By Cheri Gerou
In 1783, officers of the Continental and French armies founded our nation’s oldest patriotic organization: Society of the Cincinnati. Central to its purpose was the philosophy of a Roman, Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus (519-430 B.C.), who left his farm to accept a term as Roman consul and served as magister populi (with temporary powers akin to a modern-era dictator).
He assumed lawful dictatorial control of Rome to meet a war emergency. After the battle was won, he gave up his power to the Senate and went back to plowing his fields. The society’s motto portrays his ethic of selfless service: Omnia reliquit servare rempublicam (“He relinquished everything to save the republic”).
George Washington served as the society’s first president and demonstrated concurrence with the beliefs of the society when, after refusing to serve more than two terms as president of the United States, he left office to return to private life and “plow his fields.” As our first president, Washington provided our country with a wealth of examples of selfless sacrifice and good citizenship.
While my public service can never match that of Cincinnatus or George Washington, serving without personal gain is a foundation of my beliefs. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve western Jefferson County and the state of Colorado for six years as your state representative. I am so grateful to our community and foothills neighbors for your support, but it is time for me to “plow my fields.”
My term will end at the end of this year, but I will be forever thankful for my family, friends and the residents of HD 25. I wish I could have done more for our district, specifically for the families and survivors of the Lower North Fork Fire. That is my greatest regret.
Former state representative Rob Witwer provided the best advice when I was first elected: When considering my position prior to voting on legislation, he said, “vote your conscience, vote your district, vote your party, in that order.” Those words have been my guide, and they are the gift I give to our next representative.
The foothills of Jefferson County are a very special place. We look for solutions through the lens of what is best for our communities and state — not what is best for a political party. Regardless of political persuasion, we tend to be fiscal conservatives AND good stewards of our lands and natural resources. I am so proud to live among such special Coloradans.
Thank you, House District 25, for the great honor of serving.
Cheri Gerou, an architect, has lived in the Evergreen area with her family for 30 years. She is the state representative for House District 25.