Q: What is your occupation, education, and family?
A: I am 48 years old and have been married to Christine for 26 years. We have four children and one grandson. Currently I'm serving as a deputy with the Moffat County Sheriff's Office, I have been a law-enforcement officer for 24 years. I have 30 years experience as a government employee. I am thankful to have served in the U.S. Army and for the chance to move to Moffat County 10 years ago. I have attended Arapahoe Community College and Metro State College in Denver, Colorado and have an AA and AS degree.
Q: What qualifies you to be a county commissioner?
A: I have been an administrator in a metro city police department where I wrote and managed a budget of over $1 million. I have authored several successful grants and understand the strings attached to them. I have supervised personnel and possess the necessary leadership skills to guide Moffat County through the trying times ahead. I've learned to negotiate and compromise with people.
Q: What are the three things you would like to accomplish if elected county commissioner?
A: I would like to see that the budget is balanced and reserve funds are increased. I would like to see that projects are completed on time such as, Elkhead, the college and others. I would like to see a stabilization of our economy with local citizens benefiting from increased services.
Q: While balancing the 2004 budget, the commissioner board made some controversial decisions. Do you disagree with any of the cuts that were made?
A: No, I don't disagree with the cuts made. However, I do disagree with reversing several of the decisions which reversed the impact or saving of funds were or are being provided to maintain services which were cut by outside sources. Are these funds going to be available next year or do they plan to cut them again?
Q: A financial analyst recently advised the commissioners to hire a county administrator and a public works director. Do you agree with these recommendation and why?
A: A county administrator would be a good idea if the county didn't have full-time commissioners. However, that's what the elected officials are for. A public works director position should be brought back. There are skills which require the expertise of an individual with these abilities.
Q: Why have you kept a low profile during this campaign?
A: I don't believe I've kept a low profile during this campaign. I've missed only one public forum due to work. I am not as fortunate as some of the other candidates who do not have to work full time jobs or are retired. I have put as much effort into my campaign as possible given time constraints.
I have an obligation to my full-time position. I am currently assigned night shift and cannot expend the same amount of time as other candidates. I have always taken my positions seriously and given the opportunity, I will spend as much time being a commissioner as I do being a cop and candidate.
Q: Would you advocate the creation of new tax districts for the library, parks and rec, or weed and pest control, and why?
A: Yes, I do. The function of government is first to provide necessary and mandated services. Additional amenities should be funded by those who benefit and use the services. It has proven to be very effective throughout the state to create these districts. If they are not created, then the public must realize that taxes may have to go up or these non-mandated services will be cut. Also, creating these districts ensure they will not be cut by politicians who have other priorities.
Q: If the county's financial situation improves, what would you do with the additional money?
A: I would love to say I would take care of the employees if the county financial situation improves. But, realistically the funds should be saved until the improved situation stabilizes and proves long term.
Q: What would you do to manage energy development as the gas industry in Moffat County grows?
A: I believe in working with the state to insure a check and balance system is put into place for the gas and oil companies. Currently, if you buy a building permit, a government official will inspect the site and oversee the project. If you have a gas well permit you may be inspected. We currently depend upon the honesty of the company and the state to insure we (Moffat County citizens) get what we are owed. As an employee of the Sheriff's Office, I have been asked to assist in this process and check the drill sites to look for vehicles and equipment which are not properly permitted or tagged. This is a difficult in the middle of the night, between calls for service and when most of these sites are very remote. Would this task be better suited for the Natural Resources Department? Just a question. I understand the Natural Resources Department has developed a national model fire plan. This is great. But, how real is it when the county cannot afford to implement the plan? Someone has to pay the firefighters to watch when the decision is made to let the fire burn, just in case. Also, who is actually charged with the control over wildland fires on private property in the county? I seem to believe the state statutes say the sheriff is responsible. Maybe the Natural Resources Department should get some input from the individual with the liability?
Q: As an employee of the Sheriff's Office, what are some things you think could be done to improve relations between the county and the sheriff?
A: As an employee of the Sheriff's Office and a member of law enforcement, I understand that county officials (commissioners) have traditionally been at odds with each other. Maybe it is because there is no tangible work product and it is difficult to see where your money is going. The Sheriff's Office is a liability and does not generate revenue. Results are difficult to measure. Was a crime prevented last night because a deputy drove by? I don't and won't know. County officials also have a difficult time accepting the lack of control over any other elected official. All they have the power to do is approve the budget for that person. An understanding of how the system works would help.
How to improve relations rather than questioning and micro-managing and fighting because of personality conflicts? In that question I believe that the commissioners should ask: How can we help? How can we make it so meth is not so readily available? How can we help make our community safer and more secure for all citizens? How can we help improve our roads and develop improvement areas around the city and towns? How can we help safeguard our water because water is improvement and development? How can we help develop and regulate our wildlife and hunting? How can we all help?
I don't think issues such as these can be left for outsiders to decide upon.
Yes, my name is on the ballot and I am serious about helping.