Stowe: Strong leadership helps forge strong county |

Stowe: Strong leadership helps forge strong county

Walt Stowe

Garfield County is alive and well, although not without its challenges. The slower economy will result in a projected 4.5 percent decrease in sales tax revenue for 2002. While this amount is not insignificant it will not compromise our overall future plans for Garfield County. Thanks to responsible and prudent planning by the county administration, Garfield County remains fiscally strong.

We have concentrated our efforts in the last two years on facility and infrastructure improvement, including the construction of a new jail, a new administration and social service office, a new indoor arena/events center at the fairgrounds, and a new maintenance operations center for the Road and Bridge Department in Rifle.

This expansion and consolidation of services was necessary to carry us into the 21st century. We will continue with a $16 million upgrade to the Garfield County Airport over the next three years with only a 5 percent matching cost to Garfield County. We will also look at the needs for a new Social Services Building in Rifle.

Our overall philosophy of teamwork, planning, and implementation has led to better community service and better employee performance. We have a dedicated administrative staff and the best employees in the state. We have been able to improve benefits and increase wages of our employees to make those positions more appealing. The result is happier employees and better retention, resulting in more overall knowledge of operations which in turn results in better customer service to you the citizen.

We will continue to work with all municipalities to find projects that are mutually beneficial, whether they be infrastructure improvements or access to the county jail for municipal prisoners. With the cooperation of the sheriff the jail can become a valuable asset and resource for all of Garfield County inasmuch as a jail can be considered a resource.

We need to forge new partnerships not only with other government entities but with private groups that are working to improve the amenities of Garfield County. With our current economic constraints and the financial demands on the county we cannot necessarily provide funding, but we can provide “in kind” contributions as well as utilization of the county’s resources when applicable.

As Garfield County grows we must be careful to direct that growth and assure that the growth happens in a manner that will preserve agricultural opportunities whenever possible and provide public access to public lands as well as the rivers and streams. New developments will need to continue to be creative in addressing the needs of the citizenry if they are to prove themselves viable.

We have seen economic boom and bust throughout the years but Garfield County remains strong. I have been proud to serve as your county commissioner for the last four years. I have gained valuable experience and increased my knowledge of Garfield County over those years. I would like to continue to put that experience and knowledge to work for you, the citizens of Garfield County, over the next four years. I am asking for your support on Nov 5. Thank you, Garfield County, for this opportunity to serve you.

Incumbent Walt Stowe is the Republican candidate for Garfield County commissioner.

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