A member of the Green Party, Goodtimes made his formal announcement to his constituents on Feb. 8, noting that fellow Green Party member Marty Schmalz will be his campaign manager.
As for seeking his fifth, four-year term, Goodtimes said in a telephone interview on Tuesday that he enjoys working for the citizens of San Miguel County and, despite the hard economic times facing citizens and small governments across the country, he believes the work he’s been a part of has been beneficial to the county.
“We have a great organization and a great team,” Goodtimes said. “We have done a very responsible job. Basically it’s report card time. If we have been irresponsible, throw me out. Considering the difficult times, the county is in great shape and the team we have in place now has done a great job.”
Goodtimes continued by saying the tough economic realities the county is facing are not going away anytime soon and the notion highlights the importance of the county’s reserve fund, which currently holds enough funds to operate the county for nine months.
“We are easing into this restrained environment, trying to preserve as many services as we can instead of making rapid changes,” Goodtimes said. “The huge challenge for us is how do we serve what’s expected and still balance the budget.”
During his last four terms, Goodtimes said he has spent a lot of time making connections with leadership organizations at the state level. In 2010, Goodtimes was awarded a fellowship to create a pilot program called Payments for Ecosystem Services – or PES – that would offer financial incentives to landowners in exchange for their agreement to manage their land in a way that offers an ecological service.
“I am really excited about the PES pilot project,” he said. “We are trying to see if this concept can really work. I think we need a new tool that gives incentives to private land owners to do environmental services.”
For instance, we want to protect the sage grouse, he said. What often happens is that governments pass zoning laws to protect the grouse but at the same time those zoning laws take away private landowners’ rights to build. Goodtimes said the PES project is intended to do just the opposite.
“This program aims to reward private land owners with payment for an environmental service,” Goodtimes said. “You can have a better environment and it fits within the capitalist system. I think it’s exciting. I expect if it works, we will be talking with a lot of people around the country about it.”
Serving San Miguel County is more than just a job, said Goodtimes, summing up his decision to run again.
“My real passion is to serve people,” he said. “Service has always been my passion and I really believe it is important that I do a good job.”
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