County Commissioner candidate – Jill Ryan

by  Jill Ryan

Jill Ryan is running for Eagle County Commissioner in District 1.  Her opponent(s) in this November Election are Jeff Layman (R) and Dale Nelson (Independent).  Jill is the past Director of the Eagle County Public Health Agency, and is a current Planning Commissioner for the county.  Jill owns and operates a public health consulting firm in Edwards.  Jill enjoys outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking, triathlons and listening to live music.  Jill is married to Ty Ryan and has a four month old named Daxton.

Phone: (970) 462-7444
(Campaign contributions accepted on the website and by US mail at: PO Box 1102, Edwards CO 81632. Make checks payable to “Committee to Elect Jill Ryan”)

Jill comments…

On the campaign trail, I have been asking residents about the Open Space tax issue. When people learn that the funds are being used to acquire new and better public access to rivers and trails, most have given me a positive response. In fact, all current Open Flight Days PhotoSpace projects include substantial public access components that will benefit boaters, anglers, hikers, hunters, mountain bikers, equestrians and others.

This provides a key economic development component. For example, the program has opened three boat launch sites on the Colorado River. Upper State Bridge handles more than 65,000 river days per year and the new parcels down stream will take the pressure off this one area and provide more capacity for visitors.

It is important to me that the community believes there is a public benefit, and also that the program is able to leverage funding and other resources to stretch our tax dollars. The county is a recent recipient of a $4.6 million Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO)Campaign Pic grant, funded with lottery dollars. This money will supplement Eagle County Open Space funds, which will only need to pay for 50 percent of the purchase price for two parcels on the Colorado River. Additionally, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will maintain all of the new river access points, so the county won’t have to.

In the Roaring Fork Valley, the Saltonstall parcel, which provides walking access to a highly used trail system on BLM land, has five funding partners. So, Eagle County is only paying 40% of the purchase price and Pitkin County will maintain the property.

Also, the new Homestead L parcel, with three miles of new trail, prompted the donation of conservation easements by two private homeowner’s associations.

In summary, I personally think the program is a good deal:

· It is providing more recreational access for residents and visitors

Dax Vote for My Mom· It has great ability to leverage other funds and resources

· It creates opportunities for economic development

· It has a low administrative overhead (1.6 staff people)

Now, back to the question at hand. The greatest role a public official can play is representing the will of the people. With regard to the Open Space tax, one has to take into account the result of the vote in 2002, and be careful not to set the precedent of facilitating a re-vote every time a particular group doesn’t like an outcome. As with any issue, if residents in general don’t think the public benefit is worth the tax, I would seriously consider not spending the money. However, I do not see evidence of this with the Open Space Program, and therefore, I am not in favor of placing the issue on the ballot at this time.

ECT Comment:  Jill’s opponent – Jeff Layman has publically committed to put the question of the REPEAL of Eagle County’s Open Space Tax – back on your Ballot.

5 responses

    • 9:58PM – Sunday evening. Good catch Jill. Now you know why the ECT’s (next issue) goes to the ECT’s edit team on Sunday nite – before the ECT’s Blast Email, Monday Morning.
      ECT updated your story with the factual information and has included a web link to Dale’s earlier campaign story in the ECT.

  1. It would be useful to at least ask how she as a commissioner would impact / vote on policies that would directly impact her husband (who according to her website works for the County)? This seems like useful information to a reader as some could consider it a significant conflict of interest.

    • It’s worse than you think. Consider Stavney (D) trying to get himself re-elected as County Commissioner. He makes his living off the fact that folks pay Taxes to Eagle County. His wife is a public school teacher in Eagle County…also sustained by folks who pay Property Taxes. Do you think these folks would hesitate to raise taxes given the chance? Stavney use to work for Andy Beck…a local construction/development company.
      How many construction Jobs has Stavney “created or saved” in Eagle County in the last 4 years?

      Oh yeah – he voted to spend millions more on Open Space…

  2. Backgrounder only, Ty Ryan, 2008—> “I like the ideas of having some open lands surrounding Eagle”

    Vail Daily- March 16, 2008 “Newcomers involved in Eagle’s future- Residents old and new sharing their ideas about how town should handle growth”

    Ty Ryan Ty Ryan has a problem with how car-reliant Eagle has become. He hopes that can change. “Everybody lives south of Highway 6, and all the services are north of Highway 6,” he explains.

    Ryan recently purchased a home in Eagle. He’s lived in the community for about a year, and is employed by Eagle County’s engineering department. He is single. Ryan attended the recent community plan meeting to find out what direction the process is headed. He wasn’t shocked by any of the information presented, but he was intrigued. The open house led him to take a closer look at the community plan information presented on the town’s Web site.

    Ryan likes the idea of setting growth boundaries for the town. “I like the ideas of having some open lands surrounding Eagle.” He also advocates some form of public transportation. “A bus system is something I would personally use.” His initial reason for moving to Eagle was simple — he wanted to live close to his work. “Now that I do live here, I want to at least have a little say about the town. And if there is something that concerns me, I do get my say.”

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