Board will discuss government reform |

Board will discuss government reform

Tamara Miller

EAGLE COUNTY – The county didn’t need more commissioners 20 years ago, said Dick Gustafson, and the county doesn’t need more now.Nevertheless, the longtime Vail resident and former county commissioner said he isn’t surprised people are talking about expanding the board again. “It has progressively come up every so many years and it usually comes up from people who have no history, who don’t realize the problems that county home rule causes,” Gustafson said. That’s one man’s opinion. County leaders are hoping to get more Wednesday, when they hold a public meeting to discuss the idea of expanding the board from three commissioners to five. Doing so would require Eagle County to convert to a home-rule county. Much of Wednesday night’s discussion will focus on how the county could do that. According to state law, Eagle County voters would have approve forming a commission to write the county’s new government document, or charter. The charter details how county positions like sheriff and clerk are selected, as well as how county commissioners are elected. Commissioners could be elected either at-large – as they are now -or by district. Once the charter is written, voters will have to approve it to put it into effect, according to County Commissioners Inc, a statewide association for county commissioners.Scheduled to attend the meeting are representatives from Weld and Pitkin counties, which converted to home rule in the 1970s. Also present will be representatives from counties that considered the switch but ultimately did not.Talk of expanding the board, and converting to home rule, sprung up during last November’s election campaign. County Commissioner Peter Runyon campaigned on the idea. Independent candidate Buz Reynolds, who challenged County Commissioner Arn Menconi for his seat, also called expansion of the board a central part of his campaign platform. Runyon wants to expand the board to five members and have three of the members be elected by voters in specific districts.Commissioners Runyon and Menconi so far have expressed support for the idea. Commissioner Tom Stone has not. He has said that commissioners should continue to be elected by the county as a whole.Staff Writer Tamara Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607, or’s happening? The County Commissioners have scheduled a public meeting to discuss changing Eagle County into a home-rule county and expanding the Board of County Commissioners from three to five.When: 6 p.m., WednesdayWhere: Eagle County Building, 500 Broadway in Eagle=====================================================Vail, Colorado

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