By Pat Hill
Dan Williams announced his candidacy for county commissioner in District 1 to the Teller County Republicans on June 11. Williams is the county’s planning official.
“We’re at a critical point and whoever we put in charge of Teller County over the next couple of years needs to be experienced, understand the role of government and know where we’re headed,” he said. “We don’t own our water, the traffic is challenging and we have different visions and intents.”
While some residents may be dedicated to preserving the Western heritage, others see the land as ripe for urban development such as condominiums and density development.
“If you’re from the Front Range we look like the frontier, a place that can be exploited without understanding our values, our plans,” Williams said.
For instance, 80% of Colorado’s population lives in the Front Range — a number which grew by 40,000 people last year. As the county planner, Williams works on land use and zoning issues with officials in Cripple Creek, Woodland Park and Victor, as well as the unincorporated communities of Florissant and Divide.
“I think the challenges we face as a county are the same challenges, in many cases, that the cities face — it’s the same water supply, the same sewage disposal, same traffic problem,” he said. “I think we have to put divisiveness aside and by working collaboratively we can solve just about anything.”
Williams emphasizes that he is not a populist offering easy solutions to tough issues. “This race is not about talking points, flyers or posters; it’s about experience, competence, demonstrated leadership and the ability to represent and work with all the people of Teller County,” he said.
Williams, a Republican, served as a county assemblyman and delegate to the state assembly and 5th Congressional District. Commander of the Eric V. Dickson American Legion Post 1980, Williams is also a member of the VFW Post 6051 and assists in the management of the Veterans Trust Fund for Teller County veterans in need.
A graduate of West Point and a retired U.S. Army Colonel, Williams served in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Williams, a graduate of the 2017 Leadership Program of the Rockies, is a member of the Pikes Peak Roundtable, a member of the 5th Congressional District Service Academy nomination board, and represents Teller County on the Southern Shooting Partnership Board. He is in the process of helping to develop Teller County’s Strategic Plan.
“I want to help lead the conversation about where we’re going to be in the next 30 years,” he said. “I’ve been here my whole life and think we need to have a bona fide discussion about where we’re headed. So, I think I’m the right person at the right time for Teller County and where we are in our history.”
Williams, 56, and his wife Suzan live on their ranch near Cripple Creek; they have two adult children and two grandchildren.
Williams’ opponent for District 1 is David Rusterholtz.