How long have you been a resident of Grand County, and where do you currently live?
I have been a resident of Grand County since 2013, and I live near Fraser. I first visited Grand County back in 1991, and I have been coming back every year. I married Nicki Doucette from Hot Sulphur Springs in 1994. We always planned to make a life here, but because I was serving in the military our dream had to wait until I could finally get assigned to Colorado in 2013. We moved here from Washington D.C. while I was still in the Air Force. We built our home near Fraser. My family of five plus our two dogs couldn’t be happier to finally be here!
Current appointed or elected office(s) and length of holding office:
I do not currently hold an elected office. My last government position was as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force. I currently am a board member of the Winter Park Rotary Club and a member of the Lion’s Club, American Legion, and the Grand County Historical Association. I know politics has a bad name in some contexts, but I believe political service to be a high calling, and I will serve as County Commissioner to the best of my ability.
Nicki and I have been married for 22 years, we got married in Grand Lake in 1994. We have three children who all attend school in Granby, two in High School and one in Middle School. We also hosted an exchange student from Italy this year. After moving my family 7 times in the military, our children are so glad to finally live near their grandparents Dick and Christine Doucette. We frequently fish and snowmobile with the Doucette’s in Hot Sulphur Springs. We also like to hunt, ski, hike, go boating, and walk with our dogs. We are active in school sports and volunteer activities.
I have three college degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Geography from the United States Air Force Academy in 1994, a Master of Business Administration from New Mexico State University in 2000, and a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University in Washington D.C. in 2008. I was accepted as a PhD student in Public Policy at George Mason University in 2012, but a military move prevented me from completing my PhD studies. I served 21 years on active duty as an Air Force Intelligence Officer with assignments in Colorado, Texas, California, New Mexico, Virginia, and Washington D.C.; with deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Cyprus, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Djibouti Africa. Since retirement from the military, I have joined an internet company to try and improve the poor internet coverage in Grand County. In addition, I became a financial adviser with clients in Grand County, Denver, and Colorado Springs.
Why do you want to be a commissioner? What qualities do you possess that make you a good candidate for commissioner?
I want to be the Commissioner from District 1 because I want to continue a life of public service and give back to the County and community that has been an important part of my family’s life for many years. I’ve always been dedicated to service… while growing up I volunteered in my school, community and my church. As far as qualities, I have extraordinary budget skills. While in the military I managed budgets (from small ones to over $150 Million) and resources and programs of over 20,000 people. I’m also a proven leader with significant supervisory experience. I have particular expertise in logistics and working knowledge of roads, water, and infrastructure. I am someone who can bring a new and objective perspective to this County and will put us back on a good financial footing, reinforce integrity and bring excellence to government services.
In your opinion, what are the top challenges facing Grand County today? How would you address those challenges?
The top three challenges facing Grand County are the budget, water, and workers. I will balance the budget in 2018 and build back our reserves to over $20 Million by 2024. I will work to improve our water quality, recreational opportunities, and trout populations. I will support cooperation between Grand County and the state water agencies. I will assist our employees through enhanced public transportation, improved housing availability and affordability, and increased internet availability. These things will foster year round jobs and a year round economy.
What steps would you take to help Grand County move toward economic stability?
I will balance the budget and re-build our surplus. I will support concerts and other activities that enhance tourism with an intelligent approach to events that evaluates traffic, safety, medical, and noise levels. We should try to expand health care services for children and the elderly because with improved health care more families will move here and more senior citizens will stay here. I will encourage professionals who telecommute to move to Grand County.
There are a number of mandated programs that must be administered. What priorities would you have for discretionary spending?
In tough budget times, even the mandated programs should be reviewed and assessed. Then the discretionary programs would be funded with what remains. High on my list of discretionary programs is support to Grand County Veterans! Grand County has the highest percentage of veterans of any of the 64 counties in Colorado! I want our county to provide local support to our veterans and help them through the VA process, provide them more rides to medical appointments, and help them apply and qualify for all the benefits they earned during their service. As County Commissioner, I will make the tough calls and vote for difficult cuts where I must, but Veterans Support is one area I will try my utmost to preserve!
Grand County has several distinct communities. How do you plan to help communities maintain their identities and yet work together on issues of countywide interest? Every town in Grand County has its own unique character, that is a good thing, but small mountain towns can’t go it alone. We all perform better if there is a healthy dose of cooperation. I will help our communities leverage each other, share in successes and challenges, and come together to grow and prosper. Public transportation will improve links between the communities, and the county and the towns can cooperate better on things like health care and infrastructure. We will foster better collaboration amongst the numerous nonprofits across the county.
What promises do you have for your constituents if you are elected?
I promise to balance the budget, improve our water, and help our workers. I fully commit to being transparent. I promise to put my government and private sector experience to work for the people of Grand County. I will live by the principles of: Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do!