Smiddy: I shoot straight, work diligently |

Smiddy: I shoot straight, work diligently

Erin Smiddy
Pitkin County commissioner candidate
Erin Smiddy
File photoTimes

First I want to take a minute to thank all of the media outlets in town that have made it possible for Kelly McNicholas Kury and I to make our points/issues public, I feel it has been vital to getting our message out to the community at large.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again. I am not a politician, just a normal citizen that wants a chance to make an impact on the future of Pitkin County.

My opponent just took her opportunity with this personal column to come after me because I had to find reasons that separated us, because we agree on so many issues. Just like a typical politician, going low. 

I did state that I believe in contrast to many people here, that Kelly has had an easier path. I never stated she hasn’t worked hard. I have actually said the opposite. I have commended Kelly many times on her efforts. I’ve just questioned why the other commissioners in general have not gone along with her ideas and issues she advocates for. 

My goal if I get elected is to work diligently with the other elected board members in a fair and respectful manner. I have no intentions of browbeating anyone or anything. That’s not how I roll. I communicate in a friendly and clear, decisive manner.

Life’s hardships are part of being an adult, as hard as they may be. No one deserves a gold medal for going through what many of us unfortunately go through. I’m glad Kelly and Scott found a forever home for their family through APCHA. Now let’s work to get more homes built so more young families can achieve the same.

I’ve said many times how blessed I am to own my APCHA house. It’s the only reason I was able to stay here. Kelly is incorrect, however. I have let numerous people stay with me to get back on their feet from a couple months to over years at a time. Not everyone can afford rent in this town, and I have felt privileged to be able to offer my home to some of those individuals over the years.

I work very hard to pay for and maintain my home so if it ever does go back into the APCHA inventory, it will be in proper shape. My parents live with me in the summer months. Not a chance I would not let my hard working mom still live there like it is her own home. Just last summer, I was able to let a young local girl live with us, as well, while she saved up for her senior year of college because her parents had moved and she was rendered homeless in Aspen.

It is not wrong of me to want to keep the first house my mother ever was able to purchase in my family name. My hope is that my niece or nephew that grew up here will return after college and be able to start their own families here, in this home.

When I first decided to run for political office, I vowed to myself to keep it clean. I believe I have done a nice job doing that and will continue to campaign with dignity and respect.

A big part of remaining humble is not taking credit for achievements of an entire board. It is recognizing the collaborative efforts of five people all working towards a solution. That is the kind of person I am when I work with others. I feed off of the experience and different ideas of my coworkers, and often we will find the common thread and create a viable solution with all of our input. I’m a natural problem solver and I like to keep focused on the future and what we need most at this moment.

One thing is correct. I will be aggressive about housing in the county. I think we need that. But please rest assured, I will not be offended or emotional if I do not get my way. I’m 47 years old. I know how to go on in life without holding grudges or taking issues personally.

I have spent the last month campaigning and sharing events with my former boss, who many have expressed honest discontent with and who I chose to resign from, and I have kept it classy and professional the entire time. I believe that is pretty solid evidence that I am perfectly capable of being mature and able to work with anyone. I am always cordial and respectful in our interactions, yet I cannot help if my directness and honesty leads some to believe I’m a browbeater. 

I can see how the decision upon the voters could be a difficult one due to our similar stances on many issues. It is up to you to decide if you want a straight shooter who will fight with passion and respect for what I believe we need or an intelligent incumbent that is well versed on the literature and policies, but just has not seemed to be able to bring her well thought out plans to fruition or completion?

Two more weeks and we shall see! Stay warm out there and Thank you all for being so involved in local politics and keeping this community so strong.

Erin Smiddy, unaffiliated, is running for Pitkin County commissioner.