Highlights from County Commissioner debate
Six questions were asked at the fifth and final County Commissioner debate on Thursday, June 9 at Middle Park High School. Part of an answer from each candidate for a different question has been highlighted.
What impact has VRBO, Airbnb, and other types of private nightly rentals had on the lodging tax
Miller: As a Fraser town trustee, I am right in the middle of trying to improve the employee housing situation. People can make a lot more money off their house as a nightly rental then as a full time rental. That’s a side effect of this that has a tremendous impact on the community …we’ve got to equalize the playing field using lodging tax and sales tax because it comes from the tourists and the tourists create a tremendous impact on the economy.
What have you learned from the theft of controlled substances from the EMS department? What has been done or can be done to prevent this in the future?
Cimino: EMS only does inventory every three months, I would try to talk to EMS to see if they could go to monthly inventory. It is more appropriate. I would use more regular checks and balances and more regular controls.
Cimino referenced his time in the military, and how regular checks and balances becomes part of the norm to keep everyone equal and following the rules.
What is your take on the County Road 804 problems?
McConnell: “It’s one of the most heavily traveled roads in the county and also one of the most dangerous for pedestrians. The pedestrian walkway was abandoned after it was decided there wasn’t enough money. Isn’t the most important job of commissioners protecting the safety and welfare of guests? …Did we use the best contractor with the best price? Do we have the right experts working for us?
When and what type of communications or discussion is appropriate between any two commissioners outside of a scheduled public board meeting?
Weydert: None. Do I think it’s being followed? No. An example is the county’s investment policies that were being discussed between the county attorney and two of the commissioners. If elected, beginning with the first meeting, I will make sure all meetings are open to the public with full transparency.
What have you learned from the theft in the building department? Why did the routine auditors assessment not identify this event? How can it be prevented from happening again?
Tollett: Previously the cash handling procedures were not adequate …The county has recovered all the money. There were three recommendations that have all been implemented: Centralize the money collection into the administration building, develop county wide cash management policies and procedures, and implement the centralized cash receivable application … They are all working correctly.
What is your perspective of the three-minute time limit for a citizen to address the board? Can any citizen gain a spot on a board meeting? Are there any topics where a person would be denied an agenda listing?
Linke: The limit is reasonable for time management of the meeting. My phone and email are on all the time for contact from concerned citizens. It is out of respect for other citizens that might have something to say and out of respect for the other agenda items. There are reasons behind the limit and it is not to shut people out.
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The Grand Lake Fire Protection District has abandoned a voter-approved effort to run its own EMS transports as the department and county officials re-evaluate how that service might be provided.