Larimer County Commissioner Candidate profile: Myles Baker (Democrat) Larimer County Commissioner District 3
By Dan Karpiel
The Surveyor reached out to all 10 of the major-party candidates for Weld County Commissioner and all nine candidates for the open County Commissioner seats in Larimer County and prefaced four questions, outlined below. Due to space limitations in print and a desire to provide as much detailed information as possible to readers, the candidates’ responses to the questions will be posted verbatim here.
1. Can you please provide a brief history of your background, i.e. career/occupation, family, history in Colorado/Larimer County, etc., just some basic get-to-know-you information for our readers.
I served 8 years (2012 – 2020) on the Windsor Town Board including 4 (2014 – 2018) as Mayor Pro-Tem. I have also served as liaison to numerous boards and commissions (Water & Sewer Board, Parks Recreation & Culture, Tree Board, Historic Preservation). I was a 2019 graduate of the Water Literate Leaders course sponsored by CSU & The Community Foundation. In addition, I have spent over 20 years as a budget analyst for a travel logistics company.
I am married to a wonderful wife, Shareen. We have two teenage boys. Logan (15 ½) is in high school and Landon (13) is in middle school. We made Larimer County our home 14 years ago and have established roots in the community.
2. What prompted you to run for Larimer County Commissioner District 3?
I love the area we live in and I believe in serving and trying to make a difference in the community. I have done this in Windsor and believe I have the experience, commitment, and passion needed to start working as your Larimer County Commissioner from day one.
3. Can you please provide a brief outline of your political/ideological philosophy?
I believe local politics is about serving the community and not about bringing ideology into the equation. It is about solving problems and getting things done. I think I bring an important perspective to the position. I understand the small-town perspective and how it works within the larger county. In addition, having teenagers in school brings a unique view as well. I believe in fiscal responsibility and not spending more than you have.
4. What are the major issue(s) on which you want to focus your campaign and potential service as Larimer County Commissioner District 3?
Prior to Covid-19, my priorities were affordable housing, transportation & transit and water. I think these are still extremely important. However, we must be able to pivot and the two most imminent issues are Covid-19 and police reform / use of force. As we work on these, we can’t lose sight of housing, transit, & water.
1) Affordable Housing – Affordable housing is a regional problem and I would like to see the county do more to help cities and towns with affordable housing developments. My proposal is to take 1% ($1.4m) of the property taxes the county keeps and create a grant fund. This fund would be available to municipalities to apply for to get reimbursed on development fees they waive for affordable housing developments. This would spread the cost throughout the county and encourage communities beyond Loveland and Fort Collins to partner on affordable housing. This would not solve the problem but would be a piece of the puzzle that we could implement immediately as we discuss larger solutions.
2) Transportation & Transit – Much like housing, transit is a regional issue and we can’t rely on Fort Collins and Loveland to solve it. I would like the county to create partnerships with other cities to expand the reach of buses. For the most part, they currently operate in silos. I think the county can assist with the capital purchases and let cities partner on the cost of operations. In Windsor, we partnered with Fort Collins and Greeley on the Poudre Express bus line. We need more partnerships like this to expand the reach of bus service.
3) Water – Water is a complicated issue and we currently have many groups competing for the rights to a limited water supply, which only drives up the cost. We need to work collectively. The county should convene a “water summit” with all stakeholders including cities, water providers, environmentalists, agriculture, developers, and ditch companies. There are many varying interests and we can only solve this by working collectively.
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