MONTE VISTA — Joe Schlabach, councilman for the City of Monte Vista, has announced his intention to run for county commissioner in District Two of Rio Grande County.
Schlabach is an Ohio farm boy who left home to serve in the Marines and, to hear him tell the story, “was fortunate to live all over the world. I have gained a perspective that many never get. As a result, I am deeply grateful to live in the United States.”
Schlabach served from 2007 to 2011, stationed in Japan and deployed to Iraq. During his service, he was depended upon for his leadership and problem solving abilities. When he returned home, he enrolled at Adams State University, pursuing a degree in business administration and economics. After completing a year, he started his own construction business based in Monte Vista. It became very profitable, building multi-million dollar homes in Pagosa Springs. But, after a year and a half, some of Schlabach’s old injuries started bothering him. He was forced to quit construction and went back to school.
During his time at Adams State, Schlabach helped build the veterans group on campus. He also worked in conjunction with Senator Michael Bennet and Congressman Scott Tipton to bring a doctor to the Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in Alamosa.
Upon graduation, Schlabach served on the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Urban Renewal Authority in Monte Vista. He was thereafter appointed to fill a vacancy on council in May of 2015 and subsequently elected to that seat in November of 2015.
While serving the city, Schlabach has helped to foster steady economic growth and a balanced budget. He has worked tirelessly to address the issues of crime and safety in Monte Vista. He regularly does “ride-alongs” with the police officers, not only to better understand their challenges, but also to see first-hand the problems the community faces.
Schlabach states, “it is time for someone to step up and make the right decisions for the right reasons. We have a lack of transparency on how our money is being spent. The budget is not posted on the internet. The sheriff's office is not being provided with the funds they need to adequately protect and serve. And there appears to be no commitment to economic development at the county level. These are the issues I want to tackle as commissioner.”
Schlabach invites everyone to his campaign kickoff at Three Guys in the Monte Villa Inn, on Saturday January 20 at 4 p.m. to hear his plan. See more of his stances at his website joeforriogrande.com.