Commissioner candidate challenges Clark

       Karen Magistrelli feels she is not being represented effectively by her current District 3 El Paso County commissioner, so the 27-year Ute Pass resident has decided to run for the position herself.

Karen Magistrelli

       She filed her papers this week. She will be vying for the D-3 Republican nomination against two-term incumbent Sallie Clark.
       “My qualifications for serving you come from life in the private sector,” Magistrelli said in a prepared statement. “I'm not a career politician. It would be a privilege and an honor to receive your vote to bring limited government, fiscal responsibility, integrity and conservative values back to El Paso County. You, the citizen of Commissioner District 3, now have a choice.”
       District 3 covers western El Paso County, including the Westside. The Republican primary will be next August. The office is for four years.
       Magistrelli's issues with Clark stem from a personal encounter - a belief that the commissioner supported unreasonably restrictive county regulations when Magistrelli and her husband Bob sought to subdivide a 142-acre property into eight lots; and from a citizen concern that Clark supported “confusing, deceptive” language on last-year's term-limit ballot issue (the passage of which made it possible for Clark to run for a third term).
       Clark said she opposed the Magistrelli development because they “requested waivers in the development for them to not meet fire codes in a wildland interface area up Ute Pass. Public safety is not a compromise issue for me.” In the commissioner vote on the item, Clark was in the minority, and the development is now moving forward.
       As for the ballot issue, Clark has previously said that her goal was to extend office-holders' opportunities to be useful to the electorate and that no attempt was made to deceive voters in the term-limits ballot wording.
       Commissioners have placed a reworded term-limits question on the November 2012 ballot, but Clark could still take office even if it passed and she was re-elected.
       Karen and Bob Magistrelli, who have six children, are retired, but earn income from a family-owned house that is rented for a vacation home, she said. They run an uncompensated, nonprofit ministry in which they take in male ex-prisoners. “Once they get a job, they help with room and board,” she explained. “Our family helps them rethink how to live their lives and what they could do differently.”

Westside Pioneer article