Winners pledge smart spending in Eagle County |

Winners pledge smart spending in Eagle County

Melanie Wong
Eagle County, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” With election night behind them, both newly elected Eagle County commissioners said their top priority would be tackling the county’s budget and financial concerns.

The county has been working to cut its budget in light of projections that sales taxes and property taxes will be flat and that building-permit fees and grants will be down next year.

Peter Runyon, serving his second term and Jon Stavney, serving his first term will join Democrat Sara Fisher, who has two more years in office, on the board.

Stavney, a Democrat, said that he plans to learn the basics of being a commissioner, especially in handling the county budget, in the next few months,

He has said that he doesn’t necessarily support slashing the budget until he thoroughly understands it. He plans to leave his job as a project manager at Beck Building Company in order to serve as commissioner full-time, he said.

Runyon, a Democrat, said there will be important decisions to be made in uncertain economic times.

If sales taxes are down next year, some services ” such as the county bus system ” which are almost completely funded by sales tax revenue, could suffer. The county will have to make up the difference or make cuts in services, he said.

“We just don’t know yet where (the economy) is going,” he said. “For the next couple months it’s going to be all about the budget and being fiscally conservative.”

Stavney agreed, saying that his experience managing tighter budgets both in building projects and at the town of Eagle will be useful.

“These are going to be some lean years for households as well as businesses around here, and we’ll take that seriously at the county,” he said. “We want to make sure dollars are being taken care of.”

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