Our County is challenged with meeting infrastructure and service needs while rapidly growing. It’s key that we make the most of every dollar the county receives. Unlike most other counties in Colorado, Arapahoe has fallen behind in not eliminating a harmful element of TABOR which requires that a certain amount of revenue not be used and returned to mostly corporations. This process is known as De-Brucing. The first thing I will work towards is De-Brucing so the county can meet its needs without having to raise taxes. I will also look for waste, streamline our departments, seek more state and federal funding for our residents, roads, and development.
We have a beautiful county with lots of parks and nature reserves. I will work to continue to sustain them, while making sure that development is done responsibly. I will fight against fracking, oil, and mineral extraction where ever possible and definitely not near residential and populated areas. I will also work to make the County operations more green by replacing the much of county fleet with electric vehicles, requiring solar panels on County buildings, and moving us to paperless systems.
Attracting businesses and help small business growth is essential to our county’s prosperity. We need to utilize the county incentives in a way that actually creates new jobs and doesn’t just shift them around from area to area. I will work to provide assistance in renovating and rejuvenating our commercial properties already in the county, and not just building out new areas while leaving communities in disrepair.
Strong economic development also relies on supporting workers and job seekers. I will create partnerships with businesses and our Workforce Development Centers to help job seekers find meaningful employment, while meeting employer labor needs. As a former union member, I support our unions and will assist in protecting the benefits that union jobs bring.
Health & Human Services
With Douglas and Adams counties planning to leave Tri-County Health in 2023, Arapahoe County is in the midst of deciding our county’s future health response. Our next Commissioner will tasked with this work as well. At a time when COVID-19 and other variants like Omicron affect thousands in the the county, it is critically important to have a Commissioner in place that understands Health and Human Service policy. I’ve served on the House Health and Human Services Committee and I will work to ensure that services that keep us all health and safe are being provided. I support mask mandates as recommended by experts, vaccinations and schedules that ensure our most vulnerable are covered, and putting caution first in making decisions that affect the health and well being of everyone throughout the county.
Being one of Colorado’s largest and most diverse counties, Arapahoe residents rely on the services our county provides. From health inspections, to partnering with area hospitals, to providing affordable housing, and even helping seniors with rides to appointments or the grocery store, service delivery is our counties highest priority and this will be a key area of concern and attention for me as your next County Commissioner.
Justice and Law Enforcement
Arapahoe County will soon be in a new state Judicial District that will be focus solely on our county. While I was a State Representative, I voted in support of this new district so that we can have a judicial branch focus directly on the unique needs and circumstances of our communities. This new venture will require participation and partnership directly with our board of commissioners. I will work to ensure that our specific needs are the driving focus of these conversations.
Arapahoe County has many unincorporated areas where the Sheriff’s department provides local policing services, including Four Square Mile here in District 4. I will work with our sheriff to build and maintain trust between our community and law enforcement. Furthermore I will look for ways and reach out for state assistance in improving our dilapidated county jail. While I have always fought against building private prisons and strived for lower prison populations, I also recognize that our jail is inadequate and a major safety concern for both guards and inmates. Justice must be just.
Voter Rights and Civic Engagement
Our board of Commissioners must work with and support our County Clerk and & Recorder’s office to ensure that we make voting easy and accessible. Having served on the House State Affairs committee, I know the important role our county directly plays in fair elections. Given the budgetary role the Commissioners also have in that, I will do everything I can to support our clerk job and responsibility to protect your voting rights.