Eight candidates apply for Eagle County’s open commissioner vacancy
New commissioner will be appointed following Feb. 5 candidate forum
EAGLE — Eight candidates have submitted applications for the District 1 Eagle County Commissioner vacancy.
The deadline for application was Wednesday, Jan. 23. Current commissioner Jill Ryan announced her resignation, effective Jan. 27, after she was tapped by newly elected Gov. Jared Polis to serve as executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The Eagle County Democrats Vacancy Committee — which includes the party leaders, elected officials and precinct officials — will vote next week to choose Ryan’s successor. The committee numbers roughly 50 people and will make the decision Tuesday, Feb. 5, following a candidate forum planned at the Edwards Colorado Mountain College center. The appointed commissioner will serve until the 2020 election.
The eight applicants are:
Albert Ewing: Ewing is a long-time resident of Eagle-Vail. He is the president of Ewing Engineering. Ewing has worked on a variety of construction projects around the county.
Megan Gilman: Since 2011, Gilman has been a member of the Holy Cross Energy Board of Directors. For the past seven years, she has also served as the Holy Cross Energy representative for the Colorado Rural Electric Association Board of Directors.
Dylan Heaney: An area manager for Beaver Creek Resort, Heaney has also worked various roles for Vail Resorts retail operations since 2007. He is a Vail Mountain Rescue volunteer and a member of the Vail Resorts Epic Promise Committee.
Elyse Howard: Since 2005, Howard has been the director of development for Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley. She formerly worked for the Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism Bureau and for the 2002 Colorado Democratic Coordinated Campaign.
Kim Langmaid: Currently a member of the Vail Town Council, Langmaid is the founder of Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon. Since the center’s inception in 1997, she has worked various management positions and she is currently the vice president and director of sustainability programs for Walking Mountains.
Meighen Lovelace: As the operator of Mountain Harvest Consulting, Lovelace has worked with Live Well Colorado, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, National Farmers Union and the Colorado Health Foundation on numerous state and federal policy initiatives.
Claire Noble: Currently serving as the program manager for the Vail Symposium, Noble is also a co-host of Good Morning Vail on TV8 and a contributing writer for the Vail Daily. She is a former U.S. Air Force officer who has worked as a trainer, designer and instructor.
Matt Scherr: Currently serving as mayor for the town of Minturn. Since 2012, Scherr has operated Leff Field Solutions, a small organization consulting firm. From 2004 to 2012 he was the executive director of the Eagle ValleAlliancese for Sustainability.
Two forums have been scheduled for the candidates to present their qualifications to the vacancy committee members. While the public can attend the forums, there will be no public comment at the sessions.
The first forum is planned Wednesday, Jan 30 at the Eagle County offices in El Jebel. The session will begin at 5:30 p.m.
The second forum will precede the Tuesday, Feb. 5, appointment vote. The forum will be held at the Colorado Mountain College Edwards Center and will begin at 5:30 p.m.
At the conclusion of the Edwards candidate forum, nominations and nomination acceptance speeches will be given, after which the vacancy committee members will vote to appoint the new Eagle County Commissioner.
After the nomination process is done, vacancy committee members will vote by paper ballot in an “exhaustive voting process.” That means that at the end of each round of voting, if there is no candidate with a simple majority, the candidate with the lowest vote total will be removed from the ballot for the next round. The voting process will continue until there are only two candidates. The winner will be the candidate who collects a simple majority of votes on the final ballot.
The Eagle County Dems have established a list of procedures for the vacancy committee deliberations. The procedures, frequently asked questions and additional information can be viewed at the party’s website, http://www.eagledems.org.
Company officials say every aspect of Vail management is now focused on attaining the company’s goal of achieving a zero net operating footprint by 2030. Vail Resorts calls the plan their “Commitment to Zero,” and defines it a zero net carbon emissions by 2030, zero waste to landfills, and zero operating impact on forests and natural habitat.