Housing, Child Care and Transportation Critical County Issues
by D. Oak Smith
Aug 29, 2008 | 391 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GUEST COMMENTARY

Well, during the primary I wrote a little about who I was (Oak Smith, Democrat for district 3 county commissioner), about my experience (10-and-one-half years on the Planning Commission, trustee on the San Miguel County Library District #2, eight-year member of the San Miguel County Board of Adjustments, member of the San Miguel County Energy Task Force, and the Wright’s Mesa Master Plan Review Board, interim assistant director San Miguel County Library District #1 and current circulation supervisor), and a little about my philosophy (we have lived and operated our business off of the grid since 1981). Now I would like to tell you a little about my life and what I would like to do if elected this fall.

I am married to Carrie Smith, for the last 34 years. The love of my life is a retired high school social science and law teacher. She has for the last 10 years worked at both the Norwood vet clinic and currently for the Telluride vet clinic. We raise and show German Shepherds around the country and Carrie trains dogs under the business name of Pawsitively Fun Dog Training. We have a son, Thomas Lewis McCarty, who came to us when he was in the sixth grade. He is now a Master Sergeant with the United States Marine Corps and has served four tours of duty in Iraq. During his second tour he was awarded the Bronze Star for saving the life, while under fire, of a 12-year-old Iraqi boy. (He’s my son and I hope you will forgive me for being understandably proud.)

I am deeply involved in alternative energy solutions and believe that as a county we can work a lot closer with our local energy co-op, San Miguel Power Association, and come up with plans and ideas to help the people of San Miguel County not only reduce their carbon footprint but reduce their energy bills too.

The major issues I see facing san Miguel County are:

Housing. It must be not only affordable but within a reasonable distance of where the jobs are. We need to get people out from behind the commuter wheel and free that time for them to spend with their children and families. This has not been done to a degree in the last 12 years with any impact. We have deed restricted housing yes but affordable, no. I will act on this.

Child Care. This relates directly to quality of life. Our young citizens who are raising families here not only commute but by and large both parents must work. We need good quality, affordable child care so that mom and dad can be spending more time with their families.

The Placerville area needs the problems of sewage and potable water addressed. This is an impending disaster facing the county and we have been ignoring it. Either a sewage treatment plant or a water treatment plant needs to be evaluated and the cost analyzed and soon. We have not done this during flush times when tax revenues were growing, and now by our failure to act will we be hit with an expensive and necessary solution for the health and well being of our citizens not to mention the health and well being of an entire river ecosystem as tax dollars plummet. For 12 long years this problem has been ignored. We need to step up to the plate and map out a road to solution.

We need a transportation system that addresses the needs of all the workers and not just a few. When I was on the planning commission, Lawson Hill set aside 170 parking places, parking that should have been used as a way station to get the cars off of the over used Telluride Spur. For 12 years we have sat idle instead of using that time to develop an intercept lot, and mass transit to move commuters in and out of town on a regular and convenient schedule to their real life jobs.

If I am elected I will use my time and energy here in San Miguel County, not gad flying about the country. Think globally but ACT locally. That is more than an idle saying, it is an action we need to have taken here in San Miguel County. I will make sure your money is spent here in San Miguel County addressing the problems here in our county. I believe that you cannot just talk the talk, but that you must walk the walk. You do that by your actions. Carrie and I have lived and run our businesses off of the grid here in San Miguel County for the last 26 years, I will not just talk about the issues I will act on them. From my experience as a volunteer for 10-and-one-half years on the planning commission I know how to build consensus and get goals accomplished.

Finally, I believe that the job of county commissioner should be just that, a job, not a career. Career politics is what leads to problems not being addressed, to trying to please everyone while actually pleasing no one. We need a change, we need to end politics as usual, and 12 years is long enough. I can use your help, I need your vote, please consider voting Democrat, voting Oak Smith for county commissioner district 3. Thank you.
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