McCluskey Dives In

Sep 272005
Authors: Brandon Lowrey

In his limited spare time, State Rep. Bob McCluskey, R-Fort Collins, has seen some high heights and low depths.

The 55-year-old local politician said there's really no time of the year he is not working, but he occasionally lets off some steam between legislative sessions in a hot-air balloon or cools off by diving in the Caribbean.

"The last (scuba diving trip) was to Antigua, and before that was Barbados," McCluskey said.

McCluskey was able to speak with authority on diving — going too deep isn't efficient, he said.

"I usually dive 30 to 60 feet; the reason is you have more light and you can stay down longer," he said. Diving deeper, as some tend to do, cuts the amount of time it's safe to stay and the amount of light, he said.

McCluskey, who has been politically active in Fort Collins since 1991, was also president of his family's small dairy business, the Poudre Valley Creamery, since 1975.

He began selling the business about four years ago and let go of the last of it about a month ago.

"I will focus now entirely on my job in the legislature," he said.

Currently, he serves on the finance and business affairs and labor committees.

When he's not attending town hall meetings, regional events or preparing for the next session, McCluskey also kills time playing competitive handball, he said.

For the upcoming legislative session, McCluskey is pushing a law that would require hospitals to report infections.

Presently, the representative argues, patients are getting sick needlessly in hospitals, suffering or even dying.

He also plans to improve Poudre Fire Authority's pension plans and to create jobs, he said, along with checking with constituents in CSU, Fort Collins and Larimer County.

"It's an honor to be down there and represent Fort Collins," McCluskey said.

"It's always a privilege for me to be down there and I enjoy it."

But in a lifetime spent in Fort Collins, he's seen the city change for better and for worse.

On one hand, Fort Collins has many more resources than before and a large quantity and variety of restaurants are available to the city's citizens. On the other hand, he said, there're a lot more people.

"You have more congestion on the roads and more issues when you go into stores," McCluskey said. "I think there's a balance there and Fort Collins is still a great place to come from."

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