Kjersten Davis Announces Candidacy for Montrose County Commissioner
by Kati O'Hare
Mar 21, 2012 | 2076 views | 3 3 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<b>IN THE RACE</b> - Montrose County Commissioner candidate Kjersten Davis. (Courtesy photo)
IN THE RACE - Montrose County Commissioner candidate Kjersten Davis. (Courtesy photo)
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MONTROSE COUNTY – Kjersten Davis said she will be part of the solution if elected as Montrose County commissioner – not part of the problem.

From the county's lawsuit with Montrose Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees to its uranium mill permits and application for water rights, Davis said she would have conducted business differently had she been in office. If elected, she said she will be a collaborating, open minded, good steward of taxpayer money for her constituents.

“Communication can always yield beneficial results,” Davis said in an interview with The Watch.

Such could have been the case in the county's dealings with the MMH trustees, she said.

Davis said she supported the trustees' efforts to protect the hospital in light of proposed ballot initiatives that could have harmed MMH's nonprofit status. She had hope that the commissioners and the hospital could discuss options together, but lack of trust between the two impeded such actions, she said.

Davis said she didn't support the lawsuit the county filed against the hospital, or its appeal of the court's decision in the hospital’s favor.

If elected, she said she would move forward by creating a respectful, honest and open relationship with the county's hospital.

The legal expenses being accrued by the county also bother Davis.

“It pains me to see large amounts of money go for legal fees, while at the same time, the county has had 30 layoffs … I'm not sure if that's the best use of our money,” she said.

She also is unconvinced that pursuing water rights in the West End is a good use of taxpayer dollars.

Montrose County is seeking rights of approximately 6,400 acre-feet of water per year to be stored in reservoirs from the main stem and tributaries of the San Miguel River. (See last week's article, “Water Grab!” in The Watch for more details.)

Davis said legal fees have been estimated at $1.2 million for these conditional water rights, and if approved, it could cost the county $200 to $300 million to build the storage reservoirs.

Davis doesn't see significant job growth resulting from building the reservoirs, and added, “At this stage, I think the money could be better spend other ways.”

Although the county claims that the reservoirs would secure water supply for the West End for decades, Davis noted it would apparently supply water for a population of just 26,000.

“We are not talking about (residential and agricultural) growth in the West End – we're talking about mining,” she said. “And it's illegal in the state of Colorado to file for water rights for speculative reasons.”

Davis also is critical of the county's approval of special use permits for uranium mining operations in the West End.

“Job creation should be our primary goal, but not at the expense of public and environmental safety… and anytime radioactive materials are involved, safety is a concern,” she said.

Davis said she'd rather see the county addressing the environment that supports business. She would like to focus on small businesses and support the growth of Mesa State University, as well as the county's recreation, tourism and agricultural industries, which not only drive employment and the economy, but also enhance the natural beauty of the area, she said.

Davis would, however, support an investigation into mining rare earth minerals within the county, she said.

A Montrose resident since 1994, Davis has served six years on the Montrose County School Board, which has given her experience dealing with large budgets and staff, she said.

The characteristics she brings to the county commissioner position – respect, integrity and honesty, as well as being a hard-worker and good listener – are “not caused by gender, but who I am as a person,” she said.

And similar to when she became a large animal veterinarian at a time when not many women were pursuing the profession, if elected, she'll bring her “try-harder attitude” to the position, she said.

Davis is vying for the District 3 seat, currently held by Republican David White. White and Jim Haugsness will battle in June's Republican primary to determine who will be Davis' challenger. Davis is the only Democrat to announce for the race at this time.

Davis must receive at least 30 percent of the delegate votes during Saturday's Montrose County Democrat Assembly to get on the ballot.

kohare@watchnewspapers.com

Comments
(3)
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Cubomon
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August 16, 2012
What I want to know is why she is not honest in telling those of Montrose county that she supports the United Nations Agenda 21 and wants to destroy our property rights. In this article she states that she is for the agenda 21 plans for water and mining. She also supports the democrats adoption of agenda 21.

James1:25
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March 22, 2012
Wow, this lady doesn't have a clue! Ask her some tough questions like: How many employees the hospital was looking at laying off in 2008? How many financial indicators of the hospital were even in the "acceptable" range in 2007 & 2008? How much is Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs being leased for? What happens if Montrose County doesn't secure the water rights now? Who asked Montrose County to file on the water rights?

The real question is: Do we want Montrose County to end up like the School District?
Scviews
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March 23, 2012
I think this Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine will surprise you James1:25. She is quite a bit more competent than you are giving credit for. Have you ever met her or spoken with her in meaningful conversation? Mat7:1 Judge not lest ye be judged.