by Dale Nelson
Voters! Tired of business as usual Candidates? Tired of the usual partisan (R vs. D) politics? Well…Independent County Commissioner Candidate Dale Nelson would like to talk to you. ECT made our first contact with Dale last week via EMail (to prevent any mis-quotes) and have this first ECT report to share with you about Eagle County Commissioner Candidate Dale Nelson.
ECT Asks: – Given the Political History of Independent County Commissioner candidates…why do you think you can beat history? For the last 10+ years no independent Commissioner candidate has ever won an election. Buz Reynolds, (Kathy Marshall – ECT thinks that was her name now works for ERFPD) and Roger Brown all failed. What makes you think you can win as an Independent?
Dale Nelson: I am completely aware that this campaign will be a lot of work as an independent. However, I think the electorate is ready for an independent candidate. I do want to be clear, I am not in this race to be a spoiler. I’m in it to win it.
I believe that the past independent candidates tried to get on the ballot through the caucus system of the Republican or Democratic parties and when they were unable to get in the primary they decided to become independent candidates.
I have been an registered unaffiliated voter since the spring of 2001. I didn’t think it would be appropriate the run as anything other then an Independent.
I don’t believe that Eagle County Voters want the status quo. Incumbents are hard to beat. This year with District 1 having an open seat and with the voters being disenchanted with the two party system I believe an Independent has a very good chance of winning the election. It won’t be easy but anything of value is worth working for.
ECT Asks: When elected, will you agree to put the question of the REPEAL of Eagle County’s Open Space Tax on the County’s Ballot? OBTW – All GOP candidates have agreed to do that, incumbent democrats, adamantly opposed to giving voters the opportunity.
Dale Nelson: When I was collecting signatures I thought I would hear this question often. I collected more than 530 signatures, of those only one person asked me this question. The poll you have with this question says that 78% agree that it should be repealed. Some how I missed the demographic of your site when gathering signatures.
I am very concerned with how the open space program has been managed. I oppose the use of open space tax dollars being spent for land and not having public access to it.
I enjoy kayaking and rafting and thought the purchase of the new put ins & take outs from State Bridge to Dotsero was a good use of funds, until I discovered that the County Commissioners paid more for each parcel than the appraised value of the parcel. The total of the overpayment is in excess of $400,000. That makes me angry. They did this even though the open space committee recommended against it. I would like to hear the Commissioners reasoning for doing this.
The tax sunsets in 2026 at that time we have the chance to either bring it back for a vote or let it expire. The voters of Eagle County passed the tax. I know it only won by 52 votes, but it concerns me that we want to take away the vote of the majority because we disagree with the outcome.
Too often the commissioners have brought a tax question to the voters and were turned down and funded the project anyway. Taking away the vote of the majority. Does early childhood development or a vacant jail ring any bells? Bringing this up for repeal is the same thing in reverse.
I think we should concentrate on electing commissioners who will manage the open space project better, and let the tax expire. I can’t say no I wouldn’t put it up for repeal but I would say probably not.
It is too bad the home rule charter failed, then we would have a mechanism to address this, but that is another discussion.
ECT Asks: When elected, what would be your first priority as County Commissioner? Local Economy? Job Creation? Spend Millions more on County Open Space?
Dale Nelson: We have spent too much time and energy on open space in the last 4 years.
Jobs are created by entrepreneurs. County Commissioners should concentrate on creating a friendly environment for the entrepreneur while protecting the safety of the community.
I believe the most important task for the County Commissioners is to find a way to broaden our economic base. We are and for the foreseeable future will have an economy based on tourism and the services that accompany it. First we need to market that part of our economy better. Then we need to work on the wellness portion of our economy and find a way to get that to grow. The Commissioners then need to search for small companies who would be a good fit to the economies we have and get them to locate here.
While I was collecting signatures many voters were willing to talk about their ideas and hopes for the county. I hope to be able to talk to many of you before November 6th and hear your ideas, concerns and hopes. I don’t expect we will agree on everything. I do expect that we will have more in common then more that separates us. I believe we are all concerned that our county moves forward but we may have different ways to get there. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.