Wayne Williams, outgoing El Paso County commissioner, has done a little back-of-the-envelope research and found that El Paso County spends less per citizen than any other Front Range county.
In a brief presentation today, he reported that El Paso County spends $364. 74 per citizen. To get that figure, he divided the county’s total budget (including federal and state grants) by the population. “It’s the purest way of comparing how government is run.”
Most counties spend double to triple what El Paso County spends on its citizens. For example, Arapahoe County spends $556.54 per citizen; Douglas, $819; Jefferson, $886, and Weld County, $922.
Mesa, Boulder, Larimer and Pueblo counties spend $1,002 to $1,172 per citizen; Adams County spends $1,400, and the City and County of Denver are the biggest spenders of all, paying a whopping $3,138 per citizen.
To be fair, Williams pointed out that about $1,000 of the more than $3,000 expended by the City and County of Denver is airport-related.