Q&A with George Teal, Candidate for Douglas County commissioner, District 2

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Party: Republican

Residence: Castle Rock

Campaign website: www.GeorgeforDougCo.com

What makes you the best choice for this office?

Experience and tenacity. Having served on the Castle Rock Town Council since 2014, I've been honored to represent my neighbors while also working for the residents of Douglas County. As councilman, I cut taxes, reduced fees, and protected our individual rights. I also helped build better neighborhoods, worked to manage the negative impacts of growth, and became known as a fierce advocate for my district. I've also had the opportunity to serve on boards and commissions to include DRCOG, the Cherry Creek Water Authority, E-470 Authority, Chatfield Water Authority (Chairman), South I-25 Steering Committee, and the RTD Re-Imagine Committee.

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

I have spent the last six years on the Denver Council of Regional Government (DRCOG) working to prioritize crucial transportation projects in the county, and I have a proven record of success, with the necessary experience to effectively collaborate on future projects in the region. I am ready to hit the ground running when it comes to transportation projects through 2050 — because I've already been doing the work since 2014 on DRCOG. As commissioner, I'll continue to focus on regional solutions that improve safety, decrease congestion and expand necessary arterial road networks.

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

Just as we formed our own judicial district, we need our own county health board and department. But I'd also like to see our county reinstitute some form of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) so that we can maintain our county finances just as our municipalities do. And we need to become a Home Rule County so that we can have more local control — thereby giving us greater autonomy and authority — while also giving us the ability to resist the liberal overreach we see every day from our state legislature and governor.

What do you see as the most important role of a county commissioner?

The Colorado Constitution tells us commissioners are responsible for “apportioning and levying taxes” while also budgeting all county programs. Over the last six years on council I have proven that forward-leaning and fiscally responsible budgeting can still produce great towns and neighborhoods. Yes: we can build roads, pay our police and firefighters, and invest in open space while still keeping taxes low and reducing government intrusion into the lives of our businesses and families. I've been a smart, effective conservative for the last six years on council and that's exactly how I'll serve as county commissioner.

What new challenges brought about by COVID-19 do you see affecting the county in the coming years and how will you help address them?

Covid-19 has devastated our small businesses in the county. We need to continue renovating our policies and regulations to improve our business climate. That should include an 'all of the above' mentality: reducing red-tape, eliminating out-of-date regulations and opening-up opportunity where it might not have previously existed. And, we also need to remember the lessons we learned during the lockdown: government employees are capable of working from home, which means less need for traditional office space, and the “business of government” (permits and registrations) can reasonably occur online, thereby lessoning traditional wait times and improving our customer (taxpayer's) experience.

What do you believe Douglas County's health services should look like in the future?

I believe “government closest to the people serves the people best.” I'd like to see a locally controlled health department that is dynamic and responsive but that doesn't politicize the health and welfare of our residents. I'd like to see more quality services in support of our aging community instead of time and money being spent on pet projects. We need less hyperbole and politics — more direct, quality services for our at-risk families and seniors — and greater autonomy.

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