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Dear Editor:

Chaffee County is at a tipping point. Drive into the mountains and you will see much of our forest has become a tinder box. Walk along the river and you will notice extremely low water conditions. River flows and irrigation ditches that rely on that water currently stand at historic lows. Our own everyday experience tells us that our valley is getting warmer. These changes do not bode well for a people who live in a high desert environment.

Our ranching and recreational economies are threatened. Our real estate has become too expensive for the people who do the work in this county. We have homeless children attending our schools. Another low snowpack season and one unlucky lightening strike will create problems we are not prepared to resolve.

At this time we need a county commission that is aggressive in developing the plans and infrastructure that will allow us to meet these challenges. At this time, we need county commissioners who work across ideologies to develop the best solutions for everyone. And at this time, we need commissioners to have the technological expertise to identify and implement the complex solutions necessary to resolve our challenges.

For these reasons, I support Kimberly Parker. Parker has proven skill sets in both technology and inclusive leadership. Combining her skills with those of Greg Felt and Keith Baker will place us in the best possible position to meet our challenges and protect our beautiful but fragile valley. Just 40 years ago this county was known for its dead river and empty store fronts, a dying community with no future for its children. Let’s not allow that to happen again. Vote for Kimberly Parker!

Cea Tait