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Boulder County Commissioner Dist 1

Responsibilities of the office: County Commissioners in Colorado are responsible for adopting the county budget; declaring county emergencies; entering into contracts; purchasing, maintaining and selling county property; providing human services; authority for roadways, land use and zoning in unincorporated areas; developing and implementing county policy; supervision of the county Administrator and staff; and working in cooperation with other elected county officials and municipal officials within the county.Responsabilidades del Mando: Los comisionados del condado de Colorado son responsables de adoptar el presupuesto del condado; declarar emergencias del condado; gestionar contratos; comprar, mantener, y vender propiedades del condado; proporcionar servicios humanos; autoridad para carreteras, y el uso de tierras y la zonificación de zonas no incorporadas; desarrollar e implementar políticas del condado; supervisar al Administrador y al personal del condado; y trabajar en cooperación con otros funcionarios electos del condado y funcionarios municipales dentro del condado. How Elected: Boulder County Commissioners are elected at large by all eligible voters within the county but a candidate must live within their specific district.Cómo se Eligen: Los Comisionados del Condado de Boulder son elegidos en general por todas las personas que son elegibles para votar dentro del condado, sin embargo el/la candidato/a debe vivir dentro de su distrito especifico. Vacant seats in 2020: Voters will be electing two of the three county commissioners for this election. District 1 (aka the Boulder District), currently held by Elise Jones, who is term limited; and District 2 (aka the Longmont District) currently held by Deb Gardner, also term limited.Cargos Vacantes en 2020: En estas elecciones, los votantes elegirán dos comisionados del condado. El Distrito 1 (conocido como el Distrito de Boulder), cuyo cargo está actualmente ocupado por Elise Jones, quien ha alcanzado el limite de su mandato; y Distrito 2 (conocido como el Distrito de Longmont) cuyo cargo está actualmente ocupado por Deb Gardner, quien también ha alcanzado su limite de mandato.Term for each seat: Four years. Limit is two consecutive four-year terms.El mandato de cada cargo: Cuatro años. El limite es dos mandatos consecutivos de cuatro años.Boulder County Commissioner District 1 and 2 Candidate Forum: Watch here:

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  • Candidate picture

    Cinda Kochen

  • Candidate picture

    Claire Levy

Biographical Information

Do you see a need to revisit and revise Boulder County priorities based on the data being produced from the COVID19 pandemic?


What action(s) would you take to make living in Boulder County more affordable within 12 months of assuming office?

What action will you take to address climate change in Boulder County? Please give a response for the short term and the long term including potential obstacles.

What is your position on increasing the number of commissioners from 3 to 5 (i.e., 3 districts and 2 at large seats) and why?

Background Finalist BVSD Impact on Education Award. Past writer for Daily Camera Editorial Advisory Board. Taught preschool through graduate college. Co-author of The Baby Swim Book. Ph.D. Certified in reading, elementary, learning disabled, and Spec Ed. Founded The Shower Scene/Sustainable bath products.
Antecedentes Finalista del Premio BVSD, sobre el Impacto en la Educación, contribuyente escritor del Consejo Asesor Editorial del Daily Camera, profesora que enseñó pre-escolar hasta la universidad de posgrado, The Baby Swim Book, co autor, Doctora Certificada de lectura en la área de primaria enfocándose e
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Initially, scientists had little information. Protocols were based on previous pandemics. Boulder Public Health did an adequate job. However, it’s model should have been less top-down with more input from below, i.e. touching base with all local hospitals and providers early on, as they had good suggestions for coordination which could have led to a better county-wide response, with fewer shut downs of hospital units, more efficient testing locations, less pain and anguish for those whose needs were in that dreaded non-emergency category, and fewer medical facilities on the edge of bankruptcy. Most of us needed more research data and updates from varied sources. This lack led to garbled science and misinformation.
Creativity is key to solving this problem. The cry about lack of land and height limits has led to the fallacious belief that we must override our restrictions and keep building "up." But building down can work, too. In Seoul, I was surrounded by skyscrapers, as well as buildings with multiple stories going down. In the buildings’ centers were plant-filled courtyards, sunny areas easily accessed by occupants on the lowest levels. Dwellers could walk out their doors to “grassy front yards.” Shopping areas were below ground with direct access for residents, and skylights abounded. Below ground also is more energy efficient.

Boulder County’s stubbornness in wanting to build “up” is antiquated. Our local architects are up to the challenge.
"Climate" shouldn't be divisive, but our American tendency is to blame, not solve. The quickest results come from acting locally. The recent plunge in emissions was due not to tying the hands of big companies and filing expensive, drawn-out lawsuits, but by citizens turning into homebodies. Citizens' demand controls supply.

The CoolClimate Network uses Zip Codes and lifestyles to make charts showing how to cut emissions. Individuals voluntarily choose what they want to do. We could promote neighborhoods joining together to out-compete others. Maybe, the commissioners could offer a nifty prize?

Saving energy is part of our heritage. Our grandparents knew “to waste not is to want not.” A perfect adage for 2020. Renewables are part of this
Currently, the ideology of BOCC is largely limited to the thinking of Boulder proper. Since more people live there, their votes determine who’s elected; their view dominates decisions made for the entire county. Longmont, Erie, Nederland, Lyons, Niwot, Louisville, Lafayette, Allenspark, Jamestown and Ward, are at their mercy. These smaller communities pay county taxes, but are not well represented by 3 commissioners, who only need the votes from the dominant city to be elected. Three people can’t make wise decisions for a huge county of farms, mountains, plains, and manufacturers. With 5 commissioners, each community would have a better chance of being heard. "It's a no-brainer."
Background I practiced law from 1982 - 2008. I represented HD13 in the legislature 2007 - 2013. I then became ED of a nonprofit organization advocating for systemic change to improve economic security and access to health care for low-income Coloradans for six years. I have lived in Boulder County since 1986.
Contact phone 720-849-8983
Strategic priorities should be established for long-range planning, so they should endure unexpected emergencies. The five priority areas and implementation principles strike me as still right. Emergencies reveal who most needs effective, reliable governmental services. Providing essential governmental services to them must in the near term be our guiding focus.

COVID19 has created more urgency regarding some of the priorities and highlighted the need to focus on inequities in our economy and the availability of services. The pandemic has reaffirmed the need for housing affordability, a robust public health department, access to mental health services, accessible human services throughout the county and ways to minimize social isolation.
The greatest barrier to affordability is the cost of housing. The pandemic may require delaying the proposed tax for transportation and housing, so I would use the time to build support for it among elected officials and the community. I would work towards county-wide inclusionary housing ordinances so that all Boulder towns provide more affordable housing. I would work with county staff and nonprofit organizations to increase available vouchers and rental assistance. I would also work with the land use department to review whether zoning and land development policies can be modified, consistent with policies in the comp plan, to allow more diverse kinds of housing and increase availability of housing, especially in mountain communities.
Boulder County has excellent climate policies. I strongly endorse them and would urge rapid implementation consistent with available resources. Short-term, we must achieve 100% renewables for county buildings ASAP; only buy EVs when possible for county use; improve regional transit options; and modify all county facilities to achieve the highest energy efficiency possible. Longer term, Boulder County must help extend these practices to county residents, and pioneer ways to sequester carbon on open space. The pandemic poses a challenge if the budget is hit hard. The fact that RTD may not be a viable transit agency post-pandemic will create a challenge. But addressing climate change is an emergency that cannot wait for full recovery.
The county commission is most effective when it acts collaboratively and achieves consensus. Its policies and operational decisions apply county-wide. They must be practical, affordable and implementable. Popular but unrealistic initiatives and "no" votes aren't constructive in this job. Now, commissioners must seek support from and act on behalf of the whole county. Unincorporated residents rely on the county for basic services; mountain residents have unique challenges and don't feel heard; people of color don’t see themselves on the commission. My support depends on whether more commissioners would improve their functioning, result in better decisions and provide greater representation to populations that currently feel unrepresented.