First Term Accomplishments
Economy and Workforce Development
- Established and distributed $24.2M in regional business relief funds to EPC businesses and non-profits affected by the pandemic–estimated economic impact of saving over 1500 direct jobs, and an economic impact of over $1.1B
- Initiated and applied, despite the onerous process, for variances that allowed the following industries to open during the pandemic, against state COVID regulations
- Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, gyms, youth sports, swimming pools, tourist facilities, churches, restaurants and entertainment, bowling alleys, hotels, and large event venues
- Approval of four Urban Renewal Authority bonds for economic revitalization and redevelopment
- Streamlined business licensing and renewals
- Assisted the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce in business recruitment, retention, and development
- Pushed federal dollars (ARPA and CARES Act) directly to 9 small business membership organizations (listed HERE)
- Implemented Colorado Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (C-PACE), a loan program which helps finance up to 100% of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation improvements
- Ensured access across the county by opening new locations of the Pikes Peak Workforce Center to assist those in the southeastern part of the county with services, vaccines, and programs
- Ensured the $125M of federal CARES Act funding was distributed to various El Paso County entities that were hit hardest during the pandemic including
- $40M municipalities (after watching Governor not distribute any allocation received)
- $16M directly to small businesses and citizens in need.
- $1M to businesses in the enterprise zone
- $1.2M to local business non-profits like chambers of commerce
- $1M to Pikes Peak United Way to support citizens with real needs including food, utilities, and rent assistance.
- Supported and funded 9 multi-family affordable housing projects, putting 835 new units on the market and rehabilitating/repurposing through the Housing Trust Fund
- Freedom Springs, Shooks Run, Atrium at Austin Bluffs, Creek at Cottonwood, Barnes Apartments, Villas at Mesa Ridge, Academy Heights, Greenway Flats and Winfield Apartments
- Private activity bonds injected another $82 million into the affordable housing economy, jumpstarting developments like the Barnes Apartments, The Creek at Cottonwood, and the Winfield Apartments.
- Eliminated agency barriers to ensure coordination between first responding agencies and behavior and mental health units to respond to homelessness.
- Facilitated down payment assistance through the El Paso County Turnkey Program, helping 459 qualified families achieve the dream of home ownership.
- Completed local match portion of I-25 widening funding
- Added $12.5 million in funding for roads in 2021
- Added $12.1 million as ongoing funding for roads since 2017
- Added almost $60 million into roads since my term began 4 years ago
- Added “Pineries Open Space in Black Forest” with over 8 miles of trails spanning 1,000 acres
- Announced $9 million in funding to local nonprofits which were dispersed from federally funds in the American Rescue Plan to assist in COVID recovery
- Found creative solutions by including government and private entities to come up with effective and fiscally sound solutions
- Opened a new regional office of emergency management with the City of Colorado Springs
- Created a team to coordinate community response, which included community leaders, non-profits, public agencies, schools, private companies, and more
- Ensured that counties services remained open for business throughout the entire pandemic
- Continued focus on preparedness to natural disasters as our area is uniquely susceptible to fires and floods.
- Signed IGA with Teller County and National Park Service for forest management and fire mitigation in Pikes Peak National Forest
- $13.5 million CARES ACT funding for jail facility upgrades
- Supported the Sheriff’s Department to crack down on illegal marijuana
Transparency and Accountability of Government Funds
- Continue to have the lowest cost per citizen and property tax per citizen of any county on the Front Range
- Refunded $7 million above the 2020 TABOR caps
- Refunded $15 million above the 2021 TABOR caps
- Put the decision to reset the county’s TABOR base and to use $15 million above the county Tabor cap for backlogged road infrastructure and park projects in the hands of voters through Ballot Issue 1A
- County Clerk/Recorder Chuck Broerman and his team ran a fair, transparent, and credible election. Because of their efforts, we can have faith in our local mail ballot system.
- Putting every ballot accessible online
- Paying for an external audit
- Establishing a joint initiative with the DA for investigating voter fraud
- Used a Federal grant to improve roads and safety around our bases
- Lobbied/continuing to lobby to keep Space Force in El Paso County
- Took an active stance on 292 of the 623 bills introduced which is just shy of 47%
- Applied for COVID variances
- Introduced C-PACE funds to counteract unfunded mandates