Jefferson County, CO- The Ted Mink legacy is coming to an end in 2014. Republican Sheriff Ted Mink will leave the office of sheriff after his initial appointment by the county commissioners in 2003. In addition to the appointment of sheriff in 2003- Ted Mink has served through two terms for a total of 11 years as sheriff of Jefferson County- notably one year short of achieving his desire of serving 12 years.
After actively advocating at extending term limits from two to three terms- Mink faced defeat to extend his term by the voters of Jefferson County in 2009. In a 2009 Denver Post article Mink states, "I also think the possibility of 12 years instead of eight years would be more incentive to attract younger, more vibrant people." Who will be elected to serve as Jefferson County's next sheriff and in what condition will this new sheriff find this department? Mink ran unopposed for sheriff of Jefferson County in 2010. The 2014 November election for sheriff of Jefferson County paints a different landscape this year as three republican candidates are currently postured to vie for this most important county seat. The county assembly set to be held in Jefferson County on March 22, 2014 will determine probability of a primary race in June. Precinct caucus' will be held this coming Tuesday March 4th for active recruitment of delegates to represent the front runners in this sheriff's race; Jim Shires, current Sergeant for the department and Jeff Shrader, current Division Chief for the department.
The sheriff's department has recently found itself embroiled in events that leave citizens concerned for the level of services and costs associated for those services that are provided to the residents of unincorporated Jefferson County. This organization is experiencing high attrition rates and according to Mink, it's because of pay. Jacki Kelley, PIO for the organization makes claim of 99 sworn deputies leaving the department by year end 2013 with 60 predicted to leave in 2014. At a cost of $118,000 to train new deputies, taxpayers are growing concerned. In addition to the loss, more than 100 deputies filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Ted Mink and the county commissioners in 2012 claiming unpaid wages of over time and salary schedule pay. That lawsuit has since been dismissed by a federal judge- undelivered promises?
In a continued climate of economic uncertainty with staggering job recovery, it certainly does not add up that this office should be experiencing this high rate of attrition for fairly low level disparities in pay between competing agencies. If Sheriff Mink had been successful at extending his term limits- what exactly was his plan to attract younger- more vibrant people? At this point- an incoming sheriff may be facing the younger more vibrant talent already out the door. The legacy of Sheriff Ted Mink; a legacy or a liability?