If elected, what will your top priority be for the city of Colorado Springs?
Public Safety (Police and Fire) - This is the most important service that city government provides. Without it everything else is at risk. It is hard to enjoy our trails and open spaces if you come back to your car and the windows have been broken out and property stolen from your car. This has happened to friends of ours. Two weeks ago when I went to our local pet supply store at Austin Bluffs and Academy one of the panes of glass in the door was replaced with plywood. I asked one of the employees what had happened and she informed me that it had been shot out the day before during a fight and shooting in the parking lot. This was during business hours. Small business doesn't thrive in that environment. Our citizens and families deserve to be safe at all times, wherever they are - home, school, parks or the workplace. Public safety is an issue that can’t be second.
What should city council implement to address the impacts of COVID-19?
I have 19 years experience as a physician assistant both in the Army, where I was also a Special Forces Medical Sergeant, and in the civilian sector where I was also the Center Director for a Men's Health Clinic. I have extensive experience and expertise in medical issues. After talking with current and past city councilmembers about our options on city council to address the impacts of COVID the best thing we can do is to work with the county commissioners, Mayor, and County Department of Public Health to ensure that all who want to be immunized are immunized as quickly as possible. This will allow us to get our restaurants and other businesses fully opened up as quickly as possible. I also support the current program of refunding sales tax collected from businesses. Licensing fees collected by the city could also be evaluated for forgiveness.
What needs to be done to address the growth the city has been experiencing?
When General Palmer chose the base of Pikes Peak to establish our city, Colorado Springs, he believed the unique natural beauty of the area would draw people from across the United States. His vision has proven to be almost too successful. The beauty of the Pikes Peak Region, our mountain air, and clean water are still attracting people. What we must do is plan ahead so that we do not encounter problems which could be avoided. The need for adequate water supply is an example of this. When new developments are annexed into the city they must pay for the increased water supply needs and infrastructure which will be required. They must also pay for other infrastructure such as roads and stormwater projects. Infill projects in some areas of the city can be used to lessen "sprawl" if there is no compromise of safety for current neighborhoods, and those neighborhoods are involved in a transparent process to approve the project.