Eight-year veteran, Wallace, looks ahead
SUMMIT COUNTY – County Commissioner Bill Wallace said he stands on solid ground in outlining his achievements as an eight-year veteran of the position. But in looking to be re-elected for a third term to represent District 2, he’s not resting on his laurels. Wallace’s list of ambitions for legacy projects is long and, if achieved, impressive. The candidate, who is credited with helping bring a new hospital to the area, wants to implement four projects with tax money approved by voters last November. Those include a community recycling facility at the landfill, a new Community Care Clinic at the new hospital campus, water storage located in small reservoirs at high altitude and open space purchases.
The open space money approved last fall will also help maintain lands purchased through the program, Wallace said.Another project involves biomass technology, in which county buildings could be heated by burning the dead and beetle-infested trees found around the county.Another involves fighting noxious weeds across the county.”The separate entities need to cooperate because weeds know no boundaries,” he said.On cooperation, Wallace wants to continue a good working relationship among board members and leaders of the county’s four municipalities – a situation he credits himself, in part, for developing.
Like his opponent, Wallace does not support regulatory master plans (they are advisory documents that shape land use), but he does want to see the vision of the Lower Blue plan implemented if he is re-elected.Wallace recognized residents of the Lower Blue were upset when the board didn’t adopt provisions in the basin’s plan, offering, “I don’t think it makes common sense to tie the hands of planners by implementing mandatory master plans.”I do support the preservation of view corridors in the Lower Blue and feel there needs to be some creative solutions to cause that to happen.” In addition to the hospital, Wallace is proud of passing domestic partner benefits for county employees and his common-sense approach to making government decisions.”Bureaucrats try to adopt rules and regulations that will cover every situation. Well, I think, in reality, that’s a noble goal but unattainable,” he said. “So when an issue comes up that doesn’t quite fit in the box of rules, we need to be able to use common sense.”
He offered a recent example of installing speed bumps in Silverthorne, where County Road 2020 was torn up and going to be repaved.”The county process for installing speed bumps takes six to 12 months, but the town was ready to go and willing to pay for them, so we went ahead with it and, as a result, saved the taxpayers some money,” he said.On land use, Wallace said his recent decision to deny the Copper proposal for long-term development, that would have doubled the size of the resort, represents his position on density.”Density increases have to be tied to some benefit to the community,” he said. “I’m not going to upzone just because (developers) ask.”Wallace supports transfer of development rights and the concept of no net increase in density as planning tools, but doesn’t support them as mandatory provisions.
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