Meet the Candidates
County commissioner hopefuls sound off on the important stuff
Day job: Location scout and manager – for film, television and commercials
On the weekends you can find me: Some form of outdoor life-risking recreation, like skiing or biking. Or doing chores as a responsible, respectful domestic associate (i.e. husband).
One thing people may not know about me: I’m left-handed. Requires one to be adaptable and innovative.
What song would you want your music player to be stuck on? “The Rise and Fall of Bossanova,” by P C III (Google it).
Best Halloween costume you’ve ever dressed up as? I invoke my 5th Amendment rights against self-embarrassment.
How would you address affordable housing? Our communities will not thrive if families, young adults, students, homegrown seniors and [your name here] cannot afford the basic cost of housing – that’s what the workforce is. If long-time locals are pushed out, our history and traditions are compromised. Nearly every business I know is compromised by a shortage of staff who are unable to find suitable, fairly priced housing. Our workforce is not lazy as some would have you believe, they are stressed to the limit.
Contributing solutions include: revise land use, building code and permit administration to fast-track sensible projects; public/private partnerships and incentives; infrastructure; and revising regulations for vacation rentals that remove housing from our workforce, students, families and seniors.
If elected, what issue would you bring into the spotlight? If elected, one of my key goals is to inspire, persuade, cajole – and beg if needed – my elected colleagues and fellow citizens to acknowledge that we can’t maintain the same processes, traditions and behaviors that got us here in the first place. Our dedication must be to results, not process. Skeptics and the entrenched will find a way to criticize such lofty ambition, but it’s big thinking that changes the world, not surrender.
Aside from affordable housing, what do you see as the biggest issue facing La Plata County, and how do you plan on addressing it? The “biggest issue” facing La Plata County is the willingness of elected officials, state/county/city staff, public agencies (fire districts, San Juan Basin Health, etc.), educational institutions, businesses, nonprofits and YOU to work together. Political status quo has failed to provide the incentives, openness, honesty and ambition to allow a path to a better way.
Day job: La Plata County commissioner, volunteer with Rotary and on homeowners’ association Firewise Team.
On the weekends you can find me: Doing fire mitigation and forest restoration work with chainsaw and tractor.
One thing people may not know about me: I’m an ex-cowboy. Was a lousy team roper in jackpot rodeos in college.
What song would you want your music player to be stuck on? “Star Wars Main Theme.”
Best Halloween costume you’ve ever dressed up as? Pirate captain.
How would you address affordable housing? I would work collaboratively using county, state and federal funds to begin land-banking and expand infrastructure development. I’d use revolving loan funds to help leverage grants to reduce the cost of development and final sales price. I’d ensure we implement the recommended Land-Use Code Fast Track Process for attainable housing.
I’d continue to work on short-term rental taxation issues that would provide additional funds for new housing. In the land-use code, I’d provide density bonuses for developers building workforce housing. I’d work with innovative local companies to use locally sourced lumber and materials to design and build modular homes and tiny houses. Then I’d push to modify the land-use code to provide new locations for tiny home parks.
If elected, what issue would you bring into the spotlight? The availability and distribution of water. This limits our growth. To the rural housing developer, it means proximity to wells and pipelines become limiting factors on growth. To the ag producer, it means shorter irrigation and growing seasons.
To our towns, it starts with conservation of the water we have. It pushes us to limit the size of lawns and to incentivize native and xeric plantings, encouraging the development of greywater systems for gardens.
Aside from affordable housing, what do you see as the biggest issue facing La Plata County, and how do you plan on addressing it? Increasing our work in fire mitigation is essential to protect lives, property and our economy. We live in a fire-prone forest and need to become a fire-adapted community. This means we need to harden our homes to withstand or minimize fire damage, in town and out, and we need fuel breaks around developments and towns to minimize the chance a fire can grow so large that it is out of control for weeks at a time.
Day job: Working on projects.
On the weekends you can find me: Helping our kids, in the mountains biking and hiking in some of the most beautiful places in the Four Corners, or skiing at Purgatory.
One thing people may not know about me: I studied finance and photography in college and worked in advertising after college.
What song would you want your music player to be stuck on? Anything by Bob Seger or Eagles
Best Halloween costume you’ve ever dressed up as? Gandalf.
How would you address affordable housing? Help with infrastructure and fees, and lower regulation so cost to build is diminished.
If elected, what issue would you bring into the spotlight? The need for water in growth areas of the county.
Aside from affordable housing, what do you see as the biggest issue facing La Plata County, and how do you plan on addressing it? Public infrastructure to the growth areas of the county, addressed through private/public collaboration.