Four years ago I embarked on an amazing journey. Swearing into office and pledging my commitment to our Constitution is no light matter. Taking on the responsibilities of leadership here at the county is no light matter. Taking all that I had learned and discussed with citizens of this county up to that point and then acting on those things has been an extraordinary joy and honor. Forming relationships with folks locally and throughout the state of Colorado has been an enriching experience and a great privilege.
Now, unbelievably as the time has flown, I am seeking my second term in office and am enjoying a personal assessment of all that has been done, how the administration of the county has changed and how we can continue to improve and enhance service delivery, reduce bureaucratic intrusion and responsibly steward the tax dollars of this county.
I have learned so much in these fours years and continue to learn each and every day. It remains my sincere honor to serve in this role and I ask for your support as I seek my second term in office.
As County Commissioners, we vote on many, many items each and every week. Included in all that we consider are budgetary issues, land use, roads, policy, code enforcement, contracts, community support items and much, much more. Listed below are highlights from the last four years. You’ll find a sampling of the things that matter so much to the citizens of this county and that reflect my philosophy and efforts. They are in no particular order and if there is something about which you have a question, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
CUT county spending by $30 million. These are real dollars, not just budgeted spending like the Federal Govt.
Opposed, via a public vote, placing county tax increase question, 1A on the ballot in 2008.
Voted against a COP refinancing/cash out option of the Human Services Building. This was used as a budget balancing tool and was not only unsustainable, but did not have the revenue stream in place to cover the costs.
Personally started the “County Checkbook Online” project, ensuring taxpayer access to ALL expenditures in a simple and more accessible way. This project is ongoing with our IT department and a priority to me.
Personally started the “Barriers to Business” group in an effort to reduce regulation and bureaucracy within our Land Development Code, pushing government out of the way and allowing business to flourish! So far, nearly 200 changes have been made, some administrative, some highly technical and all an improvement to the Code!
Earned the endorsement of the Eastern Plains Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Springs Housing and Building Association due to my philosophy and efforts to improve the business climate in our county which will help create private sector jobs.
Eliminated or froze 300 county staff positions and eliminated entire unsustainable programs resulting in a significant reduction in the size and scope of county government!
Reduced 13 administrative departments down to 4.
Sponsored and passed a unanimous resolution in SUPPORT OF TABOR. This resolution directed county legal staff to formally engage in the efforts to protect TABOR on behalf of the citizens of El Paso County.
Sponsored and passed a unanimous resolution AGAINST OBAMACARE! ObamaCare is the single most important issue in this upcoming presidential election and MUST BE STOPPED IN ITS ENTIRETY! NOTHING SHORT OF FULL REPEAL!
Every year, signed a unanimous resolution in SUPPORT of the sanctity of human life.
Sponsored and passed a unanimous resolution against the collection of delinquent Colorado Springs City Stormwater fees through the county property tax collection process. This sets a dangerous precedent as it relates to the property tax collection process and should be handled by the City through non-statutory means.
Stood up to President Obama and voted against unsustainable, power grabbing, government bloating, debt spending, New Program Stimulus dollars.
I represent us on the National Association of Counties, Intergovernmental Affairs and Finance Committee where I helped win approval of a balanced budget resolution last year to be sent to Congress.
Prioritized public safety in El Paso County and earned the endorsement of Sheriff Terry Maketa and District Attorney Dan May.
Protected water quality by starting the citizen led Groundwater Quality Study Group. That group is ongoing as we consider phase II work.
Protected citizen owned assets and water quality by enacting common sense, no-nonsense policy on oil and gas exploration and production in El Paso County. The very simple 4 policy pieces (3 of which are regulatory and 1 that takes place in agreement with the State of Colorado) that the Board of County Commissioners enacted are:
|Roads and Infrastructure. This enables us to mitigate the significant impacts that 1,000-1,500 large truck trips per well have on our roads and bridges and makes sure that the peoples’ assets are being protected.
Noxious weed mitigation. This is a statutory requirement in which we must prevent the influx of noxious weeds to the county. These have impacts on livestock and agriculture and is regulated through state statute.
Emergency Management Plan. This establishes an emergency plan with the local jurisdictions for the incoming industry of oil and gas exploration and production.
Water Monitoring. Our water is our MOST PRECIOUS RESOURCE! Although the State of Colorado heavily regulates this industry and the actual operation of the drilling, we believe strongly in requiring baseline water testing and ongoing monitoring. The state already has programs in place in other counties to monitor groundwater, and through a process using a Memo of Understanding with each operator, we will ensure that this kind of monitoring is taking place here in El Paso County.
A fifth aspect to this new industry is what we refer to as the Local Government Designee Process (LGD). This allows us to appoint an LGD who will work with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to discuss specific concerns and resolve local issues germane to El Paso County. As issues arise, this process will allow us to work with existing regulations to customize the processes occurring right here at home.
Reprioritized the budget and moved more existing dollars into District 2 roads!
Established the Citizen’s Budget Oversight Committee (CBOC) for the purpose of ensuring broad citizen oversight of county budget policy, specific expenditures and fiscal planning long into the future. This group is now a strong influence as they oversee and make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners on budget practices and policy.
Established the Department of Human Services Citizen’s Oversight Committee for the purpose of analyzing budget practices and policy within the Department of Human Services. Prior to establishing this group, there was little local oversight of the El Paso County DHS.
Doggedly protected private property rights by: – Considering all land use based on the law, not special interests; – Fighting against the endangered listing of the Preble’s Jumping Mouse, Black Tailed Prairie Dog and Spotted Leopard Frog – ALL of which would have devastating impacts on property rights! (The County won in two of those cases. Unfortunately the Preble’s Jumping Mouse is still listed.)
Opened the indoor and outdoor equestrian arenas on the El Paso County Fairgrounds for public use. It is your facility! You should be able to use it!
Received invitation to join the Pikes Peak Range Riders Foundation Board, 2012. (Accepted)
Stood firm in my advocacy to reopen the Rampart Shooting Range.
Standing firm in my support of our Second Amendment rights, I worked with staff and military members for two years to achieve an unprecedented agreement with Ft. Carson, signed by the Secretary of the Army, to provide mandatory range services to our Sheriff’s Office while making a new range available to the entire public at the same time! For the first time, the public will be able to use the facilities being provided for law enforcement and military members and all proceeds will go to benefit the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Office of Ft. Carson which supports our military members and their families.
Consolidated numerous existing agencies and offices into a single location, resolving decades of facilities challenges without adding a penny to county spending. No tax increase. No service reductions. This consolidation saved millions of dollars which would have had to be spent to build a new Coroner’s facility, Health Department and Department of Human Services and will serve the citizens of this county for decades to come, with the entire project paid for with existing budgets.
El Paso County earned an A- transparency rating from Sunshine Review, the highest rating in the 5 top counties in the state.
After 3 years of working to change budget philosophy and an exhaustive savings and spending reduction effort, El Paso County’s credit rating was UPGRADED by Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s due to “conservative fiscal policies”. Compare this to the Federal government.
Respectfully and tirelessly represented my constituents with the highest degree of INTEGRITY, CARE and CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES.
Introduced prayer at EVERY Board of County Commissioner meeting. The invocation is open to anyone, any faith.
I was supported by my peers as Third Commissioner in 2009, Vice-Chair in 2010 and Chair of the Board in 2011 and 2012.
Held over 25 town hall meetings. Attended school meetings, club meetings, neighborhoods meetings. I meet folks at their homes, on their roads, whereever I am called.
Signed unanimous resolution to preserve and protect Habeas Corpus and Civil Liberties when these were under attack by the Federal Govt.
Earned Colorado Springs Business Journal Woman of Influence award for 2011.
Kept the promises I made 4 years ago in my Contract with the County!
Shown unmatched leadership and work ethic on the Board of County Commissioners and I have been true to my promises of transparency, priority-driven, open, honest, responsible, responsive and efficient county government.