To the editor:

In letters to our local papers, County Commissioner candidate Erik Stone described how he will lobby at the legislature on our county’s behalf against potentially harmful legislation.  As he described in one letter, “That’s part of the job.” Yes, but it’s actually a small part of the job–about five percent. That’s why his focus on those issues seems to many of us to misrepresent the actual work of a Commissioner.


In contrast, while Phil Mella will be a strong advocate for us at Colorado Counties, Inc. (which is the lobbying entity for counties), and will testify against legislation that may harm us, he brings seven years of elective experience to the table, which makes him the superior candidate.


I served with Mella on Woodland Park City Council during the Walmart development and and he was a strong voice for property rights against people who tried to stop them.  When he was on council again in 2015 he expressed concerns about the aquatic center and was the only one to vote against it. In his view the expense escalations and the relocation from downtown to the school weren’t in the citizens’ long-term best interests.  The debt service for that center and its operational expenses have proven Mella right.


Beyond his elective experience, Mella has been attending the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) meetings to understand our transportation funding for the roads our county doesn’t manage.  Moreover, since January 2019 he’s been attending the Teller County Wildfire Committee, a multi-jurisdictional committee that’s working to enhance forest management and fuel mitigation services. These are the core responsibilities of a Commissioner, and are concerns that all residents share, and, they are concrete examples of how Mella will be an effective Commissioner on day one.


In addition, Mella successfully managed multi-million dollar budgets and negotiated commercial contracts worth tens of millions of dollars, so we can be assured he will be a vigilant steward of our tax dollars.  That’s why I’m supporting Phil Mella for County Commissioner, and I encourage you to as well.

Jeff Baldwin