West Grand business owner running for county commissioner
It didn’t take long for Kremmling resident David Buckley to become attached to Grand County and want to see it flourish. So when Buckley heard the District 3 county commissioner seat would be open in 2022, he tossed his hat into the ring.
Buckley is a heavy equipment operator at Grand County Road and Bridge and the owner of Strands Salon in Kremmling. He moved to Grand in January, following his daughter, who had just married and relocated to the area. Buckley filed paperwork in October with the Colorado Secretary of State to run as a Republican in the District 3 county commissioner race.
“Certainly, my short experience here within Grand County and working at Road and Bridge has really introduced me to more and more people,” Buckley said. “I will work for the people. I think my philosophies and views on things are 99.9% aligned with most Grand County residents.”
Commissioner Kris Manguso, who currently represents the third district, announced earlier this month that she would not seek re-election in 2022. Buckley is the only person who has filed candidacy paperwork so far.
Prior to moving to Grand, Buckley worked in the health care field as a radiologist, an administrator and a health care advocate. Later, he became a co-owner of franchise salons on the Front Range.
Buckley said that as a county employee, he offers an inside perspective on problems Grand is facing, including the labor shortage, which is visible with more than 20 open positions across county departments.
“I think the first thing would be to look at the government departments and how they’re structured,” Buckley said. “We’ve got to make sure we’re operating as efficiently as we can.”
From his time in health care, Buckley knows the industry is constantly experiencing change and evolution, which he said requires the county to remain vigilant about benefits.
“We need to make sure we stay on top of what those changes are, talk to employees and recruiters, and make sure that we’re creating that delicate balance of managing costs effectively but yet offering benefits that are going to support the families here in the community,” Buckley said.
Continued recovery and forest management following the East Troublesome Fire, as well as maintaining local water rights, are also critical issues for Buckley.
“The agricultural side of our county is extremely important for feeding this country and even the world, so we’ve got to make sure we preserve that and keep our share (of local water resources),” he said.
Commenting on the results of the Nov. 2 election, Buckley said the passage of four tax questions is a clear reflection of the community’s priorities and desire to spend responsibly.
As a longtime-visitor-turned-local, Buckley expressed confidence he can provide a strong voice for Grand County constituents and added that his diverse background would bring a fresh perspective to the board of county commissioners.
“What I believe the county wants is affordable housing — people want to come live here and work here — but when they see what the wages are, they can’t because they can’t make ends meet,” he said. “We’ve got to find a balance at all levels of employment.”
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