Merrit Linke – Republican District 2 Commissioner Candidate

Merrit Linke

How long have you been a resident of Grand County, and where do you currently live?

I came into Grand County in 1960 with no clothes and no money in my pocket. I currently live on the part of the original ranch homesteaded by my Great Grandfather in 1883.

Current appointed or elected office(s) and length of holding office:

Current District II County Commissioner. 3 years and 4 months

Family/Family Life:

Married to Teri Linke for 28 years.

3 Children All MPHS Graduates, two girls, college graduates, with jobs in their chosen careers, One son finishing his sophomore year in college.

College/Degree/Employment background:

BS Degree in secondary Education from the University of Wyoming.

12 years teaching Science, mostly Physics and Chemistry, and Coaching at middle and high school levels including 2 years as a college instructor.

In addition to serving as Commissioner, I operate a feed distribution/wholesale business, run a custom grazing operation and produce and market Middle Park hay.

Why do you want to be a commissioner? What qualities do you possess that make you a good candidate for commissioner?

I believe that there is some value in continuity, historical perspective and in the relationships developed with other counties, municipalities, and the legislative organizations and boards that I sit on. I believe that my ability to analyze the issue, communicate and advocate for the best interests of Grand County Citizens and businesses will serve us all long into the future.

I am currently serving as commissioner and believe that my commitment and ability to follow through will create a path for a future for the best version of Grand County

I have the ability to evaluate and understand the issues and concerns of the citizens and turn those concerns into opportunities that lead to solutions for the best interest of all involved.

In your opinion, what are the top challenges facing Grand County today? How would you address those challenges?

Water: We must commit to working towards solutions that insure the long term sustainability of Grand County water. We need to make sure we follow through on all the water agreements such as the CRCA to insure that Grand county gets what we agreed to in terms of protecting our water rights, streams and aquatic life in our rivers.

What steps would you take to help Grand County move toward economic stability?

I will continue to build on what we have already accomplished in this period of declining revenues. We worked with departments, staff, and the accounting department to develop long term sustainable budget strategies. This, coupled with the commissioners working for organization-wide

adjustments, streamlining and restructuring, will allow us to achieve our goal of adopting no less than a zero-deficit budget for 2017.

There are a number of mandated programs that must be administered. What priorities would you have for discretionary spending?

There is much more than simply looking to statutory requirement to determine what to spend or not spend taxpayer money on. It is to determine what level of service or at what level a program is to be supported at and to determine what is the best for our citizens and visitors. I believe that roads, water and financial accountability are the top three priorities. Getting there will take everyone’s help and will require trust and leadership by our elected leaders

Grand County has several distinct communities. How do you plan to help communities maintain their identities and yet work together on issues of countywide interest?

It is important to recognize the diversity of our communities, acknowledge the unique contributions of each, and stress the importance of how each one makes for a stronger Grand County as a whole.

What promises do you have for your constituents if you are elected?

I promise to bring forth a term limits ballot question.
I promise to fight for the protection of private property rights, 2nd amendment rights, and to support the constitution.