For 12 years, guided by the trust bestowed by citizens of the county |

For 12 years, guided by the trust bestowed by citizens of the county

John Martin
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

With every election, there comes the eleventh hour, when a candidate must bare his soul and tell all, attempt to clarify his platform and try to clean up all that misguided, hateful, and one-sided misinformation being spread hour after hour until we just can’t stand to read a newspaper, watch TV, or listen to a radio, and do so in less than 700 words. That time is now, because the Garfield County commissioner race is final at 7 p.m. Nov. 4, 2008, and this is my last column of this election.

I’m John Martin. I have been your Garfield County commissioner for 12 years. I don’t believe in attacking or defaming another, as we are examples on all levels for those we are chosen to represent. You get out of life what you put into life.

I listen, research, review and make decisions without being told how to by special groups or political parties. I am accountable and accessible. I am not bought or controlled by any strings or promises. I am guided by the trust bestowed on me by you.

Garfield County is in sound financial shape and has total fund balances. Not obligated, but real money, in the area of $80 million. These dollars are for the future of Garfield County in hard times, but we maximize the funds and use the interest to pay for such items as senior programs, the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA), veterans and affordable housing. We feel this is better than creating a new tax to pay for these programs.

Garfield County has very little indebtedness, but enough to earn a AAA rating on the bond market if needed.

Garfield County is run like a successful business, setting the example for other governments to follow. Never spending more than is taken in; saving what we can; not always asking for more; always living within its means.

A hot topic is the County Road 204 near Roan Creek. I guess those who call county roads “roads to nowhere,” single out activities or industries they don’t like. If they don’t like ranching, Divide Creek is a road to nowhere; if they don’t like skiing on forest land, Four Mile is a road to nowhere; and if they don’t like oil and gas, Roan Creek is a road to nowhere. Since the citizens of Garfield County engage in all of these activities, all these county roads lead to somewhere, and I serve them all. With a network of private and public roads leading to 204, which is the only county road leading to I-70, energy companies are impacting this road, and one wants to rebuild it. They offered to do so a year ago. Garfield County requested the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to review the idea. They agreed it was a very good idea. After their in-depth reviews and committee approvals, funds were approved using money collected from the energy industry for such impacts, to go to this project, not your tax dollars. The energy company agreed to pay for their impacts, $25 million, and Garfield County used some fund balance dollars to start the project, not added tax dollars. There were no secret meetings or back-room deals. I see more jobs and businesses, as well as needed future revenues for Garfield County coming out of this approach.

I believe in helping municipalities and including their ideas and leadership within the many issues affecting all of Garfield County, but I don’t believe in handing over the county’s checkbook. Municipalities have their identities, as does Garfield County. Working together doesn’t mean taking each other over.

Issues I think of every day include our environment, economy and well-being; how we are affected by others outside our county and how we affect them; and transportation, water and new laws within Colorado and outside of Colorado. Just how will those rules affect our lives? I serve with leadership, honor, respect and maturity.

What have I done for you today and for your tomorrows? What questions have I answered? But more importantly, what questions did I ask today?

I have been blessed with a wonderful wife and family, a life full of challenges, never dull. I proudly served the citizens of Glenwood Springs as a policeman for many years, and felt there would be no higher honor, until I was asked to serve all the citizens of Garfield County. I would like to continue serving you as your fair and balanced Garfield County commissioner from District 2.

John Martin, R-Glenwood Springs, is running for re-election as Garfield County commissioner in District 2.

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