Republican primary pits Clark, Gloriod for D-3 commissioner

       The primary election for Republicans and Democrats will be Tuesday, Aug. 10, deciding party nominees for the general election Nov. 2.
       The primary with the most direct impact on Westsiders is the race for District 3 county commissioner between Jack Gloriod, a real-estate business owner and first-time public-office seeker; and Sallie Clark, bed-and-breakfast owner and former Colorado Springs City Council member. In an attempt to shed some light on the candidates, the Westside Pioneer asked them the same four questions. Their responses appear below.
Jack Gloriod Sallie Clark
1) Do you think the proposed 1 percent sales tax for the Rural Transportation Authority is a good thing? Why or why not?
      
       The number one issue to the citizens of El Paso County is traffic and traffic congestion. The Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) is the only realistic solution to the problem. I have spent the last year working with a group of citizens who have put together the RTA proposal. We citizens need to support it. The issue has grown to the point where we have $1.3 billion in deferred maintenance and construction. This causes us considerable delays in travel, a waste of gas waiting at lights, more car repairs due to potholes and poor roads and general inefficiencies in our business operations. We are rated the worst city of 14 comparable-size cities in the country for travel. This adversely affects tourism and reduces our income and our quality of life. We should all support fixing the problem and vote for the Rural Transportation Authority sales tax.
      
       2) Are there any other perceived needs in the county (now or in the foreseeable future) that would also merit a tax increase? If so, what would they be?
      
       Every area of government has a wish list of unfunded needs. We are fortunate because TABOR requires a vote of the people to increase taxes. To convince us citizens to do so would require an issue that we overwhelmingly support or one that would cost us more if we delay correcting it. I am unaware of any issue that meets these parameters today.
      
       3) As county commissioner, would you vote to spend the $200,000 in conservation trust fund money for the county to help buy Section 16, as recommended by County Parks?
      
       What need exists for more money on the purchase of Section 16? What other ways are available to fund Section 16? What will we not now support if we spend the money on Section 16 (there are always trade-offs)? What is the purpose of the conservation trust fund and will we be violating the intent of the fund or will we be fulfilling its purpose? What does the county staff recommend and why? These and possibly other questions would provide the necessary information to make a sound decision.
      
       4) As a county commissioner, what would you do to help ensure the “small-town” feel that Westsiders hold so dear?
      
       I will help run the county government as efficiently as possible so that tax resources are not wasted. I will work closely with the Manitou city government to insure harmony in our efforts to care for the citizens of the Westside.
1) Do you think the proposed 1 percent sales tax for the Rural Transportation Authority is a good thing? Why or why not?
      
       I currently serve on the Pikes Peak Transportation Coalition in conjunction with the proposal for the Rural Transportation Authority (RTA). I believe our county must look to broad solutions in dealing with our future needs for public transit, roads, bridges, drainage, and traffic system improvements. I support the concept of RTA, however, I also believe there must be a citizen oversight component to any tax dollars approved by voters. This component could be similar to the City's Public Safety Sales Tax Oversight Committee, which I helped formulate and appoint as a Colorado Springs councilmember. As costs rise for major improvements and maintenance, especially in older areas like the Westside, we must look to long-term solutions and planning. I support the ballot initiative based on a detailed project list and approval from our elected officials. There is currently excellent cooperation among all our county; including the cities of Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs and Fountain, and the town of Green Mountain Falls. Citizen oversight is a condition to completely support this initiative. If the initiative does not pass, we will continue to look within our existing budget for prioritized improvements.
      
       2) Are there any other perceived needs in the county (now or in the foreseeable future) that would also merit a tax increase? If so, what would they be?
      
       I do not support other tax increases and believe that we should look within the county's current budget. I also believe that Certifi-cates of Participation (COPs) should be used carefully and with a dedicated revenue stream (such as Red Rock Canyon and voter approved funding). I would suggest the county appoint an internal auditor who works directly for the Commissioners. The auditor would look at how departments monitor contracts, budgets and accounting. The county commissioners could implement a similar audit system as the City of Colorado Springs, which has saved millions of city dollars. As an example, the audit of the County Coroner's Office could have been performed internally. It is estimated that the coroner's audit nearly equaled the amount of the coroner's budget which is less than $1 million. Clearly not a good use of taxpayer dollars.
      
       3) As county commissioner, would you vote to spend the $200,000 in conservation trust fund money for the county to help buy Section 16, as recommended by County Parks?
      
       I certainly support it. The county originally had committed to purchase Section 16 and then was unable to find the money. The city is currently leasing the property. The purchase of Section 16 is a great step forward toward an integrated trail system. As a landlocked property that is virtually undevelopable, it's location - sandwiched between Red Rock Canyon and Bear Creek Park - is a perfect trail connection. It's interesting to note that although our community is generally conservative, we also appreciate and support our open spaces and the natural beauty of our region. Our founding fathers, like General Palmer, had the same vision that is being carried through today. This is a wonderful opportunity that we should encourage and a perfect example of how city, county and state partnering, and leveraging grant funding, makes open space preservation attainable and affordable.
      
       4) As a county commissioner, what would you do to help ensure the “small-town” feel that Westsiders hold so dear?
      
       As a long-time Westside resident, I know our area well. Established neighborhoods differ greatly from newer areas of our county. Having served on the state tourism board, I understand how important tourism is to our Westside economy. I've spent time with elected officials in Manitou Springs and Green Mountain Falls to understand their issues. Our small-town feel is evidenced by the independent nature of our citizens. Events such as Territory Days, the Annual Fruit Cake Toss in Manitou Springs and the many activities up Ute Pass, add to our unique Westside character. We have important historic significance, evidenced by areas such as Old Colorado City. I personally witnessed the tragic Old Colorado City fire in December of 2002, I helped our neighborhood fight to save Fire Station 3, and I objected, as a council member, to the county's use of road and bridge funds to pay for debt service on the jail and courthouse.