Second candidate enters race for county commissioner
Tekoa Shalom has filed paperwork to run as a Democrat in the District 3 county commissioner race.
Shalom originally moved to Grand County in 2015, when he ran the Granby Workforce Center. From Palisade, where the cost of living is cheaper, he ended up taking on another job in Grand to make ends meet.
“Unfortunately I was one of those people who fell victim to high cost of living, and coming from Mesa County it was very different,” he said. “I didn’t last very long up here.”
Describing himself as “a professional student at heart,” Shalom pursued more education with the hope of getting in a position to be able to move back up to Grand.
He did a one-year AmeriCorps Vista program in Summit County, living on a restricted income in the mountain community, before finding a position as a consumer protection advocate with Grand County Public Health.
Shalom moved to Grand Lake in September 2020, just weeks before evacuating due to the East Troublesome Fire. He spent a few weeks in Winter Park before finding his current home in Hot Sulphur Springs.
He said running for commissioner is an opportunity for him to bring positive influences to the community.
“I like the challenges that the position can bring,” Shalom said. “Being an accomplishment-driven individual, I like solving problems. What better situation than being a higher part of government within our county here to be able to address the needs of the community and additionally those needs that are within the county structure itself?”
Along with improving county government efficiency, housing and water would be Shalom’s main priorities as commissioner. He added that while many people want to see more construction of affordable housing, with his workforce center experience, Shalom believes better wages are a big part of the solution.
“We need to improve the economic development in the area so people can make more money and afford the housing that is available,” Shalom said. “Then if we can build more units or something like that then that’s something we want to do, but it’s better to improve everyone’s financial status so we’re not in this perpetual state of poverty.”
Ensuring Grand County has the water resources it needs to continue to grow is his other concern. To him, Grand County is a hidden gem that is about to be found.
“At some point, it will boom and we need to prepare ourselves for that situation,” Shalom said.
Shalom explained that he sees the county commissioner position as more about business than politics. He believes his background, with academic and professional experience in accounting, human resources management, financing, mediation, counseling, insurance and public health, makes him a strong candidate.
“I think all of those experiences have transferable skills that apply specifically to what we’re doing in the county government structure itself,” Shalom said.
He added that he welcomes questions from the public and can be reached on his website, Grand.Community.
The third commissioner district covers the western side of Grand County. While commissioners represent different segments of the county, they are elected at large.
District 3 is currently represented by Commissioner Kris Manguso, who announced in November that she would not be seeking re-election. Republican David Buckley, also a county employee, is the only other candidate to file candidacy paperwork so far.
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