by Larry Patrick
WALSENBURG — A respectful but direct discussion was held between the Huerfano County Commissioners and two members of the proposed Gardner Advisory Committee. Margaret Hecht, president, and Danielle Seawell, secretary of the yet-to-be ratified board, presented their mission statement and bylaws to the commissioners.
Hecht said the advisory board would like to work with the commissioners to improve the Gardner Community Center. They want to hold board elections and make recommendations on its operation.
Commissioner Max Vezzani told Hecht and Seawell that he knows there is some mistrust among those in Gardner with the past commissioners’ handling of the community center. However, he emphasized that the commissioners prefer to appoint members to the board as they do with the tourism board and other entities in the county. Seawell asked why, as she felt it gives the Gardner people no power. Her group is opposed to that. Vezzani noted the community center is county property, so the commissioners have responsibility for it. If elections were held for board positions, the commissioners would still have to approve those elected, so they prefer direct appointments.
Both sides felt things can be worked out in the next few weeks, but as it now stands, the current Gardner Advisory Board members would have to be approved by the commissioners along with their mission statement and other paperwork.