More about the issues

  1. Water – I oppose water transfers out of the valley. The aquifer must be restored to a condition that does not damage users, riparian zones or wildlife habitat. Water should stay in sustainable usage on Colorado’s farms and ranches.

  2. Climate – I believe that a solution to carbon sequestration is on our farms and ranches. Government subsidies should be used to store carbon in the soil, not pay farmers to fallow land or grow soybeans no one will buy. Increasing soil organic matter is like putting money in the bank, while decreasing erosion and increasing the soils ability to store water.

  3. Recycling – Saguache County should offer recycling to its citizens. At a minimum, drop off sites in or near our towns should be offered. Recyclable materials that are not currently cost effective to ship, could be stockpiled at the landfill in good usable condition. Working with neighboring Counties could enhance efficiencies. New technologies will undoubtedly create new opportunities to use recyclable materials. 

  4. GMO’s – Organic farming is big business in Saguache County. Opportunities to grow this industry should be explored. GMO’s could threaten this industry and as the law stands a farmer is at a disadvantage if his/her crop is contaminated.  Change the law or ban GMO’s.

  5. Immigration – All kinds of industries need willing workers.  Farmers in the valley and elsewhere need farm labor. There should be an easy path to citizenship for all lawful, hardworking individuals that want to join our society. Diversity is a good thing and enhances our culture. We need to build temporary and affordable housing for these workers.

  6. Transparency/Accountability – Light should shine on government activities. People are losing faith in government at all levels and people need to be brought back into the process. Department heads must comply with required audits and provide understandable and accurate data to Commissioners and the Public. It is up to the Commissioners to hold County employees accountable.

  7. Fiscal Responsibility - County, and all government should operate within a balanced budget. Borrowing should occur only when infrastructure is needed, such as buildings or software upgrades When taxes are enacted for specific reasons, those taxes should sunset when the need is satisfied.  When taxes or a new bureaucracy is created, they should not necessarily be with us forever.  

  8. Environment – A lifelong environmentalist, I ran a tree planting company for 10 years, planting hundreds of thousands of trees. Wilderness is of utmost value to me and that is where I find spiritual solace. Protecting our natural resources is a primary concern. Utilization of resources is necessary but must be done while protecting wildlife, water and air quality. 

  9. Tourism – A pure environment and our Dark Skies will attract tourists who share our values. Tourist income is valuable to our local economy and should be encouraged. Bike trails and roadside paths are a great addition to a tourist friendly area.

  10. Renewable Energy – I support the construction of solar, (panel) projects, whether on new homes, solar gardens, or large scale. Marginal agricultural lands being fallowed for water conservation could be used as solar sites.

  11. Economic Development – Our valley’s economy depends on agriculture and our Forest lands. As water becomes more scarce, new crops will be introduced. The county should support methods to add value and marketability to our produce.  We should harvest as many of the trees that were killed by the beetle infestation as we can and save them for future use.

  12. Senior/Child Care – The County should support Senior living facilities and assisted living services. Affordable Childcare is crucial to integrating women into the work force. Many women are eager to work but cannot due to the lack of childcare, potentially leading to more reliance on social safety nets. 

  13. Marijuana/Hemp – Perhaps it is time to create an area or areas like a business park for marijuana cultivation activities. This would make law enforcement and tax collection easier while keeping our view corridors open and minimizing neighbor conflicts. Hemp should be treated as any other agricultural crop. Plastics in hemp production should be monitored and perhaps banned. It is unsustainable and will fill our landfill up rapidly, if it is not dumped elsewhere. 

  14. Education – All children should receive the same quality education and have equal access to extra-curricular activities regardless of family income. If Band or Drama or Sports are only offered at one of our County schools, then busing must be used to provide equal opportunity, and the costs should be shared. Income equality starts with education.

  15. Road Maintenance – Proper maintenance of our many miles of roads will lower costs in the long run. Features such as water-bars and crowning on steep roads will prevent erosion, washouts, and clogged culverts. Many of the culverts in the Baca are totally clogged. Invasive weeds should be mowed along roads prior to seed formation.  Paving projects should be done in increments that cover the length of a road prior to major damage occurring.