by Brian Manning
WALSENBURG — Gubernatorial candidate Lew Gaiter III spoke to 30 Republicans at their monthly meeting at La Plaza Inn in Walsenburg. He is a Larimer County Commissioner and spoke about his experience in the public and private sectors, which he feels would help him as governor of Colorado.
His business career was in international software and computer networking, and as a consultant and research and development software engineer. As county commissioner, he worked hard to reduce unnecessary spending in county government. Gaiter helped streamline the motor vehicle department to make less wait time.
He believes that education is important and that trade schools are as necessary as colleges to help fill the available jobs in Colorado.
Gaiter has travelled all over the state as president of Colorado Counties, Inc. and worked with other counties on their problems. He has been married for 35 years to his wife Jeannette, they have nine children and fie grandchildren.
After Gaiter’s talk, chairperson Debi Sporleder called the meeting to order with an invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance. She reminded people the Republican Caucus will be held in March, and that it is time to start thinking about candidates.
Ron Nielsen, Vice President of the La Veta Fire Protection District, reported that the fire department has a new ATV and trailer and this will help fight wildfires. Nielsen is also secretary of Huerfano County Hospital District, and reported the facility is still struggling with costs due to low reimbursements allowed by Medicare and Medicaid. He said the veteran’s nursing home must be at full capacity to break even financially.
Sandy White with the Huerfano Water District talked about the need for more water storage. During the rainy season, as much as 70% of the water is lost and should be captured.
Dennis Hoyt said the Red Cross has volunteers installing smoke detectors free of charge and that more than 100 people have signed up for the program. He also reported that the City of Walsenburg was paving streets.
David Tesitor gave a report on Huerfano School District RE-1. They are currently looking at all buildings for ways to lower maintenance costs and are upgrading their computer labs. The tax money from marijuana can only be used for capital projects and they must have matching funds for these projects.
The meeting was adjourned and the next meeting will be on December 12.