Q&A with Kathleen Conway, candidate for Elbert County commissioner, District 3

Posted 10/6/20

Party: Democratic Contact: saidkathy@aol.com Occupation: I am retired after working in mortgage banking with Security Pacific Mortgage and First National Bank of Denver. I was also the Chief Deputy …

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Q&A with Kathleen Conway, candidate for Elbert County commissioner, District 3

Posted

Party: Democratic

Contact: saidkathy@aol.com

Occupation: I am retired after working in mortgage banking with Security Pacific Mortgage and First National Bank of Denver. I was also the Chief Deputy Clerk and Recorder- Douglas County for 10 years

Why are you seeking this office?

After the approval of a new housing development over the avid protests of Elbert County residents, and with no real plans to provide adequate services for those new residents, it became apparent to me that the current BOCC had forgotten for whom they serve.

Additionally, at a commissioner town hall, a current resident who lives on a road that adjoins the future new development politely asked if they had considered how his road would be impacted. The commissioner said, “no,” cut him off and moved to the next question.

What makes you the best person for the job?

I have years of serving the public in county government and understand how decisions we make today can affect the quality of life in this county for generations to come.  Growth can either be a blessing or a curse for a county. Managed correctly and taking into consideration the vision of longtime residents, as well as being open to the possibilities brought by new ideas, this county can be a model. Looking at the other counties we can see inspiration as well as cautionary tales. Careful growth that does not destroy the very reasons we all chose to live here is my goal. Let’s keep the ability to hear the coyotes and to see the stars at night while adding good changes that actually add value for all of us and not just enrich the greedy.

How should growth in the county be managed in the coming years?

So far growth has not been managed at all. During the last real estate boom the BOCC was “open for business.” At that time they snatched up as many new home starter fees as they could and felt rich.

Apparently, they didn’t realize that all those new residents would expect many expensive services that the county infrastructure could not support. Law enforcement, water, schools, libraries and roads, were all things with budgets that could not handle the strain. They even expected the county offices to be open and staffed five days a week. The cost for this quickly outpaced the large bag of starter fees received. At the same time commercial requests were delayed by lack of staff or mishandled until they chose a different county.

Residential homes on small lots are not a plus for a county facing water shortages and that has scant ability to provide services. Homes on larger lots and small acreage take less water, less bodies needing county services and still pay real estate taxes. Clean commercial development in proper areas provides real estate taxes, possible sales tax, and jobs with a minimum of county services needed.

What would be your biggest priority if elected?

I want to leave the county financially, environmentally, and structurally sound with a better vision of the future than it has today. One of the best ways to do this is to have the residents interested and involved. By making sure that BOCC hearings are not held at 9 a.m. on a weekday morning which keeps working people from attending. Right now we have a “part time” county. The professional staff needs to be paid a professional wage and treated with respect.

What else should voters know about you?

I lived in Elbert County in the 1980s and raised my family here. I came back 11 years ago as we all considered it home. I love this county and its people. I see amazing potential that has never been unlocked. Not by destroying its natural beauty or selling the water to the greedy, but by finally asking the people what they want.

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