Danner appointed to commission | SteamboatToday.com

Danner appointed to commission

Collin Smith
Audrey Danner, standing, explains her background and qualifications to be a Moffat County commissioner Sunday night at the forum held by the Moffat County Republican Party Vacancy Committee. The committee announced Monday night that Danner was its choice to replace the late Saed Tayyara in the District 2 commission seat.
Jennifer L. Grubbs

Audrey Danner’s decision to apply for the Moffat County Commission’s District 2 seat was motivated by one reason.

“I believe in Moffat County,” she said.

Danner was chosen Monday night by the Moffat County Republican Party Vacancy Committee to succeed Commissioner Saed Tayyara, who died Nov. 29.

By state law, the committee was the only local body able to make the appointment. If it had not made a decision by today, Gov. Bill Ritter would have assumed the responsibility.

As it stands, Danner is expected to be sworn into office during the Commission meeting at 8:30 a.m. today.

She previously has served as Yampa Valley Partners executive director since the nonprofit’s inception in the early 1990s, though she couldn’t say what would happen to her position with that group.

Danner also was state Rep. Al White’s Moffat County campaign chair during his bid for Colorado Senate this year.

Vacancy Committee member K.C. Hume said her appointment was an unanimous decision.

Before Monday, the group had narrowed its consideration to four finalists – Danner, Craig City Councilor Byron Willems and local residents Jean Stetson and John Wellman.

Hume would not comment on why the committee chose Danner, except to say the group collected as much information as it could for each prospective appointee. This included anything that could help the committee discern the person’s political and professional background, as well as qualifications for government office.

“All four of the candidates possessed the knowledge, background and skill sets that would lend themselves to the Commission,” Hume said. “The strength of each of the applicants really made this a tough decision for the committee.”

Hume added he does not think there are grounds to say Danner’s appointment was “an inside job” because of her active social and professional life or because of the fact she is married to Ron Danner, a Vacancy Committee member and chair of the Moffat County Republican Central Committee.

Ron Danner not only recused himself from the Vacancy Committee after Audrey showed interest, but his position with the Central Committee is a “coincidence in timing,” Hume said, because he has not always been chair of that group.

“Those two facts – Audrey’s marriage to Ron and his being chair of the Central Committee – didn’t have any influence on the (Vacancy) Committee’s decision, one way or the other,” Hume said.

To suggest that it might, would do a disservice to Audrey’s qualifications, he added.

“I would find it difficult for someone to make that argument and substantiate it with any factual basis,” Hume said. “The community we live in is small enough : that those things are going to happen.”

Audrey said she doesn’t expect to go in and change everything on day one.

“I must listen to begin with,” she said.

Listening and understanding are two traits she said will help her during her tenure.

“Part of my philosophy as a person is I believe in strong communication and what that can create,” Audrey said, adding she was referring to city/county cooperation and all other issues.

She added she looks forward to being able to work with the current commissioners, Tom Mathers and Tom Gray, to better Moffat County’s future.

“I really look forward to the planning for Moffat County,” she said. “How do we look at what Moffat County will be in one year’s time and beyond? Moffat County is our home.”

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