Q&A with Tim Redmond, Democrat candidate for Routt County commissioner, District 2
Q. Why do you want to serve on the Routt County Board of Commissioners?
A. I found a home in Routt County; a place where I became a better man. The truth is I have received many opportunities for a better life. Strongly believing that when you receive you must give back. I’ve had a wonderful family and a good business to see me through. I have and will continue to support this community. Now is my time to put everything I have learned in government and business to work for you. This is an amazing place to live and work. The plan is to protect and grow. The question is how. That is why I want to be a part of the master plan. I will listen and respect all views. The idea is to serve all people of Routt County.
Q. What do you believe are the biggest issues facing the county in the near and short term?
A. At this time it’s COVID-19. The fact that the world is on pause is devastating. Frustrating that we don’t have a handle on the situation. That being said we must keep trying to move forward. I do see other problems facing the county. There is less snowfall and lower river flows. I worry about our water future. The economy of the county depends on water. The answer is going to take a united effort. Trust me people want our water. Without it we have no future. We must prepare for a world without good jobs from coal mines and power plants. I have been working on the above mentioned problems. Let me know your thoughts and ideas. We have the opportunity to pick our path. I want to come out of these tough times and be ready to move forward.
Q. How would you address these issues?
A. I have learned as mayor you can be reactive or proactive. I am proactive. Understand the problem and solve the problem. Now in the future be prepared for that situation. Sometimes problems come out of nowhere. COVID-19 and the loss of jobs and fires has us in a reactive response. I will attack our problems as proactively as possible. There are times that call for reaction and fast decisions. I am prepared to solve today’s problem and plan for a better future. A future with secure water and a diverse economy. Time to work on housing, health care and child care. Take a hard look at life without coal and energy. The time is now. The future is closer than you think.
Q. The county is working with the city on a climate action plan. What is your stance on this plan and what would be your role in this area if elected?
A. The climate is different. We can see it. The snowpack melts out faster. River flows have changed. Fires are getting bigger, and the season is longer. Climate change is real. I stand ready to protect our way of life. I will and have worked to slow the problems caused by climate change, and I’m proud that the Governor appointed me to the Energy Impact Board. This gives me the method to send money back to hard-hit communities. The good thing is every project is looking at renewables. I believe our future is a smart grid with the addition of renewables. This is a country that solves its problems once it becomes aware of them.
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Q. The county is undergoing a major economic transition, particularly with the reduction of coal-based energy. How would you prepare the county for these future changes and diversify the local economy in response?
A. Most of our problems are connected. I have touched some on this issue. Can we convert or use the Hayden station another way? What skills do the miners have that would crossover? The people of Hayden are painfully aware that the best paying entry jobs are going away. These are good friends, and I worry about their way of life. The town is thinking with the purchase of the old high school that job training can happen there. There has been a study to see if the power plant could be a carbon fiber plant. I strongly want to hear your thoughts and ideas. What types of business would you like to see in the county?
Q. How would you help lead the county in its response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic?
A. I just want to say the last seven months were bad. As mayor of Hayden, I have been deeply involved in the process, asking questions so I can make informed decisions. I will ask the tough question and expect an answer. The problem being no one had answers. We still need answers if there is going to be a return to normal. I like to think outside of the box. Can we reopen business if we use air purification. A school in Vail did. Time to look at all options. I am ready to move us forward. We can’t stay here.
Tim Redmond is running for Routt County commissioner, District 2, as a Democrat.
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