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Houpt hops into commissioner race

Donna Daniels

Tresi Houpt, a Glenwood Springs Democrat, said she will run for Garfield County Commissioner in District 1.

The seat is now held by incumbent Walt Stowe, a Republican.

Houpt, 44, sits on the Roaring Fork Re-1 School District board of directors and is executive director of Valley Resource Management.

In fact, Houpt was tapped by the Garfield County Democratic Party to run.

“Quite honestly, I hadn’t thought about it. I took a few weeks to think about it and talk to people about the state of the county,” she said about her decision to run. “I’m so committed to the county. I decided it was time to move forward.”

A county resident since 1994, Houpt her husband of 22 years, Jeff, and their two sons Sam, 14, and Frank, 10, live in Oak Meadows outside Glenwood Springs.

As director of Valley Resource Management, a partnership between local governments in the valley, Houpt said she brings experience in helping those groups find a way to share the cost of solid waste management.

“I’ve begun to realize that there are so many commonalities (among governments) and they need to share resources. I would like to see Garfield County become involved with regional partnerships,” she said.

“Garfield County has a reputation for distancing itself from opportunities to work together with other governments. I believe strongly that the county is presented with many opportunities to create partnerships that would enhance services and resources for its citizens, while reducing costs to those citizens,” she said.

In particular, Houpt said she’d like to see the county partner with other local governments to solve transportation and affordable housing problems.

Rapid growth in the county is another major concern.

“I would like to participate in the preservation of the long-standing culture and environment. We have a responsibility to manage growth in a manner that protects the environment for future generations,” she said.

Growth can be compatible with conservation, she added.

As the only woman and the only Democrat on the Board of County Commissioners, Houpt said she would bring a different outlook.

“I would bring to the table a new perspective on how to approach decision-making. I’m a strong believer in weighing all sides of an issue … and having a thoughtful discussion,” she said.

“I understand that what I would bring could be different discussion, because I am a Democrat and committed to collaborative efforts,” she said.

“There are some things that are very dear to my heart. I love the mountains, the natural resources we are surrounded by, the ranches and farms. I would hate to see us grow so quickly that we wouldn’t recognize the need to save and preserve these things. We need to preserve the character of Colorado,” she said.

During the campaign, Houpt said she wants to get out and meet a lot of people.

“I plan to do a lot of walking,” she said.

If elected, Houpt said she would resign from the school board and from VRM.

“I would be a full-time commissioner,” she said.


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