Gwen Lachelt for a leader who listens

I am struck by the image of our community coming together on the Animas River Trail for Durango Connect, not only in celebration of the completion of the river trail, but also (as I take it) in a classic Durango stubborn stance against the maelstrom of divisiveness sweeping the country.

Now we need our local leaders to take up the torch and build upon this desire to bridge divides, achieve consensus and get plans moving.

That is what Gwen Lachelt does. With her knowledge of the issues, skills as a leader and remarkable ability to truly listen to people and their concerns, Gwen has, during the last 25 years, been a builder of coalitions, particularly between urban and rural interests. This includes her work with Western Colorado Congress and San Juan Citizens Alliance, as well as founder and director of Earthworks’ Oil and Gas Accountability Project.

A strong proponent of landowner rights, Gwen worked closely with Ellen Roberts to pass the Colorado Landowners Protection Act, aimed at reducing oil and gas impacts.

Gwen understands the necessity of addressing the sometimes-competing concerns of citizens, local businesses and nonlocal corporations. As she says, “One interest cannot economically damage another.” She has shown that she considers both the environmental health and economic well-being of our community a joined priority, and has developed the knowledge and political savvy to help lead us in that direction.

Gwen was my first neighbor when I moved to Durango about 17 years ago, and she helped shovel us out of some difficult snowy conditions. I have to say that as good as Gwen is at snow shoveling, persistence is really her forte.

I trust her implicitly. And I strongly believe we’d be in good hands with Gwen Lachelt as county commissioner.

As a reminder, everyone in the county and city is eligible to vote for the county commissioner positions, no matter your district.

Caroline Arlen