Secretary Wayne Williams addresses Greeley Centennial Rotary

Weld County Assessor Chris Woodruff, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Greeley Mayor Tom Norton at the Greeley Centennial Rotary meeting last week. (SOS photo)
Weld County Assessor Chris Woodruff, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and Greeley Mayor Tom Norton at the Greeley Centennial Rotary meeting last week. (SOS photo)

By Keara Brosnan

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams wowed them at the Greeley Centennial Rotary club meeting — and that’s according to the guy who use to have “fun arguments” with Williams over transportation.

Greeley Mayor Tom Norton invited Williams to speak at the club’s meeting last Thursday.

Norton ran the Colorado Department of Transportation under former Gov. Bill Owens. Williams got plenty of transportation experience during his two terms as an El Paso County commissioner. He served on the Colorado State Transportation Advisory Committee, and chaired the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority.

“I joke I was head of CDOT as a punishment from Bill Owens,” Norton said at the Rotary meeting. The two served together in the state Senate, where Norton was Senate president.

As for Williams, Norton said, “We’ve had some fun arguments over transportation.”

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Take Your Child to meet Secretary of State Wayne Williams

Secretary of State Wayne Williams with some of the children and relatives of staffers who participated in the 2016 Take Your Child To Work Day.
Secretary of State Wayne Williams with some of the children and relatives of staffers who participated in the 2016 Take Your  Child To Work Day.

The kids who came to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office for Take Your Child Day made their choices for president known: eight votes for Hillary Clinton and four for Ted Cruz.

In addition to participating in a mock primary and general election, the children — ranging in ages from 17 to 7 — enjoyed a pancake breakfast, a visit with Secretary of State Wayne Williams and a tour of the state Capitol this morning.

Williams, who has four children, easily chatted with the youngsters.

Secretary of State staffer Abbas Montoya makes pancakes with the help of his children, Abbas Jr. 13, and Namira, 15.
Secretary of State staffer Abbas Montoya makes pancakes with the help of his children, Abbas Jr. 13, and Namira, 15.

For the elections, the children watched videos of the candidates and made their choices known in their primary.

Clinton beat Bernie Sanders seven votes to five votes. Cruz took first place with five votes in the GOP primary, while John Kasich received four votes and Trump three. Then it was on to the general election.

Afterward, 8-year-old-old Will Polk, the stepson of staffer Melissa Polk in elections, had a question for elections director Judd Choate.

“Do our votes count?” he wanted to know.

“He was very disappointed when I said, ‘No,'” Choate relayed, adding he told the children they could register to vote when they were 16 and vote at age 18.

Rich Schliep, the information security officer for the Colorado Secretary of State, and his three children: Tyler, 13, and twins Brooke and Hailey, 8.
Rich Schliep, the information security officer for the Secretary of State, and his three children: Tyler, 13, and twins Brooke and Hailey, 8.

Rich Schliep said his son Tyler, 13, enjoyed learning about “signature verification.”

There’s a lot of talk about that these days in the office because of efforts by four Republicans to get on the U.S. Senate primary ballot through voter signatures.

On a personal note, I brought my niece Polly, who turned 10 today, and nephew Max, 11. On the drive in, I told them my boss was 6-feet-4.

“Is he scary?” Max wanted to know.

“No, he’s really nice,” said Polly, who has met Williams before.

Here are the children who are in the photograph with Secretary Williams:

Back row: Namira and Abbas Jr., children of Abbas Montoya; Williams; and Tyler Schliep, son of Rich Schliep.

Secondish row, the three to the left: Max and Polly Bungum, nephew and niece of Lynn Bartels; and Lily Bryant, daughter of Albert Bryant.

First row: Ali Mikeworth, daughter of Kathryn Mikeworth; Ethan and Cassidy Fletcher, grandchildren of Lynn Waring; Jackie Choate, daughter of Judd Choate; Will Polk, stepson of Melissa Polk; and twins Hailey and Brooke Schliep.

Secretary Williams addresses Colorado Social Legislation Committee

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, flanked by Denver elections director Amber McReynolds and Rep. Su Ryden, at the Colorado Social Legislation Committee lunch Monday. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, flanked by Denver elections director Amber McReynolds and Rep. Su Ryden, at the Colorado Social Legislation Committee lunch Monday. (SOS photo)

By Keara Brosnan

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams outlined his legislative agenda, explained why he supports a presidential primary bill and discussed the selection of Dominion as the state’s new voting vendor when he spoke this week to the Colorado Social Legislation Committee.

This topic at  the CSLC week’s lunch  concerned elections; the other two panelists were Amber McReynolds, Denver’s elections director, and Rep. Su Ryden, D-Aurora, who chairs the committee that hears most election measures.

Williams said he was warned before the 2016 session it would be difficult to get bills through a divided legislature in an election year. But so far things have gone well, he said, and one measure last week passed the Democratic-controlled House 65-0 and the Republican-controlled Senate 34-0.

“We’ve actually got some things done that needed to get done,” he said.

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Secretary Wayne Williams visits Rio Grande County clerk

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams visits with the Rio Grande County clerk and recorder's office. From left to right: Megan Gallegos, Williams, Michelle Montoya, Kathy Gonzales, Clerk Cindy Hill, Sherryl Steving, Matilda Quintana and Jake Mikeljack. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams visits with the Rio Grande County clerk and recorder’s office. From left to right: Megan Gallegos, Williams, Michelle Montoya, Kathy Gonzales, Clerk Cindy Hill, Sherryl Steving, Matilda Quintana and Jake Mikeljack. (SOS photo)

By Keara Brosnan

Some county clerks struggle to find enough election judges, but Rio Grande County Clerk and Recorder Cindy Hill told Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams she isn’t one of them.

“Farmers’ wives make up a lot of the judges, which works out nicely because elections in the fall are different from harvest time,” Hill said.

Williams visited Del Norte this week and met with Hill and her staff as part of his goal to regularly check in with all 64 county clerks in their offices.

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Secretary Wayne Williams hears about cannibalism and courthouse woes

Williams poses with Hinsdale Clerk Linda Pavich in the courthouse below photo of Alferd Packer, the infamous cannibal.
Hinsdale County Clerk Linda Pavich and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams pose in the courthouse below a photo of Alferd Packer, the infamous cannibal. (SOS photo)

By Keara Brosnan

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams met with the Hinsdale County board of commissioners and the county clerk in Lake City this week to talk about some of the unusual problems they face.

Hinsdale has issues with its courthouse, from formaldehyde to a faulty foundation. The commission had to meet with Williams

in the firehouse due to health and space concerns in the courthouse. The commissioners were eager to discuss their options in the face of those issues.

“We are proud of our courthouse, which is the oldest courthouse in Colorado still used for its original intended function,” said Clerk Linda Pavich.

But, she said, the clerk’s office is going to be moving to portable units while the courthouse gets its update.

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