Houpt plans to seek re-election
Garfield County Commissioner Trési Houpt has announced she will seek re-election this November. Houpt has served on the commission since 2002. She is the only one of the three commissioners who are up for election.After four years in the seat of county government, Houpt said she’s as eager as ever to continue the work she started.Houpt, who is the lone Democrat on the county commission, has often been the hold-out vote. Rather than deterring her, it has strengthened her resolve.”It’s not always easy on some of these issues being the lone voter,” she said. “At same time, I know as I do that I’m building a foundation for future action in this county.”While she has been at philosophical odds with her fellow commissioners Larry McCown and John Martin, Houpt sees that as positive.”I think the different perspective I bring to the table has created some healthy dialogue. … I see that as one of my successes,” she said.Such debate, especially now that commissioner meetings are televised and reach a wide audience, helps people understand the various issues the county faces. In her four years in office, Houpt has learned something about party politics on a local level. As the minority vote quite often, Houpt said her differences with her fellow commissioners has come not over partisan issues but different approaches to a problem.With the skyrocketing growth of the oil and gas industry, Houpt has championed for private land owners who are seeing the impacts of natural gas development. She has worked with a non-partisan group on mitigating impacts of the industry to private and federal lands, a group composed of Republicans, independents and Democrats.At the heart of her difference with her fellow county commissioners is her approach to change and her style of governing, rather than party lines.”They’re issues of change,” she said. “At the county level it’s not a partisan issue. These are issues of administering the county … The debates we’ve had on the commission are (about) administrative style.”If she’s re-elected, Houpt said she intends to continue her work for her constituents who face mounting effects of the oil gas industry.”I would like to continue working on the promotion of lowering the impact of energy extraction on private and federal land,” she said.One of her goals is to have the county adopt regulations with local oversight of the oil and gas industry. Both Weld County, on the Front Range, and La Plata, in southwestern Colorado have imposed regulations, notably governing compressor stations.Among other goals are a continued effort to recast the county’s land use code, which is in process, and ramping up support for local trails projects.Transit is also a favored issue.”I’d like to see us become members of RFTA (Roaring Fork Transit Authority) and really commit to support public transportation,” she said.
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