Michael Whiting announced his intent to run for Archuleta County Commissioner Monday.
The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners District 3 seat, currently held by Bob Moomaw, is the sole commissioner office up for election in November.
“I’ve actually been considering running for county commission for months — six months or more. I spend a tremendous amount of time working with the county commissioners,” said Whiting, who is currently the executive director for the Southwest Land Alliance and chairman of the county’s Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails (PROST) task force.
Whiting noted that he has four years of “extensive meeting attendance” with the town and county planning commissions and other pertinent meetings due to his job and role with PROST, and has worked with elected officials, allowing him to follow, observe and participate in the political processes.
“I consequently saw places where they didn’t work. The next step in my thinking was, I could be really useful as a county commissioner as opposed to being useful from the outside,” Whiting said.
Because of his lack of experience in public office, Whiting said he has yet to form platform statements and, at this point, has mostly questions and concerns, but said that he has also talked to “hundreds of individuals” and many area groups about their concerns.
One of Whiting’s major concerns, however, is economic development.
“You can’t do economic development in a vacuum. We really have to look at the broader community in our economic development plans,” he said, adding that community vitality was important to him and the people he has talked to.
While he hasn’t yet formed a complete platform for his campaign, Whiting said the BoCC needs new, creative ideas to move forward in the “new economy,” as well as to improve the thoughtfulness and transparency of the board.