A Rare Opportunity for Teller Residents in Race for Commissioner

Dear Editor:

I am normally not very political. I tend to be firmly situated in that center third of the spectrum, not far right, not far left, but more middle of the road libertarian.

I say, “Government: stay out of our pockets, out of our medicine cabinets, and out from under our beds.” Life can be complicated, so give people the freedom to find their happiness. Live and let live. Religion is too important to involve the government in it. It seems a lack of term limits has led to many, many problems in Washington, D.C. Being centrist has fallen out of fashion. I have some good news for those who believe common solutions are in the center.

Teller County has a very unique opportunity coming up on our November ballot this year. As Teller County is rugged by design, it requires rugged individuals to make a home high in the mountains. That rugged individualism means Teller County consistently leans to the right politically.

The Teller County Republicans are a strong voting bloc in the county, and is made up of very dynamic, experienced, and well-connected individuals. They are a formidable group to contend with, and are often unopposed. There is an interesting challenge to their dominance this year, however.

After an extended break, a former two term Republican Teller County Commissioner is running on the November ballot as Democrat for Teller County Commissioner. That is a rather interesting twist in itself;, however it is not the only unexpected wrinkle in this story. While his election would be sure to “stir things up” on our Board of County Commissioners, he is also taking a page from long ago: true public service.

You see, Mr. Dennis Luttrell, of Divide, will be donating the $85K annual commissioners’ salary back to the people of Teller County. You read that right: He plans to work for free as a true public servant to make Teller a better place.

Many in the community may not know that our three county commissioners earn $85K each per year as listed in the most recently approved budget. Across Colorado, the county commissioner job is seen as a part time position, requiring 15 to 25 hours of work per week. While it is clear it would be difficult to hold down a full-time job and add in the responsibilities and ancillary time required to fill the seat, that $85K salary for our small county seems a bit spendy.

Mr. Luttrell agrees, and he plans to give his time for free by giving back his salary as grants to Teller County not for profits.

Mr. Luttrell defies the adage “you get what you pay for,’ as he has an extensive background in industry, capitalism, and county government. He assisted in setting up the Fire Districts in Florissant/Divide, understands policy creation, and has proven himself as an environmentalist, and hard worker. You can learn more about Mr. Luttrell at his website (reelectluttrell.com).

I challenge anyone who has read to the end of this missive to consider the positives that would come from a move back toward the center, a new set of ideas/vision for the Board of County Commissioners, and sending a message that we want cooperation and team building, not polarization and political extremes.

I urge you to Vote Luttrell for Teller County Commissioner in November 2022

Toni Blackwell