Oak Creek resident Mike Kien has announced his candidacy for the Routt County Commission's District I seat.
"I think I offer a real choice," said Kien, who is running as a libertarian.
Kien, a maintenance man in Steamboat Springs, is the only one to challenge incumbent Nancy Stahoviak. Incumbent Doug Monger and new candidates Jeff Fry and Mark Marchus have announced their candidacy for the District II seat.
As a libertarian, Kien stands behind the principles that government is too expensive and that it should be more easily available to the public citizen.
The county's new justice center, a $15 million, court-ordered facility planned for a west-of-downtown Steamboat site, should be given more time for planning and communication, Kien said.
He said he thought the justice center could be a benefit to downtown Steamboat, but that the entire county should not have to pay the extra costs associated with building downtown. Filling in the 1.4 acres of wetlands that the west-of-downtown site requires is an aspect of the west site that Kien opposes.
"I do believe that something has to be done, and I do believe the two plans are not acceptable," Kien said, referring to plans for downtown and for west of downtown.
He also said he felt the county's decision to issue certificates of participation to finance the building, a funding strategy that does not have to be approved by voters, violated the spirit of the Taxpayers Bill of Rights.
Kien said he also stands on the platform that judges should be more careful when issuing search warrants to officers with the Grand, Routt and Moffat Narcotics Team, because he wants to prevent unnecessary searching of property.
Important to Kien is that residents have the chance to live their lives as they wish without government interference, as long as they don't violate the rights of others.
Kien was born and raised in Cincinnati, served in the military for three years and was honorably discharged in 1977, and has lived in Colorado for the past 22 years.
He moved to Oak Creek in 1990, and quickly got involved in the community. He volunteered for Oak Creek's 1992 Labor Day celebration, and in another year was serving as a director, a position he held until 2002. Kien also worked as the town's animal control officer for two years in the early 1990s.
In 1997, he was appointed as town trustee for the Oak Creek Town Board, and then was elected in 1998. That year, he was selected to be the town board representative to the Oak Creek Planning Commission.
Kien was re-elected in 2002 for a second four-year term as a town trustee. If elected as county commissioner, Kien said he would resign from his town trustee position.
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