Allen Bacher advocates for smaller government in campaign for Summit County commissioner
FRISCO — Summit County commissioner candidate Allen Bacher wants to get Summit County back open.
“The fact of the matter is this isn’t the first pandemic we’ve seen, and it won’t be the last,” he said. “They come, and they go. I think getting the economy back open and people back out enjoying life is the most important thing.”
Bacher, who is running as a Republican, is up against incumbent Democrat Elisabeth Lawrence for the District 1 county commissioner seat, which covers Breckenridge. A longtime Summit County resident, Bacher is using his experience as an economics professor at Colorado Mountain College to fuel his campaign.
When it comes to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Bacher believes the people, rather than the government, should be making decisions about how they protect themselves from the virus.
“A lot of these state governors and local officials have made (mask-wearing) mandatory with criminal fines and penalties,” he said. “My position is they have exceeded their constitutional authority, and they have violated some of the basic fundamentals of our Constitution.”
Bacher believes mask mandates and other public health orders are “draconian” impositions on the people. If elected, Bacher plans to reduce the impact of government in all aspects of life in Summit County.
On his website, Bacher listed his goals if elected, all of which include reducing the role of county government in some way.
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Bacher plans to reduce tax burdens on full-time resident property owners by 20% over four years. He also plans to reduce the size of county government by 20% be reevaluating existing positions and looking for efficiencies.
Bacher is opposed to ballot measure 1A, a proposal to allow the county to adjust its mill levies in order to maintain a higher property tax rate than that of the state. The goal of the proposal is to make up for a loss in funding for a wide variety of county programs.
Instead of asking taxpayers to pay more than the rest of the state, Bacher believes the county should “tighten the belt” on its own finances.
“We have to do the same thing in our own households,” he said. “How do we get people off the government dole and handouts and back into being productive members of society? Just giving them money … is not a solution.”
Another major tax issue for Bacher comes in the form of the sales tax on food in Summit County. If elected, Bacher would work to eliminate that tax on food for county residents.
“Why should the lowest quintile of our wage-earners — the lowest 20% — be paying close to 10% (of their income) on basic needs?” he said.
Democrats Thomas Davidson, District 2, and Karn Stiegelmeier, District 3, are term limited.
District 1: Breckenridge
District 2: Dillon and Frisco
District 3: Silverthorne
When it comes to housing, Bacher believes the county should enter into public-private partnerships to build more affordable and employee housing on current county-owned land.
“We have too many people commuting to provide our basic jobs here,” he said. “What I would look to do is look at developing a very, very employee friendly type of development, using (shipping) containers.”
He also would require employers to include employee housing in the plans for new or expanding businesses and revise the county code to provide incentives for private-property owners to build lock-off areas for additional housing.
Bacher also plans to donate 50% of his salary as commissioner to local nonprofits, including Domus Pacis Family Respite, the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, the High Country Conservation Center and the Summit Chamber of Commerce. He also would donate a portion of his salary as a scholarship to students at CMC and a portion to need-assistance and veteran programs, he said.
A believer in limits on government, Bacher pledges to serve only one term if elected.
“If I cannot get it done in four years, I’m not going to hang around for a paycheck,” he said. “I’m a Jeffersonian at heart: come, serve, go home, and that’s it.”
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