Qualifications: I would like to remain as a Laramie County Commissioner because I want to continue to support continued economic growth in this community. As this growth continues we must support the businesses that are already here. This can bedone by maintaining a county government that is accessible and helpful to the citizens. Leadership from the front is the best way to do this. I am that type of leader. We have many diverse areas and communities in Laramie County. I am familiar with most of these groups and I will work with and support these diverse factions and groups of Laramie County. I have already had 4 years of experience and learning as a Laramie County Commissioner so I can continue to be productive and make decisions without needing to learn the job. I have worked with many of the other leaders in government and private enterprise and have the proven ability to work with them. I am friendly and approachable and will continue to devote what ever time is necessary to get the job done as a county commissioner. Thank you for the opportunity to tell my story.
Top three issues: There are several issues facing Laramie County government. I think the top 3 are: how to provide basic services in Laramie County with less help from the State of Wyoming, how to manage growth here, and how to maintain and possibly replace our aging infrastructure.
In the last several years Laramie County has received several million dollars from the State. They were used to help economic growth, Microsoft, Magpul, a malt plant in Pine Bluffs, and other projects. We will have much less for economic development if any. We have access to other money through block grants that were used for infrastructure projects. We used these at Archer to repair existing buildings, some for improvements for parks and recreation, to purchase fire trucks and other apparatus for the volunteer fire departments, and other small capital improvement projects. We are going to have to prioritize and figure out how to do these in the future. We also receive grants for law enforcement, societal improvement, low income, juvenile assistance, and others that will be cut back or canceled. Swan Ranch developed with the help of state funding. To deal with this we are going to cutback on these type of projects. We were able to do some of these when we had funding and thought that getting them up and running would help the future economy and this expanded economy will generate tax for the county. Laramie County can use this increase in revenue to fund the necessary on going programs. Some of the equipment replacement will not be necessary for several years and that frees up revenue to be shifted to necessary programs. Some programs may be cut based upon need. We will have several months to prioritize after legislature is over and we know what the state is going to do. Then we can make those decisions.
Laramie County is on the north edge of Colorado’s Front Range which is expected to experience or is experiencing tremendous growth in the near future. We are going to be impacted from this growth. Besides the economic impact (housing shortages etc..) we are being impacted in law enforce demands, infrastructure demands (water, roads, health services, recreation). We are going to deal with those problems. This also creates economic opportunities for us if we are smart. We can anticipate increased revenue from these economic opportunities, which can be used to offset and moderate the problems created. We need to encourage the Green to leave us some green possibly by increasing user fees. Those that use this services and facilities should help pay for the usage.
The ageing infrastructure is another problem that is going to require some creativity. To get our roads to where we should be, will require a doubling of the resources that we currently spending on them for a ten year period. One way that could help, would be for an increase in oil production and the resulting revenue that would come with that. We could ask the voters to help fund this through the 6th penny tax in several years. I want no new taxes without the approval of the voters. As new development occurs developers could be required to upgrade roads serving these new developments to handle the increased traffic. Impact fees could be levied. Roads are not the only aging infrastructure, some of the current county buildings are also needing to be maintained. I am going to be positive and think we will be able to find the revenue in future budgets to maintain them. The revenue could be there either through user fees, property tax, or sales tax increase due to continued economic growth in Laramie County.