My focus as a County Commissioner is on the citizens of this great county.
I love San Juan County and the opportunity I have had to help provide needed services.
The citizens of San Juan County make great sacrifices to live and raise their families here.
The county has an obligation to provide needed services.
With the cash and investment funds, the commissioners have partnered with other agencies to use a portion of county funds and matching funds from the agencies to complete needed projects.
Some examples have been the purchase of ambulances with matching USDA monies.
Another has been building a new Senior Center in La Sal using USDA and CIB grant funds.
We have partnered with SITLA to build new access roads in Spanish Valley.
We have partnered with the CIB in Blanding, Monticello, Bluff, and Eastland to improve culinary water systems and needed infrastructure.
We have partnered with UDOT to improve roads, such as the Lis-
bon Valley Road and the road improvements east of Monticello on Highway 491, as well as state roads in Monticello and Blanding.
We partnered with UDOT, BIA, and the federal government to improve roads in Monument Valley, Red Mesa, Montezuma Creek, and White Rocks south of Bluff.
The county has other partners, such as SPEAR and the Hole-in-the-Rock Foundation, which we have used our resources to develop trails and access to public lands and expand the Bluff Fort.
We have used our resources to defend our citizen’s rights to access public lands in San Juan County.
Many of our General Capital expenditures have been to upgrade and maintain outdated and worn-out equipment in the County.
The county reserves are better leveraged with our partner’s money rather than putting it in a Mason jar and burying it in the backyard.
Two things to remember from the San Juan Record article:
The first budget I helped formulate was the 2006 budget, which started with the reserve of $38.7 million.
The 2012 budgets starts with the reserve of 36.8 million.
The difference is $1.9 million from my first budget to the current year.
In 2010, the commission asked the Road Department Superintendent to convert some cash to gravel and culverts and cattle guards.
He did this with $1.9 million of the reserve from the B Road fund. We still hold these assets.
The County Treasurer analyzed the change in interest from 2005 to present and shows a loss of income related to interest revenue at just over $6 million. The interest has always been allocated to the General Capital account.
Now let me address the future of these funds, as I see it.
For the last four years, our way of life here in San Juan County has been under attack by the federal government.
Our largest private employer, the White Mesa mill, is in jeopardy because of the federal government’s decision to withdraw uranium mining on the Arizona strip.
This kind of decision-making, when the government studies say “no negative effect to the Grand Canyon”, can impact hundreds of jobs of millers and miners in San Juan County. Other federal regulations are affecting mineral extraction job opportunities for our citizens.
We must fight these regulations and assert our state rights under the Constitution, even if it means spending some of our cash reserves to do so.
I will stand up for San Juan County citizens, using whatever it takes under the law to protect our right to live here and make a living.