Meet the Candidates: District 2
October 20, 2016
Deb Gardner (D)
Tell voters about yourself:
In Colorado since 1980 and Longmont for 15 years.
My family is my brother, cousins, friends who keep me grounded, make me laugh, and are my safety net, as I am theirs.
Local accountant for 30 years, House District 11 Representative, Commissioner since January 2012.
Life long activist, volunteer, and leader with many environmental and social justice issue groups, non-profits, and the Democratic Party. I have a Bachelor of Science in Biology & Accounting. Website is debgardner.net.
Q: What makes you the best choice?
A: I understand that the high quality of life we have didn’t happen by accident and that we need to continue to make decisions every day that protect and preserve our natural environment, create recreational opportunities, invest in our people and provide help for people during their times of need.
My ties to the community are strong and deep. I have always had a reputation as someone who shows up, listens, and works hard to solve the problems facing us, together. Others know and respect me as well. If you go to my website, debgardner.net, you will see the organizations, elected officials, and community activists that know and support me in my bid for re-election.
I have proven my ability to work towards solutions. I have the experience, compassion, and collaborative spirit to be effective in this work and it would be a privilege to continue being your commissioner for the next four years.
Q: Boulder County recently signed on to be a plaintiff in the lawsuit regarding TABOR. Do you support this, and why/why not?
A: Yes I support Boulder County joining the lawsuit.
Passage of TABOR in 1992 has had a devastating effect on all levels of government in Colorado. No other state in the country has a similar constitutional amendment. It has put state government in the ridiculous position of having to issue refunds to taxpayers while at the same time cutting much needed funding to our local schools. Similarly, it put Boulder County in the position of having to put millions of dollars into a TABOR reserve that could have been spent on flood recovery.
TABOR is in conflict with United States Constitution and it directly violates the powers and responsibilities of the Board of Commissioners. It has undermined the county’s republican form of government. At no cost to the county, I was excited to sign on to this lawsuit because with its eventual success Colorado will once again have a functioning, effective republican form of government.
Q: The paving of rural subdivision roads is also an issue, how do you propose to resolve this?
A: Routine maintenance has been and is currently being paid for by all county residents. Everyone also pays for repaving the “community use roads” or about 20% of the miles. My opponent should have decided the issue of who should pay for repaving in 1995 but he chose to “kick the can down the road.”
I am supporting Ballot Issue 1A but if it fails I am committed to finding another solution. We have been successful in negotiating with individual subdivisions to form public or local improvement districts to raise the funds necessary to repave their roads. This method is successful in Larimer County and I would work to implement it here.
Q: If elected, what would be your main priority?
A: I have three main priorities. Recovery from the devastating effects of the 2013 is my number one priority. Permanent roads and bridges still need to be completed. People still need to get access to their homes and receive the help they need to carry on with their lives.
The lack of affordable housing is a national issue and will take a multifaceted, regional approach to improve. We need a comprehensive approach that looks at the planning codes at the County and in all of the cities and towns. We need to build more affordable housing, preserve existing affordable housing, and focus on our transportation system so we can more easily move people from place to place. We’ll also need help from the state and federal government to increase access to funds and financing for affordable housing projects.
The words, “Think globally, act locally” have never applied more to an issue than the urgent need to combat climate change. We know first hand in Boulder County the devastating effects of fire and flood. We need to move quickly to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Boulder County’s sustainability programs are a model for how individuals and businesses can operate more efficiently and reduce their carbon emissions. Without raising taxes, passage of Ballot Issue 1C would expand this award winning program.