Russell George deserves Ritter’s consideration |

Russell George deserves Ritter’s consideration

Is Russell George the right person for the state’s Department of Natural Resources top job under a new administration?That’s what Democrat Governor-elect Bill Ritter and his transition team must decide this week.With any new administration, decisions on a new cabinet are never easy.We believe that George, a Rifle Republican now serving as DNR director under Republican Gov. Bill Owens, has earned the right to be strongly considered to serve in the position under Ritter.With politics there will always be party-line considerations. But Ritter could make a strong bipartisan statement with this decision.Without knowing who the other candidates are who have applied for the position, it’s difficult to say Russ George is the best choice. However, we hope his credentials and experience would make him a finalist for the position.The Department of Natural Resources oversees agencies that deal with a variety of areas including oil and gas development, mining, wildlife, water and parks. All are issues that are currently impacting this area.George wants to keep the executive director position, but he’s also applied for the job of interbasin compact director. Interbasin compacts are the agreements between the states from Colorado to California for allocation of water in the Colorado River.As a Rifle native, George has knowledge in both natural resources and water that is invaluable.Issues facing those areas will have a tremendous impact on the Western Slope in the years to come. It would be nice for Ritter to have someone from the Western Slope holding one of those positions, but George’s credentials, not his West Slope heritage, make him a strong candidate.Through the years, George has shown a non-agenda-based philosophy. His desire to make a difference is what has long fueled his desire to be a public servant and hold positions like the one he currently holds.Ritter will become the new governor of Colorado on Jan. 9. Hopefully, Russell George will be given serious consideration to join Ritter’s team as a cabinet member.

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