Eagle County commissioners optimistic about new-look board | VailDaily.com

Eagle County commissioners optimistic about new-look board

Chris Outcalt
Eagle County, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyFormer Eagle mayor Jon Stavney took his seat as an Eagle County commissioner Tuesday.

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” The first thing Jon Stavney plans to do as a county commissioner is listen.

Stavney was sworn in Tuesday afternoon as the next member of the Eagle County Board of County Commissioners ” replacing Arn Menconi, who was term-limited after serving on the board for eight years. Stavney plans to spend time during his first few weeks on the job learning as much he can.

“I want to spend some time getting to know the departments,” Stavney said. “I really think by listening, not talking, I’ll be better prepared.”

Stavney edged Republican Debbie Buckley in November by almost 1,000 votes.

“I’m here for everyone in Eagle County, whether you voted for me or not,” Stavney said. “It’s humbling to know that 20,000 people voted and almost 10,000 of them didn’t vote for you.”

Commissioners Sara Fisher and Peter Runyon ” who was sworn in for a second four-year term Tuesday ” both said they were excited about the new-look board and the direction the county is heading.

“I have nothing but optimism for the future of Eagle County,” Runyon said. “We will disagree from time to time but we’ll never question the motives of each other.”

Having a new board member is a chance to assess how things are done, said Fisher, who was named chairwoman of the board.

“It’s always an opportunity to reflect on how one can make improvements,” she said. “I’m thrilled about the days before us.”

Hiring a new county manager and human resources director, getting economic stimulus money for county projects, and making sure the airport runway maintenance project and construction of the justice center expansion go smoothly were all items Stavney said he planned to keep his eye on.

“If any money is deemed appropriate I want to make sure we get it,” Stavney said of President-elect Obama’s plan to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on national infrastructure projects. “We don’t want to be left out.”

The county needs to be fiscally responsible with what’s in place, Stavney said. He wants to get the most out of the consultant hired to search for a new manager.

“I intend to make it money well spent,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity to gear ourselves personnel-wise for the new economy.”

It takes time for a board to define itself, Runyon said. But he thinks Stavney will be up to speed quickly and the board will be able to build on what its worked on the last four years.

“The new board has a better framework to work with and a better opportunity to be successful because of it,” Runyon said.

Staff Writer Chris Outcalt can be reached at 970-748-2931 or coutcalt@vaildaily.com.

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