Two New Commissioners Take Over County Reins
KREX News Room
MESA COUNTY, Colo. On Tuesday afternoon newly elected Mesa County Commissioners were sworn into office. Dozens attended the ceremony, saying goodbye to the old commissioners and welcoming in the new.
The two both bring something different to the table.
John Justman (R-D1) has worked as a farmer most of his life, and Rose Pugliese (R-D3) an attorney.
Pugliese said, "I had jumped in the race when a lot of young professionals I knew were having to leave even though they really wanted to live here, because they didn't have jobs."
"Agriculture is a very up-and-down business. So I have handled for 40 years lots of ups and downs. I really think I can move on to be county commissioner," Justman said.
Commissioner Steve Acquafresca (Dist. 2) said, "We want to make sure we have a county organization that is efficient, lean, and very effective."
While different, the two new commissioners have very similar ideas for moving our county forward.
Justman said, "I want to make sure that GJEP and the Incubator and the chambers of commerce, that we're all kind of pulling together and sharing ideas and being as efficient as we can to look at where we can spend some money to try and promote some job growth."
"We have a lot of different partners in the community that I think we need to really continue to work with and establish better relationships with," said Pugliese.
One of the first items on her agenda is creating a business advisory board, "to look at the regulations we have in place and see what we can do to change those regulations if they are hindering businesses from growing."
They also have plans to pursue new marketing strategies for the county.
"We have just had some preliminary talks about perhaps advertising in California a little bit there, trying to entice some of those people to move here. We have a lot of things for Mesa County to sell," Justman said.
The two are filling big shoes, replacing commissioners who've worked side by side by for the past eight years.
"I'm really excited about the legacy they've left us, but I think that this is a new board and we have some different ideas," said Pugliese.
Both commissioners expect challenges ahead but are thrilled to be moving forward.