McQueeney: County’s success will come through innovation, collaboration (column) | VailDaily.com

McQueeney: County’s success will come through innovation, collaboration (column)

Jeanne McQueeney
Valley Voices

Editor's note: Per the Vail Daily's election guidelines, each candidate running to represent constituents in the newspaper's distribution area has been given the option to submit one column to present his or her election platform.

My goal in running to be your Eagle County commissioner is to make Eagle County a place where working families succeed, where our children thrive, our young adults find opportunity and our senior citizens age as vital members of the community. This was my campaign promise in 2014 and continues to be my promise to Eagle County voters in 2018.

Every day as your commissioner, I strive to create a better reality for our community. Eagle County's new mission and strategic plan are a reflection of these goals: creating a better Eagle County for all. In my next term, I will continue to roll up my sleeves and work hard to:

• Find ways to support working families: Eagle County is a beautiful place to raise a family, but the high cost of living is challenging for many. Working families are the lifeblood of our community. I will continue to work to assure that our working families have affordable access to health care, child care, transportation, housing and opportunity.

During my first term, more than 642 affordable housing units were approved for construction by the county. Public transportation services expanded in Minturn and Dotsero. And we improved access to mental health services through innovative funding approved by voters in 2017.

In 2018, we will be making investments in early childhood development programs because we know each dollar spent contributes $2.25 in economic development.

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• Cherish and protect our natural resources: The natural beauty of our county is an integral part of our lives and livelihood. This beauty is what brought many of us to Eagle County and keeps us here. I will continue to protect these resources and ensure that development is strategic, balanced and mindful of our magnificent landscapes.

During the last three years, 2,240 new acres of open space were protected bringing the total acres to just more than 13,000 since 2004. Eagle County has reduced emissions by more than 20 percent since 2012, saving more than $350,000 annually. I am committed to advancing Eagle County's Climate Action Collaborative.

Debates and dialog have identified important policy differences between myself and the other commissioner candidate.

• I am very supportive of the open space extension to allow us to plan for future acquisitions in order to protect the beauty that makes Eagle County so special. The other commissioner candidate is not.

• I support Colorado Mountain College, the Greater Eagle Fire Protection District and the Basalt Fire District in their effort to de-Gallagher so as not to lose revenue with the Gallagher property tax adjustment. The other commissioner candidate does not.

• I am supportive of government having a role in addressing climate change. Eagle County government is leading the way and pushing state and federal government to increase their efforts. The other commissioner candidate does not believe that government has a role in addressing climate change.

The mechanism to achieving success is through innovation and collaboration. Proactive planning for community success relies on healthy dialog and collaboration among residents, local governing agencies, businesses and nonprofits. Strengthening collaboration allows our community to reach our full potential.

I believe we can only address our challenges by working together. Effective communities engage all constituents: the outspoken, the quiet, the young, the aging, the economically secure and insecure. My goal is to listen to everyone, ask questions, get the facts and continue to make informed decisions.

I am asking for your vote this November. Thank you.

Jeanne McQueeney is a candidate for Eagle County commissioner. Learn more at https://jeannemcqueeney.org.