Tuesday, November 2, 2004
After almost a year of surgeries, physical therapy and participating in county meetings through conference calls, Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak got a sign from voters that they think she is doing a good job despite facing serious health issues.
County voters re-elected Stahoviak to the District 1 county commissioner seat by a large majority Tuesday. With 18 precincts, early and absentee ballots counted, Stahoviak had 72 percent of the vote. Her challenger, Libertarian candidate Mike Kien, received 28 percent of the vote.
"I truly appreciate the support that has been given to me in this election and by the citizens of Routt County over the last year," Stahoviak said Tuesday night. "It's been a really tough year, and their confidence in me really warms my heart."
She said the election showed her that most residents support the decisions she's made and the work she has accomplished during the past four years.
"I look forward to serving another four years and look forward to positive accomplishments for Routt County and its citizens," Stahoviak said. "I think we can do that."
Stahoviak has served as county commissioner for 12 years. She has been participating in most commissioner meetings via phone conferences since mid-December, when she was flown to a Denver hospital because of life-threatening kidney failure and infections. In the past months, she had a series of surgeries to implant a permanent knee replacement.
She recently had her final surgery and is recovering at her Oak Creek home.
Kien said that he was happy he had the chance to express his views and give voters a choice and that he was thankful to everyone who voted for him.
"It was a great experience," Kien said Tuesday night. "People had a choice, people had an option. From the beginning, I wanted to make a different viewpoint available to people. Libertarians in Routt County got a chance to voice what they think."
Kien said he plans to continue serving as a trustee of the Oak Creek Town Board, but does not plan to run for re-election once his second term is up.
Stahoviak and Kien differed in several key ways, including how they viewed the economic challenges the county is facing.
Stahoviak said her priorities for funding fall in line with the county's strategic goals, and Kien said he thinks government already spends too much taxpayer money, so tight government budgets should be tightened further.
In earlier interviews, Stahoviak said her priorities for the coming years include fully funding market increases in employee salaries, building a new justice center at a reasonable cost and providing county services even with a tight budget.
Her goals also include pursuing solutions to the need for affordable housing through the newly created Yampa Valley Housing Authority and finding ways to provide early childhood care and education through First Impressions of Routt County.
Stahoviak has lived in Oak Creek for 28 years and began her career in public service 25 years ago. She has served as a town trustee, mayor and town treasurer for Oak Creek. She has served on various nonprofit boards and state advisory boards.
-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org