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Karn responds

Karn Stiegelmeier
Silverthorne, CO Colorado

While I disagree with the conclusion of the Summit Daily News Editorial Board endorsement in Monday’s paper, I am especially concerned about the statement attributed to me that I did not say. I understand that the editorial board came to their own conclusions. I am very familiar with the county budget and the issues facing the county in times of diminishing revenue and an unsettled economy.

I am the only District 3 candidate talking seriously about local energy independence and the need to protect our environment that is the basis for our resort economy.

I recommend that everyone look at the county budget. It is easy to access on the county website. What is not apparent in reading the budget is that many funds are separate and can’t be touched except for certain purposes because they are enterprise funds, taxes approved by the voters for precise purposes or specific functions mandated by law.

I have received many questions about how to cut the county budget during these uncertain times. These questions are about budget cuts that would be required if 1A doesn’t pass and our economy doesn’t rebound.

Everyone has ideas. Few people understand that only a small number of funds can be cut. Many funds can’t be touched and many expenditures are mandated by law. General fund cuts will have to come from other non-mandated services. No one wants to see these services cut. It is very important that we all vote to pass 1A.

County commissioners set policy and are ultimately responsible for the budget. The finance director is responsible to review and to create the budget for approval by the commissioners. Budget review and approval is one of the most important commissioner responsibilities.

However, there is much more to the job of commissioner. Relationships and collaboration with towns, cooperating agencies, districts and other entities including oversight of county projects is essential. In the upcoming years, the ability to secure alternative funding, cut costs, partner with the U.S. Forest Service, complete fire mitigation projects and work on I-70 with CDOT will all be crucial for our county’s future.

That’s why it’s so important to elect county commissioners who have a clear vision for addressing the future challenges facing our county. That’s why I’m running, not for me but to help improve Summit County.


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