Montezuma County Commissioner Questionaire: Utrup

Name: Bill Utrup

Age: 65

Telephone: Not listed

Email Address:

Website: Not listed

1. How do you define freedom of the press?

I define freedom of press as the right to publicly express one’s own opinion through any form of media. It is a First Amendment right guaranteed by the US constitution. It prohibits the government from interfering with the printing and distribution of information or opinions.

2. List three action items you’d introduce to guarantee the people’s right to know?

Minutes of all meeting made available to the public, in an expedient fashion. To have open conversations with county residents, and doing focused work shops covering topics like Public Land, County Planning and Economic Development. I would like public officials to disclose any involvement with issues that may be a conflict of interest.

3. Describe the biggest mistake of your professional career. What lessons did you learn?

I have had multiple professions, to one extent I would say that I was not anticipating change. Which was inevitable, like changes in our financial system, which always seems to operates in a cycle. Most of all, where I was reactive, verses allowing a situation to play out accordingly, instead of trying to force events to happen. On deeper levels every event in life is about timing. In every situation I have found out that some things have to play out in order for others to come together.

4. Describe the greatest accomplishment of your professional career. Who is your mentor and why?

I would have to say my greatest accomplishment was to be able to relate with everyone in whatever profession I was in at the time. I admire Warren Buffet, conservative, great investor, philanthropist, and would anticipate changes in the economy and invest accordingly.

5. If elected, what would be your top priorities?

I feel finances could very well to be the top priority of the county in the future. There is a time to spend, to save, and to balance the budget. I would be working to brain storm how we can start saving money in areas within the counties management system.

6. What are your thoughts on recent reforms of marijuana laws, and should the county regulate commercial production of marijuana?

The costs associated with incarceration and probation has far out weighted the benefits of considering it an illegal drug. I am with whatever is the counties position to regulate. Industrial hemp is an important necessity and should have always been a illegal commodity. I and many others would like to see it back in production locally, it should have never been taken out of production because of its 25,000 different economic uses, because of its low THC.

7. What is your stance on the county’s RS2477 efforts to take over U.S. Forest Service roads?

I am a strong proponent of personal property and the rights of the county. I feel we have to use every legal right we can, in order to take back any and all historic rights from the federal and state government. Its important that the county needs to push harder to assert our legal rights.

8. What role, if any, does the county have in overseeing public lands?

The county has the right we can implement over federal jurisdiction ...The U.S. is not allowed to exercise legislative power on federal lands within a state, unless the affected state grants or “cedes” that police power to the US (Result = feds cannot regulate those lands). See the sagebrush rebellion by Rick Whitlock

9. What steps would you take to ensure a proper balance between sustaining the environment and industrial growth?

As for industrial growth, the growth we do have in the oil and gas industry is Federally regulated but we still needs vigilance, in order to minimize environment impact. At the same time, surface right owners have to be protected from the economic cost that are associated with gas and oil exploration.

10. Do you support the Dolores River Valley plan? Why or why not?

Here again I support personal property rights. The TDR (Transferable Development Rights) plans seems to be great in theory, but needs to be modified or scrapped. Because of the sub-prime mess we haven’t had any kind of a housing recovery locally, and therefore, no development. There has been very little building in the river valley over the last 7 years. (Facts are it has been limited to 3 homes built and 10 resales over 350,000, from my MLS system) And it could be years, before we have any possibility of growth. It looks like we are in a new world economy. In the meantime we have to look at easing restrictions, and allow for growth, its only right to find a way to ease restrictions on private property owners.

11. What ideas do you have to create or attract more jobs to the county?

Would work along with the different municipalities to help understand on what businesses and jobs would be the most beneficial to this area. Work with the different manipulable organizations to facilitate job growth that is sustainable and productive for the county.

12. Are you familiar with the land use code, and what are your thoughts about zoning issues?

I know the primary use is agricultural/residential. As for zoning issues we have the most flexible zoning system around. We can still protect private property rights but at the same time provide constant assurance to the public; as for what they can an can not do.

13. In examining the county’s total budget, which agencies would you support for greater funding and which agencies would you recommend be cut? Why?

I can’t really say right now, generally Montezuma county has a history of fiscal responsibility and I would continue to support that direction. I would avoid litigation through intelligent policy formation.

14. What efforts, if any, should the county take to help mitigate natural disasters, including wildfire, flooding and/or landslides?

As for wildfires, I have constantly felt that we need to attack dense forest areas with thinning programs, the Forest Service seems to have done a great job in that department with their resources at hand. Anything we can do to continue to support this will help to mitigate future problems for the health and safety of residents. As for flooding, I will address areas along thee river that may be in jeopardy .

15. Provide any additional comments, biographical information, expertise and/or qualifications that sets you apart from other candidates.

I feel that I am unique and have a depth of knowledge in some important areas, that I can bring to the table. I have my strengths and weakness’s just like everyone else and plan to constantly continue to improve upon my weakness’s. Many feel we are at a critical juncture, and we desperately need forward thinking, individuals to address some of tomorrows problems today. This is one of my strengths.