Responsible Government & Long-Range Planning

“Democracy’s only agenda is that we participate and that the majority voice be honored.”
Terry Tempest Williams

Trust in La Plata County government has eroded the past few years. After years in the making and at a cost of $750,000, the current County Commission rejected the comprehensive plan and years of citizen input and county staff time. The Commission also rejected a sensible plan to conserve energy and improve air quality.

I will work to restore trust and confidence in our local government by responding to our hopes and ideals rather than to fear and cynicism. A local government that has lost the trust and confidence of its citizens is hollow and ineffective. An effective local government should be able to do the following:

  • Serve the people who elected them. Serving local residents can mean anything from maintaining county roads to supporting a well functioning health department to regulating the effects of oil and gas drilling on the health safety and welfare of county residents.
  • Mediate the competing interests of citizens, local businesses and non-local corporations. One interest cannot economically damage another interest. This function requires the highest possible level of trust and confidence of La Plata County residents. Our current commissioners do not have that trust.
  • Inspire long-term thinking. Local government should inspire residents to envision a fair county and healthy environment. Without long range planning every decision is a decision all by itself. We don’t learn from our failures nor build on our successes. La Plata County has suffered a collapse of long-term planning and thinking. The restoration of trust and confidence will allow us to restore our hopes for a community to match our beautiful scenery.

Long-range planning (over a 50-100 year horizon) affords us the opportunity to protect rural interests, community agriculture, air quality, water quality and quantity, and public health. Short-term planning (20 year plans updated every 5 years) does not give us the ability to plan for growth and ensure long-term viability. Because we have not yet planned for the long-term, we have urban sprawl and are stretched to provide services like roads and law enforcement.

If elected, I will:

  • Work with citizens, local governments and organizations on comprehensive planning, affordable housing and transportation
  • Take positions on issues that affect La Plata County – even if they are non-binding resolutions. Resolutions matter and send an important message to state and federal officials that La Plata County stands by its residents
  • Promote and implement policies that protect our water supply and water quality and allow us to develop in a manner that doesn’t outpace our ability to provide essential services like roads & law enforcement

All Issue Positions and Bio in one (pdf)
Responsible Government (pdf)