Our View: Commissioner makeup sure to change

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Editorial Board, August through January 2012

  • Scott Stanford, general manager
  • Brent Boyer, editor
  • Tom Ross, reporter
  • Shannon Lukens, community representative
  • Scott Ford, community representative

Contact the editorial board at 970-871-4221 or editor@SteamboatToday.com. Would you like to be a member of the board? Fill out a letter of interest now.

Colorado’s first June primary election is less than a week away, and on a local basis, the primary represents the first step in a county commissioner race that holds more potential to change the makeup of the Routt County Board of Commissioners than at any time in recent history.

We hope the Republican voters of Routt County are not taking Tuesday’s primary election for granted. There are no contested Democratic races.

One of the most interesting races in the Republican primary is the District 1 commissioner seat,­ where for the first time in two decades, there isn’t an incumbent running.

Oak Creek’s Nancy Stahoviak, a Republican, announced in November that she would not seek a sixth term in District 1. In recent election cycles, Stahoviak ran unopposed.

Three Republican hopefuls are lined up in Tuesday’s winner-take-all primary race to earn the right to represent their party in the November general election. They are Jim “Moose” Barrows, Brita Horn and Tony Stich. One of them will face the presumed Democratic nominee, South Routt School Board President Tim Corrigan, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. In March, at his party’s caucuses, he said he thinks the county commissioners need to draft a new mission statement to chart a new course.

Barrows, Horn and Stich each would bring something new to the Board of Commissioners in the form of business experience that extends well beyond the Yampa Valley.

Barrows consulted with ski areas across North America and in Europe during his career. Horn worked in management positions for a major hotel chain before settling here. And Stich represented manufacturing firms supplying valves to chemical and power plants before retiring to Stagecoach.

All three Republican candidates emphasized during a recent forum in Oak Creek that, if elected, they would take into account the property rights of mineral rights holders in their approach to evaluating oil and gas drilling permit applications.

Change also could come to the District 2 seat, where incumbent Democrat Doug Monger, of rural Hayden, faces a challenge from presumed Republican nominee Tina Kyprios, a retired military officer with a background in accounting and auditing.

And finally, Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush, whose District 3 seat is not up for election this year, is running for the Colorado House District 26 seat in the state assembly against Republican Chuck McConnell, also of Steamboat Springs.

Should she prevail, her seat would open up, and the Democratic Party Vacancy Committee would choose a successor to fill out her term, Routt County Democratic Party Chairwoman Catherine Carson confirmed.

Unopposed candidates, Republicans and Democrats, are eager to see a good turnout in the primary race so they can gauge their progress in reaching their respective voters base.

Friday is the last day to apply in person at the Routt County Clerk and Recorder’s office in the Routt County Courthouse for a ballot in the all mail-in election. But the all-mail election does not mean that voters cannot hand-deliver their ballots.

Ballots can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

We urge you to vote in the primary election.

Comments

bill schurman 2 years, 2 months ago

The best thing to come for the future of the Routt County Commissioners is the loss of the "hatchet lady". Also, should Ms. Mitsch Bush be successful in her bid as a state representative then the Democrats will have the opportunity to appoint a REAL Democrat to replace her. Just some thoughts from a "local" wannabe.

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 2 months ago

Well, I think County Commissioners have done a good job of not focusing on party politics and instead focused on effectively running the county.

The county has long had a cautious budget process and is quite a contrast to City of SB.

Nancy Stahoviak was for tougher conditions on the hwy 131 gravel pit and is hardly a mindless partisan hack. It would appear she considers the merits of each issue.

If Ms Mitsch Bush is successful in her bid for state then I certainly hope the local democratic party does not appoint Bill's view of a real Democrat because that would imply one of the bozos likely with SB City Council experience. What is best for County Commissioner is someone low on ideology and big on being practical on what works.

It should be noted that the County government is the local government for Stagecoach, Hahn's Peak, Phippsburg, Milner and so on. Most people do not want to deal with a partisan government, but with a government that effectively and fairly uses its resources.

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mark hartless 2 years, 2 months ago

Routt County could (and probably will) do a hell-of-a-lot worse than Stahoviak or Mitsch Bush.

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