Eagle County home-rule commission candidates
October 13, 2005
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.Mike MathiasAt largeWho are you?Mike Mathias, Vail, retired military, holds a master’s degree in government from Harvard.Why do you want this job?As with most people I talk with about home rule, I am only 50-50 on approving the concept. I like guaranteeing a commissioner from the Basalt-El Jebel region and perhaps more commissioners will help minimize the near-constant snip and snap among the commissioners, past and present. Such animus is classless and reflects so poorly on them. But there is no causal relationship changing the number three to the number five. You could just as easily get five dumb commissioners, with a price tag of possibly $150,000 more every year, and with no noticeable improvements in county governance. What would you like a draft charter to look like when the commission has done its work?To me the home rule charter would need to be fair, full of common sense, clean and a good value for our tax dollars. The positives need to far outweigh the negatives.
John Horan-KatesDistrict 2Who are you?John Horan-Kates, Lake Creek in Edwards, president of the Vail Leadership Institute.Why do you want this job?I want the opportunity to participate in crafting a county charter that recognizes our unique needs. I think my 30-year perspective in the Vail Valley could be helpful. And lastly, I feel called to serve.What would you like a draft charter to look like when the commission has done its work?Beyond five commissioners and the foregoing of political parties, this question is too complex to answer here. The answer will come from a thoughtful process with interested and committed people that is then put back to the voters for final approval.
Dave MottAt largeWho are you? David Mott, Wolcott, semiretired. I work seasonally for Worldwide Flight Services at Eagle County Regional Airport.Why do you want this job? Having been an Eagle County resident since 1972, and having served as a county commissioner in the early 1980s, I would like to contribute my input to the Home Rule Charter Committee effort. I believe I can be objective and thoughtful in creating a charter for the best interests of the people of Eagle County.What would you like a draft charter to look like when the commission has done its work? Although I would be open to other committee members’ ideas, I lean toward a five-member county commission, elected by five separate districts within the county on a nonpartisan basis. I believe electing the county commissioners by district rather than at large will provide better representation and reflect the broader perspective of our diverse population. I also believe that the ideological hang-ups of political parties get in the way of solving problems at the local level and therefore would prefer that commissioner candidates run as individuals without party affiliation, as do our municipal trustees.