Beth Melton: An innovative leader for the future | SteamboatToday.com

Beth Melton: An innovative leader for the future

Beth Melton

The oldest of five kids from a working class family, I grew up on a farm in rural Washington. From a young age, I learned the value of a hard day’s work, a strict budget and a strong community. These things are as important to me today as they were to my family.

I now manage millions of taxpayer dollars in my educational leadership role at Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services. I understand how public funding in Colorado works, and I consistently find new ways to serve the people of our community on a budget.

Beth Melton

I am a leader in our community, with organizations including the Young Professionals Network, First Impressions Early Childhood Council and the Steamboat Springs Chamber. I also have been recognized as a leader by the state — being invited to serve on leadership committees with the Colorado Department of Education. I have led schools across the region in improving their literacy instruction — resulting in Northwest Colorado showing some of the largest gains in the state for students in special education and becoming a model for others.

I have lived across the county and the region, and my work gives me the opportunity to be intimately connected with all of the communities in Routt County and Northwest Colorado.

This is an amazing place to live, work, play and raise a family. But the priorities of the people in this community are not being addressed by our current board of county commissioners. As I talk to people across the county, our concerns are clear:

  • A lack of housing our workforce can afford
  • A significant shortage of child care
  • The uncertain future of our environment

None of these are priorities in the commissioners' strategic plan, and it's time for a change.

When the Yampa Valley Housing Authority decided to pursue innovative programs to fund affordable housing in our community, the first thing I said was, “How can I help?” and I stepped up to join the team leading on 5A for Homes, which has been leveraged into millions of dollars to build housing in Routt County.

As a member of the First Impressions executive committee, I have been a persistent and vocal advocate for more infant and toddler care in our community. I have been a leader in the creation of our early childhood community plan and am committed to seeing it through for the families of our community.

We need a new voice and new energy for our priorities. As your county commissioner, I will lead on the issues that are most important to all of us.

I will bring the county to the table to proactively partner with our municipalities and address our affordable housing needs while preserving open lands and agriculture by concentrating growth inside municipalities.

I will provide the political will needed to implement the First Impressions early childhood plan and ensure that we increase availability of infant and toddler care by working together with the private sector to create more supply.

I will join other Colorado counties in committing to the future of our economy and way of life by creating a climate action plan that addresses our impact on the environment and plans for resiliency as we face wildfire, drought and shorter winters.

I am a dedicated public servant, and I will take action on the challenges facing Routt County. Our community needs new ideas and energy to move us into the future, and I am ready to bring your voice to the board of county commissioners. Thank you for your consideration and your vote.

Beth Melton

Routt County commissioner Democratic candidate

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