What does a
County Commissioner Do?

Colorado is divided into 64 counties.  Counties are political subdivisions of state government and may only exercise those powers specifically provided in state law.  Counties are responsible for law enforcement, the provision of social services on behalf of the state, and the general control of land use in unincorporated areas.   The board of County Commissioners is the primary policy-making body in the county and is responsible for the county’s administrative and budgetary functions.

Specific statutory responsibilities include the provision of jails, weed control, and establishment of a county or district public health agency to provide, at a minimum, health and human services mandated by the state.  Colorado is also one of a minority of states that has their Medicaid program administered at the County level.

Under state law, counties also have the authority to :

  • Provide veteran services
  • Operate emergency telephone services
  • Provide ambulance services
  • Conduct law enforcement
  • Operate mass transit systems
  • Build and maintain roads and bridges
  • Construct and maintain airports
  • Lease or sell county-owned mineral and oil & gas rights
  • Provide water and sewer services
  • Control wildfire planning and response
  • Promote agriculture research and protect agriculture operations
  • Administer pest control
  • Operate districts for irrigation, cemeteries, libraries, recreation, solid waste and disposal, and various types of improvement districts