Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:



Northeast Teller County Fire Protection District (NETCO) will be holding its Special District election for three Board of Director seats and we are asking for your vote….

WHEN: May 8th from 7am-7pm

WHERE: At the Fire House…. 1010 Evergreen Heights Drive, Woodland Park, CO

YOU WILL NOT GET A BALLOT IN THE MAILYou must cast your vote at the Fire House in person

WHO CAN VOTE?  If you are registered to vote and live or own property within in the 82 square mile district in and around Woodland you are eligible to vote. Look at your property tax bill. If it says you pay taxes to Northeast Teller Fire Protection district, YOU CAN VOTE!

WHO’S RUNNING: Please re-elect your current hardworking Board members Shirley Douthit, Mike Sperry and James Ignatius (last 3 on the ballot).


·         Shirley Douthit has been a NETCO board member since 2016 serving as Secretary.  She was previously a Program Manager for a major defense contractor for 36 years managing large projects with multi-million dollar budgets.   She comes from Firefighter roots with her parents both being volunteer firefighters in a small beach community and has a nephew who is a firefighter in Ohio.

·         Mike Sperry has been a NETCO board member since 2012 and serves as board Vice Chairman.   He has lived in Woodland Park for 40 years, has been a Certified Residential Appraiser for 25 years and has also served our community through Rotary, Keep Woodland Park Beautiful and the Board of Adjustments.

·         James Ignatius has served as your Chairman of the Board for NETCO since 2010. He also served as your Teller County Commissioner for 10 years and Chairman of that Board for 7 of those 10 years. Prior to moving to Teller County, he was a Firefighter Paramedic and Paramedic Instructor for over 22 years near Chicago. He has also been a business owner for over 45 years.

A few facts about the district:

·         NETCO gets approximately 99% of its revenue from property tax

·         We receive zero sales tax revenue

·         Our District includes the City of Woodland Park, but also extends out 82 square miles into the county

·         We are governed by a 5 member Board of Directors

As member of our current Board we have worked diligently to manage many budget and administrative land mines. The three biggest issues that have challenged this Board over the past 7 years have been:

·         NEW CONSTRUCTION WITHIN OUR DISTRICT and we’ve received little or NO tax revenue resulting in flat or decreased revenue for the past 5 years

·         THE GALLAGHER AMENDMENT to our State constitution reduced assessed property valuation by 10% last yearand is proposed to decrease assessed property valuation by an additional 15% IN 2019 resulting in either flat or significantly reduced District revenue.

·         ISO CLASS RATINGS increased for many of our district residents due to lack of funds to hire additional firefighters.   This is BAD for property owners and results in higher property insurance rates for property owners.

If you are registered to vote, check this map or look at your property tax bill.  If you live or own property in the district, you are eligible to vote.  


The current Board has worked endlessly to overcome the obstacles and curveballs that have been tossed our way and will continue with these efforts.  Thank you for your vote and confidence in us.

Shirley Douthit

Woodland Park