Spending, transparency priorities for Woodruff as commissioner

MEEKER | Si Woodruff has been at the heart of local and county affairs for 40 years. He started at

Si Woodruff
Si Woodruff
the Meeker Police Department in 1977. He served as the Rio Blanco County Sheriff for 12 years, stepping down two years ago in January with the intention to run for Rio Blanco County Commissioner. He did just that in 2016, beating incumbent Jeff Eskelson in the Republican primary election with 63 percent of the vote.
On Jan. 10 Woodruff will be sworn in as commissioner along with Jeff Rector.
When he announced his intention to run for commissioner in February 2016 Woodruff said his goal was to change the county’s spending habits.
“The priority would be to quit spending our funds and prepare as best we can for tougher times, as we did in the ’80s,” Woodruff said in a Feb. 5, 2016, article in the Herald Times.
His priorities haven’t changed since the election.
“We need to complete the courthouse project, the fiber project, the fairgrounds project,” he said. “Then we need to look at the money and see where we sit.”
Woodruff believes it’s time to rein in what he perceives as uncontrolled spending and make decisions that will protect the county’s fiscal future.
“We can work together to share employees while still providing the same quality of services, but save money.”
He’s also looking forward to more transparency and cooperation on the board, and between the board and other departments and the public.
“Shawn Bolton is not the only commissioner. There are three, and the three of us together will make the decisions,” Woodruff said. “Bolton asked that all decisions be discussed, but whether we (the commissioners) agree or disagree, we all vote unanimously, so that the record doesn’t show one commissioner or another as being against something. I’m not going to do that.”
With regard to the planned economic development projects, specifically the proposed Outdoor Adventure Center, Woodruff said, “If you ask me if I support it, my answer today is ‘no.’ That’s not saying you can’t change my mind, but I want a lot more information.”
Woodruff mentioned a Dec. 20 article in the Daily Sentinel, in which the organizers of the new Cameo shooting range in DeBeque Canyon near Palisade said they hope the range will attract 50,000 visitors a year. “How are we going to compete with that?”
He believes the public is tired of not being informed, and intends to change that, saying he will be available to every citizen and every county employee “with no repercussions.”
“There’s a lot for all of us learn. I want to work together with everyone.”