Richards: Smart and savvy | AspenTimes.com

Richards: Smart and savvy

Dear Editor:I’m not just voting for Rachel Richards for commissioner on Tuesday. I’ve also worked for her campaign and given her money. There’s a reason.Rachel is just about the best elected official I’ve ever seen, with a portfolio of accomplishments that is as impressive as she is humble and low-key. Most people don’t know how much she’s done for the community.I served with her on the City Council in the 1990s. You could always tell at the meeting who had read the agenda packet and who hadn’t. Rachel was the one asking the sharp questions, not the dumb ones.As time went on, she developed an encyclopedic knowledge of community issues, from the dogs making a mess in the park to the state Legislature making a mess in Denver. And more than most people know, she has been a tireless regional representative for us.Rachel has been the Pitkin County representative to Club 20 (an organization of the 20 western counties) for nine years, influencing Colorado policy on natural resources, water, energy development, public lands and transportation.As a member of the policy board of the Colorado Municipal League, she got the CML to take a position opposing the Forest Service sale of public lands. This was a transparent federal ploy to underfund the Forest Service in order to create a rationale for dumping our public land heritage. Rachel would have none of it.Have any idea what RWPA is? It’s the Ruedi Water and Power Authority, an entity that manages revenues from the Ruedi hydroelectric plant. Rachel is our representative to this regional group, with members from Garfield and Eagle counties, Basalt and Carbondale. And CAST, the Colorado Association of Ski Towns? Rachel works with that group to watch the state Legislature and lobby for the best interests of resort towns.She does all the work, she’s smart and savvy, and she never complains about the load, because she loves it. We’d be crazy not to elect her county commissioner in District 2.Frank PetersAspen