The candidates for Grand County commissioner were sent a questionnaire at the end of September and were given two weeks to respond. Candidates for the county commissioner positions are: Chas McConnell, a Republican candidate running for District 1; James Newberry, a Democratic candidate and the only incumbent candidate running for District 1; Merrit Linke, a Republican candidate running for District 2; and Robb Rankin, a Democratic candidate running for District 2. The questionnaire appeared as follows:
1. What is your name?
2. Where is your permanent residence?
3. Where did you receive your education and what area/s did you study?
4. What is your current occupation?
5. List the members of your immediate family.
6. How many years have you been a resident of Grand County?
7. What qualifies you to hold the position you are running for?
8. What do you see as the most pressing issues in Grand County and why? How would you address these issues?
9. What do you see as the top three budgetary issues that need to be addressed in Grand County? How would you address these issues?
10. Do you see any opportunities for reducing the taxpayer's burden in Grand County?
11. Do you believe Grand County is doing enough to promote economic development? If not, what would you do to promote economic development?
12. Do you believe Grand County should play a role in providing public transportation? If not, why not? If so, what should the county be doing?
13. Do you believe Grand County has a role to play in providing funding for or promoting recycling?
14. It appears that by the time the county is able to close the Granby Landfill, the county may have spent $12 million or more. In retrospect, do you believe the situation could/should have been handled differently.
15. Do you believe Grand County is doing an adequate job of protecting its interests in regard to Front Range water diversions? If not, where do you believe current efforts fall short and what would you do differently? If so, what, specifically, do you think the county has accomplished to protect our water?
16. Do you favor or oppose the following water diversion mitigation efforts? (A) Mandatory flushing flows on the Colorado River. (B) A bypass around Windy Gap Reservoir. (C) A bypass around Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Reservoir.
17. Why are you a better choice for this position than your opponent?
1. Chas McConnell
2. 1031 Mulligan Street, Winter Park Ranch
3. California University of Pennsylvania, B.S. Science and Technology with a major in Printing Technology and a minor in Business Administration
4. Owner, McConnell Design and Printing Company, Winter Park
5. My wife, Ann McConnell, married 22 years, son Lucas 16, junior MPHS, daughter Kaitlin 12,7th grade EGMS, and Cooper, our border collie.
6. I have lived in Grand County for 33 years.
7. I have been a business owner in Grand County for 23 years, and have employed over 25 people in that time. I understand the challenges and rewards of making a living in Grand County. I understand how to make sound business decisions. I have served on numerous committees including the East Grand School District Accountability and Ad Hoc Committees. These committees were challenged with the task to find funding to keep our local elementary schools open. I formed a sub-committee with a business associate, and we petitioned the EGSD to review their medical insurance package resulting in a savings of over $90,000 without reducing benefits to employees. In 2007, while doing independent research, I identified an accounting error made by the county and EGSD. Upon correction of the error, the EGSD received $1,000,000 in additional school impact fees from developers. I understand how to look at problems and find solutions.
8. I believe that the most pressing issues facing Grand County today are the water diversions, the economy, and the Granby landfill.
OUR WATER: The Windy Gap has placed a huge burden on the County. With the permit process negotiations, we have an opportunity to make it right by requiring strong mitigation to protect our rivers from the effects of Windy Gap Firming Project and, in the process, give the river a chance to heal itself. This affords a rare opportunity for Grand County to protect its aquatic resources and its local economy.
THE ECONOMY: We need to encourage responsible economic development that supports sustainable growth. Citizens are leaving Grand County because of our business environment. I worked for several months earlier this year with a firm that specializes in business and economic development to formulate a strategic plan for Grand County. I would like to incorporate some of this expertise into the current county business and economic development department. An important part of this plan is to provide reliable and affordable broadband internet county-wide.
THE LANDFILL: The closing of the Granby Landfill could cost the county millions of dollars. My opponent has been in office for 16 years, nearly 50 percent of the lifespan of this landfill and yet we still do not have resolution of this environmental disaster. It is time for solutions. Working with the engineers, I will make sure that we find the most fiscally responsible and environmentally sound solution for Grand County.
9. The Assessor's office is anticipating that property tax valuations will decrease 10 percent-20 percent in 2013. If this is the case, then our commissioners need to start preparing for the impact now. I feel that we should focus on incorporating efficiencies into our current operations helping to reduce spending in this year's budget easing potentially larger cuts in 2014. As I stated earlier, the Granby landfill could have a large impact to the budget. Fiscally responsible solutions are necessary to lessen the impact to the budget. I believe in fiscally sound and conservative budgeting.
10. Although Grand County has a very healthy reserve, anticipated reductions in revenues and the cost of the Granby landfill may have future impacts to these reserves. If we are to realize a reduction in the taxpayer's burden, we need to operate our government as efficiently as possible, grow our economy and protect our reserves.
11. Until this election year, our county has done little to promote economic development.
I support the formation of a county-wide strategic business and economic development plan. I believe we should invest in experts who have the experience and proven track records; that can perform the appropriate data collection and analysis, define a clear plan for Grand County and assist the county Business and Economic Director with the implementation and management of the plan.
12. Tourism is the economic driver in the Fraser Valley. If we are going to talk about Winter Park in the same sentence as other "World Class" resorts, we have no choice but to pursue viable transportation throughout our communities. Transportation needs are not just an issue for the eastern part of the county, but exists for all communities in Grand County. The challenge with transportation countywide is the great distance between towns. If the service makes financial sense, I would be in favor of having some county involvement.
13. I am a big fan of recycling. I have single stream recycling at my company and I have been able to cut my non-recyclable trash by almost 75%. I have a container and allow customers, friends and others who want to recycle to use this container. Cost is always a factor that affects the decision whether to recycle. I would like to see the county place a priority on recycling. Although the bottom line is always important, we have a responsibility to our earth and future generations. I would be in favor of more county involvement.
14. I believe that this cost could likely be upwards of $20 million. There remain unanswered questions about this environmental and potentially financial disaster. Could we have performed soils tests even though the state didn't require them in the 1970's? Maybe. Could we have closed the dump sooner than 2010 after movement was detected in 2007? Maybe. Hindsight is 20/20, so yes, I believe this situation could have been managed differently. Now it is time for solutions. Working with the engineers, I will do everything I can to make sure that we handle this situation with the upmost integrity and responsibility for our citizens.
15. I believe that Grand County needs to do a better job of protecting our water. Up to 70% of Grand County water is currently being diverted to the Front Range and this water will be gone forever. The commissioners need to do whatever they can to protect the 30% that remains. I would have preferred to have clear definition of the final mitigation plan before signing the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement. The Windy Gap Firming Project currently is being negotiated. In its present form, I would also oppose signing this agreement. Yes, there are some good things being offered to Grand County in this agreement, however, without a bypass around Windy Gap and mandatory flushing flows, it would be a "no" vote from me. The Special Use Permit issued in 1980 to build Windy Gap (by Grand County) needs to be closely followed. Going forward, all water agreements need to be what is in the best interest of the citizens of Grand County. These agreements will be in effect forever. You don't get a second chance to get them right.
16. (A) Absolutely. (B) Absolutely, and Northern Water should pay for it. (C) Absolutely and Northern Water should pay for it.
I would like to add a fourth question - Should there be meaningful mitigation for the Fraser River? Yes, and Denver Water should pay for it. This final Environmental Impact Statement will be released January, 2013.
I would like to see Denver Water and Northern Water take responsibility for the state of our rivers. Our rivers were in fantastic condition prior to these trans-mountain diversions. I understand their statement "It's our water and we have a right to take it", however, not at the expense of the health and welfare of our rivers and local economy. These water companies have a responsibility to do the right thing and can begin by requiring full time mandatory water restrictions on the Front Range. There is only so much of this finite water resource.
17. As a 33 year grand County citizen, I am passionate about Grand County. I've operated McConnell Design and Printing for the past 23 years which has provided me with the experience and skills to lead our county. I know how to make good budgetary decisions, even if they aren't always easy. I believe that representative government was not set up to be a career. After 16 years, it is time for new leadership, new opportunities and new enthusiasm for Grand County.
As citizens we deserve responsible economic development that supports sustainable growth; protection of our rivers; sound and responsible fiscal policies; and efficient and effective county government. I pledge to be powerful pro-business, pro-environment advocate and finally, I promise that every decision I make as your commissioner will reflect my commitment to the unique people and lifestyle of Grand County.
Please visit my website for more information www.mcconnell2012.com or call me directly (970-531-1022) to talk about any issues.
1. James Newberry
3. Huntingdon College / Education
4. Grand County Commissioner, Head baseball and basketball coach at Middle Park High School
5. Kris / wife, Shelby / daughter, Alex / son (deceased), Buster / my dog
7. I am comfortable being in a leadership position. I am very proud of what I have been able to achieve in protecting the rivers and lakes in Grand County and have been instrumental in budgeting to make Grand County only one of two debt-free counties in Colorado. I use a common sense approach when dealing with issues. I try to treat people the way I would like to be treated. I understand being part of a board and working with other boards. My experience has taught me to look at all sides of an issue and let people have their say, LISTEN, and then make a decision.
8. Water. Continue to work towards solutions that give us the tools to save our most precious resource and the lifeblood of our economy. A close second is the Granby landfill. I will continue to evaluate all options and proceed with the most efficient and cost effective plan.
9. Water, landfill, and providing services. The Grand County budget provides a look into our future spending by establishing a five year capital plan. The capital plan is funded with sales tax and must be flexible. The budget also gives a look into the future for items like landfill closing, ambulance and heavy equipment replacement. My plan is based on conservative budgeting so as to continue our debt-free status.
10. I continually look for ways to save money in operations. I have run numbers on privatizing some of the services we provide and have found that we provide our services at a cost effective rate for the taxpayers. I am always open to review any cost savings proposal.
11. I believe that the economy is driven by the private sector. Government's role is mostly infrastructure. I supported hiring an economic development position to investigate how we can provide help. My main focus will be maintaining existing businesses and bringing better and dependable broadband.
12. I have proposed funding to get a better look at what a countywide system would look like and the cost associated with levels of service. This would have to be "new" money.
13. Yes. The discussion is how much the taxpayer wants the government involved and what is the private sector is doing to meet the recycling needs. I welcome that conversation.
14. There are always different options, but based on the information before us, I believe the decisions we have made have been correct. I have taken a systematic approach when addressing all the issues associated with the landfill. Reputable engineering firms have been hired, and as a backup, independent experts review those recommendations. Then all of this information is used as the basis of our plan to fix the problem. By the way, we have spent approximately $6 million so far on the upper berm, engineering, field work, and maintenance. The $12 million that is referenced above is one possible option to stop the slide.
15. I believe David Nickum, president of Colorado Trout Unlimited, summed it up best when he stated, "I have never seen a local government place the level of attention, resources, and overall emphasis on river conservation as has been the case with Grand County over the past five years. They (Grand County) understand that the headwaters are the lifeblood of their communities..." "They (Grand County) have set an example for our public leaders of what strong river stewardship looks like."
16. Short answer is yes I favor water diversion mitigation efforts, but there are many other factors to consider. We need to decide what is the best solution, the bypass or bythrough, what is the proper amount of flushing flows, what is the best option to restore Grand Lake, stream restoration, water temp concerns, learning by doing, 10825 water/ Middle Park water use and storage in Granby res., prepositioning / storage of Windy Gap water, fish flows year round, flows for boaters, Shoshone outage, Blue River decree, Green Mt operations, how does the 1041 permit blend with Denver agreement? If everything falls apart what do we do? Sue? Who pays?, what do we stand to gain?, how long would it take?, who do we sue? Under what standings? And of course how is this all paid for? I have worked on this issue (restoring the rivers and lakes in Grand County) for the past 14 years and I believe we are doing all we can do, under existing conditions, for our water.
17. I will make every effort to keep GRAND COUNTY DEBT FREE! I feel this is a mandate from the taxpayer and it gives the county the flexibility to address issues in a proactive manner. I will continue to do all I can to protect water. I will continue to represent ALL Grand County citizens. I truly enjoy working for the people of Grand County.
1. I am officially listed on the ballot as Merrit S. Linke
2. I live south of on County Road 55 on the original 160 acres that my Great Grandfather Homesteaded on in 1883.
3. I attended East Grand Schools K-12 and then received a degree in Secondary Education with endorsements in Chemistry, Physics and Earth Science in 1985 from the University of Wyoming.
4. I currently operate three interrelated agricultural based businesses; wholesale distribution of livestock feed; livestock grazing and leasing and hay production and marketing.
5. My Wife of 24 years; Teri, daughters, Rachel and McCall, and my son Jace.
6. I was born in Kremmling in 1960, and have lived in Grand County since then except for a few college years and 10 years teaching in Eastern Colorado and Wyoming.
7. Three things: 1. My background: As a Grand county native, I've seen many changes, successes and failures in the county. As a county commissioner, I would like to evaluate what things have worked well in the past and enhance and support them. 2. My Education and Teaching experience: As a science teacher, I learned to evaluate scientifically and objectively, but more importantly, I learned to communicate effectively. 3. My business experience; When I left teaching in 1999 to start my own business, I learned that selling something was really no more than educating my customers and that any successful business realizes that no matter what the product is, your business is a people business.
8. Water: The availability of water is not only necessary for any type of economic stability, but is directly related to our quality of life in Grand County. As commissioners, we need to make sure that all the trans-basin diverters are held accountable for all of their past violations as specified in prior agreements before even considering signing another agreement. America was founded on the rights of individuals to own property and buy and sell it as they wish. I'll protect that right until my dying day, but when what you are doing with your property negatively affects my property, then we have a problem. Right now, the trans-basin water projects are negatively affecting our properties, our businesses and therefore our quality of life. As a commissioner, I would do my best to make sure that all past water agreements are clearly understood and sufficiently enforced.
9. 1. As revenues drop, the county needs to keep itself in line with the taxpayers. Although, having 26 million dollars in the bank is certainly honorable, we need to ask ourselves the question; Where did the money come from? The answer is the taxpayers. Are the taxpayers maintaining status quo? Are the taxpayers holding huge cash reserves? Are the taxpayers maintaining or increasing their payrolls? Are businesses are able to provide the same wages or benefits to their employees now as they did in 2008? 2. Individual departments need to be looked at with a business eye towards efficiency and effectiveness. Are there ways to provide a satisfactory level of service at a reduced cost? Are there some services that could be privatized or eliminated? 3. The Landfill. Much more than an environmental and water quality issue, the landfill will become a unknown, potentially catastrophic financial burden at some point in the future. We need to plan for a worst case scenario in terms of budgeting for that time.
10. The most obstructive burden is the commercial property tax rate. Although this is mandated by the state and is based on property values, the county could look into tax rebates for commercial property owners, sales tax holidays for retail businesses on specific tourist directed items or an overall tax reduction though a change in the assessed value of properties.
11. Superficially, the county has made steps in an apparent right direction. They support the Grand County Tourism Board, they've filled a newly created a economic development position, and they support the Granby Business Initiative, which is expected to become county wide in the near future. It remains to be seen if these provide the payoffs in increased revenue. A basketball coach colleague once told me; "Let us not mistake activity for accomplishment." As commissioner, I would initiate and support the following: 1. Grand County needs to facilitate not regulate. Specifically, what can the county do to get out of the way of progress? For example, in order to put a deck on your own house, you not only have to jump through the hoops of getting a building permit, but it is likely to cost you over $1,000 before you drive the first nail. Let's get that money in the hands of contractors so they can hire more workers and get the economy going. 2. Grand County needs to support resource-based businesses. These are the true revenue generators. For example, Confluence Energy has developed a pellet that is in high demand and is shipping to the North Dakota Oil fields. In Parshall, there is a sawmill starting up that is making 2 x 4's from beetle kill wood. These are two examples of businesses that export products out of Grand County and bring revenue in. We need more of this type of business. 3. We need to do a critical analysis within the county government of the costs versus the benefits of any and all spending by the county-money spent should have a clear benefit to the majority of taxpayers. We should support and enhance those businesses and people that know how to get things done.
12. No, Once again, I don't believe that the county should be in any activity that is in direct competition with any viable private business or that doesn't benefit the majority of our taxpayers. I can't see that at this time, that a taxpayer from Kremmling for example, would benefit from a county wide transportations system. If private businesses can make it work then let's support them.
13. No, I believe the county should support it, facilitate it, but unless it provides a clear benefit for the majority of taxpayers, the county should not fund it. If it is a viable business, it should stand on its own.
14. In retrospect, which is pointless, unless we can learn from it for future situations, the landfill should never have been built where it is. The underlying geology was not studied thoroughly enough-it is on a hillside with obviously unstable surface features, slide prone soil types, and unknown sources and amounts of ground water. I believe that the county should continue with the current dewatering process until enough information is gained to proceed further or it stops moving.
15. No, in regard to the CRCA (Moffat Firming Project), as commissioner I would not have signed the agreement for two reasons, 1. The environmental Impact statement was not complete, and 2. There was no mitigation provided in the agreement for the past violations.
I would say No also to the Windy Gap Firming Project, regarding the 1041 permit that is currently under consideration by the BOCC. Although this agreement appears, and is touted, to be more beneficial to the west slope and Grand County, the bottom line is that the there is less water in the river. Grand County needs to enlist every source available to prevent further trans basin diversions, protect Grand County's best resource and yet strike a balance between protecting private property rights without compromising the property rights of others.
16. A. Research and numerous studies show that flushing flows are a natural process and that flushing flows are beneficial to the de-armoring process needed to maintain our natural fisheries. I support requiring flushing flows in the permit-my only question how much and for what duration? B. Due the complications regarding the UP Railroad line and the associated costs to channel water around the dam, I would be in favor of a through pass, that keeps water flowing during non pumping periods. This would need to be designed so that the quality and quantity is not compromised at it passes through the Windy Gap dam. The original 1980 permit for the creation of the Windy Gap Project specifically says, "The reservoir level should be maintained to not allow mud flats or dust problems." The 1980 resolution 1980-6-4 says that "...the benefits of the proposed facility outweigh the losses of any natural resources or agricultural lands rendered unavailable as a result of the proposed facility." The county should not sign any new permits until the conditions of the current permits are addressed and mitigated. C. Philosophically yes, However, in this situation, there may be more associated environmental problems created than there currently is. I would need more research to accurately assess a proposal such as this.
17. I own and operate a business right here in Grand County that I built from the ground up. I am raising my family here and am part of a family that has deep roots here. I want Grand County to be a place where we all can have opportunities to succeed and prosper. I have a diverse background as a teacher, coach, and independent businessman. I serve on several successful committees-all of which benefit Grand County. Every day I am out working my business, making contacts, talking to people, and I hear about the successes and failings of our residents and businesses. For this reason, I am connected to Grand County and have a vested interest in it's future. Government needs to know and understand its proper role. Government is of the people, by the people and for the people and not something that is done to the people.
1. Robb Rankin
2. 502 W. Garnet, PO Box 1245, Granby, CO 80446
3. BA, Western State College, Gunnison, CO, Elementary Education and Psychology. MA, Western State College, Gunnison, CO, Educational Administration. PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, Educational Administration and Statistics.
4. Educational Consultant, Retired Superintendent of Schools
5. Wife, Molly, kindergarten teacher at Fraser Valley Elementary School; Son, Ben, civil engineer in Bozeman, MT; Son, Nick, restaurant manager in Denver, CO.
6. Moved here in 1981, Greeley from 1990-96, back in 1996. Total of 26 years living in Grand County.
7. I have a passion for public service, with over 30 years experience in public education in Colorado. The last twelve were spent as Superintendent of Schools in the East Grand School District, developing and administering annual budgets up to $20 million and indirectly supervising about 180 staff members. As superintendent, I worked with many other governmental entities, including Grand County. In the last five years I also gained additional experience in the private sector, working with small businesses, international business sales, and consulting. My community involvement is varied, serving on the Grand Foundation Board, Grand Beginnings Board, Granby Rotary Club, Granby Resource Initiative Board and Middle Park Fair Junior Livestock Sale Committee. With my diverse background I would bring balance to the Board of County Commissioners and I would listen carefully to the concern of my constituents.
8. Number one is working on the economic development of the area. Historically, Grand County has been "boom and bust." We need to try and stabilize our employment and businesses on a sustainable level. Using the local resources (outlined below) would be first and foremost. Protecting our public lands is key to this effort. Part of the Republican platform of considering "whether parts of the federal government's enormous land holdings and control of water in the West could be better used for ranching, mining or forestry through private ownership" would be devastating for Grand County locals and visitors, the lifeblood of our economy. Opposition to any effort in this arena is imperative. Close behind this issue are others, also covered below, of preserving our water resources and effectively closing the Granby landfill. The bottom line is to preserve and improve the quality of life for Grand County residents and enhance the area to continue to attract visitors who vacation where we live.
9. The County is in good financial condition due to prudent spending in the past. Personnel and programs have not been cut during the recent financial downturn. However, County employees have not had raises during this period while their household costs have risen. Careful examination of the County's budget needs to occur, looking at reserves and prioritized expenditures to see if employees are appropriately and competitively compensated, with possible budget reallocation considered. Balancing "spending" and "saving" with impending decreases in property valuation will require cautious consideration.
Closing the Granby landfill is a major budgetary issue and is addressed below. The County has the responsibility to address the issue. It highlights the point that all actions by the County have to be carefully examined for future potential impacts.
The third major budgetary issue with which the County needs to deal is not to lose sight of the importance and funding for programs in human services, public and home health, and early childhood. These programs are vital to maintaining and improving the quality of life for our citizens.
10. "Burden" is relative. The property taxes in Grand County are generally much lower than other counties in the State and particularly other states. Constant vigilance has been given and needs to continue to ensure the funds are used effectively and efficiently; I see no issues at this time. However, carefully examining the multiple different taxing entities within the county and seeing if combining administrative functions or other cooperative efforts, such as combined purchasing, which could reduce costs is viable and should occur.
11. The recent addition of the County Economic Development Coordinator was a positive step to dedicate resources to this effort. Now the County has a specific office and personnel for contacts and possible state and federal opportunities in this area. Other work, such as the Granby Enterprise Initiative, should be supported and linked to concentrate on a "grow your own" philosophy first-and-foremost. Attracting businesses to move to this area will be enhanced by improved high speed Internet access and a transportation system.
12. Transportation studies have been done in the past by the County and showed the possible benefits. These should be updated. Grand County is about the only mountain resort region that does not have a public transportation system for the local workforce and visitors. I believe the County has to take the initiative in this area, with the study and possibly pursuing a mill levy election to support the system's operation.
13. With the closing of the landfill and shifting the operation of trash to the private sector, the County got out of this business. In the past, the County invested in machinery for recycling efforts which no longer are in use. The private companies that have taken over the trash operations have recycling options as well at a minimal cost; other private recycling companies have started as well. These business efforts should be promoted, but the County should not be providing direct funding for them. The County should be recycling wherever possible and supporting the private companies.
14. 20/20 hindsight is always wonderful! The reality is that the landfill was located in an area that was/is geologically unstable. That was probably not much of a factor at the time the first load of trash was dumped there. Now the geology of the area is important, particularly with tons of garbage on top of gooey clay sliding downhill! Closing the dump was the right thing to do and the County has to abide by the Colorado Department of Public Health regulations in doing so. This will protect our watershed long-term and we need to do the right thing now, even if we didn't do the right thing then. The County is proceeding with the project in the most cost-effective and prudent manner possible; it is costly and painful, but unavoidable.
15. Water diversion has been going on in Grand County since the Grand Ditch was constructed in the 1800's. Water rights have been sold by private and public interests to the Front Range providers for decades; we can't stop them dead-in-their-tracks, no matter how simplistic slogans may make us think we can. The current and proposed agreements have been in the works for 10 years or more and protect our interests in the best way possible, given the current circumstances. I support the Moffat Agreement and the proposed Windy Gap Firming Agreement. Using Lake Granby for Grand County storage for endangered fish sustainable flows is a major "plus" in the proposed Windy Gap Firming Project, along with addressing the clarity issue of Grand Lake. The Denver agreement guaranteed 1,000 acre feet of environmental flow and did not allow Denver to sell any of this water to other Front Range water users.
16. I have often used a quote: "For every complex problem, there is a simple obvious solution that is wrong!" I believe this applies to the water issue and the inter-connectedness of the problems and solutions. Agreements are proceeding on a study of a bypass around Windy Gap for the impact and cost of the bypass; I support doing the study first. If the bypass won't fix the problem, don't waste the money. Go to Plan B. "Flushing flow" sounds great, but how much water is needed to accomplish the task? In 2012, I doubt we ever had enough water in any of our rivers to qualify. Again, more study is needed. A tunnel from the canal inlet to Shadow Mountain to the Adams Tunnel is intriguing for Grand Lake's clarity. I'm open to the idea, but the impact to both lakes would be tremendous, along with a substantial cost.
17. Experience reduces the learning curve. I have dealt with multi-million dollar budgets, governmental rules and regulations, other governmental entities, large numbers of staff, and public "input." I understand effectiveness and efficiency from business and governmental perspectives. Public service requires thick skin, standing by decisions made in the best interests of the majority and being able to withstand the criticism of the minority; I've been there. My background, community involvement and interests are from multiple facets of Grand County life, putting a balance on the representation on the Board of Commissioners. I am committed to represent all constituents of the County, particularly the Granby and Grand Lake area.