Meet the Candidates: District 2
October 21, 2016
Tell voters about yourself:
•Lived in Colorado since 1947 and Boulder County since 1960. (Here longer than most natives.)
•CU graduate, 1965, BA, History.
•Served on Boulder City Council, 1976-81.
•Wrote Boulder’s first growth ordinance, popularly called the Danish Plan, 1976.
•Served as a Boulder County Commissioner, September 1995 to January 2005 as a Democrat. Registered Republican since 2012.
•Has voted to buy more than 50,000 acres of open space.
Q: What makes you the best choice?
A: Experience. I served 9 years as a County Commissioner, and I’ve had 12 years to reflect on what I did right, what I did wrong, what I would do differently, and what needs to be done now.
Boulder County has experienced 20 years of one-party rule. I will bring a different perspective and new solutions to the job. I’m the better choice because Boulder County needs a second opinion.
Q: Boulder County recently signed on to be a plaintiff in the lawsuit regarding TABOR. Do you support this, and why/why not?
A: No. TABOR (the Taxpayers Bill of Rights) allows Coloradans to vote on tax increases and spending increases. I support this. Since TABOR was passed in 1992, Colorado taxpayers have approved approximately half of the tax increases they have been asked to consider. For many years I have been perplexed by why politicians who claim to speak for ordinary Citizens, including the current Boulder County Commissioners, have so little faith in ability of the people to make considered and prudent decisions about how they are to be taxed and about how their money is to be spent.
Q: The paving of rural subdivision roads is also an issue; how do you propose to resolve this?
A: A study done for FIRM (Fairness in Road Maintenance, the citizens’ group advocating the repair of the roads in Boulder County’s subdivisions), concluded that repairing the roads would cost $25 million. This can be accomplished over a five year period without raising taxes by taking $5 million a year from the County general fund. I find this analysis compelling and intend to pursue this course.
The current commissioners have proposed a property tax increase for roads that includes allocating $68 million for a $25 million project. I think this proposal has been put on the ballot in bad faith.
Q: If elected, what would be your main priority?
A: My main priority – priorities actually – would be returning the focus of County government to its core responsibilities, which include maintenance and improvement of the County road network, ending the over-crowding crisis of in the County jail, ending the dysfunctionality of the County Land Use Department, taking prudent care for the public purse, and replacing County government’s current can’t-do, won’t-do, don’t do corporate culture with a can-do one.
Finally, an early action priority will be to reverse the politically motivated decision reject scientific agriculture and ban genetically engineered crops from county open space.