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Wednesday, April 8, 2020
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In the Spring, a Young Man’s Fancy Turns to Elected Office
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Once again, I have abused the headline in a naked attempt to draw your attention to the article about five valley residents seeking election to the Board of Directors of the Colorado City Metropolitan District. Of five elected positions, three will be decided by voters in the May 2020 election. My assignment was to interview the candidates, de-velop a brief background and ask them to describe their top three priorities should they be successful attaining public office. I hope you find the commonality of opinions and the divergent perspectives as fascinating as I did. The candidates are listedalphabeti-cally.

Neil Elliot, Incumbent

Neil Ellliot lived in Colorado City, briefly, in the late 1970’s. He returned to the valley in 2015 to enjoy his retirement and build a house a year later. He describes Colorado City, and the Greenhorn Valley as a whole, as a wonderful place to live. “I felt it was time to give back to the community and help this community to maintain its unique and friendly environment,” said Elliot. He was appointed to the Board of Directors in Au-gust 2019 with the departure of Justin Hunter. Colorado law requires an appointee to run in the next election. His top three priorities are:

1. Move the metro district to a position of financial stability enabling the board to be-come more proactive and less reactive. Firm financial controls coupled with better accounting practices will make for enhanced accountability for both board and staff.

2. Water and sewer infrastructure are key to moving the district forward and placing it in a better position. “The board has to manage existing and aged infrastructure while making repairs and improvements over time,” said Elliot.

3. Help residents develop a real sense of pride in their community with clean-up pro-jects, enhanced recreational opportunities, and a marketing packet for visitors that highlights all the valley has to offer.

William Ellis, Businessman

Businessman William “Bill” Ellis is a long time resident of the valley and no stranger at meetings of the board for the Colorado City Metropolitan District. He frequently partici-pates in board discussions from the audience side of the arena. Ellis’ business acu-men lies principally in the insurance industry although he does have extensive experi-ence in construction management, estimating, submittal review, project management, material distribution and quality control. His goals for the board include:

1. “Problems the district faces, month after month, could be more easily addressed if there was a format to follow, a strategic plan to which both board and staff have agreed,” said Ellis. That strategic plan should be accompanied by a mission and vi-sion statement according to Ellis. “What is the mission of the district? What do we want our community to look like five and ten years down the road?” asked Ellis. “Without that plan, everyone simply wanders around doing their own thing,” said El-lis

2. The financial issues are attributable, at least in part, to the lack of a central plan. Added to that are incomplete projects the board supports. The district loses around half of all the water it produces. Where are we losing water? “The board has bet a significant amount of money that the loss is based on aged and inaccurate water meters. Is that the problem? I don’t know,” asserted Ellis. “The district bought a road grader with tires appropriate for grading but inappropriate for moving snow, added costs that could and should have been avoided with proper project analysis,” opined Ellis.

3. The district needs to establish a voter approved sales tax to build new and maintain existing roads. “While additional taxation is not a popular concept, a public infor-mation campaign would be very helpful. Every person who makes a purchase in the district contributes to road maintenance and new construction,” concluded Ellis.

John Filer, Retired Water Works Executive

Would you like to read the rest of this story? You can subscribe to the Greenhorn Valley View anywhere in Pueblo County for only $37.50/yr. Call (719) 676-3401 to subscribe today.

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The Greenhorn Valley View is a weekly newspaper serving the communities of the Greenhorn Valley in Southern Colorado,
including Colorado City, Rye, San Isabel, Beulah and Hatchet Ranch.

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