Economic Stabilization and Development
This was needed even before Covid-19 hit us. San Juan County is at a turning point, and I believe that economic stabilization takes priority. Smart development can fill the gap left by businesses that have failed as well as give our current business owners new opportunities. To achieve this smart development, I will:
- Honor and use our Master Plans as the living documents they should be and keep them up to date (critical).
- Support small, locally owned business above outside corporations. I support creating our own jobs from within. We are a self-sufficient people.
- Champion economic diversity as a must. Travel and tourism has an important role in the mix, but it should not be allowed to take over our whole economy. Similarly, mineral extraction should not be relied upon as the only way to bring in substantial revenues to the county coffers. Other options exist. For example, our internet capabilities are expanding rapidly. Remote working from home has proven to be a successful innovation this year. This is a great stride forward for large private enterprises, because they are able to make substantial savings in operating funds while extending greater opportunities to their employees. Professionals can work from home in rural America. They can live in a high-quality, small town environment and still earn a good living. It’s called “the distributed work model,” and it’s already happening. This model will bring growth to our communities, but with careful attention we can manage it sustainably.
- The first step is to fill vacant lots, which will enliven and flesh-out our existing towns. Next, we can plan more mixed-use and walkable neighborhoods, expanding from town center outward. We must think outside the box.
- The residential real estate market and demand is operating full speed right here, right now. Here, carefully planned residential growth is vital can be geared toward these professionals looking for a beautiful, rural quality of life in small-town America.
- I will work with the Economic Development office and the newly formed Economic Development Committee, to bring forth a plan and vision for the county, based on the two sub-points above. This must be in coordination with our long term budget plan. They go hand-in-hand.
- I will work to get as much federal, state, and philanthropic aid as we can in the next few years. The Community Impact Board (CIB) has been the source of many, many improvement and development projects in San Juan County. My opponent, Bruce Adams, sits on this powerful board. How can I replace his influence? I can’t, and I don’t intend to. I plan to work with Mr. Adams and the rest of the board to diversify their projects in our county. When we create an even playing field for more industries (besides tourism) to come into our county, we are able to mitigate the damaging effects of having a one-horse economy.
This is a pivotal moment where the county can go for technology-driven, green businesses. There are great opportunities for jobs in the new green economy.
I also support business licenses for all operating and new businesses