Thursday’s Commissioner debate |

Thursday’s Commissioner debate

The County Commissioner debate on Thursday, June 9 at Middle Park High School. Left to right: Tom Weydert, Chas McConnell, Richard Cimino, Andy Miller, Merrit Linke, Whitney Kemper (stand in for Jane Tollett).
Travis Poulin / Sky-Hi News |

The fifth and final debate for the candidates of Grand County Commissioner took place Thursday, June 9 at Middle Park High School. There was a unique set of questions asked addressing several problems the county has faced in the past.

The first question brought up the issue lodging tax and the impact that VRBO, Airbnb, and other types of private nightly rentals have had. Should the Commissioners address this issue and if so, how? This is a growing issue for mountain towns because these services bring people to town, but can take housing away from the workforce if the decision comes down to a seasonal or nightly rental.

The second question asked the candidates what they learned from the theft of controlled substances from the EMS department, why did the existing procedures not prevent this, and what has been done or what can be done to prevent this in the future? This question referenced a case in 2015 when an EMS employee stole fentanyl and morphine from several emergency vehicles.

County Road 804 was addressed asking if candidates thought the county received a fair value for the dollars spent and if there is any way to recoup any of these costs to prevent a similar event in the future. Most candidates referenced the lack of a pedestrian walkway and the importance of maintaining this road because it is the most heavily traveled in the county.

The fourth question asked when it was appropriate for commissioners to meet outside of the board meetings, or whether it is ever acceptable.

The fifth question asked candidates what they have learned from theft within the department, and how they can prevent such issues in the future.

The final question asked if three minutes was enough time for concerned citizens to address the board of Commissioners

The first half of the debate can be found online at

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