Grand County quandary: Chairs or benches? |

Grand County quandary: Chairs or benches?

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, Colorado

Tonya Bina / Sky-Hi Daily NewsThe Grand County commissioners are of two minds about whether to use fixed bench seating or chairs in their meeting room.

For several months now, county officials have been in a debate concerning the decor of the Grand County commissioner boardroom.

“Those chairs are freaking me out,” said Commissioner James Newberry, who has an adverse response to the triangular pattern of their seats and seatbacks.

Commissioners remain split on the issue of geometric textiles versus stained alder.

But a decision looms in the final touches of boardroom renovations.

Commissioner Nancy Stuart is steadfast in her belief that the cushioned chairs the county acquired for $40 apiece soften the room and offer comfortable places for the public to sit.

Also, the chairs can be stacked and moved, allowing a multi-purpose use of the boardroom, such as for the county holiday party and other community functions.

And in regard to the pattern on the chairs, don’t they look like red, green and brown trees in a Grand County forest?

To the contrary, Commissioners Gary Bumgarner and James Newberry believe restored wooden pews provide panache to the former Grand County courtroom-turned-boardroom on the third floor of the administration building.

“I like the traditional look,” Bumgarner said – although he admits he sees the wisdom in the multi-purpose-room chair argument.

Two pews were installed in the front row of the boardroom during the thick of the debate to provide decision makers some visual backing.

The wooden pews are not nearly as comfortable, attest several county staff members who consistently sit in the rows of chairs behind the pews during weekly board meetings.

For long meetings especially, Road and Bridge Superintendent Ken Haynes says he’d much rather sit in a cushioned chair.

“Maybe we’ll have shorter meeting if we have the benches,” countered Bumgarner.