Garfield County Commissioner 2008 Race roundup |

Garfield County Commissioner 2008 Race roundup

The Garfield County Commissioner 2008 Race Roundup is a compilation of news and announcements from the candidates in this year’s two county commissioner races. It will be a semi-regular feature in the run-up to this year’s November elections.

Garfield County commissioner candidate Stephen Bershenyi has earned the endorsement of the Roaring Fork Group of the Sierra Club. The group made the announcement earlier this week.

Bershenyi is running against Republican incumbent John Martin in the District 2 commissioner race.

“We are confident that Stephen will find the right balance between protecting the environment for the interests of outdoor sportsman, farmers, ranchers, and others who enjoy the natural amenities of our county with the need to keep our economy strong and diversified,” said Mark Stevens, the Roaring Fork Group chair, in a prepared statement.

Stevens said Bershenyi has pledged “to hold the oil and gas industry accountable to the citizens of Garfield County.” He added that the local group “will be working in every way we can” to get Bershenyi elected.

Ken Jones, a local business owner and Sierra Club member, said Bershenyi “will bring a much needed change of leadership to our local government, and shift the balance of power away from boom and bust industries in favor of sustainable prosperity and the people who live here.”

If a bi-partisan bill that would let Garfield County receive 40 percent of $112 million from a government trust fund million passes Congress, Garfield County commissioner candidate Mike Samson says he knows what he would want do with the money.

That trust fund had been collecting money from natural gas production in the Roan Plateau Planning Area for several years.

Legislation introduced by U.S. Sens. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., and Wayne Allard, R-Colo., would return at least 40 percent of that $112 million to Colorado.

If that money is ever returned to Garfield County, Samson said he would use it to fund the county’s “most challenging transportation needs.”

That would include improvements to Glenwood Springs’ South Bridge, the Parachute Interchange off of Interstate 70 and Colorado Highways 82 and 133. Samson said he would leverage money Garfield County received from the trust fund to acquire Department of Local Affairs money.

“Garfield County’s share of the fund will provide a tremendous amount of seed money to get these projects rolling under my tenure as commissioner,” Samson said in a statement.

Samson is running against Steve Carter in the District 3 commissioner race.

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