Our View: Kathy Chandler-Henry, Matt Scherr for county seats
In this divisive election season, character can still cross partisan lines.
There are ranches in remote parts of Eagle County where Trump-Pence signs are proudly displayed next to signs for Eagle County Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry. That should tell you a lot about the values of Chandler-Henry, who grew up here, graduated high school here, and said her “greatest honor” has been to serve the county she’s called home for most of her life.
Local voters have four strong choices for the two Eagle County Commissioner seats on the ballot this year, but we’re urging voters to stick with Chandler-Henry and the other incumbent, Matt Scherr. That endorsement has nothing to do with party affiliation and everything to do with the calm, decisive leadership both have displayed as COVID-19 wreaked havoc on our daily lives and rattled the local economy. Their engagement and responsiveness helped turn the tide from the county leading the state in the number of COVID-19 cases per capita in March to being the first to be given an exemption from the governor, in April, from strict stay-at-home orders.
Both also responded to a growing economic crisis by earmarking $1.5 million for a COVID-19 emergency fund and having the county partner with local organizations to provide help. The county’s efforts during the Grizzly Creek Fire to keep residents informed and to assist the federal and state agencies tasked with the response was also impressive.
This isn’t to say that Thomas Crisofulli and Jennifer Woolley wouldn’t make for great commissioners. In our conversations with both, we found them to be good, honest people who are passionate about giving back to this community and whose professional experiences have prepared them well for this role.
We know that Crisofulli, who operates his own wellness and chiropractic practice, is a strong advocate for working to lower health care costs and expanding behavioral resources in the county. And we like Woolley’s business acumen and her desire to help Eagle County diversify economically.
If not elected, we hope to see each continue to run for local seats, whether that’s serving on a metro district board or a planning commission or running for the county’s top jobs again.
They’re great candidates. We just don’t see a reason to change course, given the track record of Chandler-Henry and Scherr.
Their engagement with the community, and their knowledge of the issues that matter most to residents — be it affordable housing, land use and development, health care, transportation, climate action, wildlife concerns, and economic diversity — is unmatched.
Chandler-Henry has been a staunch advocate for our local rivers and streams, serving on the Colorado River Water Conservation District Board and as the chair of the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments Water Quality/Quantity Committee.
And Scherr and she have both worked to streamline and simplify the county’s land-use regulations to ensure a fair and open process that also protects local values.
Scherr is adamant that Eagle County needs to get out of a growth-centric model for land use that has created monetary value for developers and landowners but has also created an affordable housing gap, lack of child care options, and expensive health care. And he also stresses that good environmental practices are good for business.
Both commissioners are well-informed, long-term thinkers who have studied these issues and who are constantly listening to a wide swath of voices to come up with policy that works.
Eagle County is lucky to have such committed, responsive leadership at such a challenging time. We encourage voters to support Kathy Chandler-Henry and Matt Scherr in this election.
The Vail Daily Editorial Board is Publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Nate Peterson, Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart, Digital Engagement Editor Sean Naylor, Business Editor Scott Miller, Eagle Valley Enterprise Editor Pam Boyd and Advertising Director Holli Snyder.
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