie Clark on
the Westside project.
Commissioners Clark and Lathen
discuss transportation issues onsite
near the "No Man's Land" area.
This section of Colorado Avenue has been given the nickname “No Man’s Land,” because offers jurisdictional challenges and location between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs with a portion in unincorporated El Paso County. Known as Business Route 24, the roadway itself is maintained by the Colorado Department of Transportation and a variety of safety improvements are badly needed within the CDOT right-of-way to accommodate vehicle and pedestrian traffic, to correct long-standing problems with drainage and bridge improvements, as well as to address utility challenges.Safety and infrastructure concerns have existed for many years, but it wasn’t until last year the County and City staff members, working together with Commissioner Sallie Clark and the various partner agencies, were able to secure $300,000 in funds through a CDOT grant to begin the planning and assessment process.

Preliminary studies conducted by City of Colorado Springs and El Paso County transportation engineers indicate that a lot of work will be needed to make the area safe and convenient. The bridge over Fountain Creek at Columbia Road is too narrow and badly deteriorated. City and County Engineer staffs have also identified needs ranging from inadequate drainage systems and street lighting to improved pedestrian and vehicular safety.

Neighborhood and business leaders,
Commissioners and Councilwoman Lisa
Czelatdko show the IGA with the
Colorado Department of Transportation
The County will take the lead in contracting the planning services but the project will be co-managed by representatives from Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs and CDOT. The first phase will be to gather input from citizens; residents, business owners, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are all stakeholders in the Colorado Avenue corridor. “Throughout the years, the cooperation of former and current elected officials—Colorado Springs City Council members Heimlicher, Small and Czelatdko and Manitou Springs mayors Morrison, Drummond and Snyder—were critical participants in moving this project forward today.” Clark said. “This is an important gateway from Old Colorado City to Manitou Springs. We envision the future connection as a vibrant area of commerce and economic development, joining these two historic destinations together while improving the basic infrastructure needs of the area.”

Friday, January 27, 2012


Commissioner Clark joined Commissioners
from all over the U.S. for the annual
Justice and Public Safety Symposium
sponsored by National Association of Counties

WASHINGTON, D.C. – El Paso County, Colorado, Commissioner Sallie Clark, is taking the time to attend, participate, facilitate and learn about federal, state and local intergovernmental justice and public safety priorities at the 2012 National Association of Counties’ (NACo) Annual Justice and Public Safety Symposium held Jan. 25-28 in Fulton County, Ga.

Hosted by Fulton County and the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, the symposium discussed these critical priorities with some of the nation’s foremost justice and public safety experts and considered how county officials can best shape federal policies and funding to ensure that services for residents in their communities are enhanced.
El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa
pictured here with Sallie,
NACo JPS Chair, Judge David Hudson
 and NACo President Lenny Eliaison
The theme of the symposium was “A National County Policy Symposium to Safely Lower Jail and Juvenile Detention Populations by Doing It Smarter.” The keynote speaker was former United States Ambassador to the United Nations and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, who shared insights about his lifelong work as a politician, human rights activist and businessman and how they relate to justice issues facing counties. El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa presented information and data on how El Paso County, Colorado, is utilizing re-entry and reintegration programs that are reducing the revolving door of recidivism. "We appreciate NACo allowing the participation of El Paso County's innovative approaches at this conference and our ability to share how we are working to reduce taxpayer costs and also keep the public safe", Commissioner Sallie Clark said about her county's participation.

Another special guest speaker was Dr. James Austin, director, JFA Institute, and former director of the Institute on Crime, Justice and Corrections at George Washington University. Dr. Austin discussed innovative ways local governments are addressing these challenging issues.  
Each year members of NACo’s JPS Steering Committee meet with local, state and national experts to discuss important justice and public safety priorities on behalf of the nation’s 3,068 counties. The committee is responsible for developing NACo’s Justice and Public Safety policies, and advocates for local government priorities before the U.S. Congress.

Other issues discussed during this year’s four-day symposium included: cost-effective pretrial justice programs, reentry programs, creating criminal justice coordinating councils, cybersecurity, and diverting the mentally ill from the criminal justice system.  

Commissioner Sallie Clark said that the NACo justice and public safety symposium was a great opportunity to hear directly from experts on many of the critical justice and public safety issues affecting counties across the country and said the critical matters explored at the meeting will improve and enhance public safety in states and local communities. As Chair of the Justice and Public Safety Committee's Court Subcommittee Chair, Clark also moderated a panel on Cybersecurity services for counties and why Commissioners should care. "As technology becomes more and more widely used and considering the amount of data and records county governments retain, we must keep up with the concerns that are associated with safe storage of information to protect the public's interest", Clark added.

For more information on the symposium or NACo justice and public safety policies, visit the Legislative and Policy section of the NACo website at or contact Jim Philipps at 202.942.4220 or  

The National Association of Counties (NACo) is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States.  Founded in 1935, NACo provides essential services to the nation’s 3,068 counties.  NACo advances issues with a unified voice before the federal government, improves the public's understanding of county government, assists counties in finding and sharing innovative solutions through education and research, and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money.  For more information about NACo, visit

Sunday, January 22, 2012


District 3 County Update from Commissioner Sallie Clark

Looking back on 2011, this has been a busy year for the Board of County Commissioners and I’m pleased to provide an update for District 3.
Commissioner Dennis Hisey recieved
an award from the Chamber at the annual
State of the Region Address.

STRATEGIC MOVES, CONSOLIDATION OF BUILDINGS, RE-PURPOSING AND STATE OF THE REGION: As part of our consolidation plan, the Citizen Service Center on Garden of the Gods Rd., opened in 2011. This “one-stop shop” combined the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder, Treasurer, Assessor, Department of Human Services and Public Health Department. The Commissioners recently relocated to Centennial Hall at 200 S. Cascade, Suite 100.  Now, the former County Office Building will be remodeled to house the Sheriff’s Office and Training Facility. Following the relocation of the Sheriff’s Training Facility off of E. Las Vegas to downtown, that facility will be remodeled to house an expanded Coroner’s Office.  All this is being accomplished within existing County revenues and without ANY tax increase. County Commissioner meetings are still being held at Pikes Peak Regional Development Center, 2880 International Circle, Colorado Springs until the renovation of the old boardroom at Centennial is completed sometime this Spring.  Visit for agendas and information. All Commissioner meetings are held each Tuesday and Thursday at 9 a.m.  More information can be obtained by viewing the State of Region report by our Board of County Commissioners' Chair, Amy Lathen.

The historic Rainbow Falls is getting
a face lift through its master plan and
clean-up efforts.
RAINBOW FALLS: Known for many years as “graffiti falls”, the area is now owned by El Paso County. This long-time neglected area has benefitted by regular clean-up efforts from Manitou Environmental Citizens Action (MECA), the Youth Corps and Boy Scout volunteers and a new trail and picnic area was built as part of an Eagle Scout project. The area’s master plan will come together this year to discourage graffiti and improve the trails, reduce erosion and restore this once beautiful historic area.
I25/CIMARRON INTERCHANGE: In 2011, the Colorado Department of Transportation allocated funds through Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments to purchase remaining right-of-way for Interchange improvements. Now considered one of the highest regional priority projects, the stage has been set to phase-in improvements when funding becomes available. The initial phase will focus on the north to south exit, heading west onto Highway 24. This is an important gateway to downtown and the Westside and will improve safety and congestion issues.

WESTSIDE GATEWAY/NO MAN’S LAND: This area on the far Westside has now taken the forefront with a $300,000 State planning grant, which will commence early this year and is scheduled to be considered by the Board of Commissioners on January 31st so the RFP can be released. El Paso County is the lead agency for a public master planning process to identify specific funding needs. Councilwoman Lisa Czelatdko and I will continue to champion needed improvements. This multi-jurisdictional project is also expected to be included on the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority’s list, likely to be referred to voters in November of 2012.

U.S. HONOR FLAG: During El Paso County's Sesquicentennial, we welcomed the U.S. Honor Flag. This flag has had the distinction of being flown at Ground Zero and the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan and was part of the last mission of the Space Shuttle Endeavor. The El Paso County Sheriff's Office combined with partnerships from Colorado Springs Police and Fire Departments and public safety workers from throughout the state participated. School District 11 supplied student artwork "What the Flag means to me" at the Colorado Springs Airport during its 2-day visit.

BEAR CREEK PARK: Potential conservation easements are being evaluated for long-term protection of designated areas in Bear Creek Park. An extensive public process and private fund-raising will be needed to secure future protection easements. In addition, ongoing improvements to the award-winning Dog Park necessary wildfire mitigation will continue.  Recognizing the importance of regional connectivity, this park’s sustainability is and should be a priority.

The groundbreaking of the new
Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Range Complex
will mark a partnership between Fort Carson,
El Paso County and the Sheriff's Office,
scheduled to open this Spring.
CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN SHOOTING RANGE COMPLEX: The groundbreaking for the new Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Range Complex took place in December 2011 and is set to open sometime this Spring. The Complex will offer not only necessary training for our men and women in uniform as a collaboration between Fort Carson and the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, but also allow use by the general public to hone their firearms' skills. This partnership is being funded through the Department of Defense and in-kind services on behalf of El Paso County as well as a non-profit 'The Soldiers' Friend" being established to help with the ongoing range expansion.

Contact information: 520-6413

The El Paso County GOP Central
Committee Meeting at Sand Creek High School.
and...from the political perspective, my husband, Welling Clark, and I attended the Republican Central Committee at Sand Creek High School on Saturday, January 21st.  Commissioner District 3 leadership includes Westsider and local small business owner (Paradise Sales) Paul Paradis (Chair), Rockrimmon resident and neighborhood guru Jan Doran (Vice Chair) and longtime GOP supporter Jamie Thomas (Secretary). The Colorado caucuses take place on Tuesday, February 7th at 7 p.m.  Due to reapportionment and precinct changes, you can locate your caucus location by visiting the State GOP website at: with an easy locator by putting in your address and information.  Enjoy some photos from the event!
Sallie Clark's official announcement
for Commissioner District 3 run
January 9, 2012.
A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Following my re-election to serve as Vice Chair of the El Paso County Board of Commissioners, I also officially announced my candidacy to seek the District 3 in 2012 on January 9th at the Pikes Peak Center, downtown. Approximately 150 people attended the event and the outpouring of support was very much appreciated.  Official endorsements were made by El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa, 4th Judicial District Attorney Dan May, State Representative Bob Gardner, former Commissioner Jim Bensberg, former County Treasurer Sandra Damron and a host of elected officials and individuals.

If you missed attending my official announcement and would like to see the complete video of the entire event, click on the video below. For additional information on the campaign, to donate or volunteer, visit