On the Issues

Water

I believe water is Chaffee County’s most important asset and natural resource. Monitoring and managing our water supply is paramount for the future of Chaffee County. The county’s three year groundwater study will reveal how fast or slow our aquifer is being regenerated and locations where it’s plentiful or depleted. My goal is to keep water rights in Chaffee and to collaborate with stakeholders on solutions that will benefit them and the future of the Ark Valley.

Land Use Code

The Land Use Code needs to reflect the goals of the Comprehensive Plan and desires of the community. Refined policies and procedures should aim to eliminate confusion, create meaningful public benefits, and also offer incentives of expedited process or density based on community desired needs. I support safety standards that mitigate wildfires and protection of our wildlife corridors through enforced development requirements.

Housing

Simply put, we are in desperate need of affordable, attainable, and workforce housing. Chaffee Housing Authority indicates that the county needs 535 deed restricted rental units (between 30%-140% AMI) and 290 deed-restricted homeownership units (between 30%-140% AMI) by 2027. I will support subsidy grants, advocate our needs to state and federal representatives, and work in lockstep with municipalities. I believe affordable and workforce units are best located nearby or within municipal boundaries, as they would reduce infrastructure needs (and costs), cut down on traffic by increasing walkability, and build robust economic centers with thriving businesses. The county should remain rural to preserve and protect the working lands, rural landscape, and public open space opportunities, but should also explore reasonable prospects within the 3 mile plan area for each municipality.

Economic Development

A successful future must include growth in our business community. I believe it’s important that the county fosters opportunities for a diverse profile of professions and supports all types of businesses, from brick & mortar, remote, trade and vocational, to commercial. A strong business community creates jobs, both full-time and part-time and provides services and products to residents and visitors alike. A thriving economy provides an increase in sales tax revenue, which is reinvested in programs, projects, and opportunities for community well-being.

Working lands

Chaffee County is the gem we all love and appreciate due to the care, hard work, and dedication of our ranchers and farmers. They keep the land irrigated for crops and vegetation, provide sustenance for humans and livestock, and ensure a beautiful viewshed enjoyed by all. I value Chaffee's heritage and will support our working landowners with the protections they require to continue their important and respected work.

Public Lands

I support conservation efforts that keep our waterways clean, our established trails maintained, and protections for wildlife needs. I’ll work with state and federal agencies to help keep campgrounds trash-free and to promote Leave No Trace educational opportunities. Hunting and fishing in Chaffee County are best in their class, and our motorized trails provide a historic tour of the valley. The outdoors are for everyone but need to be respected and cared for.

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