We asked the four La Plata County Commissioner candidates to tell us what their priorities will be if they win their seats. Meet Matt Salka, the Democratic candidate for the District 3 seat. Charly Minkler, the independent candidate running against Salka, did not respond to several requests to participate. (The views expressed are those of the county commissioner candidates and are presented as a public service of the Local NEWS Network.)
HELLO, MY NAME IS MATT SALKA AND I’M RUNNING FOR COUNTY COMMISSIONER, DIST 3. AS THE PAST SECRETARY OF LA PLATA ECONOMIC ALLIANCE, WE NEED TO BRING OUR MANY GREAT ORGANIZATIONS TO THE TABLE TO HELP LEND SUPPORT TO OUR MANY LOCAL BUSINESSES AND HELP THEM SURVIVE THE PANDEMIC. AFTER THE PANDEMIC, WE NEED TO WORK CLOSELY WITH REGION 9, LA PLATA ECONOMIC ALLIANCE, AND OUR MANY CHAMBERS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES GROW AND REMAIN SUCCESSFUL. ANOTHER OF MY KEY ISSUES FOR THE COUNTY IS AFFORDABLE HOUSING: AS A RENTING RESIDENT OF LA PLATA COUNTY FOR 19 YEARS, I KNOW ALL TOO WELL HOW TIGHT THIS HOUSING MARKET IS. I BELIEVE THERE ARE WAYS TO CREATE AFFORDABLE AND ATTAINABLE HOUSING FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO BUY THEIR OWN HOME, AND I WANT TO BE A PART OF THAT. MY EXPERIENCE WITH BAYFIELD’S PLANNING COMMISSION HAS HELPED ME UNDERSTAND THAT THERE NEEDS TO BE A BETTER RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN, DEVELOPERS, LANDOWNERS, AND GOVERNMENT. AS LA PLATA COUNTY COMMISSIONER, I WILL ENDEAVOR TO BRING THESE FACTIONS TOGETHER TO MAKE AFFORDABLE HOUSING ACHIEVABLE. ANOTHER KEY ISSUE IS QUALITY JOBS. AS A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER, I KNOW PERSONALLY HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO LIVE IN A COUNTY WHERE THE COSTS OF LIVING INCREASE YEARLY. WE NEED LARGER EMPLOYERS WITH WELL-PAYING JOBS THAT SERVE OUR MANY ENTREPRENEURS COST-EFFECTIVELY. AS A LEADER OF THE MILL STREET REVITALIZATION COMMITTEE IN BAYFIELD AND THE LA PLATA ECONOMIC ALLIANCE, I KNOW THE HARD WORK THAT GOES INTO ATTRACTING AND RETAINING BUSINESSES. I AM COMMITTED TO PURSUING MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR COMMUNITY AND ENSURING THAT FUTURE GROWTH IS EQUITABLE AND BENEFITS BOTH NEW AND LONGTIME RESIDENTS-- IN RURAL AREAS AND IN THE TOWNS AND CITY. INFRASTRUCTURE IS KEY TO SMART GROWTH! WITH A BACKGROUND IN INFORMATION SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY, I KNOW THE IMPORTANCE OF AFFORDABLE AND RELIABLE BROADBAND FOR OUR RESIDENTS. I HELPED START BAYFIELD’S BROADBAND STUDY. THROUGH A PRIVATE, PUBLIC, PARTNERSHIP BAYFIELD IS NOW MOVING FORWARD THIS YEAR TO GET FIBER CONNECTED TO BUSINESSES AND HOMES IN THE AREA. AS MAYOR, I HELPED SECURE A 1 MILLION DOLLAR GRANT FOR A WATERLINE REPLACEMENT PROJECT, AFTER MEETING WITH DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL AFFAIRS. I AM EXCITED TO TELL YOU THIS WATER LINE REPLACEMENT PROJECT IS HAPPENING, AND AT NO ADDITIONAL COSTS TO RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES. AS COUNTY COMMISSIONER, YOU CAN COUNT ON ME TO SEEK GRANTS, CREATE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS, AND ALWAYS LOOK OUT FOR LA PLATA’S BEST INTERESTS WHEN IT COMES TO INFRASTRUCTURE. THESE EXPERIENCES HAVE TAUGHT ME HOW TO MAKE REAL PROGRESS. I WANT TO CREATE THE SAME TYPES OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR LAPLATA COUNTY RESIDENTS. PLEASE HELP ME ACCOMPLISH THESE GOALS BY GIVING ME YOUR VOTE. I AM MATT SALKA AND THANK YOU FOR LISTENING.
Durango resident Kim Ebner helps save lives in her position as acquatic supervisor at the Durango Rec Center, and she does the same as a volunteer firefighter for the Durango Fire & Rescue Authority.
Brad Tafoya with Tafoya Barrett and Associates provides a summary of the benefits that are available through the CARES Act. Find out how you can access your rebate check more quickly.