Romero for Costilla County

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(Courtesy photo).

My name is Steven Romero. I am the current Chair of the Board of County Commissioners. It is an honor and privilege to represent the communities of Costilla County.

I have been active in the community now for 20 years and I am knowledgeable in all aspects of government and county function. Although I have only been in office for one year, I feel it has been a very successful one and I would like to share some of the accomplishments in my first year in office. We brought in over $3.5 million in grants in a single year.

This is more in grant money than we receive in the entire general fund through property taxes and a record for Costilla County. This money funded many different projects such as open space and wildlife habitat protection, road paving, fire mitigation and recovery, veteran’s assistance, and many more. In addition to the $3.5 million that went to the County General Fund, I Co-wrote a $238,758 grant for a new fire truck for the Fire Protection District.

L o b b i e d a n d helped pass Senate bill 19-001 which brought $1.5 million into the San Luis Valley for the MAT (medication-assisted treatment) program to treat opioid addiction. This program prescribes medicine to people struggling with opioid addiction and has high success rates Methamphetamine and opioids have ruined hundreds of people’s lives in our community and we need help. Researched Highway Users Tax Fund (HUTF) for our county to become more efficient with our road and bridge department.

Costilla County has over 400 miles of road that we do not receive funding for. You can imagine the cost of maintaining this much road. I m p l e m e n t e d safety meetings to keep workers safe and insurance premiums at a minimum.

For the first time in county history, our Bio-Diesel passed ASTM standard. We started the Rito Seco walking path project which will create a path from the Stations of the Cross to Centennial School along the historic Rito Seco.

One of the things I’m most proud of is developing open space and wildlife corridors that can be turned into a county park and wildlife preserve. This plan has the potential to change the economy of the county and bring in millions of dollars in tourism and sustainable development while protecting the natural resources and agricultural economy.

This has been a 20-year venture for me personally that now has the momentum of becoming a reality. Looking Forward There are too many issues to talk about in one article however these are some of the very important issues that I will continue to address.

Keeping property taxes affordable. Property taxes are determined by the mils of the taxing entities such as the school district, ambulance district, county general fund, fire district, and other special districts that tax landowners for services provided.

Vast knowledge of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) and the TABOR/ Gallagher Amendment are important for County Commissioners to understand. Increasing economic development. How do we make our community stand out as a destination for visitors? How do we attract tourists that want to spend time and money here? What resources do we have that make our communities appealing? How can we help our local businesses capitalize on tourism?

Preserving Water Rights. There have been numerous attempts at water exportation from the San Luis Valley to the front range in recent decades. Lobbying interests have pumped millions into the political system in an attempt to export water for the unsustainable growth in Denver and Colorado Springs. Smaller counties like ours will have to team up with other rural counties, conservation groups, conservation districts, and use our judicial system to try to fight the continued threat of water exportation.

While volumes of books have been written on these issues, I feel it is important that the County Commissioner be knowledgeable enough to read and interpret legislation, be well-spoken to represent our point of view to higher authorities, and have a vision of how to succeed in the proposed goals. When looking at the education, experience, and understanding of what the role of a County Commissioner is, there is a vast difference between my opponent and myself.

I know in my heart that I am the best candidate for this position. I have only had one year in office and while I feel it has been an incredibly successful year, I feel that I am just beginning to gain momentum and really be able to represent our county in the way it deserves and unlock it’s potential. I am proud to be a resident of Costilla County.

I was fortunate enough to get a great education and see different places around the world. However, this is my home, where my friends and family live and where my heart is. I want to use my education and my experience to represent our communities and the people in our county.

Therefore, I am humbly asking for your support to allow me to proudly represent our County and continue to take our County in a positive direction. I am open to suggestions and feel everyone has something to contribute and I am always available to talk about any issues or concerns you may have.

Thank you for your vote of confidence and your support.

Sincerely, Steven Romero


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