The five candidates vying for two Adams County Board of County Commissioner seats may have differing opinions on issues, but most agree space flight …
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The five candidates vying for two Adams County Board of County Commissioner seats may have differing opinions on issues, but most agree space flight is the wave of the future.
During the Front Range Airport’s annual Classic Aircraft and Car Show on Aug. 18, four of the five candidates voiced their opinions during an hour-long discussion on Spaceport Colorado’s future.
Charles “Chaz” Tedesco, the Democratic Party’s District 2 candidate, said the future may be uncertain for Spaceport Colorado as it continues to push for a spaceport license, but the county’s continued investment is important to the region’s future economic growth.
“We need to make that initial investment, and we need to continue making that investment in it,” Tedesco said. “It’s going to take some time to get it up and going to where it needs to be, but just like anything else, if you give it some water and watch it grow, it will take off.”
His GOP challenger, Donnia Howell, said it is important for the county and Front Range Airport to continue outreach to private companies and legislators, while favorable opportunities and conditions still exist for Spaceport Colorado.
“This airport right now is basically being funded by the county, and I think that the spaceport designation will be an impetus for its growth,” Howell said. “If there are other states that have the money and everything in place to get it, they’re going to get it, and if we lose that, it’s going to be detrimental to this airport.”
Eva Henry, the Democratic Party’s District 1 candidate, said Spaceport Colorado would “bring Adams County into the 21st-century global economy” by creating manufacturing and aviation-related jobs that could boost the county’s revenue stream. To achieve this, Henry said, it is important for the county to improve its relationship with potential airport businesses.
“The foundations are in place, but I think that they need the relationship with the county commissioners, which they do not have right now, to encourage it even more,” Henry said. “It’s kind of hard to believe in something when your own county government doesn’t really show the belief or support in it.”
Her GOP opponent, Gary Mikes, agreed and said it is important for the county government to invest the time needed to make it happen, even though space flight operations may not take place within the next five years.
“It’s going to be a circle that is ultimately going to benefit everybody and not just Adams County,” Mikes said. “When we bring businesses and jobs into this region and this industry, it’s going to help fund other areas of the county in terms of tax base, which we need to improve our infrastructure.”
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