Accountable and Just Use of Resources
The El Paso County Board of Commissioners has a direct impact on the lives of all residents. An administrative body that operates as the service arm of the state of Colorado, they are responsible for State and Federally mandated services, such as the county jail and courthouse, public health and safety, and highway construction, and its members also serve as liaisons to various boards and committees throughout our community. Many aspects of working families’ everyday lives can be traced back to decisions made by the board of commissioners, from housing affordability to the safety of our drinking water.
LIST OF ISSUES
Many issues facing this county can be tied to ineffective mental health treatment options. Whether it is the threat of an active shooter, or the homeless situation that is only exasperated when people can not find the services they desperately need. El Paso County has the opportunity to be a leader in the area of public services to improve the social safety net for our most valuable resource… the people!
Clean air and water are vital to a robust and healthy society. At the County level we have so much that we can impact, from proper stormwater mitigation that prevents pollution from contaminating our storm waters we send downstream to holding our developers accountable in making reasonable requests that deal with water usage and infrastructure development that directly address the commuter type mentality the currently pervades our commission. From effective mass transit to renewable energy requirements on housing developments, we can have tremendous impacts on water usage and energy consumption. Even looking at alternative weed control measures on our county weed board can make a substantial impact on the health of our community by helping curb herbicide usage that impacts everything from our native plant life to the insects we desperately need in our community
The Opioid Crisis
Substance abuse can develop through a myriad of pathways, but the results are often devastating. In 2016, drug overdoses killed more Americans than the entire Vietnam War, and most of those deaths were linked to opioids. Not only must we carefully treat those addicted to these drugs, but we must also find a way to stem the tide of people from accessing and misusing opioids. If either of these two components are ignored, then we will never get a handle on this crisis.
Addiction is not a moral failing, but is a very real medical problem. Evidence shows that using opioids to treat long term chronic pain is not effective, and doctors should be encouraged to look for alternative paths to treating chronic pain.
We need to make getting treatment easier than getting the drugs themselves. This cannot be stressed enough – access to treatment and programs needs to be made more accessible. When someone realizes that their drug use is impacting their ability to function in society, they need to be able to seek treatment free from the stigmas often associated with addiction. Addiction is a disease – not a moral failing.
Let's talk about the homeless
The issues that face our homeless community are complex to say the least! The homeless situation impacts every county in this state, and a statewide coalition of County Commissioners would be able to come together to discuss viable solutions to helping our citizens in need the help and services that work towards lifting people out of the situation they are in and back to the place where they can actively contribute. Also, the county needs to be working closely with the cities to identify the pipelines that are creating additional strain upon the limited resources the county has. By identifying individuals and families that are in jeopardy of losing their homes, the county can save money and resources by providing safety nets to prevent their situation from becoming untenable.
Good Faith Mining Practices
When a quarry has lived its useful life, it is important that the full recovery of the land used in this endeavor is taken care of by the company that made profits off the natural resources. One bad actor, who does not clean up their mine site after they are finished, leaves the entire county on the hook to pay for their irresponsibility. These bad actors must not be allowed to continue to operate in El Paso County until they have rectified this.
Access to quality public education has long been an important goal for families in El Paso County. A top priority for Ken is that your children are safe, well educated, and exposed to the type of rich quality learning that is so prevelant in our public school systems. Parents also should have the oppertunity to enroll their children in the environment that best suits your particular family needs.
No urban renewal project is a success that doesn’t address our skyrocketing housing and rental costs. The mission of the Urban Renewal Authority isn’t being best served when we have little to no requirements or tax incentives for affordable housing. Communities have had success in implementing measures that allow for additional housing to be provided in our neighborhoods through tiny homes or increasing urban density via permitting duplexes and additional rental properties. When zoning allows for either apartments or storage facilities, storage facilities win on cost to profit. Therefore storage rental must be addressed separately to encourage more apartments to be built.
Sustainable growth requires a quality electrical grid. When development happens without addressing the added strain on public utilities, the development is not helping to maintain the quality electrical services offered through the county. Utilities should be addressed when new expansion in proposed, and the impact upon the existing grid must be fully understood before the project breaks ground.