Letters to the Editor

Letter: Not voting the party line for coroner

October 23, 2014 — 

Not voting the party line for coroner

I recently moved to Vail and look forward to voting in the upcoming election. I must say, as a Democrat, I usually vote the party line, but I am making an exception this year. I have been following the coroner election, and after looking at both candidate websites, I am very impressed with Sue Franciose. I was surprised that the coroner position doesn’t require a medical background. She obviously has one, as a medical professional for over 20 years. I was particularly interested and bothered by the whole organ/tissue donation topic, and certainly realize that this is a personal choice that doesn’t work for everyone. I am a registered donor and certainly expect for my wishes to be honored upon my death. I was amazed when I saw the coroner debate and newspaper articles to follow when Sue Franciose stated that the current Eagle County Coroner didn’t consider this to be part of her role, an hasn’t participated in the program ... ever!

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Letter: Van Beek for Eagle County sheriff

October 23, 2014 — 

I have known James van Beek and his family for generations. He is an upstanding man that has taken on the responsibility of keeping our community and country safe. Putting his life in harm’s way so we can all sleep better at night. The sacrifice that on each of his overseas missions or Eagle County emergency calls is that he might not come home to his family and wife. I know of no other place James would rather be than protecting others.

I am personally asking everyone in Eagle County to vote for James van Beek for Eagle County Sheriff. If you are not registered, please take a moment to register. Your voice and vote matters when it comes to your safety and protection.

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Letter: Voting for solid character in James Van Beek

October 23, 2014 — 

James van Beek is a gentleman and a hard worker. I came to know him through family and have followed his career in Eagle County and abroad. What comes through every time is his strength and caring for family and community. I will vote for him because of his consistently solid character.

Rosalie Hill Isom

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Letter: Confidence in James Van Beek for sheriff

October 23, 2014 — 

As the elected Sheriff of Eagle County from 1983 to 2003, this letter is in support of James van Beek for your next sheriff.

I worked with James for a number of years and found him to be morally just, compassionate and someone who would listen to and help others.

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Letter: McQueeney gets involved and takes action

October 23, 2014 — 

McQueeney gets involved and takes action

As many of us cherish, Eagle County offers tremendous assets for community members, particularly for young people fortunate enough to grow up in the Eagle Valley. We can take advantage of the snow sports, gorgeous hiking, art and cultural opportunities, and plethora of free public events. Still, there are often-overlooked populations of children lacking basic literacy skills, positive adult mentors, and access to healthcare needs. I have experienced the disparity firsthand while working in the local nonprofit service field over the past decade. An incredibly inspiring attribute of our local services are the nurturing, committed leaders who have dedicated their lives to serving local youth and families, including Eagle County Commissioner candidate Jeanne McQueeney.

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Letter: Time to leave Aspen?

October 23, 2014 — 

Oh no, now you have done it: 201 E. Hyman was determined in 1966, and again in 1969, to be the best looking Victorian in town by two very stoned residents on their way to see “Easy Rider” at the Wheeler Opera House. The powers that be have said it can be moved off site while they dig a “basketball court,” taking maybe six months or much longer. And the rumor is that the owner might be a sports celebrity. That’s it, I can leave now, the beach in Mexico is looking pretty good given these developments.

Andy Hanson

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Letter: Harvey puts ‘service before self’

October 23, 2014 — 

My husband and I have lived in Eagle County for 33 years. Our valley is certainly not the same place it was back then. Eagle County has grown dramatically over the past three decades, and with that growth and time have come great cultural and social changes. Our population has become more diverse and that is a good thing. Eagle County also experiences many of the social challenges facing other communities including domestic violence. Thankfully, the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in our county have a resource that they can turn to for support and assistance, The Bright Future Foundation.

It was through my work with Bright Future that I came to know Cmdr. Daric Harvey, of the Vail Police Department. I had heard of him and the impact that he was having at the Vail Police Department but we did not formally meet until he joined the board at Bright Future. From the beginning, Daric displayed a commitment to those whom Bright Future is dedicated to helping that reflects his “service before self” ethic.

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Letter: Join me in voting for Sirkus

October 23, 2014 — 

Being among the 49 percent on the Base Village question a decade ago, I have come to realize that an unfinished Base Village in 2014 is not in the best interests of our community. Therefore, I am left pondering how best to move this project along while holding the various developers accountable to their obligations and benchmarks.

I believe Bob Sirkus is an individual who meets this standard. Bob would bring significant expertise to his role as a Snowmass Village councilman. He has experience as a company chief financial officer as well as six years on the Snowmass Village Planning Commission. On a personal level, I have found Bob to be level-headed, honest, thoughtful and open to hearing the thoughts of others (even if impassioned). Oh, yes, he also possesses a sense of humor, which surely must be a requirement for holding a political office in Snowmass Village these days.

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Letter: Harvey for new energy, positive leadership

October 23, 2014 — 

I am writing in support of Daric Harvey for Eagle County Sheriff. I have gotten to know Daric personally over the past year and believe that he will do an excellent job at the helm of the department. I have been impressed with Daric’s community engagement and willingness to speak directly and understand the people he would serve. He has actively participated in the tough issues that face our towns, and I believe that he is a consensus builder who will work together with all of the jurisdictions to find common ground and solutions that work for everybody. Judging from his actions and words to date, I believe that he will bring new energy and a positive leadership style that our communities need. In short, please vote for Daric Harvey for Eagle County Sheriff.

Yuri Kostick

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Letter: Voting to bring choice, compassion back to coroner’s office

October 23, 2014 — 

I would like to express my concerns with the upcoming election of the Eagle County Coroner. First, I want you to know that this is not my opinion, but my personal experience with the current coroner Kara Bettis. This will address her opinion on organ and tissue donation as well as why she is not allowing family members to make crucial decisions about what funeral home a loved one should be taken to.

Having gone through the loss of three children, I, unfortunately, have become quite familiar with the procedures at the time of death with regard to organ and tissue donation. My first son died of SIDS, and the only thing that he could have donated was his eyes. Being very young at the time of his death, when asked if we wanted to donate his eyes I said no.

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Letter: Franciose gets my vote

October 23, 2014 — 

Sue Franciose gets my vote for coroner! She is more qualified than the incumbent with a National Level V Medical Investigator certification. She is a nationally certified forensic nurse and a member of the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners.

Her interest in forensic medicine led to her volunteer with a coroner’s office for a number of years. Sue’s background as an RN in critical care is a solid foundation for working with grieving families, and equally importantly, her interest and dedication has compelled her to continue her education in the field of forensic medicine.

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Letter: Franciose for coroner

October 23, 2014 — 

I think we have two good candidates running for the county coroner position. One has 12 years of experience in the job and the other has all the credentials, medical training and compassion necessary for the job, along with the endorsement of the previous coroner under whom she worked.

What’s the difference and why would I vote for one over the other? The difference is one has shown how she does the job, and it’s adequate. The other has the ability, skill set and enthusiasm to look beyond just doing the basic job and will work to make it a position that not only comforts those who are dealing with a loss but offers them an opportunity to make some lasting meaning from a time of despair.

I have known Sue Franciose for more than 10 years as she has worked with the Community Guest Service program. Sue has proven her concern by helping other people and has shown an ability to make their lives and experiences more rewarding.

Sue is passionate about the job of county coroner because she knows she can make it more meaningful, implement new programs and help save lives with transplants that are not occurring under our current approach. I, for one, hope that the heart on my driver’s license that I had put there to afford an opportunity to save another’s life through organ donation is honored instead of being ignored under the current policy.

Sue has contributed to the community in many ways and has always shown a concern for helping others through medical practice and volunteerism. When Sue is endorsed by people such as Dr. Jack Eck and Cheryl and Bill Jensen, you know you have someone who is showing concern, commitment and caring for our community. Please vote for Sue Franciose and give her the opportunity to make the coroner’s job more meaningful to our county.

Tom Edwards


Letter: Harvey for sheriff

October 23, 2014 — 

The Eagle County sheriff is an elected position that does not have term limits. The next person we put into office may be there a very long time. Therefore, it is important that the new sheriff be extremely experienced in all aspects of law enforcement, and the best choice for our county. Daric Harvey is just such a candidate.

Daric has risen through the ranks from a law enforcement officer to narcotics investigator to sergeant, lieutenant and is currently a commander with the Vail Police Department. In his almost 19 years of law enforcement, Daric has also been a member of the SWAT team, a homicide detective, and academy instructor of new recruits. He has supervised numerous staff, and managed a multimillion dollar budget. Daric spent 16 years in Florida law enforcement serving population sizes three times that of Eagle County and home to Disney World and Daytona Beach. He understands law enforcement in tourist areas, which is why he was hired by the town of Vail to lead in their police department.

Another valuable aspect is Daric’s philosophy of community policing and building relationships with residents. As we have seen with the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, it is important that the sheriff promote an organizational culture that values the community input. Toward that end, Daric also fluently speaks Spanish, and will be able to forge relationships among those that may be the hardest to reach. I am voting for Daric Harvey for Eagle County sheriff, and I urge you to, as well.

Taylor Ryan


Letter: What’s the motive?

October 23, 2014 — 

I have read several articles from Daric Harvey telling how bad the Eagle County Sheriff’s Department is and how he is going to do better. It sounds like he is campaigning against the current sheriff. What I really question is why would someone in his position as commander at the Vail Police Department want to give up the excellent benefit package that the town of Vail offers and take a substantial cut in pay to be elected sheriff. Campaigning costs money, and to keep the job as sheriff he will have to campaign every four years instead of keeping his secure job with the town of Vail. Groceries, gas and housing should not cost him less just because he is elected sheriff. How many of you would take a cut in pay to work more hours? What is his motive?

Please take time to review the excellent qualifications of James Van Beek at vanbeek4sheriff.blogspot.com. Van Beek has the dedication, integrity, knowledge and skills to be our sheriff and he knows all of the county and many of its residents including Basalt, not just the town of Vail.

If you are going to vote it is important that you become familiar with all the candidates and issues so you can make an informed decision. If you don’t understand what or who you are voting for, please don’t vote. No candidate should be elected just because they belong to one party or the other.

Mike Lederhause


Letter: Support Snowmass candidate Bill Madsen

October 23, 2014 — 

I have known Bill Madsen since our days in Aspen High School, and I have literally grown up with Bill, sharing life’s adventures, victories and challenges. Bill is one of the most down-to-earth people I know. He brings real-world experience to his desire to join the council to preserve and enhance the amazing life we have in the valley and in Snowmass. Bill has an unusual quality for a would-be politician: Bill prefers to listen first, then to take time to consider before forming an opinion. This is the type of representative I know I’d want.

One might ask how I could so strongly endorse someone with no political background? However it is for exactly that reason that Bill is the right person. Bill is not a politician. Bill is a father, a husband, a businessman, a friend, an avid outdoor adventurer and athlete. What do all of these have to do with politics? Nothing, and that is the point. What Bill does have is common sense of right and wrong, sensible and nonsense and a tremendous passion for serving the people of Snowmass, many of whom he has known his entire life.

I am reminded of our founding fathers, who had “real” lives back home. They farmed, ran business and had families. They were politicians part-time and out of necessity in order to build and protect their communities, colonies and emerging country. Politics was not a job, not an end in and of itself. It is in this spirit that I think of Bill. He brings this type of true leadership to the town of Snowmass.

Greg Schottland


Letter: Willard Clapper helped shape dreams

October 22, 2014 — 

This fall while descending Midway Pass, one of my students said to me, “Mr. T, some dreams can just stay dreams.” Those words of wisdom beyond her years were meant to poke fun at my futile efforts to impress upon her the dream of any teacher, the dream of igniting a lasting passion or unlocking some hidden potential in his or her pupil. No one in my life has ever embodied this dream more than you. Mr. C, you didn’t just dream of influencing your students — you achieved it. I can say this with unequivocal confidence because, at a seminal moment in my life, you planted dreams in my imagination that came to fruition and still define me today. The dreams of my childhood that you helped shape are still my dreams today.

I joined Clapper’s Killers with fragile academic confidence, believing myself a mediocre student at best. You pulled me aside one day and told me I had the capability to excel far beyond mediocrity, and I believed you! Such was your magical ability to inspire. You claimed that I was as talented at social studies as anyone in the class, generating a newfound confidence in myself and an instant love of history. My dream of teaching history was born from that conversation, a dream that I still live today.

The following year, you struck again. Your motivational words prior to the all-school running race gave me a confidence in my running ability that helped me win the race. Again, you shaped the person I became through the boost in self-esteem that your pep talk gave me and the love for running that instantly developed inside me. You sparked big running dreams in me, and those dreams are still alive today.

I would be hard-pressed to recall many details from the daily academic lessons that you taught me during my fifth-grade year, though I am confident I learned much under your tutelage, but your words of kindness and inspiration will always be a part of me, as they shaped the man I became. I am Mr. T the middle school teacher in large part because I was fortunate enough to have been taught by Mr. C the middle school teacher. Some dreams do stay dreams. Mr. C, you were an invaluable part of my life. You will be missed!

Zeke Tiernan


Letter: A tribute to Willard

October 22, 2014 — 

For one brief moment, I could still see the twinkle in your eyes

Through your pain and suffering, it was still there, Willie Boy

We shared sacred stories, held forever in safekeeping

Like water from a fireman’s hose, laughter splattered everywhere

You were the best storyteller, my friend.

For one brief moment, we celebrated life

Returning to those days of joy and adventure

Becoming like the children we taught and loved

Neither of us knowing we were both saying goodbye

Thank you for taking me there, if only for a moment

We will all love and will miss you, Willard

Not for a moment, but forever

Tom Hills

Snowmass Village

Letter: More information about our food is good

October 22, 2014 — 

To buy or not to buy, that is the question. This genetically modified organism food-labeling issue seems just like MSG, peanuts, high-fructose corn syrup, etc. Many consumers like to read food labels before they choose to put the item in their cart. I am voting yes for GMO labeling because I simply want information to help me choose.

Gary Pax


Letter: Vote for Pitkin public interest

October 22, 2014 — 

Please vote for Patti Clapper, a moderate Democrat, as our next county commissioner against incumbent Rob Ittner, who self-describes as a “right of center” Republican.

It matters who serves on the Board of County Commissioners. Patti has a long, proven record of supporting both rural character and health and human services. We now also have Ittner’s voting record. That record includes refusing to support a robust health and human services fund and also voting in favor of a 13,000-plus-square-foot house at the gateway to the Maroon Bells in a debris-flow and avalanche-hazard area, where the average size in the area is only around 5,000 square feet. Ittner has shown that he will not vote to protect rural character — and, indeed, would drastically change it. Nor will he adequately support those who need help in our community.

Let’s vote for a compassionate moderate, Patti, who will use her discretion as a commissioner to benefit the public interest — someone who won’t vote to forever change the character of the gateway to the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area and also one who has demonstrated through a 35-year career in nursing that she will support the multilayered, compassionate side of the county that also cares about its people.

Put aside party affiliation, and consider that the difference between the two candidates is truly significant but not because of partisan politics. Everyone who lives in the rural area of the county — renter or property owner, Republican or Democrat — should want to elect the person who will preserve the character of their neighborhood. Patti is that candidate, and unfortunately for the Maroon Creek Valley, Ittner is not.

Please make your choice carefully, and get out and vote!

Marcella Larsen


Letter: What aren’t the Proposition 105 opponents telling us?

October 22, 2014 — 

According to the Center for Food Safety, there are currently 64 countries around the world that have requirements to label foods containing genetically modified organisms. The U.S. is not one of them. On this fall ballot, the states of Oregon and Colorado and the county of Humboldt, California, and one in Hawaii have GMO label laws to consider.

The Colorado ballot measure Proposition 105 asks that food, when appropriate, have a label that says: “Produced with genetic engineering.” How can such a simple statement cause such an outcry and such a flood of television ads and postcards warning us of a complete disaster? I have to ask the question: After billions of dollars of research by the state-of-the-art chemical, biological, agricultural and food-production facilities in the world, why should they not be overjoyed to have notice given of their fantastic work? Where’s the pride? Instead, the industry opposes every effort to have the “fruits of their labors” even identified. In Colorado alone, in recent reporting, the industry was spending some $11 million in comparison with the “pro label” group’s $400,000. What are they afraid of? What aren’t they telling us?

One of the claims is that labeling will cost consumers a ton of money. An independent scientific research company looked closely at the Oregon proposition and the available scientific peer-reviewed literature and found that the cost might be approximately $2 per person per year. The other studies varied from about 30 cents to $15 per year. It’s not nothing, but it’s not much.

The research company ruled out studies that included a cost to food producers to develop two lines of food for the consumer. The new law does not require any such thing. That is strictly a marketing choice. Again, this begs the question: If there is nothing wrong with the GMO-containing food they are producing, which ought to be even more nutritious after all their research, why the big deal?

I think the bottom line is that “modern” industrial agriculture, as developed by the big chemical companies, depends heavily on fossil fuels, herbicides and pesticides, fertilizer, chemical-resistant genetically modified and patented seed, copious amounts of water and huge government subsidies. These are the folks putting up $11 million to defeat a state proposition.

What is at stake here is not only finding out how healthy the GMO food is but how healthy for us the whole GMO industrial system is. Are 64 other countries wrong?

Patrick Hunter


Letter: Having served with both, I support Ittner

October 22, 2014 — 

Having served three terms as a Pitkin County commissioner, I am deeply concerned for our county populace, the land and the well-being of the Board of County Commissioners. Although we have two “good” candidates running for the District 1 commissioner seat, that is where the similarities end.

The choice between Rob Ittner and Patti Clapper, for me, is an easy one, as I served with both of them. There is no question that Rob has done a much better job representing the diverse interests of Pitkin County than his opponent did when she served. He is an articulate, compassionate commissioner with the right values relative to protecting our environment, including support for the Thompson Divide Coalition, our open space program, water issues, wilderness and the Wexner Land Exchange. He totally understands the needs of the county, be they those of the employees, seniors, less fortunate, business community, second-home owners or resort. His intelligent, professional approach never devolves into emotionalism. His understanding of the challenges we face as a county is based on his interaction with both locals and guests alike. His service on various committees ties in with the above and connects the county to statewide issues. His success as a local business owner brings a unique dimension to the Board of County Commissioners. His conservative approach to financial matters and the expenditure of public money serves the public and the county organization well. His relationship with county staff members is both professional and understanding of their needs. He understands the realities of land-use issues, respecting both property rights and our tough land-use code.

In conclusion, Rob has the vision, the understanding, the energy, the focus, the compassion and the right county and social values to continue to lead Pitkin County into the future. Bottom line: He is a fine commissioner, and as a result, I am pleased to support his candidacy.

Please return your mail-in ballot by Nov. 4 and vote for Rob Ittner for District 1 county commissioner.

Jack Hatfield

Snowmass Village

Letter: Vote for Donovan

October 22, 2014 — 

Our retiring state Sen. Gail Schwartz has strongly endorsed Kerry Donovan, who is running to replace her as our next state senator. Gail knows Kerry well and has campaigned for her here and in many parts of this senate district.

I heartily agree with Gail, Kerry Donovan should indeed be our next state senator. Kerry has a unique background and experience that will serve her well as she represents the most beautiful district in Colorado. Kerry has been an educator for the past seven years, has run her family’s ranch most of her adult life and served as a Vail town councilwoman. Kerry fought for keeping our public lands, such as Thompson Divide, pristine and for our Western Slope water rights, all while helping graduate kids from school.

Kerry’s background will provide great preparation in the state Senate, where Kerry will prioritize legislation that would help support small businesses and tourism which is so important for our district’s economy. Kerry is pro-choice and will protect a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.

Kerry has lived a life of service. Let’s send her to Denver to be our next Colorado state senator. Vote for Kerry Donovan for state Senate.

Blanca O’Leary


Letter: Vote Sirkus for consensus and new direction

October 22, 2014 — 

Snowmass Village residents, not only is it imperative that you vote, but it is vital that you think hard and see the big picture before you do. Everyone is aware of the dysfunction that mires the current Town Council. We need consensus and new direction, and it all starts with Bob Sirkus. He is exactly what our town needs — the perfect blend of new energy and vast experience.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Bob for 28 years. Not only can I attest to his outstanding and sincere character as an individual, father and grandfather, but I also can speak to his qualifications. Bob is a six-year member of the Snowmass Village Planning Commission and currently serves as its chairman. Serving on the commission has provided Bob with an in-depth understanding of the Snowmass Village Land Use Code and Comprehensive Plan — vital knowledge for any candidate or public official. Bob’s work on the commission illustrates not only that he understands the core issues that face our community but that he is equipped with the tools that will allow him to find appropriate solutions.

Bob is a family man with excellent business sense who has a deep respect for others and their opinions and who is able to earn such respect in return. He is an excellent idea-gatherer who has the passion and drive to help direct our council on a new and inclusive path.

Bob will work hard to sustain the character of our town. He has proven to be a strong and qualified leader who will ensure that our town positively achieves its goals and grows as a community. Help give our council the fresh new voice of reason that it so badly needs by voting Bob Sirkus for Snowmass Village Town Council.

Alyssa Shenk Genshaft

Snowmass Village

Letter: I’m a better person because of Clapper

October 22, 2014 — 

When we’re little, we don’t know the extent of the influence our teachers have on us and who we become. Maybe we never really know. I do know that I am forever lucky to have been one of Clapper’s Killers. I do know that I am a better person because of my fifth-grade teacher, Willard Clapper, better known as Mr. C.

I was fortunate to see him on a visit back to Aspen just over a year ago — 23 years after being his student.

He was just as I remembered — full of life, funny, huge-hearted and infectious with exuberance.

Then, and now, I wanted him to be proud of me.

I don’t remember exactly how Mr. C did it, but he taught us to be individuals. He taught us to embrace life. He taught us that it’s OK to be passionate and loud. He taught us to overcome challenges and have high expectations of ourselves.

Goodbye, Mr. C, and thank you for being my teacher.

You live on in so many of us — and we will continue to work to make you proud.

Kari Dequine Harden

New Orleans

Letter: Remembering Willard Clapper

October 22, 2014 — 

If I am half the man Willard Clapper was, I would be twice the man I am.

R.J. Gallagher


Whitsitt: A vote for the Roaring Fork side of Eagle County

October 21, 2014 — 

A vote for the Roaring Fork side of Eagle County

Election season is upon us. “Almost over” may be the more accurate description. Ballots are mailed this week and I have two Eagle County candidates that I wholeheartedly support.

Kathy Chandler Henry is running for re-election as Eagle County commissioner. I’ve known and worked with her for 20-some years. She was raised in the Eagle Valley and has been a committed educator, business owner, volunteer and trusted elected official. She was my first professor when I returned to college in my late 30s. She was one of the best teachers I ever had, expecting a tremendous amount from her students and of herself. She is committed to representing the Roaring Fork Valley side of Eagle County and shows up consistently as a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority board member to make sure she is there for the many times we need our voice heard on the other side. I trust and admire her more than any elected official I have ever known.

Daric Harvey is running for sheriff and is a new friend. He has great strengths in community policing and currently holds a leadership position in law enforcement in the Vail Police Department. And, most importantly, because I didn’t really know Daric previously, I dug around to discover the important stuff. I sat down and chatted with law enforcement friends I trust from this side of the mountain. They know him and support him unanimously as their unquestionable choice for sheriff. Leadership, experience, transparency and communication are the attributes they pointed to as their reasons for support. The support of fellow law enforcement officers is good enough for me.

They both have websites and phone numbers and I know they would love to hear from you regarding your questions or suggestions.

Please vote for Kathy Chandler Henry for Eagle County commissioner and Daric Harvey for Eagle County sheriff.

Jacque Whitsitt

Mayor of Basalt

McQueeney: I am your public servant

October 21, 2014 — 

I am your public servant

I recently heard someone say “Democracy demands attention,” and in these times leading up to the election, it is so true. Voters must listen closely and do some investigating to find out the truth about their candidates and the issues. I encourage voters to do their due diligence to discover each candidate’s skills, experience, priorities and vision. These are the qualities that will make a difference to our county. I hope that you will take the time to get to know me.

I have lived and worked in Eagle County for 23 years. I am married and have raised my two children here. Like many, I enjoy skiing, camping, biking, community service, friends and family. I delight in the wonderful, beautiful qualities of Eagle County.

My seven years of experience on the Eagle County School Board has well prepared me for the job of county commissioner. The school district represents families from the diverse corners of the Eagle River Valley. Through the school board and my participation on regional boards, I have been able to build relationships and understand the uniqueness of each community within the county, including El Jebel and Basalt. School board work has also provided me the experience of successfully overseeing and monitoring an organization with a budget significantly larger than the county’s, with almost twice as many employees. My experience as school board president for the past three years has afforded me the opportunity to further develop my facilitation and leadership skills. My leadership strengths are facilitating dialog, encouraging civic engagement through citizen input, policy development and policy governance and asking the right questions. If the right questions are asked, solutions become clearer.

My service on multiple volunteer and nonprofit boards has given me perspectives on collaboration, innovation, community service and the efficient use of limited resources. Some of the organizations I am a part of are The Eagle River Youth Coalition, The Regional Early Childhood Council and Vail Rotary.

Strengthening collaborative opportunities allows our community to reach our full potential. I believe we can only address our challenges by working together. Effective communities engage all constituents: the outspoken, the quiet, the young, the aging and the economically secure and struggling citizens. I aim to hear from everyone, ask questions, get the facts and make informed decisions.

I am blessed that my career has reflected my passions. I will bring that same passion to the position of commissioner. I am your public servant and I ask for your vote.

For more information about me, my experiences and priorities, please visit my website, JeanneMcQueeney.com.

Jeanne McQueeney


Letter: James Van Beek for sheriff

October 21, 2014 — 

James Van Beek for sheriff

I would like to express my support for James Van Beek for Eagle County sheriff. I have known James and his family for more than 20 years, and believe he is the only choice for sheriff. He is a longtime resident and he and his wife, Carrie (also a lifelong resident), have raised their family here — he knows this county! In addition to having more than 21 years of law enforcement experience, James is honest and fair. He has the integrity and courage to make the right decisions as sheriff for the citizens of Eagle County. I believe some of James’ many strengths are his openness, transparency and willingness to listen. In addition, I think he will manage the departmental budget (taxpayer dollars) wisely. I encourage you to vote for James Van Beek!

Karla J. Bagley


Letter: Vote for the right person for sheriff, coroner

October 21, 2014 — 

Vote for the right sheriff, coroner

Both the sheriff and coroner positions are important and the right person for the job is critical. I hope that our Eagle County voters are able to look beyond the smokescreen of a single-issue campaign stance and find out the facts for themselves. Each elected official should have the depth of education and experience to handle what can potentially come along, be it a minor crime to a mass shooting; be it the solitary death to a catastrophic situation with a large death toll. It can happen here; the worst-case scenario is not a trial-and-error learning situation. I want the person in these key positions who can handle the chaos and stress of having to multitask during a situation involving several agencies. I want the person who can anticipate and knows what to do next because they’ve been there with boots on the ground, not just from having their nose in a book.

I dislike politics because of the distortion of facts during the campaigns. It is our job as voters to become educated and it is not difficult to fact check claims made by any candidate. It is difficult to make a voter care enough to do so, however. This is why I am voting for (NAME) Harvey as sheriff and Kara Bettis as coroner.

Shannon Bunnell


Letter: Vote to keep our first-rate ambulance service

October 21, 2014 — 

Vote to keep our first-rate ambulance service

Imagine being in a store one lovely morning when you suddenly feel that you are not getting enough air into your lungs. You stop what you are doing and you lean on something for support while you look around for a chair.

You feel weird, you realize that your pulse is not in a steady rhythm. It is jumping all over the place and you know that you need help and you need it right away. Someone calls 911 and within minutes, your personal space is filled with people who are truly concerned about you. Without your notice you have been strapped onto a gurney, secured in place, tubes already pumping something into your arm, wires are running from you into a complicated-looking machine and a couple of EMTs are talking with you as you are speeding to the hospital. Believe it or not, you begin to relax.

As I looked back on that experience I realized how lucky we are to have a first-rate ambulance service and superbly trained emergency personnel serving our community. We need to ensure that the Ambulance District can continue to provide quality care in new, modern ambulances with state-of-the-art equipment and communications. As you cast your ballot in this election, please realize that this is our opportunity to support this service in its need for sufficient funding for today and for the foreseeable future.

Please vote yes on 1A.

Richie Cohen

Aspen Real Estate Company

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