Routt County welcomes new leadership
January 8, 2019
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Two new Routt County officials were sworn into office Tuesday at the Routt County Courthouse.
County Commissioner Beth Melton and County Treasurer Lane Iacovetto both said they want to see improvements in cooperation among county offices to make local government more efficient. This comes after several disputes last year between the Routt County Treasurer's Office and the Board of Commissioners, including a lawsuit filed by former County Treasurer Brita Horn.
Melton, for her part, seeks better collaboration among her fellow commissioners.
"We really should and will operate as a board, not as individuals with our own mandates," she said.
Melton, a Democrat, beat out Republican incumbent Cari Hermacinski in November for the District 3 seat. She ran on a platform of increasing middle-class jobs in the county, providing more early childhood care to families and creating an action plan to address climate change.
Melton said it is time for the county to take a more active role in environmental advocacy.
"I heard throughout the campaign and continue to hear that environmental stewardship and climate action are important concerns in the county," she said.
Other counties in the state have already enacted climate action plans that Melton wants to emulate. Eagle County passed a plan in 2016 that recommends a countywide greenhouse gas emission reduction of 80 percent by 2050.
Melton said she cannot offer details about a Routt County climate action plan until she discusses it with the other two commissioners.
She plans to also address what she called a significant shortage of child care in Routt County, especially programs that help parents navigate the first years of their child's life. She will serve as co-chair of First Impressions Early Childhood Council, taking over the position that Commissioner Tim Corrigan held for six years. First Impressions provides resources and programs to families that promote healthy child development.
Commissioner Corrigan said he is optimistic about Melton and her plans for the county.
"She proved during her campaign that she is a really hard worker with clear ideas about where she'd like to see this county go," he said.
At 34, Melton is one of the youngest commissioners in Colorado. She will attend the Young Elected Officials Network Conference toward the end of January for elected officials younger than 35.
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Treasurer Lane Iacovetto, a Republican who served previously as the county’s deputy clerk and recorder, wants to increase the functionality of local government.
One of her top priorities as treasurer will be, like Melton, to improve cooperation between the Treasurer's Office and other county offices.
"To represent and support the people of Routt County, we all have to work together," Iacovetto said of county officials.
A number of disagreements arose between former Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn and the county commissioners, including a lawsuit last fall in which Horn accused the commissioners of illegally abating tax interest. A district judge sided with the commissioners.
"I have a working relationship already with the elected officials, and a lot of them supported my campaign, which means a lot," she said.