Thursday, October 26, 2000
Steamboat Springs Routt County commissioner candidate John Shaw is almost never seen without his cowboy boots and his business jacket.
One could say the business jacket represents his old life as a high-tech business owner, and the boots represent his new life as a rancher and Routt County resident.
Shaw says that while he is a relative newcomer to the area, compared to his opponent, "It's the experience the candidate brings that makes the difference."
And that's where Shaw says he and Doug Monger differ.
"While Doug will tell you there's not a job in Routt County he hasn't held, that's fine. But if you're the owner you're responsible for the hiring and the payroll and the marketing you have all the experiences," Shaw said.
Shaw said he gleaned such experience from his 25-year history as owner and CEO of his computer company.
"Routt County government is big business," he said. "This truly is a full-time job."
Shaw was raised in Florida and Washington, D.C., in a political family and has worked in places such as Charlottesville, Atlanta and Denver.
Having moved from Denver to Hayden in 1997, the Republican sees his relatively new status in Routt County as a plus.
"I don't have any baggage or previous alliances," Shaw said regarding the sometimes strained relations between city and county officials.
"It doesn't bother me a bit to set up a meeting with someone to talk about issues affecting the county and city," he said.
"I'm perfectly willing to go to someone else's turf."
Shaw has been attending commissioners' meetings and taking notes.
Being retired, he said he has had plenty of time to attend other gatherings.
"They (the current commissioners) will be really surprised at the scope of the problem in fire and emergency management," Shaw said.
But Shaw's big push for Routt County will be his attempt to help out farmers and ranchers through "telecommuting," which allows workers to keep regular jobs through the Internet no matter where they might be living, including Routt County.
"It's a way to provide jobs so my children and grandchildren can stay on the ranch," Shaw said.
"My main concern is to provide benefitted, high-paying jobs that are geographically independent."