Farris, Owsley best choices for Pitco | AspenTimes.com

Farris, Owsley best choices for Pitco

There is only one candidate in this year’s race for the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners who is easy to get behind: Dorothea Farris.

Farris, who has already served two terms as the District 5 representative on the BOCC, is being challenged by Thomas McBrayer, a Crystal Valley resident who has made it clear that a big part of his reason for running is to protect private property rights.

While property rights are an ongoing and important issue, the fact is McBrayer and his neighbors have spent most of their time recently doing everything possible to keep the public from accessing publicly owned property next to their subdivision. It’s hard to believe that someone so dedicated to keeping the public away from public land would serve the public good as a county commissioner.

Farris, on the other hand, has shown over the years the ability to thoughtfully weigh both sides of an issue and make a fair decision, often in favor of the property owner. She has done as much as anyone to include Pitkin County’s voice in regional and statewide affairs. She has been a champion of public transportation. Farris has been an avid proponent of trails and open space. And she has demonstrated her commitment to public lands and public access to those lands.

Vote Farris for District 5 County Commissioner.

The only race where voters have a viable option to the incumbent is in District 3, where Shellie Roy faces a spirited challenge from Woody Creek activist Michael Owsley.

Here voters should make a change and back Owsley.

Owsley has extensive experience with land-use issues, having been an active member of the Woody Creek Caucus for eight years and chairman of the body’s planning commission for five years.

The fact is, the caucus, under the leadership of Owsley, has fought and won some big fights against overly ambitious development plans and backed others that are innovative and sensitive to the environment. That’s the kind of leadership that the BOCC has lacked in recent years.

Roy, while committed to the county and the people who live here, has not shown the political courage to face down developers seeking approvals for massive homes and exemptions from mitigation required in the land-use code. Too often, her answer to developers is “Yes.”

By replacing Roy with Owsley, voters can restore to the BOCC some of the backbone on development issues that has helped make Pitkin County such a great place to live.

Vote Owsley for District 3 County Commissioner.

County Commissioner Jack Hatfield should have no trouble winning a second term as the District 4 representative. Unfortunately, that has more to do with his opponent than his record. Hatfield is unpredictable on topics ranging from the environment to the budget, and at times seems hostile toward the very government he’s been elected to oversee.

Opponent Cheryl Koehne, however, entered this race without any real experience in local politics. She appears to be unaware of the most basic workings of county government.

No endorsement for District 4.