Garfield County commissioner candidates, in their words — Tom Jankovsky: prepared for next four years | PostIndependent.com

Garfield County commissioner candidates, in their words — Tom Jankovsky: prepared for next four years

Tom Jankovsky

Tom Jankovsky

I have been proud to serve as your county commissioner for the past eight years and to contribute to the progress that has made us one of the most enviable counties in the state.

When I first ran for office we were in the depths of the recession, and unemployment was at 10 percent. I remember walking from neighborhood to neighborhood in every municipality and seeing houses in foreclosure.

Today, we are at essentially full employment with only a 2.8 percent unemployment rate. As I walked through neighborhoods during this campaign I saw construction in every neighborhood and every community.

I believe the success of a public servant comes through hard work, studying issues, listening to constituents, building bridges and working to find reasonable solutions. During my tenure, we've made progress in areas we all value — economic development, job creation and infrastructure. We've raised our standard of living while ensuring a secure safety net for our community's most vulnerable.

Some of the areas where I played a significant role include health care and human services, as well as broadband, natural gas and clean energy development.

When I discovered we had the highest health insurance rates in the nation I helped form a coalition of counties committed to working with our state representatives to bring down the cost of health care in rural Colorado.

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As the county's liaison to the Human Services Commission I was the lead in establishing a human service mini-grant program, the first new funding for our nonprofits since the mid-1990s.

As a founding member of Garfield County Clean Energy (GCE), I showed that I care about the environment, clean energy and job creation. Composed of all the municipalities in Garfield County, RFTA and CMC, GCE has successfully promoted energy efficiency, alternative fuels for transportation and clean energy projects. This collaboration translated to $33 million of projects in the last eight years and helped our construction industry.

My dedication to the county is stronger than ever, and my work isn't done. I pledge to work next term on projects ranging from natural gas development to broadband; continuing to advocate for lower health care premiums and mass transit; and tackling important issues like the high cost of child care, attainable and affordable housing, protecting our public lands, and water rights.

The Piceance Basin in Garfield County has the second largest natural gas reserves in the United States, and I will advocate for the completion of the Jordan Cove Liquid Natural Gas Terminal in Oregon which will expand our markets for natural gas, increase natural gas prices and stabilize this industry in our county.

Broadband is as important today as electricity was 100 years ago. I will work to complete the wireless broadband system that will reach most of rural Garfield County.

The most important economic development issues in our county are foundational. Before we can attract new business or further diversify our economy, I pledge to address attainable and affordable housing.

The most affordable housing in our county is in Parachute and Battlement Mesa. I will promote regional solutions to provide bus service between these communities and Rifle.

We need to continue to work with the federal government to maintain access and multiple use on our public lands. I understand the importance of our food supply and water rights on the Western Slope and will continue to support our ranch and farming communities and our rich Western heritage.

I have lived in Garfield County since 1985, and my wife Nancy and I have six children with one son deceased. Until I retired this past August, I had been the general manager of Sunlight Mountain Resort, where I had the unique experience of being involved in every aspect of business including operations, planning, capital projects, accounting, the budget process and personnel and human resources. Being in the resort industry also taught me the value of customer service.

I note my leadership and business experience to distinguish myself from my opponent, who has never held public office or served on nonprofit boards and has limited business experience.

I'm seeking another term so that I can continue to use my managerial and financial experience to secure a superior quality of life for my grandchildren and future generations. I care about the county's health, safety and welfare. I care about you, the residents of this great county. I take this responsibility seriously, and I ask for your vote.