Beth Melton announces campaign for Routt County commissioner
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Beth Melton is hoping to bring a new voice to the Routt County Board of Commissioners.
The Steamboat Springs small business owner and working mom has announced a campaign for the District 3 seat currently held by County Commissioner Cari Hermacinski.
Hermacinski, a fifth-generation Northwest Colorado native who served on the Steamboat Springs City Council before becoming a commissioner, is running for re-election.
She said Thursday she is glad the race for her seat will be contested.
Melton, an innovation coach at Northwest Board of Cooperative Education Services, said she thinks she can motivate and excite people who haven’t been involved in local politics.
“I’m young. I’m a woman. I’m a mom. I’m a working mom,” Melton said. “I see there’s a need for those of us in that category to get involved.”
Melton and her husband, Will, lived in Hayden and South Routt County before moving to Steamboat.
She currently serves as the chair of the board of directors for the Young Professionals Network.
“I think there are lot of people, myself included, who would like to see some new ideas and new energy and ask some new questions,” Melton said.
Hermacinski said her time as a county commissioner has been even more rewarding than her service on the city council.
“When you’re one of three instead of one of seven, you get more time to discuss the issues and build consensus on things,” she said. “We have more time to work together on collaborative solutions.”
She also pointed to changes made at the county during her tenure that she’s proud of, including the liberalization of rules governing secondary housing units and the improvement of telecommunications infrastructure.
Hermacinski is also telecommunications consultant.
She said a policy adopted by the commissioners will allow private internet providers to co-locate on a site in North Routt County.
“Probably this summer, Zirkel Wireless will install (infrastructure) on the Farwell Mountain site, and we’ll have high speed internet in North Routt,” she said. “While I think there’s a lot of joint successes on the part of the commissioners, that’s one I really championed because of my background.”
Melton is running for commissioner as a Democrat, while Hermacinski is running for re-election as a Republican.
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