Montezuma County Commissioner Questionnaire: Candelaria

Name: Jim Candelaria

Age: 53

Telephone: 970-749-3841


Website: Not listed

1. How do you define freedom of the press?

I feel it’s the press’ right to report to the people based on facts. All public meetings are public information and transparency should prevail.

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

It’s very difficult to guarantee that the public will look at the information given to them. Items and agendas are listed on line along with minutes. Media is also welcome and permitted. I plan on making myself available to all via e-mail, phone or in person. A regular journal section on County happenings would be a great conversation tool and a benefit to all its subscribers.

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

This would be making a decision based on emotion instead of facts! I have learned to look at the issue. Study it and to be informed.

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

Promoting to Battalion Chief and owning my own business. Mentors are my mother and father as they gave me the foundation in my faith and taught me how to work and to never give up on a dream.

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

Working to strengthen relationships to reach out and invite industry and development to our community. Supporting the tax contributors and creating the infrastructure needed. As we get stronger the entire community will prosper.

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

It’s legal in the state so we need to be open minded about it. We also need to make the best decisions based on the community and how it’s affects will be forecasted. I do believe the commission should regulate the production if passed.

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

I would like to not see any more roads closed and would be proactive in that defense. As far as getting back what has been taken or given away is a legal question I cannot answer.

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

Not sure on this one and again I would have to ask council. If it’s within our jurisdiction and within our legal rights then we should be the final decision.

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

Make sure my homework is complete and with due diligence, the best decisions will be made. Again making decisions based on facts and not emotions.

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

I do support the plan as it is as it was voted on by the people. We as commissioners are the people’s voice. I do however feel that all plans need to be revised because of changes in topography, technology, and ownership. We also need to make decisions based on factual information for the betterment of the entire County.

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

We need to promote our County. We have to be proactive in getting out information to all so they can see the gem that exists here. Assist new comers with the process to get going from the start and keep them sustainable. Strong relationships with Kinder Morgan to find out what they need to support them. Build around that with training, a work force and a desire to prosper.

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

I am familiar with the code and have used the process several times. It would be nice to see what issues are of concern and look at revisions if necessary.

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?

This would take a collective decision of the board after review and study with staff. In my first year I would not be able to affect the budget as it was set by previous administration.

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

The county now works with FireWise to assist the public in wildfire mitigation, planning, preparedness and training. It also has a FEMA flood plane in place and can map out for the people the area’s that need attention. The county has on staff an Emergency Coordinator who works with industry and the emergency services in the case of an event in the county. He may also open an EOC if deemed necessary. We are a community and we need to be prepared to assist in the event of a disaster.

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

I am very energetic and have a passion to see the community prosper. This is my home and it will continue to be my home. I have been active in the community and support it. I have 30 years in public service and understand the challenges we will be encountering in the future. I am able to create and maintain relationships to reach out to others for development ideas. I am open minded and am willing to listen to all. I have owned a small business for 22 years and know what it takes to maintain and keep things going on a balanced budget.