Melody Villard says time is right to run for Moffat County commissioner’s seat
Due to her extensive involvement within the community in Moffat County and the city of Craig, Melody Villard — who recently won the 2019 Bill and Nancy Muldoon Humanitarian Award from Craig Rotary Club during the service organization’s yearly fundraiser gala Diamonds and Spurs — felt the time was right to try and make an even bigger impact, this time from District 2’s seat for the Board of County Commissioners.
Villard, who officially announced she’s running for District 2’s seat with a Facebook post on Jan. 23, said that in the past she’d turned down requests to run, but now she believes the opportunity to make an impact is too great to pass up.
“I think the opportunity to have a strong board really pushed me to do it this year,” Villard said during an interview Thursday. “I knew that Tony (Bohrer) was going to run as well, and I feel like we have a good slate during the election to work with. We’re facing things in our community and our county that are going to be tough, so we need fair and tough leaders who will look at things with the future in mind. In the past, we’ve been looking at so much locally that’s more short-term that we’re missing the boat on long-term stuff.”
Thanks to her involvement locally, Villard believes she has a unique perspective when it comes to helping Craig thrive following life after the coal mines and power plants. Through her work with the Luttrell Barn Cultural Center, Moffat County United Way, and Museum of Northwest Colorado, to name a few, as well as her work as a sheep rancher alongside husband Albert, Villard believes revenue generation is of the utmost importance right now for Moffat County.
“The main thing is the tough situation facing us,” Villard said. “We’re going to have to shrink as a community before we can grow. The main focus now is the same focus with the volunteer work that I do, and that is revenue generation for our community.”
Villard brought in high school rodeo finals to Moffat County in recent years, and recently won the bid for the 2020 and 2021 finals to be held in the county as well. Along with the rodeo finals, Villard takes great pride in tourist attractions like Whittle the Wood Rendezvous, Grand Old West Days, and Moffat County Balloon Festival, as well as the Ride and Tie Rodeo that she hopes to revive this summer.
“It’s all a revenue generator,” Villard said. “That’s really where we need to be focused, and that’s mainly what I’m running on. We lost some employees at the hospital that were being paid here and investing here. Now, when we start to farm out those jobs, it doesn’t prop up our community because those workers don’t live here and don’t invest here. So we need to focus on generating revenue here. Revenue generation will be huge here; that’s a big part of my work for 10 years at least.
“I’ll be looking at ways the county can be creative moving forward.”
Villard also brings an agricultural and tourism perspective to the table in her campaign, thanks to her work with the sheep ranch while being part of a third-generation farmer in Moffat County. She says a geographical knowledge of the county will help her as a county commissioner, allowing her to provide services to everyone who falls under the county umbrella.
Villard is the second candidate to announce they’re running for District 2’s seat, which Ray Beck will vacate at the end of 2020. Villard is currently slated to run against former county commissioner Chuck Grobe. Beck will not seek re-election for District 2’s seat.