Houpt fights resolution from Martin in Garfield County commissioners battle | PostIndependent.com

Houpt fights resolution from Martin in Garfield County commissioners battle

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado (AP) ” Democrat Tresi Houpt is fighting a proposal that would prevent her from airing views different from the other two Garfield County commissioners ” both Republicans ” when representing the county on other boards and commissions.

Houpt is an outspoken supporter of stronger regulation of oil and gas development, at record levels in Garfield County the last few years. She has frequently been on the losing side of 2-1 votes on energy and other issues.

A resolution by Republican John Martin would make commissioners represent the majority view of the commission while participating in other groups, such as the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado.

Martin, re-elected commissioner in November, said he wants to make sure the elected officials are accountable, particularly when spending county money.

“What it amounts to is I’m trying to get everybody to play on the same page,” Martin said.

Houpt said the resolution would limit her ability to represent her constituents on energy and other issues.

“I am elected on an equal plane and it’s important that our hands aren’t tied as elected officials,” Houpt said.

The commissioners, including Republican Mike Samson, who filled an open seat, agreed to delay a vote on Martin’s resolution to discuss it further.

Houpt said she thinks Martin’s proposal stems from past controversies, including when she had to pay her own way to a National Association of Counties conference because she proposed resolutions aimed at reducing energy development’s impacts on public lands.

Energy development was a big issue during the November election. Martin and Samson narrowly won after campaigns that drew a total of more than $50,000 in contributions from outside groups and individuals, including the chief executive of the Denver-based energy company Antero Resources.

Houpt was appointed last year by Gov. Bill Ritter to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry. The commission approved new regulations that the industry opposes and the Legislature is reviewing.

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