Bob Overbeck Wins Larimer County Assessor Seat

Fort Collins City Council member Bob Overbeck will be the next Larimer County assessor.

Alexis Smith, his Republican opponent, conceded the race Wednesday night. It was the final Larimer County race to be decided, due to a close margin.

With 182,596 ballots counted as of 3 p.m. Thursday, Overbeck had 50.97 percent of the vote, and Smith had 49.03 percent.

The race was even more tight in initial results Tuesday evening, when less than 1 percentage point separated the two. Overbeck’s lead strengthened in results released Wednesday and Thursday.

Smith, a Republican, entered the race as deputy assessor. She has been in that role since 2010.

Overbeck, a Democrat, has a City Council term that ends in 2021. With his election to county office, City Council must appoint a new person to serve until the next election, which is in April. At that time, voters will select a council member to serve through the remainder of Overbeck’s term.

Overbeck replaces Steve Miller, who has been assessor for most of the past 34 years. He served two stints of three consecutive terms and was first appointed in 1984.

Turnout estimate

About 182,000 ballots were received in this election, Angela Myers, Larimer County clerk and recorder, said Wednesday. That means turnout was in the range of 78 percent, based on the number of active registered voters, which was 232,588 as of Oct. 31, according to the clerk and recorder’s website.

More than 40,000 ballots were dropped off on Election Day, and Myers said she planned to count only 20,000 instead of sending workers home after midnight.

Turnout in Larimer County was strong, but not as robust as 2016, when 201,000 ballots were cast in the presidential election year. In the last midterm election, 2014, about 148,000 ballots were cast.

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Larimer County Assessor: Bob Overbeck

Website URL:

Age: 55

How long in Larimer County: 17 years

Family: Blessed to share life with the love of my life, four kids 9 to 20, one Labrador and four cats.

Work experience: Have been a Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) and a member of the National Futures Association since 1983. I have spent my career ensuring accuracy and advocating for fairness, transparency and accountability in government. Started education on the trading floor as a runner in the Chicago Mercantile exchange, completed a degree in business administration, then moved on to be a floor broker and trader on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Board of Trade and Minneapolis Grain Exchange. I understand the value of our dollars.

Community involvement: Current Fort Collins City Council member.

Is there anything voters should know about the Assessor position and how you would approach it?
It is the responsibility of the county assessors to accurately evaluate property for the purpose of assessing and collecting property taxes. I am running for county assessor to ensure that property valuations are done right the first time, no one pays more than their fair share in taxes, and the office of the assessor upholds the level of transparency, accuracy and accountability that taxpayers deserve.

What impact do you think Amendment 73 would have on county homeowners and revenues?
According to the amendment language, Amendment 73 would lower and freeze residential and commercial property tax assessments for the K-12 education portion of your property taxes. The Colorado legislative council has said that this will have no impact for the county or other special districts. This is a question that is left up to the voters to decide, because it is their role to tell us where and how they want their dollars to be spent. In my role as assessor, I will ensure that property valuations are done right the first time, no one pays more than their fair share in taxes, and the office of the assessor upholds the level of transparency, accuracy and accountability that taxpayers deserve. The process must improve and that’s my singular focus.

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Larimer County Election

Democrats show up to challenge for more county offices this year.

At a recent forum for candidates for Larimer County office, the moderator paused to remember who had already answered his question and who still needed to go.

As he was sorting it out, a response came from the panel in the Fort Collins City Council Chambers: It’s OK. There are a lot of us up here.

This election year has more contested races for Larimer County offices than any other this century. Democrats are challenging for the clerk and recorder job for the first time in 20 or more years — longer than the county’s online files go back, at least. Same for county treasurer. The Larimer County Assessor’s Office is contested for only the second time this century, the first time since 2006.

The Democrats haven’t recently challenged for county offices aside from commissioner. Coming out of the March party assembly, they almost had a full slate, though candidates for sheriff and coroner ended up not panning out.

Still, Larimer County voters will have more choice in who they want to steer key county offices.

Larimer County Clerk and Recorder Angela Myers, a Republican, is trying to hold onto her job against Democratic challenger Dan Sapienza. Treasurer Irene Josey, also a Republican, is trying to keep her 30-plus year tenure in that office going against Rick Bohn, who threw his hat in the ring at the Larimer County Democrats’ party assembly. And in the assessor’s race, Republican Chief Deputy Assessor Alexis Smith is making a foray into the elected head job against Democratic Fort Collins City Council member Bob Overbeck.

Here’s a glance at the candidates, taken from a Larimer County League of Women Voters forum:

Larimer County Clerk and Recorder

What the job entails: Overseeing local election operations; managing the recording and citizen information center, which handles things such as marriage and pet licenses, passports and county liquor licenses; and managing the vehicle licensing center, which handles titling and registering vehicles.

Why Democrat Dan Sapienza is running: “When you’re looking for a leader of an organization of nearly 100 staff, a budget of nearly $10 million … you want this person to have vision.

”You want that person to not just look at that role as administrative, but be a leader who can take that organization into the future and not just rest on the laurels of past successes.”

Why Republican Angela Myers is running: “The Clerk and Recorder’s office is a very complex office. Every single division that is under my purview is very, very technical and very complex and very challenging. We have unprecedented citizen satisfaction with the services we’ve given you over the past five years, we’ve had unprecedented change in the office, unprecedented evolution in the office. Every single system in the office has been upgraded. There are so many successes to build on. I think proven ability in this office is critical. This is an administrative office, not a policy office. I’ve been very clear about my focus on making sure we are not partisan at all, that every citizen is treated the same, and giving every single citizen a quality service.”

Larimer County Treasurer

What the job entails: Mailing property tax statements, collecting and distributing property taxes, and managing county investments.

Why Democrat Rick Bohn is running: “I look forwarding to bringing the job outside of the office, to not just be a bureaucrat but to actually be an advocate for the people of Larimer County.”

Why Republican Irene Josey is running: “I love my job as Larimer County treasurer, and I love the people I work with and for, and I hope to continue doing that job for you … Working my way up from clerk to the elected position as a female has been quite an accomplishment, and I feel very proud of that.”

Larimer County Assessor

What the job entails: Valuing all real and personal property, including mobile homes, residential and commercial properties, and agricultural land for property tax purposes.

Why Democrat Bob Overbeck is running: “I have five and a half years of leadership on the Fort Collins City Council and I want to bring that innovation into the county … I’m going to change the status quo in the assessor’s office. Now I’m looking for innovation all the time. If you look at Oklahoma County, out of 330,000 parcels and a population twice that of Larimer County, they only had 150 appeals. That’s right, 150 appeals. And this office had 19,000 appeals and it increased 30 percent.

“Everyone from around the world is visiting this Oklahoma office to find out what they’re doing right. I plan on going out there when I’m elected to make sure we can bring this innovation and change into this office and make sure we serve the taxpayers the way they should.”

Why Republican Alexis Smith is running: “Because I’ve been in the office for 17 years, I know what an assessor does. I want to make sure that we continue the successes and we build on some of the improvements that we’ve made over the last several years. We’ve got statutory deadlines and strong real estate markets. Everyone who’s in the market to sell the property knows what it’s worth, but when you get your notice of value and you haven’t been trying to sell your property, sometimes there is that sticker shock. I want our office to be there to answer those questions, and that’s why we continue to make sure we have an open protest process, so that you can conveniently protest your property and get answers from our office when you have a question.”

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Bob Overbeck Announces Candidacy for Larimer County Assessor

A dedicated public servant with years of experience serving residents in Northern Colorado, Bob Overbeck is looking at this seat as a way to continue his public service, while continuing to find common sense solutions to the challenges facing Larimer County.

Overbeck has served on Fort Collins City Council since 2013 and has been a licensed Commodity Trading Advisor by the National Futures Association since 1982, working with financial and agricultural commodities. He has worked with institutional investors, and held memberships on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Chicago Board of Trade, and the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.

While on Council Bob has served on the Downtown Development Authority, Finance Committee, Colorado Municipal League Policy Committee, the Council for Race, Equity and Leadership with the National League of Cities, the Election Code Committee, Legislative Review Committee, Library Trustee Selection Committee, and the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Council. Overbeck also serves as Chair of the Poudre Heritage Alliance.

Bob is uniquely qualified for the role of Larimer County Assessor given the challenges we face throughout our county around affordable housing. Once elected, Bob intends to ensure a “higher standard of accountability, transparency and fairness to the taxpayers of Larimer County,” and believes that it is “time for a change in the office of the assessor.”

– Kelly Giddens Campaign Manager

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Fort Collins Councilman Bob Overbeck to run for Larimer County Assessor

Bob Overbeck has announced his candidacy for Larimer County assessor.

Overbeck has served on Fort Collins City Council since 2013.

In a press release, he said he is looking at the assessor seat as a way to continue his public service while continuing to find commonsense solutions to the challenges facing Larimer County.

Overbeck has been a licensed commodity trading adviser by the National Futures Association since 1982, working with financial and agricultural commodities, according to the release.

While on the council he has served on the Downtown Development Authority, Finance Committee, Colorado Municipal League Policy Committee, the Council for Race, Equity and Leadership with the National League of Cities, the Election Code Committee, Legislative Review Committee, Library Trustee Selection Committee, and the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Council.

He is also chair of the Poudre Heritage Alliance.

Current assessor Steve Miller will be stepping down at the end of his current term due to term limits.

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Fort Collins Wins Coveted Presidential Award For Performance Excellence

The city of Fort Collins has won the national Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award for performance excellence, realizing its multiyear pursuit of the presidential award.

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced the winners Thursday.

Fort Collins was the only city to receive the award, and is the only the third city to win in the award’s history. Other recipients were Bristol Tennessee Essential Services, Stellar Solutions of Palo Alto, California, Castle Medical Center in Hawaii and Southcentral Foundation, in the health-care sector in Anchorage, Alaska.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross called City Manager Darin Atteberry to tell him personally about the award. Several city employees gathered in City Council chambers to get the news from Mayor Wade Troxell and other council members.

 “It is a great privilege to serve this community, and I look forward to continuing our excellence journey,” Atteberry said. “I am overflowing with gratitude for the Fort Collins community that aspires to a high-performing local government and innovative government.”

For now, the city will take a pause and celebrate and “appreciate each other and the community and the whole team,” Atteberry said.

He equated the feeling to football teams winning the Super Bowl and popping the champagne in the locker room. “Some people go home and watch game tapes and get up and go to practice. I just want to get on the field again with the team.”

The city will receive the examiners’ feedback report in December. “Getting the report and continuously improving is the mantra,” Atteberry said.

Fort Collins began applying for the Baldrige Award on the state level in 2011 and achieved its highest state level in 2014, allowing it to apply for the national Baldrige Award in 2015.

The award is given by the president to organizations that are outstanding in leadership, strategy, customers, measurement, analysis, knowledge management, workforce, operations and results.

The city has paid about $100,000 in each of the past two years pursuing the award, money it says is well worth the improvements and efficiency that have resulted from the 500 to 1,000 hours of scrutiny it gets from Baldrige examiners.

Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies won a Baldrige Award in 2008 after eight years of trying. Boulder-based Elevations Credit Union was a recipient in 2014.

Fort Collins was among 14 finalists for the award.

“Fort Collins is a wonderful community in many ways including having a high performing city government,” Mayor Wade Troxell said in the city’s press release announcing the award. “Achieving performance excellence helps us provide world class municipal services through operational excellence and a culture of innovation. Our citizens and businesses are the inspiration behind this pursuit.”

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said “when companies implement the ground-tested Baldrige approach, they create organizations that employees and customers love, that continually improve and that produce innovative and outstanding results.”

The Baldrige committee said Fort Collins has a Aaa credit rating and ranks in the top 10 percent of cities nationally as a place to live and work, and for quality of culture and recreation, job opportunities, air quality and attractiveness. It ranks in the top 1 percent for drinking water quality and emergency preparedness.

The 2017 Baldrige Awards will be presented in April at the Baldrige Program’s 30th annual Quest for Excellence conference in Baltimore. It is customary for the president to present the awards, although Vice-President Joseph Biden presented the award to PVH.