Eagle County commissioner candidate Jacqueline Cartier’s vision of engagement, empowerment and economic development
Editor’s note: To read a profile of Eagle County commissioner challenger Jeanne McQueeney, pick up a copy of the Monday, Oct. 8, edition of the Vail Daily or visit http://www.vaildaily.com.
EAGLE — A trio of E-words — engagement, empowerment and economic development — are themes for Republican Jacqueline Cartier’s campaign for Eagle County commissioner.
“I am looking at an environment, and it starts in Washington, where it has gotten so hostile that people say they don’t want to vote because no one listens anyway,” Cartier said.
Cartier pledges that she will listen.
“Elected officials should represent all the people, not just their party, and everyone’s voice deserves to be heard,” Cartier said.
As a county commissioner, Cartier said she would open a direct dialogue with residents. Specifically, she envisions visiting different community groups and regularly attending various town council meetings. For critical or controversial issues, she wants the county to reach out to the citizens affected “for unexamined solutions or to explain the reasoning being upcoming decisions.”
Cartier noted currently the board of county commissioners is all Democrats. She said if voters elect her as commissioner, they will be broadening the group’s perspective and engaging a different segment of the community.
“I actually get along quite well with the commissioners,” she said. “But if all three commissioners are from the same party and think the same way, you lose the ability to come up with innovative solutions. To sit with people with whom you disagree is a blessing.”
Cartier’s platform also details her belief there are under-represented communities in Eagle County that deserves attention. She proposes creation of a Hispanic leadership program, a millennial task force, a ranchers consortium and a second homeowner’s forum.
Cartier said the goals for the Hispanic leadership program include strengthening the community and working to make sure public health services meet the needs of lower income residents. She also promotes providing information and contacts so extended visitors can become legal residents.
Cartier noted it is very difficult for recent graduates and young professionals to carve out livelihoods in Eagle County. “Our kids go off to college and they may want to come back, but they can’t,” Cartier said. Through the efforts of a millennial task force, the county could create “retention strategies via economic development, viable housing options and affordable child care availability.”
“Many of our ranch families have been here for generations,” Cartier continued. However, she noted the issues those families face have made it difficult to continue their ranching heritage. Through a consortium, Cartier said the county could get a better handle on the issues today’s ranchers face and find ways to address their concerns.
Finally, Cartier wants to reach out to the second homeowners in the county. “As residents of Eagle County for up to five-plus months a year and oftentimes for decades, who pay property taxes equal to other resident, second homeowners have unique concerns and a voice that should be included,” Cartier said. “There something about this community that they love, and they are not going to destroy the community.”
Cartier envisions expanded economic opportunities in Eagle County and she believes her professional background can help make that happen.
Since 1987 she has been the chief executive officer for Winning Images, a consulting firm that offers person image, legislative affairs, communications strategies, media relations, leadership training and other coaching services. She has authored children’s books and established and served as president for the Gifted Research and Education Foundation, a group involved with curriculum development, college advising and academic crisis management. She was an editorial contributor for The Hill in Washington D.C. and raised funds for the Republican Senatorial Committee. She has lived in the Roaring Fork Valley since 1997.
“The economy in Eagle County is a tourism economy, but what else can we attract?” Cartier said. “How, in our strong community, can we attract more of the middle class?”
Cartier believes part of the solution is to connect people who are already part of the county’s population. She envisions hooking up young entrepreneurs with successful local retirees.
“I am looking at merging talents,” she said. “I want to take the knowledge and passion that is already here and teaming it together.”
Cartier also envisions development of a “world-class conference facility” that could attract global clientele. She believes Vail could be established as a global wellness destination. With her background in education, she also cites the need for innovative programs for residents from preschool to adulthood.
Cartier said all of these efforts are part of a bold leadership style.
“First you have to know what your goal is and then everything else is details,” Cartier said. “We need to be more innovative.”
To learn more about Jacqueline Cartier’s platform and background visit her campaign website at http://cartierforcommissioner.com