Letter: Writer prepared to serve
Although seldom discussed in the arena of politics, the role of county commissioner is incredibly important in our democratic system of governance. Legal requirements for the job include only two: (1) age of applicant and (2) location of residence. Fortunately, this opens the job to many. However, the skills for success are not learned on the job. They require personal, professional and interactive skills on both the personal and larger levels that enable the commissioner to work with challenging issues, a full range of opinions, a knowledge of community and history, and a vision of our future.
A successful county commissioner is one who:
1. Understands the complex budget (each year, the county must approve a balanced budget)
2. Knows and understands the history, priorities and responsibilities of the job.
3. Can work with local, state and federal agencies and regulations.
4. Learns about and understands the concerns of those he or she is chosen to serve.
5. Respects differences of opinion, listens to all and makes decisions based on the merits of any proposal.
6. Supports the decisions of the board as a whole. (Pitkin County has five commissioners; most counties have only three. This provides the opportunity to explore many options and to discuss openly, so that the board can provide clear direction to the county manager.)
This fall, Pitkin County will select a county commissioner who will serve the county from 2017 to 2020. There will be many challenges, especially if the predicted growth in the Roaring Fork Valley becomes reality.
Scott Writer has the knowledge, skills and experience to address these challenging issues to find solutions that work.