GOCO names county manager to board | SummitDaily.com

GOCO names county manager to board

SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County Manager Ron Holliday was named to the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) board by Gov. Bill Owens Friday.

A Colorado amendment approved by voters in 1992 dictates that a portion of state lottery proceeds be set aside for GOCO, which funds projects that preserve, protect and enhance Colorado’s wildlife, parks, rivers, trails and open spaces. Those funds are given away in the form of grants, and the GOCO board decides which applicants receive the grant money.

Holliday will represent the Second Congressional District.

Rep. Carl Miller, a Leadville Democrat who represents Summit County in the state Legislature, was also named to the GOCO board and will represent the Fifth Congressional District.

For Holliday, the news is not only an honor, but the return to an organization he holds dear. In the late ’80s, Holliday – then the state’s parks director – helped get GOCO off the ground.

“It’s been very rewarding to actually be involved in coming up with the concepts and to see it takes hold, then catch fire with the people of Colorado,” he said. “So this is sort of coming full circle.”

Holliday’s new position, which has a four-year term, doesn’t mean Summit County will be favored in the grant selection process.

“When one assumes a responsibility like this, you do it from the statewide view,” he said. “Certainly, we’ve had some issues with the Great Outdoors Colorado program, and this is a great opportunity to get those issues aired.”

Among those issues are concerns that GOCO, according to data on its Web site, distributes far more money to nearby mountain counties than to Summit County. Also, GOCO bases some of its open space funding on whether or not those lands are of statewide significance. But just what “statewide significance” means hasn’t been defined, Holliday said.

Seventeen people from throughout the state sit on the board and provide representation based on population. The board includes two members from each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, a representative from the Colorado Board of Parks and Outdoor Recreation and from the Wildlife Commission. At any given time, two members of the board must live west of the Continental Divide.

GOCO meets every other month at various locations throughout the state, and Holliday estimates his new commitment will require about one day’s worth of his time each month.

The governor’s choices for the GOCO board must be confirmed by the Senate before they’re final.

Jane Reuter can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at jreuter@summitdaily.com

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