Vail Daily letter: Why I’m running
Ryan Summerlin June 8, 2014
It is a major challenge to even think of filling very big footprints of Sara Fisher, who has held the position of commissioner from District 3 for seven years. Her accomplishments are an amazing legacy. However, having been in public service all of my life, this appears to be the right time, the right place and the right position for me to aspire to.
The right time because this is a crucial moment in government and politics when we need active, engaged public officials who are centrist moderates and who can work across the aisle, who can bring people together through compromise, negotiation and respect. I am such a person, with just those skills.
The right place because I have lived in Eagle County for 20 years (and 13 years prior to that as a part-time resident who came to ski like so many of you did) and I love Eagle County (especially on bluebird days like these!). I love the connected, supportive citizens who are always there for each other. I love the active, residents who thrive on outdoor activities and who want to enjoy and protect our very special and unique outdoor environments. I love the intellectual searching souls who keep our community college, our libraries, our schools and our many cultural activities alive and fulfilling. I love the “getting older” citizens who want to stay here, continue to be active and engaged. I love the younger generations in our schools striving to find themselves, working to find their way and who are dedicated to improving their lifestyles right here in Eagle County. And last, but not least, I love the many loyal and patriotic veterans of all ages who have served our country and our state and now call Eagle County home where they continue to give of themselves and to teach about the value of our great democracy and our liberties.
I have been honored to work and recreate with many of these people — people of many ages, people of many varied backgrounds. It is from all of them that I draw daily inspiration for reaching forward in harmony and success for our county.
And finally, the right position. I have served for 15 years on the Eagle County Planning Commission with nine or so of those years as chair. Over that time I have worked with the various planning commission members, the County Planning and Development Staff and the Board of County Commissioners through boom times and through economic quiet times here in the county. I have been an active participant in helping to write and develop, with community support, six major master plans including the Watershed Plan, the Open Space Plan, the Dotsero Master Plan, the Wolcott Master Plan and others. I know land planning from the commissioner point of view, from the public point of view and from the master plan point of view. Land planning is a major portion of the responsibility of a county commissioner and I know that subject.
The right position because I have served on many different boards and groups in the county with varied missions as well as being employed by a number of terrific companies over the years. From the Veterans of Foreign Wars scholarship program and school education programs to the Vilar Performing Arts Center Guild, from Habitat for Humanity to the Breast Cancer Awareness Group, from Freedom Park Memorial to Eagle Valley Senior Life Group/The Spot, from Hospice to Colorado Mountain College to Roundup River Ranch, and from the Salvation Army to The Eagle Valley Family Assistance Fund, I have worked with and learned from many different groups of county citizens. I count myself as incredibly fortunate to understand and stand behind their missions, their goals and their challenges.
And now seeking to be county commissioner is my next step. As a county commissioner I will be available and positioned to assist, guide and bring people together to achieve common goals.
My platform and list of issues is long as I have so many concerns and prioritizing them is difficult. However, here are my top three:
1. Bringing jobs to the county and helping the economy grow in sustainable ways.
2. Concerns for the very young (safety, health and education) and the older citizens (safety, heath and life with dignity).
3. Preservation of our resources (especially water) and sustainable energy practices.
I have only mentioned a few items and I would ask you to go to my Web page to read my complete list of issues and a brief summary of how I would like to see the county move ahead on each issue. I would also ask you to call me or email me about your concerns and your ideas. I need to know what your main concerns are and I am eager to listen to you — firstname.lastname@example.org.
I do not speak alone. I speak here with amazing support from my wonderful husband Bill, with support of the members of my hard working committee: Doris Dewton, Tom Healy, Kathy Heicher, Judd Haims, Karin Weber and Pete Thompson. I speak with support of all my dear friends and supporters. I speak representing your views and your voice. With all of your help and support I will be speaking here in November having won this race and ready to be your new commissioner for District 3 in January of 2015.
Blessings to you all with many thanks.