announces run for county
Three candidates now on ticket for La Veta district
by Bill Knowles
LA VETA- Max Vezzani’s announcement on Monday morning, Nov. 21 brings to three the total number of candidates currently on the ballot for District 2. Vezzani’s announcement fills out the political spectrum covered by the current slate of candidates for the district.
Vezzani, a republican, said in an interview with the Huerfano World Journal that he has a history of being able to build consensus among diverse groups of people who hold to various political idealogies. “I will listen carefully to all citizens, gather as much accurate information as is feasible and then make prudent decisions on behalf of the citizens,” Vezzani stated in a news release.
“One of the things I’m most proud of is working with the democrats in the state,” Vezzani told the Journal. He has over 30 years of service with the Colorado State government, including work with the Department of Natural Resources where he advanced to the position of Chief Parks Enforcement Officer at Lathrop State Park and Deputy Director for the Colorado State Parks Division.
He worked with Ken Salazar and the Board of Land Commissioners as the CEO of the Colorado State Land Board overseeing more than three million acres of state school trust lands. He also served as Director of the Colorado State Soil Conservation Board.
When asked about the current issue of energy development in Huerfano County and how he sees the county moving forward, Vezzani said he believes the county is at a crossroads. “We live in a very unique and special area. We can’t make hasty decisions but we must make good ones based on science in a careful and thoughtful manner.”
“We can only do so much with energy exploration. We need to define our own way and as development or industry proposals come forward, we must have the capacity to assess the risks and put reasonable conditions in place in order to protect our county. Much is at stake for our community. We must be mindful of our wonderful natural resources.”
He doesn’t want to see Huerfano County used as a backyard by “our northern neighbors.”
He believes that the county must create an environment that nurtures small business. “If we have singular development here we will experience boom and bust cycles. We must be cognizant of the needs of our citizens to have the opportunity for jobs and to attain success and lead prosperous lives.
“I accept and advocate the idea of private property rights but only so far. We have to be aware of the idea that what one person does on their property stops at their property line.”
Vezzani is the current Chairman of the Huerfano County Planning and Zoning Commission. He also serves as Secretary and Treasurer of the Huerfano County Fire Protection District Board. In addition he is a member of the Regional Building Authority and a member of the recently formed Spanish Peaks Community Foundation. He has served on the Farm Bureau Board and is a member of the Huerfano Basin Stockgrowers Association.
Since purchasing a ranch in 1980, Vezzani,is also a cattle rancher and has placed 1,100 acres of his ranch in a land trust. That decision assures in perpetuity that the ranch may be used for agriculture but must also remain as wildlife habitat and open space, never to be subdivided.
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward