Salida Airport at Harriet Alexander Field is jointly owned by the City of Salida and Chaffee County. For a number of years now I have been fortunate to be a representative for the city to the airport advisory board.
The advisory board is made up of pilots and others with aviation backgrounds and we advise the county commissioners and city council on dealing with the Federal Aviation Administration, airport expansion, hangar construction and other issues.
It was in that capacity that I first met Keith Baker. Early in his campaign for county commissioner Baker began attending our open board meetings.
He came to a number of our monthly meetings and explained he wanted to gain an understanding of the issues affecting the airport.
Baker was not only attending airport board meetings, but also meetings for other county interests including planning and zoning, road and bridge, building and more.
Keith’s dedication and time investment was considerable and all this was during the campaign and long before he was elected.
When he was elected he was able to hit the ground running and quickly became a valued member of our board.
He continued attending airport board meetings and his input showed he had spent lots of personal time on his own learning the intricacies of dealing with the FAA and aviation.
Our airport is a county asset that receives millions of dollars from the FAA and managing this wisely is critical.
Baker’s comments and input were valuable and his quick grasp of the issues involved in budgeting and management showed his competence in those areas.
Baker is now a proven commodity. He has executed the complex job of commissioner well and his previous life experience shows in the job he is doing.
One thing in particular that impresses me about Baker is his ability to listen to and present many sides to an issue.
While our board has a vested interest in aviation Baker is always quick to think how our plans will affect the agriculture and ranching interests in the valley or the small businesses in town.
Keith Baker brought to his commissioner position his 23 years of Navy service, his work on the Buena Vista town council and Friends of Brown’s Canyon success.
Now he has added one term of exemplary dedication to the job of Chaffee County Commissioner. It is in the best interest of all Chaffee County citizens that we elect Baker to another term serving our county.