McCown’s 12 years as a Garfield County commissioner comes to an end |

McCown’s 12 years as a Garfield County commissioner comes to an end

Rifle Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado ” Larry McCown isn’t sure what he will end up doing, now that his 12 years as a Garfield County commissioner are over.

One thing he won’t do, though, is go to work for the natural gas industry as some of his critics had predicted.

“I think that was because I may have a much better working knowledge of the industry than the other two commissioners,” McCown said. “All those years in construction helped, too. But by no means am I in industry’s pocket, which is something that’s been said.”

McCown ended his tenure when Mike Samson of Rifle was sworn in to replace McCown on Tuesday, Jan. 13. McCown did not run for reelection and Samson defeated Steve Carter in last November’s election.

“I haven’t solicited any employment,” the 64-year-old McCown said. “I don’t particularly want to punch any one’s time card. After owning your own business (the since-sold Rifle Fireside Lanes bowling alley) and being a commissioner, I think I’d be a horrible employee.”

McCown said he enjoyed helping county residents get answers and problems solved and has no regrets.

“I think the thing I’m most proud of is remaining very fiscally conservative, even in the good times,” he said. “We’ve built up fund balances for the rainy days that may be coming.”

The one thing he wished had been done differently during his tenure was how the county jail was paid for. The county built the jail with certificates of participation funding, a borrowing procedure for governments.

“That doesn’t allow us to make early pay off payments, which we could have done because times were good,” McCown said. “If we could have done it differently, the county would be debt-free.”

The county likely faces “significant” economic challenges in coming years, he said.

“This downturn may soften the cost of living, the costs of housing and such, but you won’t have the jobs,” McCown said. “I think it’s much better for a county to have to deal with people that have jobs when they move here. It’s pretty depressing to see all those U-Hauls leaving” such as what McCown witnessed in the bust years of the mid-1980s.

This story first appeared in the Rifle Citizen Telegram.

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