Candidate Q&A: Libby Szabo, Republican for Jefferson County Board of Commissioners District 1

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Occupation: Jefferson County Commissioner

City: Arvada

Party: Republican

Contact: libbyszabo.org

What makes you the best choice for this office?

Jeffco needs a commissioner with experience and expertise in leading the county. My experience serving in the State Legislature and the last five and a half years serving as your County Commissioner is unmatched. I have always been a strong advocate for the people I represent; the people who are my top priority for all decisions I make. I am the best choice because it is going to take tenacity and experience to tackle our budget issues and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. I have already demonstrated that I can be a bold leader in stormy times.

If elected, what would your top issue be?

My top issue is the health and safety of Jefferson County residents. We need to make sure science and facts are used to make COVID-19 decisions and that these responses ensure the balance between public health and economic vitality. In addition, our county’s residents should know they are safe and that laws will be enforced. Nothing is more important than keeping our residents safe.

If elected, what would you want to accomplish in order for you to consider the term a success?

Success would be leaving Jeffco a better place than when I was first elected. My top priority has been to make Jeffco the ideal place for people to live their American dream, whatever that may look like. Every person should have a safe environment where they can enjoy the great outdoors we cherish here in Colorado, without an undue tax burden that imposes high taxes on individuals trying to make a living. County government should enhance individual’s lives, not make it burdensome.

Even before COVID-19 the county looked to be in a rough financial position. What is one county expense you think could be cut, and why?

To maintain a balanced budget, we can ensure our staff is the appropriate size by watching natural staff attrition and ensuring position efficiency. About 25% of our employees are going to be of retirement age in the next five years. This presents an opportunity to make sure we are efficiently using technology and restructuring responsibilities to be competitive with the private sector in regard to efficacy.

Would you support trying to bring more revenue into the county, through a new tax or another attempt at TABOR relief?

It is imperative that as elected officials, we listen to the citizens we serve. Last year they gave a resounding NO to the 1-A Taxpayer Bills of Rights (TABOR) county ballot question. The outcome of the vote told me taxpayers want the county government to run more efficiently. It is my job as a Commissioner to find budget efficiencies. With COVID-19 hurting so many families and businesses, now is not the time to impose more taxes on our already struggling community.

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