Stone ready to roll for second term
Eagle County commissioner Tom Stone1s official campaign truck is rebuilt, tuned up and ready to roll<and so is Stone.Standing beside his signature yellow 1954 Dodge military truck Wednesday, Stone ended weeks of speculation by announcing his candidacy for another run as Eagle County commissioner.Rumors had swirled that he would run for a state office, or possibly nothing at all. Stone put those rumors to rest.3Only a commissioner knows how to be a commissioner. No other experience can prepare you for this job, said Stone. 3I feel that being a county commissioner is the highest political calling. No other position can accomplish so much so quickly and give people such direct access to their government.Stone said he thought long and hard about running, saying it1s not enough to want a job as a commissioner, or a congressman or a senator. Instead, he said the job should be about the things a candidate wants to accomplish. He handed out a sheet packed with highlights from his first term. For two of those four years, he chaired the Board of County Commissioners.3I1m proud to have worked with three different sets of county commissioners, said Stone. 3We1ve worked together for the overall good of the people of Eagle County.Stone said affordable housing and affordable recreation are large on the county1s horizon. He said construction will begin this summer on both recreation fields and the county1s affordable for-sale housing project at the Berry Creek 5th in Edwards.He also said construction will begin this summer on the county1s proposed assisted-living facility in Eagle.Stone said the county1s Mount Sopris Tree Farm project in the Roaring Fork Valley went through many of the same ups and downs that the Berry Creek 5th project is going through now. The fervor in that part of the county died down and everyone in the Roaring Fork Valley is in the process of living happily ever after. He said after a vocal minority settled down, he1s seeing the same thing with the Berry Creek 5th.3Once the recreation fields are in place, people will have a chance to enjoy them for years to come, said Stone. 3The educational component is going to be an important part of Eagle County1s economic future.Stone faces a potential primary challenge from Republican Wizard Nemerson, who declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination on Monday.First-term highlightsStone listed some of his first term highlights as:? Seniors<Negotiated purchase of Golden Eagle Senior Housing in Eagle, ensuring it stays senior center.? Youth<Developed Eagle County Youth Conservation Corps.? Women<Located Eagle County home for battered women1s shelter. Teamed with Vail to provide affordable day care.? Hispanic Community<Partnered with La Mesa and Catholic Charities to offer advocacy and cultural integration programs.? Recreation<Began planning and implementation of facilities Berry Creek 5th in Edwards, Tree Farm in El Jebel and Eagle County Fairgrounds.? Environment/Open Space<Developed legislation to save 1,280 acres of State Land Board land for conservation easements. Appropriated $1.5 million for East/West Brush Creek State Park.? Affordable Housing<Negotiated purchase of Riverview Apartments, a HUD project in Eagle-Vail. Supported Mountain Glen affordable rental housing in Gypsum. Built public/private partnership for 282 affordable for-sale homes in Edwards.? Commerce/local economy<Airport projects include negotiating business buyout from Jet Center, leases for four major airlines, a $10.5 million passenger terminal expansion and a $4.5 million federal appropriation for radar; completion of grandstands at Eagle County fairgrounds; development of an interactive CD ROM promoting Eagle County.? County finances<Reduction of $1 million in county budget from 2000 to 2001. Reduced county property tax rate two out of three years.