New commissioner proposes Garfield County Forum |

New commissioner proposes Garfield County Forum

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Garfield County Commissioner Mike Samson wasted no time Monday in addressing one of his main concerns ” uniting county administration with local municipal governments ” at his first meeting as a county commissioner.

“That was one of my big pushes,” Samson said. “So, I want to get going.”

Samson proposed organizing a Garfield County Forum to develop a better working relationship between the county and its municipalities. Samson defined the purpose of the forum as to “coordinate among all parties issues of mutual interest. Hopefully doing so would foster better communication and understanding between all.

“I think there has been a need in the county to work on getting a better relationship between the communities and the county,” Samson said. “I think that relationship is strained, and I want to bring everybody to the table and ask, ‘What are your concerns?'”

The proposed forum would include representatives for each of the counties’ six municipalities and Battlement Mesa and at least one representative from the board of county commissioners, which would most likely be Samson. Each of the municipalities could select a representative ” Samson said that it would not necessarily have to be each town’s mayor.

While much of the details have yet to be worked out, Samson proposed the forum meet once per quarter starting in February 2009 in Glenwood Springs. Each meeting thereafter could be hosted by various cities involved, with the host entity responsible for chairing the meeting, choosing the facility and compiling the agenda.

Fellow county commissioners John Martin and Tresi Houpt supported the idea; however, Houpt suggested the forum should meet more often, maybe once a month, at least in the beginning.

The county commissioners agreed to determine dates and times the forum could meet at their Jan. 26 work session. Then, the county must contact each of the city governments before meetings can commence.

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