Challenger says he will bring new set of skills to three-member board
Glenwood Springs businessman Steve Reynolds is challenging incumbent County Commissioner Trési Houpt. Reynolds, a Republican, is the owner of the Gym in the Hotel Colorado. Reynolds is also a member of the Garfield County Planning and Zoning Commission and sits on the county Community Corrections Board.At Tuesday night’s issues and answers forum in Glenwood Springs, Reynolds said he is a “a facilitator, not a polarizer.” In Tuesday’s debate against Houpt, Reynolds said she has been an obstructive presence on the county commission, often at odds with fellow commissioners. He said he brings mediation skills to the position. As an accountant for large businesses, Reynolds said he has faced contentious situations and come up with solutions acceptable to all parties.Reynolds sees population and economic growth as the most pressing issue facing the county. As a member of the planning and zoning commission, which reviews new developments and makes recommendations to the county commissioners, Reynolds said developments need to be carefully weighed for their impact on the county’s roads, utilities and schools.Name: Steve ReynoldsOccupation: Owner of The Gym in Glenwood SpringsAge: 45Family: Wife Virginia, children Monica, 11, and Sonny, 8Hometown: Tulsa, Okla.Party affiliation: RepublicanWhen did you come to Garfield County and from where? 1991 from Houston.Why do you want to be county commissioner? When you look at what’s happening here, I think we need good, strong people who understand the rules we live by. I get along with all sorts of people and I have a knack for taking a situation and breaking it down to bite-sized pieces. I have a business approach.What’s the biggest challenge facing the county commissioner’s office? Population growth. By 2025 we’re supposed to triple in population. Land use applications need to be weighed for (their impacts) on infrastructure, roads and schools.Here’s how he stands on the issues:Affordable housing: (With population growth) an increasing number of people will be commuting out of the county to work. We need to get people living where they work and need more opportunities for housing. A well thought out project (for affordable housing) needs to be put through.Gravel pits: We need a regional reclamation plan. We need to get a bond or money up front (to make sure the plans are carried through).Natural gas industry: I think oil and gas companies have legal rights and should be allowed to operate their business without interference. We as a county have to address (their) compliance with federal and state regulations. But we have to make sure it’s done right. We need to make sure we’re getting the revenues due to us for oil and gas and make sure they’re reporting accurately.Immigration: Legislative decisions (about immigration) will impact us. We don’t have the jail space (to house illegal immigrants). There is also a labor issue. Every company is trying to find help. Are we happy having the (immigrant) population doing what they do (or should other people be found to take their places)?Cooperation with municipalities: There is not a collaborative working relationship between the cities and the county. I think one of the first things I would do (after getting elected), I would personally go to city council meetings and make sure we’re all on the same page. There are different issues in different municipalities. We all need to work almost as one entity.
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