Summit County adopts civil rights policy
summit daily news
BRECKENRIDGE – The Summit Board of County Commissioners adopted a new civil rights policy Tuesday, along with a new financial reserves policy and a policy regulating language services for non-English speakers.
The civil rights policy will provide avenues for people in the county to make civil rights complaints against the government. The county had civil rights policies in place for employees, but did not have a procedure in place for the public to file complaints. The policy directs the county to provide people who feel their civil rights have been violated with the names and numbers of civil rights offices.
“It basically says that we don’t discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender (and so on),” county finance director Marty Ferris said at Tuesday’s BOCC work session. “And then we tell the general public how you would file a complaint.”
The second document adopted Tuesday, a limited English proficiency policy, requires the county government to make accommodations for individuals not fluent in English.
“We’re doing a great job with this stuff in our health and human services areas,” Ferris said at the work session, “Maybe not so great in some other areas. It’s a policy that we will continually be making sure that we provide whatever (is needed).”
The policy is general and does not set requirements or limitations on what services will be provided in which languages.
The third policy instructs the county to keep enough money in reserve to cover all county expenditures for three months without revenue. The county was already maintaining a three- to four-month reserve, county manager Gary Martinez said.
The civil rights and language policies are modeled after similar state policies. The requirement to have the policies in place came down from the state Department of Justice, as part of an audit following a $50,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant to the Sheriff’s department.
“(The policies are) basically codifying all the things we’re currently doing,” Martinez said.
The policies go into effect immediately and have no impact on the county budget. The policies were passed in draft form and could, particularly in the case of the reserve policy, undergo minor changes.
SDN reporter Caddie Nath can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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