Acquafresca opponent says he’s ‘angry citizen’

The challenger to Mesa County Commissioner Steve Acquafresca congratulated the commission Tuesday for cutting its share of the business personal property tax.

But, “What took so long?” asked Steve Saint, a Libertarian who works for the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department and is the only opponent to Acquafresca, who is seeking a second term on the commission.

During a Tuesday morning forum for the two candidates sponsored by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, Saint said he is frustrated by the cost of government.

In addition to the vote on the business personal property tax, Saint said the commission did the right thing in putting the issue of medical-marijuana dispensaries to voters. The people should make the final decision as to the legality of the dispensaries, he said.

Describing himself as “an angry citizen running for office,” Saint said the county should do more to help small businesses.

Acquafresca, meanwhile, said he hopes to continue his focus on public works, such as new roads, sewer systems and other capital assets as opposed to increasing the number of county employees.

“Let’s continue to build our community as opposed to building county government,” Acquafresca told the two dozen people at the breakfast.

Acquafresca also noted he opposed a measure to bring in an out-of-state provider to operate a clinic for county employees.

“I wanted to partner with local providers,” Acquafresca said.

Commissioners Craig Meis and Janet Rowland voted to establish the clinic.

State Rep. Laura Bradford, R-Grand Junction, who is unopposed for re-election, and state Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, who is seeking to oust U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., from the 3rd Congressional District, also spoke to the forum.

Tipton later spoke to the West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association.


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