GUEST COMMENTARY | Padgett (and Albritton) Deserve Better Than This
by Ben Tisdel, Former Member of the Republican Central Committee, Ouray
Oct 18, 2012 | 1189 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print

I hear a lot of things in passing. And I’ve read quite a lot, and even listen to the political talk shows on KURA. There is a surprising amount of disinformation going around regarding the Commissioner races. After thinking about it, it seems that the oppositional statements about incumbents, both local and national, all come down to the fact that some men (and women too) just can’t stand the idea and reality of a smart, capable female (or minority) in a position of power.

The achievements of two very capable women on the Ouray Board of County Commissioners are being called into question, essentially because they are not empty-headed puppets and their contributions were not provided under the direction of a central planning authority.

Here are some of Heidi Albritton and Lynn Padgett’s ideas and accomplishments:

1. Push for Eaglenet broadband installation locally before other service providers forced it to stall.  

2. Get the EPA off of Panoramic Heights property owner’s backs and out of their titles.

3. Reduce spending and somehow manage to do more work with less money.

4.  Attend meetings with close to 100 percent attendance rate.   

5. Achieve accountability and transparency and a willingness of elected officials to talk openly with the press and the public.

6.  Preside over the four-plus year process that brought a truly diverse group together, including the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, motorists, trail runners, emergency service providers, and property owners, that resulted in broad consensus on a map of historically proven and sometimes county-owned access routes to the County’s public lands.

Smart capable women actually are necessary to the well-being of this county. Just like we need a diversified economy with mining, tourism, ranching, professional services and telecommuting, we need a diversified BOCC, with a mix of men and women who understand and are proven in their capacity to support all of the elements of our economy. It is surprising to me that while so much attention has been given to the need for diversity on the Planning Commission, those calling for diversity there have not voiced any need for true diversity on the BOCC.      

Much of what I’ve heard trends towards statements that these two women wrecked the business climate in the county. But if all of the BOCC work over the last four years was actually bad for the local economy, why then are there two new major mining investments going on?  Why also is County Road 1 being paved, and why is there a new fiber optic internet trunk being pulled through Ouray County at this moment, all with a severely diminished budget?  The proof is in the pudding.  Lynn’s work for the County benefits all stakeholders, and we have a vibrant mining, tourism, ranching and professional services economy, all at the bottom of a global recession. In fact, the County is a magnet for all types of investment. That’s what embracing diversity and all possible elements of the economy does, but only a hard-working genius can pull it together. And only an “us versus them” mentality that is intolerant of the value of capable women’s opinions can destroy it.

In short, it takes real genius and diversity on the BOCC to deal with all the issues.  Lynn has that.  

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