Midterm voter guide: Larimer County commissioner, clerk, treasurer


Collegian | Falyn Sebastian

DJ Vicente, Miles Buchan, and Serena Bettis

In the November election, Larimer County voters will elect a commissioner for District 1, a county clerk and recorder and a county treasurer. The commissioner district encompasses Timnath, Wellington and most of Fort Collins north of Drake Road.

According to the Larimer County website, the commissioner “works to represent the interest of the citizens of Larimer County at local, state and national levels.” Commissioners are limited to three four-year terms.


The county clerk and recorder handles areas such as voter registration and elections management as well as documents such as marriage licenses, passports, park passes, pet licenses and liquor licenses, according to the Larimer County clerk and recorder webpage.

The county treasurer works primarily with property taxes. They send out property tax statements, collect property taxes and distribute those taxes to authorities, such as school districts and cities and towns, according to the Larimer County treasurer webpage.

There are two candidates each on the ballot for commissioner and county clerk and one candidate on the ballot for county treasurer.

District I commissioner candidates

Justin Smith

Sheriff Justin Smith of Larimer County is the Republican candidate for county commissioner, seeking to continue his work as a public servant in the new position and having gained support in his time as sheriff.

Having served in Larimer County for 31 years, Smith seeks to resolve issues regarding homelessness, issues due to the recession and the needs of citizens by promoting collaborative efforts between Larimer’s communities.

“I’m the candidate in the race who has seen the county from different perspectives … and (recognizes) the different needs of the different groups within the community,” Smith said.

John Kefalas

Democratic Larimer County Commissioner John Kefalas is running for reelection, seeking to continue working with the Larimer community to solve issues in his second term.

Having been a resident of the county for 46 years and a former state representative, Kefalas looks to resolve the county’s pressing issues through collaboration between public office and residential communities, according to his website.

“It’s got to be a team effort,” Kefalas said. “We have to make sure it’s a table where people feel like they can genuinely contribute to ideas to solve really complex problems. … It has to be a collaborative effort.”


Clerk and recorder candidates

Angela Myers

Appointed in 2013, Republican Angela Myers is the current Larimer County clerk and recorder.

Prior to filling this position, Myers served next to the former county clerk for roughly 10 years. Myers also works in various other positions, including central region chair, education committee chair and motor vehicle legislative co-chair, and she serves on the Executive Board of the Colorado County Clerks Association, according to her website.

Myers’ “professional experience includes small business ownership and working directly with executive managers in various areas of business from public affairs to engineering,” according to her Larimer County bio.

As county clerk and recorder, Myers leads a team of 87 people who are in charge of administering elections, recording property and other records and vehicle licensing and titling processes.

When asked about what issue seems to be the most pressing, Myers said the integrity of elections is paramount in the minds of citizens. In the future, Myers plans to remain dedicated to transparency, nonpartisanship and adherence to election rules and security protocols.

“Every department within the clerk and recorder office directly affects the life of nearly every Larimer citizen,” Myers said.

In acknowledgment of these responsibilities, Myers said she is dedicated to county government and if reelected plans to continuously maintain integrity, open communication and careful use of taxpayer funds.

Toni Baker

Toni Baker, the Democratic candidate for county clerk and recorder, is a longtime local, having moved to Colorado in 1979, living in Fort Collins and the surrounding areas for the past 20 years.

Following her experience as a single mother working entry-level positions, Baker graduated with honors and used that degree to secure several management positions. Later, Baker said she was able to become the owner and operator of three successful small businesses.

“Along this journey, I learned to empathize with those who struggle day to day in a world where overcoming our beginnings can be incredibly difficult, especially for those who don’t have the benefit of being born into a strong starting position,” Baker said.

Baker said she has learned that the role of government is and always should be to help people do things rather than inhibit them.

Three areas Baker plans to address if elected are security, modernization and elections. Baker wants to raise the standards of security across all departments in an effort to close exploited loop holes, according to her website.

In terms of modernization, Baker plans to “bring the clerk’s office to the 21st century to make the county a leader and beacon of how it is done properly.”

Baker said if she is elected, she will work to ensure elections are fair, secure and more accessible and be a leader who listens to the people of Larimer County, uplifts and inspires and stands up for what is right.

County treasurer candidate

Irene Josey

Irene Josey is running unopposed for her third and final term as Larimer County treasurer. 

Josey, who was first elected to the office in 2014, is listed on the ballot as a Republican candidate.

“I started in the office in 1986, and I worked my way up from an entry-level position to run for office,” Josey said. 

If elected to her final term in office, Josey said she hopes to maintain the efficient systems she has set up for her staff to ensure her successor is successful.

“My goal is to make sure that somebody can walk in, and it’s seamless,” Josey said. “Because if it’s not, the community will suffer.”

As treasurer and public trustee, Josey is responsible for distributing property tax statements to Larimer County taxpayers, collecting those payments and then distributing that money to different districts — such as school and fire districts — throughout the county, Josey said. Her office also puts some of the collected money in “safe public funds investing tools,” Josey said.

Josey said each fall, the county assessor’s office will certify the mill levies for each district and determine the owed property taxes. The mill levy is basically a property tax rate based on the amount of revenue needed by a jurisdiction.

“There are different districts within the districts, and that all gets organized and then certified to the assessor, who places the value of the property on the tax roll,” Josey said. “The mill levy times the (property) value equals the taxes due.”

The office publishes monthly collection reports to its website, allowing the public to see where their tax money is going. For example, in September, Larimer County distributed $320,094.55 of property tax funds to the City of Fort Collins tax authority. 

Josey is also in charge of monitoring overdue property tax payments and can issue liens on a property if the tax is not paid by the property owner.

“It’s a very in-depth, not very easy job, but it’s extremely fulfilling, and I love it,” Josey said.

Reach DJ Vicente, Miles Buchan and Serena Bettis at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @csucollegian.