Eric Sutherland chafes at the easy characterization that he is a critic of government.
“There’s a huge difference between advocating and criticizing,” he contends. Advocates work on problems in search of solutions while critics criticize for the sake of criticizing.
A regular speaker at public meetings, Sutherland said in two weeks he collected the 750 signatures of registered voters required to petition on to the November ballot as an Independent candidate for District 1 Larimer County Commissioner.
If elected, Sutherland said he would continue advocating forcefully for citizens in both the unincorporated areas as well as the cities, which he said the commissioners seem to forget are also are part of the county.
The public at large, he contends, has been ignored and neglected by the current commissioners.
“They run the whole thing like a country club,” Sutherland said. “It’s like one screw up after another.”
Sutherland maintains particular disdain for the “worthless” Boxelder Stormwater Authority that he insists has heaped huge debt on those within the district and beyond for the benefit of developers.
The “pork-barrel project,” he said, is based on fraudulent predictions. Everybody in the county, Sutherland said, will directly or indirectly end up paying for an “absolutely unnecessary project” resulting in destruction of prime farmland through illegal condemnation of property at a fraction of its true value.
“This whole thing was motivated by back-room deals with developers.” he maintained.
Sutherland is similarly outraged by the use of tax-increment financing by municipalities and urban renewal districts that capture future tax revenues needed by the county, school districts and organizations such as the Foothills Gateway facility for the developmentally disabled.
He also objects to the county plan to tie its new Loveland office building in with the city’s South Catalyst Plan for redeveloping the downtown. While he supports locating the new building downtown, he believe there’s a real risk to the county throwing in its lot with a speculative redevelopment scheme.
Further, Sutherland said it’s too soon to extend the open lands sales tax that doesn’t lapse for another four years.
Sutherland asserts that he is the best qualified candidate because he thoroughly analyzes issues and questions inconsistencies.
Sutherland previously ran unsuccessfully for Fort Collins mayor.
Clarification: Updated Oct. 3 clarifying that Eric Sutherland believes that the Boxelder Stormwater Authority has engaged in illegal actions, but not criminal actions.