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A Plan to Make El Paso County the Safest & Healthiest County in America

1.  Evacuation Modeling:  My first priority will be to work with my fellow Commissioners to pass an ordinance that require evacuation modeling, reporting of maps and times to the citizens and implementing evacuation safety standards for development.  As President and Co-founder of Westside Watch and President of the Mountain Shadows Community Association, I have been working with neighborhoods throughout El Paso County trying to help them protect their families, pets and neighbors.  All citizens and visitors should have their times, maps with safe areas identified.

Waldo Canyon Fire Evacuation

2.  Law Enforcement:  To have and retain the best law enforcement in the nation, our compensation, benefits and training packages need to be the best.  The Sheriff of El Paso County has identified the following 2024 critical needs:

  • Increased funding for inmate medical care and extraditions.

  • Recruitment and retention programs for high-quality employees.

Rising care of medical and extradition costs is a challenge for many counties.  One solution is to introduce telemedicine programs to reduce in-person medical visit costs and explore collaboration with other counties for shared extradition services to reduce transportation costs.​  In Cook County, Illinois, leadership implemented telehealth services in jails, which significantly reduced medical costs while ensuring inmates received timely care.  Those cost savings can then be put towards having the best pay, benefits and training to attract and retain the most highly qualified law enforcement officers in the nation.

El Paso County Sheriff New Officers Graduation

4.  Mental Health:  El Paso County has long had a high suicide rate.  While block parties are great for community spirit, they are not a serious answer to a problem as complex as mental illness.  This is a serious issue that requires medical professional involvement in healthcare settings which is why I am eager to explore bringing a proven program that has efficacy rates of up to 62% improvement.  The Zero Suicide program has shown very promising results across the nation in many cities like Detroit.  We also need to incorporate research that shows a clear link between altitude and suicide so we are better armed to identify compounding risk factors and get El Paso County citizens to the right medical professionals to help battle this serious health challenge.

Homeless camp in Colorado Springs

8. Facilities & Strategic Infrastructure Management

Critical Needs:

  • Elevator maintenance and replacement.

  • Park facilities maintenance.

​Aging infrastructure leading to higher maintenance costs and potential safety issues.  Use of predictive maintenance technologies and increased investment in energy-efficient upgrades to reduce long-term costs.  Limble has saved clients up to $134 million annually in downtime costs and $68 million in parts spend, with an average downtime reduction of 30%

Using Limble predictive maintenance software in facility
Zero Suicide logo

5.  Public Works: 

Critical Needs:

  • Akers Facility Run-off Control Improvements

  • Dix Circle Trash Capture Project

  • High Priority Stormwater Projects

  • Illicit Discharge Abatement Program

​Lack of timely responses to stormwater issues can lead to significant damage and increased costs.  Implementing a rapid response team for stormwater issues and partnering with local businesses for quicker solutions.  We should look at other counties using comprehensive stormwater management program that uses green infrastructure, such as bioswales and permeable pavements, to naturally manage stormwater runoff. This approach reduces the burden on traditional infrastructure and lowers costs over time.

6.  District Attorney's Office

Critical Needs:

  • Additional clerks for discovery and restitution processing.

  • HR generalist positions for better management of staff needs.

​High caseloads leading to delays in processing and potential for errors.  Use of advanced case management software to streamline processes and reduce manual workload.  Look to San Diego who implemented a digital case management system, Fiix CMMS, that has improved efficiency and reduced backlogs in the DA’s office.

4th Judicial Court District Attorney Building
Bear Creek Pickle Ball Courts

7. Parks & Community Services

Critical Needs:

  • Contracted services for park maintenance.

  • Expansion of recreational programs.

​Insufficient staff to meet growing community demands.  Partner with local non-profits and community groups to provide volunteer support for park maintenance and program delivery.  Travis County, Texas successfully partners with local organizations for park maintenance and community programs, leveraging volunteer support to reduce costs.

Stormwater retention pond

3.  Homeless Crisis:  We need to look at a tiered approach where those who need medical supervision and intervention are in facilities that can help those who want to beat addictions and need mental illness treatment have that support.  For those who are just wanting to live on the street, we should look at what Camp Esperanza in Austin provides which is a much lower cost option than Sec 8 Permanent Supportive Housing which has proven to fail and costs the taxpayers enormously though the developers do very well building these facilities funded by taxpayers where they get to write in their profit line-item.  Not many businesses get to do that.  Camp Esperanza provides job placement, child care, counseling and a community to help them thrive.  These facilities need to be centrally located with easy access to the courts, medical facilities and central bus routes and not in residential neighborhoods.

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