Q&A with Kathleen Conti, candidate for Arapahoe County commissioner, District 1

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Party: Republican

Residence: Littleton

Campaign website: www.kconti4arapco.com

What makes you the best choice for this office?

First, my four years in the position understanding the departments, what they do, the acronym code for each department, the overall culture, players, fiscal needs (and) status in the departments and overall county status. My experience in the state legislature, and the rapport that I have with state-level elected officials, gives me a distinct advantage when I walk in the committee hearing room, to help the county prevent unfunded mandates that are stealing county revenues.

If you're elected, what single issue will be at the top of your agenda?

Maintain or increase our current level of service to the citizens by protecting our county tax revenues from the state stealing it through unfunded mandates.

If you're elected, what must you accomplish in order for you to consider your term a success?

If I can — through my testimony to, and rapport with, state legislators — prevent at least from a dollar measurement 80% of the unfunded mandates the legislature tries to impose on us so that we can maintain our current level of service to the citizens and quality of life to the communities.

As Arapahoe County and the entire metro area continue to grow in population, how can the county ensure housing is more affordable?

Use our Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HIP dollars to their highest and best use, partnering with nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity or builders.

What can the county do to address the ongoing problem of homelessness and ensure that camps aren't merely moved from place to place?

Homelessness is a complex issue; there are many reasons that people are homeless. The most difficult are the (large proportion) that are suffering from mental health issues or drug addiction, and 90% of those that have one or another probably have both. This is an additional hope for my opioid-prevention effort film, that it can help prevent kids from going down that path, to reduce the numbers in future years. But in the meantime, there are great programs and ideas that only lack funding and a location. The NIMBY syndrome is also rampant!

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