Grand County Candidate Questionnaires – Kristen Manguso Grand County Commissioner Seat, District 3, incumbent


How long have you lived in Grand County?
20 Years

I am currently serving my first term as District 3 County Commissioner, so I have four years of experience in this position. My relevant background includes employment as Planning Director from 2007 until elected in 2014. This experience provides me unique insight into the land use and development side of this public service. I also have my own small private business, which requires QuickBooks knowledge for invoicing and payments, to include all the detailed financial detail that accompanies a small business. This has helped me tremendously in understanding the 23 individual department budgets we review and decide on each year.

Why do you want this office?
I am asking for your support to continue my positive progress on transportation and water quality issues. Currently, I represent Grand County as Vice Chair on the Transportation Planning region (TPR), and am the alternate representative to the Statewide Transportation Advisory Committee (STAC). Serving on these organizations provides a critical voice in obtaining Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) funds for improvements to Highways in Grand County, especially Hwy 40.

I also represent our County on the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments Water Quality and Quantity (QQ) Committee which consists of Six Counties, 21 Municipalities, and 18 Water and Sanitation Districts throughout western Colorado. This is a very strong group unified on western Colorado water issues. One of the most recent events that shows the positive impacts of our membership in QQ is a request by Climax to the Colorado Water Quality Control Commissioner (WQCC) requesting an increase to the statewide standard of Molybdenum allowed in streams designated for water supply and agricultural use. The members of QQ agreed to hire outside consultants to review this proposal and provide an independent opinion on effects of the suggested increase to support Grand County.

I chose to serve on these Boards and Committees because I believe the Highways that provide access to our County and water quantity and water quality are extremely important to all residents of Grand County.
I would appreciate the opportunity to continue my service on organizations and boards to provide collaborative support of Grand County regarding water and transportation issues.

What is your political affiliation, and what your core political beliefs?

I am now, and always have been a Republican. I believe that government exists to serve the people, never the other way around. Individual freedoms and private property rights must be respected, however, there is a balance, as one person’s individual rights should never take precedence over another’s.

I am financially conservative, and believe that Grand County government must be fiscally responsible.

With the understanding we are a representative government, I am a strong advocate for voter rights. Not just regarding elections, but ensuring our taxpaying public has the opportunity to voice their opinion through the voting process prior to any debt being incurred by County government.

What are the biggest issues facing the office you are seeking?

Honestly, things are going well for Grand County. We recently completed budget hearings and are again showing a balanced budget for 2019. The historic water agreements signed in 2013 are being monitored and overseen by two excellent employees. Further, we adopted a strategic plan this spring that establishes short and long-term goals agreed upon by all three of us commissioners. It is my opinion, things are operating well in Grand County.

What would your first short-term goals be if elected?

I appreciate the opportunity to continue my current work with CDOT to obtain the limited available funding for Highway 40 work. This includes shoulders not just from Kremmling to Muddy Pass, but also east of Kremmling towards Parshall, passing lanes on Hwy 40 west of Wolford Reservoir, safety work through Byers Canyon, and ensuring that Hwy 40 is widened between Winter Park and Fraser.

What long-term goals would you have for the office if elected?

I am committed to fully fund our asphalt maintenance plan within our Grand Strategic Plan. This goal will ensure ALL existing paved county roads are in good condition by 2023. My position on this is strong support, and I continue to push my philosophy of “not one mile of pavement will go back to gravel”.

We must begin construction of County Road 522, which is an alternate route from Winter Park to Tabernash. This road is necessary to help alleviate the congestion along Highway 40 in the Fraser Valley as growth continues in that valley.  Finally, we need to do something with our jail. There is a needs assessment currently being conducted that will provide an opinion on this issue. If a new jail is recommended, I strongly believe that building must remain in Hot Sulphur Springs, our Grand County seat. My reasoning takes into consideration that in 2008, the County constructed a 10.4 million dollar Courts building in Hot Sulphur Springs, near the jail. Construction of a jail in a different area of the county would require our Sheriff Department to transport inmates by vehicle to Hot Sulphur for all their court appearances.  

There are two reasons I oppose this practice. The first is public safety and the second is cost. Construction of a jail next to the new Courthouse allows options such as a tunnel between those two buildings to move prisoners to and from the court. This is safer for our Sheriff Deputies as well as the general public and does not require transport. It is my opinion that costs would increase if the jail was away from the court building due to transportation, additional staff, and vehicles, and/or increased technology costs.

What ideas do you have for developing Grand County’s economy?

Grand County employs an Economic Development person whose job is to do just this. As a Board, we give general direction and then allow this individual the freedom to do their job – which they do well. One goal this individual is working on is to make sure we have a sustainable, show economy so that during economic downturns when tourism ebbs, we have an industry that continues to support our residents.

What would you like voters to know about you?

I love this county – our Grand County – as I know each of you do. I do not view being a County Commissioner as a job, it is truly a public service. I want you all to know that it has been a privilege and an honor to serve you for the past four years, and I am respectfully, and humbly, asking for your vote. I would appreciate the opportunity to continue working for you as County Commissioner for four more years. Thank you.

Contact information – 970-531-8283 (county) 970-531-1366 (personal)

The 2018 Grand County elections will see contenders for Grand Commissioner District 3, Grand County Clerk and Recorder and Surveyor. In the race for Commissioner incumbent, Kristen Manguso is being challenged by William Thompson. For Clerk and Recorder, Martin Woros is challenging incumbent Sara Rosene. Lastly, Surveyor Warren Ward is being challenged by Jeanette Lautrell. For purposes of this questionnaire, the incumbent is presented first.

It is also an election for the offices of Grand County Treasurer, Grand County Sheriff, and Grand County Coroner but no other candidates came forward to run for those offices.

The mail-in ballots will be sent on October 15 and can be returned at a variety of locations around the county, County controlled drop boxes are in the Grand County Administration Building in Hot Sulphur Springs, Granby Town Hall, Grand Park Community Recreation Center in Fraser, and Grand Lake Town Hall. They can also be dropped personally at the Grand County Administration Building during business hours and on Saturdays, October 27 and November 3, from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. On election day, Tuesday, November 6, ballots can be dropped off from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.