Vote for Runyon and Menconi in Eagle County | AspenTimes.com

Vote for Runyon and Menconi in Eagle County

Eagle County voters have the opportunity to reshape the priorities of county government this fall, when they decide two seats on the three-member Board of County Commissioners. Ideally, the outcome will create a board that is more eager to preserve the county’s remaining open spaces than plow it under.

In District 1, political newcomers Peter Runyon and Richard DeClark offer radically different views on growth.

Runyon, a Democrat, has spent the better part of the last three decades in Eagle County. He sees controlling development as a key to the county’s livability.

DeClark, a Republican who moved to Edwards from Southern California in 1994, is more interested in creating tax incentives to promote child care and senior programs. For DeClark, growth control comes second to social services.

Runyon’s priorities deserve the backing of Eagle County voters. If his primary campaign proposal is enacted, Eagle County will revise its land-use code so that ranch lands can be preserved without punishing the rancher, and development will begin to cover the costs it places on existing residents.

Runyon also supports the idea of Eagle becoming a home-rule county, which would allow voters to elect five commissioners, including one to represent the Roaring Fork Valley.

Vote Runyon for Eagle County Commissioner, District 1.

The incumbent for District 2, Arn Menconi, has been at the center of controversy since the day he was elected by the narrowest of margins four years ago.

A Democrat, Menconi ended up on the losing end of 2-1 votes on a number of issues before the Board of County Commissioners, which was dominated by Republicans Tom Stone and Michael Gallagher.

Stone and Gallagher even teamed up to deny Menconi the board chairmanship, which normally rotates from commissioner to commissioner on an annual basis. In a blatantly partisan play, the Republicans voted to bypass Menconi when his turn came up.

Despite his political disadvantage, Menconi has managed to score significant victories in his first term, the biggest being the preservation of nearly 4,800 acres of the Bair Ranch at the mouth of Glenwood Canyon. Menconi teamed with Gallagher to release $2 million in county open space funds to protect the ranch. Without an open space advocate like Menconi on the board, it’s unlikely the deal would have gone through.

Though he doesn’t outright support the idea, Menconi is willing to consider the idea of a five-member board with a Roaring Fork Valley commissioner.

If Menconi has the opportunity to work with a fellow Democrat like Runyon, he could lead Eagle County into a new era in which development pays for its impacts, in which the county’s remaining open space can be protected, and in which the Roaring Fork Valley has better representation.

Vote Menconi for Eagle County Commissioner, District 2.


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