Q&A: Tom Castrigno
Why are you running for this office? I have been involved in community issues in Summit County for over 10 years as a citizen activist. In recent years, I have been asked to take office and it makes sense for me to play a more formal role.What would your first priority be if elected? First on the list is to identify ways money is leaving the local economy and examine ways to redirect that flow back into the community. What are the three biggest issues facing your constituents and what do you see as solutions? 1. The cost of living: More opportunities for home ownership need to be created. 2. The shortage of day care: The best solution is that it be economically feasible for parents to care for their children themselves. This means closing the gap between median incomes and the high cost of living. 3. Not having enough personal time to enjoy the quality of life that Summit County offers. The work force will become more effective when they feel their personal needs are being satisfied. Citizens continue to dub “growth” and “maintaining quality of life” very important. What do you propose that will address those concerns? The “small town feel” is what these discussions keep coming back to. We can stop giving away such huge incentives to attract large corporations and begin to make some of those same things available to smaller, locally owned businesses. Another of the impacts of growth is loss of access to public lands. It may be true that 80 percent of the county is public land, but if it is not easily accessible then it may as well be only 20 percent.What, if anything, should county government do to help citizens attain affordable housing? The county should provide leadership for a mechanism that allows free market homes to be converted to attainable housing. The concept I have is more based on the TDR principle. Should Summit County government move to help fund the Summit Housing Authority? If yes, what funding mechanism do you support? The county should help fund the Housing Authority. Ultimately, I support a mechanism that allows the SHA to become self-sufficient. What is the solution to Interstate 70 congestion? The I-70 corridor is really turning into Colorado’s Main Street. Ultimately, any solution other than more lanes will require a change in mindset on the part of Front Range residents in order to gain acceptance. List public benefits that would seem appropriate for a large development, like a ski area. I would like to see assets that generate income streams versus one-time contributions; wind turbines, for example. Financing packages for deed restricted units that are built as part of a Planned Unit Development (PUD) are also be important. Schools, daycare facilities, firehouses, and other public amenities continue to be relevant as well.If elected, would you vigorously uphold the “no new density concept? Why or why not? Yes. The community created the master plan. There are plenty of development opportunities without creating new density. The county’s budget is about $55 million annually. Is government spending its money wisely? Please explain. For the most part, the money is being spent wisely, however it makes sense to continue to look at ways to eliminate duplication of services among different entities. Aside from that, the Drug Task Force is something I would question. If the raid in Frisco is any example of how that money is being spent, then that program is way overfunded.The county’s budget is about $55 million annually. Is government spending its money wisely? Please explain. For the most part, the money is being spent wisely, however it makes sense to continue to look at ways to eliminate duplication of services among different entities. Aside from that, the Drug Task Force is something I would question. If the raid in Frisco is any example of how that money is being spent, then that program is way overfunded.
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