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Dear Editor:

There is only one qualified candidate for Chaffee County commissioner in this year’s election, and that is Rusty Granzella. Rusty is a native of Salida, and he understands our history and what has historically made our county a special place to live. He has a long track record of service to our community, which includes, among many other things, providing affordable housing and supporting youth and families in our community.

His resume of service includes, but is not limited to, Salida City Council; Salida School Board; Salida Airport Board; Salida Recreation Board; NRCDC Board; Mountain River Credit Union Board; and organizer, coach and official for our youth and high school sports programs. He is also a member of the Rotary Club of Salida, Knights of Columbus and Sons of Italy service organizations.

In addition, Rusty has extensive local private sector experience through a family-owned automobile dealership and through the banking industry. He also has a hands-on understanding of affordable housing, which is evidenced by the fact he and his wife, Tangie, have been providing affordable housing in Salida for about 25 years and currently have 36 tenants, all of whom have been with them for no less than 4 years.

Most letters to the editor in support of Kimberly Parker offer her approximate one year experience with affordable housing and her work with underprivileged and at-risk youth and families as qualifications to hold the position of Chaffee County commissioner. In my opinion, this is not nearly enough. Kimberly Parker has only lived here a few years and, except for being a compassionate person, has nothing in her resume that should make anyone believe she is qualified to set policy for Chaffee County and to handle the multitude of issues that come before the commissioners.

Historically, Chaffee County has been a special place to live because most residents, including Rusty, have held traditional rural and small town values, have shown a healthy respect for the property rights of others and have been welcoming to a socially and economically diverse group of new residents. For those who want to keep Chaffee County special and for those who want an independent voice as a third county commissioner, I strongly recommend voting for Rusty Granzella.

Gary Bishop