Candidates in spirited county commission races lay out goals

Two outspoken Republican incumbents on the Mesa County Commission are running for re-election: Craig Meis in District 1 and Janet Rowland in District 3.

Two Democratic lawyers are the challengers. Dan Robinson is looking to unseat Meis, and Dickie Lewis is opposing Rowland.

The Democrats have attacked primarily on the environmental front, arguing the two Republicans are forsaking Mesa County’s natural wonders for short-term economic benefits from the energy industry.

Robinson has taken this tack even further and has consistently accused Meis, a principal owner of Cordilleran Compliance Services Inc., an energy consulting firm, of conflicts of interest.

Lewis’ and Robinson’s attacks have not gone unnoticed, but they have been brushed off by Rowland and Meis, who say the attacks are spirited but are uninformed accusations rather than substantive arguments.

Meis has said he finds the attacks and “conspiracy theories” revolving around his associations with the energy industry “humorous.” He contends he has used his knowledge to the benefit, not the detriment, of the county. As an example, Meis points out he was the one to bring the idea of an energy master plan to the county.

Robinson said even the impression that a commissioner has a conflict of interest is a detriment to the county. Robinson and Lewis call the energy master plan a nonplan and say the commissioners have done nothing to advance it in the past four years.


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