Candidates for El Paso County District 1 Commissioner.jpg

Frank DeLalla, Democrat

Campaign Website: fdelalla.com

Education: Virginia Tech: Master’s Degree and Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, bachelor’s degree in political science; Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania: Executive Leadership Development Program

Experience: executive leader at two of the country’s largest defense contractors, Lockheed Martin and L-3 Communications, managing the development and support of complex weapon systems; community service leader with Knights of Columbus and Boy Scouts of America

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

The key priority is making sure that our water resources are sufficient to support both current community needs and future development. I am committed to ensuring that this resource is protected and not over-committed as our county grows. Closely tied to this is ensuring that land use decisions are well planned; include the appropriate infrastructure; provide sufficient fire protection resources; protect our environment and natural resources; and are sustainable for the future. Lastly, our County Master Plan needs to be updated to address our anticipated growth, particularly to ensure we have adequate affordable housing for our working middle class.

Construction has begun on the widening of the Interstate 25 Gap. What do you see as the next big infrastructure project that needs to get done in the county?

I believe the primary focus for infrastructure should be repairing and maintaining the infrastructure we already have, particularly our degraded roads and bridges. As to new “big” infrastructure projects, I would list three: Completion of Powers Boulevard to I-25; mitigation of the flooding and runoff issues caused by the Waldo Canyon fire; and expanding broadband services to the rural parts of the county. Lastly, with the recent approval by the Colorado Springs City Council of the new Bike Master Plan, I would favor some infrastructure investment in implementing that plan, to improve the safety and availability of bike lanes.

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?

I do believe that illegal grow operations are a significant issue for El Paso County, an unintended consequence of Amendment 64. The state of Colorado has received substantial revenue from legal sales of marijuana, and I believe the Board of County Commissioners should work with the state government to have a portion of that marijuana tax revenue allocated to the County. This allocation would be reserved for the specific use of the County Sheriff ’s office, for additional resources to investigate and prosecute illegal grow operations.

Holly Williams, Republican

Campaign Website: hollyforcolorado.com

Campaign Facebook Page: facebook.com/hollyforcolorado

Education: University of Colorado at Colorado Springs: master’s degree in public administration; University of Virginia at Charlottesville: bachelor’s degree in American government

Experience: County Public Trustee from 1997 to 2007; office manager for U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn from 2007 to 2009; analyst/ auditor for NIA Consulting, Inc., from 2009 to 2011; County GOP caucus and assembly coordinator from 2013 to 2014; county administrative technician since 2015

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

Transportation infrastructure, including roads and bridges and water resources. I will work to ensure existing transportation revenue streams are used wisely. I will be an effective advocate for funding needed improvements to our state and federal highway system, such as Interstate 25 and Powers Boulevard. There are many rural roads in District 1 that need resurfacing and some roads that need to be widened to four lanes. I will work with other local governments to advocate for these roads. I will continue current efforts for a regional water solution through the Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority.

Construction has begun on the widening of the Interstate 25 Gap. What do you see as the next big infrastructure project that needs to get done in the county?

I will work to ensure existing transportation revenue streams are used wisely and advocate for additional funding to relieve traffic around our military bases including Fort Carson, Peterson, and Schriever. Powers needs to be widened and extended north to Interstate 25. Additional north-south routes and east-west routes need to be completed as planned to reduce impact of local vehicles on rural roads through Black Forest and northern El Paso. I will support a citizen vote to extend the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority sales tax to fund additional projects.

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?

Yes. As Commissioner, I will support an increase in funding to the Sheriff and the District Attorney to pursue and prosecute illegal grow operations in El Paso County. Illegal grow operations are harming our real estate industry. These criminal operations are not only significantly damaging homes — they are caustic to our community. I want the marijuana industry to understand that illegal grow operations will not be tolerated. I will also support additional funding for our county jail operations to ensure they keep up with our populous county.

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