Pugliese in District 3
In the two-way race for the District 3 seat on the Mesa County Board of Commissioners, Republican Rose Pugliese gets our endorsement. She is a down-to-earth candidate eager to try to make the county commissioners as accessible as possible to citizens.
She is running against Democrat Dave Edwards, a member of the Palisade Town Board of Trustees. Both Pugliese and Edwards moved to Mesa County within the past 10 years and both have law degrees. Edwards has an impressive record in accounting and management of health care organizations in the Midwest. But we like Pugliese’s approach to local issues better. Take, for example, the question of what to do with Clifton.
Edwards said he wants Clifton and other communities in unincorpated areas of Mesa County to become self-governing. He suggested setting up elected boards in places like Clifton to act as pseudo-town councils, but without any power except to make recommendations to the county commissioners. These boards might “push them toward self-government,” he said.
However, at least three times in the past 17 years, there have been efforts to push Clifton residents to create their own local government. Each time, a large majority of residents have made it clear that’s not what they want.
Pugliese’s approach — listening to what those residents have already said and what they continue to say, and recognizing the county’s continuing responsibility to them, especially regarding public safety — makes more sense at this point.
Or consider the two candidates’ ideas on the Mesa County Fairgrounds and plans currently being discussed for it.
“I like the idea of upgrading the fairgrounds,” Pugliese said. “I’m not entirely sold on all the economic benefits of doing so ... I don’t think the fairgrounds will ever be self-sufficient.” But it’s worth spending some county money to improve the fairgrounds and help attract more users, she suggested.
Edwards, on the other hand, said the fairgrounds is in the wrong place because “it’s hot as hell,” during the county fair. “I think there are better places, such as up near the town of Mesa. If you put the fairgrounds up there, it might generate some more jobs for that community.”
Edwards then suggested to The Daily Sentinel a complicated series of moves in which Grand Junction High School might move to ground on which the fairgrounds now sits on Orchard Mesa, and Colorado Mesa University could expand further to the west to use the high school facilities.
Pugliese has suggested nothing so grandiose in revamping the county, but she does have ideas that can help.
She thinks the county should provide more infrastructure north of Interstate 70 near Clifton to allow possible business development there. And she believes the county can do a better job of reducing regulations that hinder development.
We urge county voters to cast their ballots for Rose Pugliese in Commissioner District 3.