Eagle County Commissioner candidates answer basic questions
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – A pair of Gypsum residents is running for Eagle County Commissioner this year – incumbent Sara Fisher and challenger Claudia Alexander.
The candidates will be profiled in October, but until then, they’ve been asked to send e-mail replies to questions. Here’s the first in that series.
Why do you want this job?
Claudia Alexander: I believe in our county and made the decision to run for this office which will allow me to serve the people of Eagle County. As a longtime business manager hired to turn around failing operations, I recognized the signs of a broken operation when, as a county employee, I worked within a broken system. As commissioner, I can lead Eagle County government forward to turn our county around to:
• Value our employees, their ideas and their contribution to the citizens of Eagle County.
• Be responsive to our citizens and our employees.
• Value every dollar received and manage those dollars with strong fiscal controls.
• Take pride in our assets and resources.
• Not allow our assets to fall into disrepair or become a danger to the health of its employees or citizens.
• Value the safety of the people we serve without reservation.
• Bring private sector jobs to the county.
• Restore the construction industry by returning the industry to our private developers, contractors, excavators and trades.
• I want this job to serve the citizens of Eagle County.
Why are you the best person for the job?
Claudia Alexander: I am the best person for Eagle County Commissioner, District 3, because I have the vision, the abilities, the business experience and the heart to represent the citizens of Eagle County.
The office of Eagle County Commissioner is one of responsibility and service. Because I worked in the private sector prior to my employment with the county, I gained management skills which, as a county employee, gave me a unique perspective on the operations within our county
I believe I am the best candidate for county commissioner because I know that in order to get anything accomplished at Eagle County, you need to have a seat at the table of governance. I have created and successfully implemented multi-million dollar budgets in good times and bad. I have developed management plans and teams that work cooperatively to achieve a common purpose: to serve our customers.
I have managed facilities and staff under three different states’ statutes and managed three of Eagle County’s four low-income rental properties under three different federal regulations.
Why do you want this job and why are you the best person for it?
Sara Fisher: Author Malcom Gladwell (“The Tipping Point,” “Blink”) wrote a book in 2008 called “Outliers.” Gladwell talked about the “10,000 hour rule.” The premise is simple – people don’t master a skill until they’ve spent 10,000 hours doing it. From musicians (The Beatles) to computer coders (Bill Gates), Gladwell makes a convincing case for the investment of time that produces knowledge, talent and wisdom.
Adding it up, 10,000 hours equates to nearly five years of work. I’ve been your county commissioner for four years and served as your clerk and recorder for 10. That’s a lot of experience learning how county government works, the right people to call and the ways to remove roadblocks and get things done. Remember how adrift and unsettled you were when starting a new job? Well, I can tell you that even my 10 years of county clerk experience didn’t fully prepare me for the learning curve. As much of an insider you might feel you are, after you’re sworn in, you find yourself on an intensely steep climb.
Just like any job, there are times of tedium and repetition. Unlike lots of other jobs, you can be ambushed in the grocery aisle with withering criticism (valid or not) on how you’re doing. This is a job you think about every day and it doesn’t get turned off at night or on the weekends, either.
But for all the negatives, there’s something I find deeply and personally rewarding – the ability to actually help people. The core of a commissioner’s job isn’t voting on resolutions and hearing files, but on making a call that gets a traffic improvement under way, bringing a couple of local governments together to hammer out cost-sharing agreements or the push it takes to make sure that we are living within our means.
For the 32 years I’ve lived in Eagle County, I can’t think of a job better suited for me than being a county commissioner. My career started in customer service, and serving the public in county government for 14 years has taught me that there is no greater satisfaction and no greater reward than helping individuals and communities thrive.