Eagle County home-rule commission candidates
Editor’s note: Eagle County voters will decide next month whether to explore becoming a home-rule county, which would allow the county government greater leeway in the way it organizes itself. An 11-member commission would oversee this process. The Aspen Times is publishing Q&A responses from the 21 candidates seeking a seat on the commission. Kathy Chandler-HenryDistrict 2Who are you?I’m Kathy Chandler-Henry, a resident of Eagle. I was born and raised here and after about a 20-year hiatus, returned to the county in 1992. I own and operate Black Diamond Survey Research, a market research, strategic-planning and group-facilitation business. My husband and I own Brush Creek Electric, an electrical contracting company. I was the director of institutional research at Colorado Mountain College for 23 years, working out of the central administrative offices, and a part-time teacher at the Vail-Eagle Valley Campus.Why do you want this job?My educational background is political science – I have master’s degrees from Duke University in political science and health administration. My work experience has been in research, policy planning, group facilitation and business administration. I believe that background gives me a good combination of skills to apply to the exciting opportunity we have in Eagle County to draft our own charter for governance. I’m an advocate of public service, I work well with others, and I have the time to commit to researching home rule and presenting a well-thought-out and complete charter to voters next year.What would you like a draft charter to look like when the commission has done its work?I believe the charter should be an elegant, readable document that focuses on the big policy matters of the county and not the minutiae. We’re an independent and intelligent citizenry here, and a home-rule charter gives us a chance for local determination of what we hold near and dear. We have examples to follow from other home-rule charters, and we can take inspiration from the U.S. Constitution, a living document that has promoted democratic self governance since it was written.I have no preconceived notions of what the particulars of the charter should be, and I believe going into the process with an open mind is crucial to the best outcome of the commission. In short, I believe the charter should look like us – unique to Eagle County and allowing us to thrive and prosper.
Charlie WickDistrict 2Who are you?Charlie Wick, Eagle, investment representative with Edward Jones.Why do you want this job?To look in depth at the possibility and need of having five county commissioners instead of the current three and also to study applicable areas where more local control in the unincorporated areas of Eagle County is desired over existing statewide statutes.What would you like a draft charter to look like when the commission has done its work?If the answer to the above is affirmed, a charter document for Eagle County’s future.
Tom EdwardsDistrict 3Who are you?My name is Tom Edwards, and I live in the town of Gypsum. By occupation I am an architect, but over time that has led to an interest in policies, programs and activities that make Eagle County a better place to live. My occupation now seems to consist of being a member of the Gypsum Town Council, the Eagle Valley Chamber of Commerce board, the Eagle Valley Land Trust board and a volunteer for various committees and functions throughout the Eagle Valley.Why do you want this job?I want this job for three reasons: First, I have the time available and am willing to devote that time to listening, thinking and helping produce a charter that might possibly be better than what Eagle County operates under at this time.Second, through the activities I participate in, I have an understanding of the various sides of the charter issue from government to business to private organizations as well as individual interests. Third, I am willing to make the commitment to listening to all input, whether it be from individuals, businesses or groups, and try to create a document that will represent the needs of Eagle County. I like the idea of making the best possible effort to create a new charter and then giving the voters a chance to say if the document created meets their needs. What would you like a draft charter to look like when the commission has done its work?This question is hard to answer as there is much study to be done, input to be taken and debate to be had prior to coming up with the draft. I would like it to be simple, without radical changes to existing areas of government that work well currently.I do believe that with a county the size of ours and with a budget of $100 million that having five commissioners rather than three will not only provide better representation but also give us more considered solutions to the issues. I would prefer to have nonpartisan representation at the commissioner level because I believe that most of the issues in our county are not partisan-based but county-need-based, and many are unique to Eagle County. I would like to feel that when the committee is ready to present the charter to the voters of Eagle County that thought and input from all sides and all parties has been considered.
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