GUEST COMMENTARY
'I Was Honored to Serve You'
by Heidi Albritton, Ouray County Commissioner
Jul 31, 2012 | 2617 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Governor Hickenlooper Will Choose Replacement

It has been an honor to serve as your District 3 County Commissioner these past 7-plus years, and I regret that I must leave before the end of my term is completed. I have been offered a position that will allow me to grow in my own career, as well as enable my family to once again live and work together in the same city, though that city is unfortunately not Ouray. As a term-limited official, I knew that my time in office was coming to a close, and that in order to provide for my family once my term ended, I would have to start over in my career somewhere. I am excited to begin a new chapter in my life together with my family, and thank you for the incredible opportunity that I was given here in Ouray County.

While I began my work in elected office as a Republican candidate, I have become increasingly frustrated with the party’s hostile rhetoric and inflammatory partisanship. I do not identify with it, and it does not represent the type of public servant I have sought to be. The climate of finger pointing and ‘us vs. them’ politics is disruptive, and is ultimately a disservice to the public, as it precludes real work from getting done. The focus should be on solving problems, on getting past our differences, and on working together to face our common challenges.

I am an independent individual, and have done my job as such. I have done my best to listen and to learn, and to make my decisions based on facts and not ideology. I leave my office as an Independent, as it has become clear that the Republican Party is at a crossroads, and at this time there is just not room in the GOP tent for voters like me. I have struggled to balance party expectations, and ‘doing the right thing’ for Ouray County. Becoming an Independent was the only real option for me on a very personal level. I have confidence that Governor Hickenlooper will appoint an excellent candidate to serve the remaining months of my term. The new District 3 Commissioner will be elected in November, with two very capable candidates already vying for your vote.

Much like the work that goes into a marriage, or a friendship, the work of governance is challenging, and requires listening, understanding, negotiation, and yes, it requires compromise. Making thoughtful decisions requires being able to adapt, learn and change, and I have been humbled on many occasions at my own resistance to change. It is irresponsible to ignore facts and reality, simply because they interfere with your opinions. I have been challenged to listen to the diversity of opinions in our community, and to act for the betterment of Ouray County as a whole. Just as spouses and friends do not always agree and yet manage to work out their differences, those in government must also find ways to do their work, despite the divergent opinions of the constituents they serve.

Ouray County has been, and always will be my home. I was born here, as were both of my children, and Ouray County will always hold a very special place in my heart. I have truly enjoyed my job, and want to thank you for allowing me the chance to represent you for two very dynamic and challenging terms. I thank those of you who pushed me, gave me reasons to pause before I acted, and supported me. I thank those of you who challenged and questioned me every step of the way. You have made me a stronger, better person.

Ouray County has become more accountable and transparent, and I know that it will continue to evolve and improve moving into the future. I am proud of our county departments that have grown and progressed in professionalism. Many wonderful, capable people work for the county organization, and they invest their heart and soul into their work.

While there is always room for improvement, I tend to be a ‘glass half full’ kind of person, preferring to focus on what is achievable, rather than what is ‘wrong’. My proudest times as a commissioner have been in those moments when our community came together and just got the job done; regardless of political affiliation. From witnessing our 4-H Event Center become a much-utilized community gem, to creating a magnificent ‘Mudfest,’ tackling broadband infrastructure issues, working to save historic opera houses, protecting our agricultural and mining heritage, providing first class arts education for our children, or establishing our own Creative District; when we come together in the true spirit of community, there is no stopping us.

Whether you were born here, or moved here from somewhere else, we are all in this together. We need diversity of opinion; it is a healthy and important component of a democratic system, and it provides for the vigorous debate and accountability that our government so desperately needs. I am proud of Ouray County and I want nothing more than a bright and prosperous future for all of you and for our community as a whole. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to contribute what I could towards that goal, and for giving me the chance to actively work for a place and a community that I hold so dear. This is one of the most amazing places on the planet, and I was honored to serve you.



A grateful servant of Ouray County,

Heidi Albritton

District 3 Commissioner

 
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