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District 5 County Commissioner Candidate: Vickie Tonkins

By: The Gazette
June 6, 2018 Updated: June 7, 2018 at 7:24 pm
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photo - Vickie Tonkins (Photo via campaign website)
Vickie Tonkins (Photo via campaign website) 

 Republican Party

Campaign Website: vickietonkins.com

Twitter: @Vickie4CC5

Campaign Facebook Page: facebook.com/VickieTonkinsCC5/

Email Address: vickie@vickietonkins.com

Education: Montreat College: associate's degree; Colorado Christian University: bachelor's degree in organizational management; University of Phoenix: master's degree in education administration

Experience: City of Hickory, N.C. Business Development Office; helped start James Irwin Charter Middle School; licensed K-12 in school administration; facilitator teaching critical thinking for University of Phoenix; president of Colorado Springs Republican Women's Club; Elected El Paso County Republican Party bonus member

What should the county's priorities be to keep up with the significant population growth that's expected in the coming years?

The core principles that all government entities are to be committed to are roads, bridges, infrastructure, and public safety. These should be the county's priorities because without these we will not be ready for the growing population. We must have responsible growth. Some citizens may ask if a moratorium should be placed on our growth. We should abide by the current land use regulations and make sure we look at water availability, zoning and all aspects of land use in regards to growth. Through it all, we must continue to respect private/personal property rights.

Progress is moving along on the widening of the Interstate 25 Gap, and construction could begin later this year. What do you see as the next big infrastructure project that needs to get done in the county?

We currently have many infrastructure projects, in collaboration with the state, the federal government as well as PPRTA, happening all over El Paso County. I do not see one specific project but many projects in areas neglected for many years, being addressed. Anyone driving through Commissioner District 5 will see many projects from Academy Boulevard area to Circle Drive and many areas in between.

Do you believe the medical and recreational marijuana markets are creating a problem with illegal grow operations in the county? If so, how can the Board of County Commissioners help address that problem?

No, they are in tandem. People voted yes on legalization because they thought it would help schools. Where are the millions touted to be going to schools? The promised annual 40 million to schools was 10 million in 2014 due to retailers of marijuana avoiding paying the tax on one-time transfer of wholesale pot. Board of County Commissioners should find who is writing the prescriptions for the medical marijuana and what the standard to test those seeking medical marijuana is - How does El Paso County get school money from marijuana? - and continue supporting the Sheriff's department in shutting down illegal grows.

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