A leader with experience dealing with uncertain times like these | PostIndependent.com

A leader with experience dealing with uncertain times like these

Stephen Carter
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Will the good times roll on forever? Garfield County seems insulated from the economic slump that’s affecting the rest of the world. It appears on the surface as if the tourism in the east and gas drilling in the west will go on forever.

But there is evidence of trouble on the horizon. Winter tourism bookings for this fall are way down, sales taxes are slumping. A huge corporation had to grovel to the county for a week’s delay to get a letter of credit which they should have had in hand weeks ago. A major gas producer in Rio Blanco County stiffed many subcontractors (even Halliburton) until a long and messy mechanics’ lien lawsuit finally sorted it out. Most ominously, more than 100 pipeline workers went to pick up their paychecks last week and got nothing but excuses.

But perhaps these are mere blips in an otherwise upward curve of growth and prosperity. Even though recently real estate sales have dramatically dropped right here at home, we still live in a special place, one that traditionally has bucked the economic trends elsewhere.

The natural gas being produced in the western part of the county is urgently needed if the U.S. is ever going to achieve energy independence.

And if a family from Chicago can’t afford that Aspen vacation, a family in Denver sure can afford a weekend in Glenwood Springs. And don’t forget our ranchers and hunters. Our land and natural resources still produce food in abundance.

Now more than ever it’s important that we choose our leaders carefully and pick the individuals who have the experience dealing with uncertain times. I believe I have this experience. I’ve lived in Garfield County through the best of times and the worst of times.

– As a judge, every week I heard of personal tragedy and the awful social consequences of the loss of a job, the loss of a house, the loss of a family member, and the loss of a business, and helped individuals find a way out of their problems within the bounds of the law.

– As a lawyer, I guided many businesses and individual clients through tough times. As a small businessman myself, I had to make the difficult decisions needed to keep the office open, and I have met payroll twice a month without interruption since 1972.

– As a municipal attorney, I advised many cities and towns how best to cope with diminishing tax revenue and how to budget effectively to make sure that essential public services were maintained.

– And when things are booming, I’ve helped guide governments from Eagle to Fruita to deal effectively with growth to assure that development pays as much as possible of its own way; and that affordable housing and transportation needs aren’t forgotten in the rush to build more.

So no matter what the future holds, I believe that your decision this time is easy: vote for experience, vote for Steve Carter for Garfield County Commissioner.

Stephen Carter, D-Rifle, is running for Garfield County Commissioner in District 3.

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