Issues

I once again humbly ask for your help so we can continue protecting the public health, safety and welfare of our community together.

Kefalas stands with three other people in a gravel parking lot. They have tools in their hands.
Sustainable Economic Development

With my fellow Commissioners and many public and private partners, I will continue to work to remove barriers to employment and work toward sustainable and diverse economic development. We will:

  • Continue to invest in workforce development and readiness
  • Help position Larimer County to be a leader in creating the jobs of the future in fields like clean energy, high tech, outdoor recreation, health, and education
  • Promote broadband service to rural and underserved areas so people can work from home
  • Continue expanding opportunities for people with physical, intellectual or developmental disabilities so they can enter the job market and our community can benefit from their unique talents.
Quality Childcare

Reliable, quality childcare is essential for young families. When parents can’t find affordable care for their children, they can’t work or go to school and our whole community suffers. We will:

  • Continue to prioritize the use of available funds for transformational childcare projects throughout Larimer County
  • Work with community stakeholders to implement the transition to universal preschool
  • Strengthen our early childhood care and learning systems and increase our childcare capacity
  • Support comprehensive childcare and family services centers
  • Strengthen our early childhood and pre-school work force
  • Co-locate affordable childcare with housing developments
  • Create a childcare benefit program for county employees

We’re working toward opening a childcare campus in Loveland, and plan to increase quality child care capacity in Larimer County by 50 percent.

Affordable Housing

A critical challenge facing us now is housing affordability in the rental and homeownership markets. In Larimer County, we are:

  • Working to create a local affordable housing funding source
  • Collaborating with public/private partners to support the renovation and building of a diverse range of housing options including the “missing middle” of homes priced under $300,000
  • Implementing our affordable housing strategic plan to address unmet needs
  • Updating our Land Use Code and development review fees to provide a diverse range of housing options
  • Helping mobile home park residents purchase their own parks
  • Developing a water master plan
  • Integrating water and land use planning and advocating for lower water costs and addressing housing cost drivers

Over the next four years, we’ll continue to invest in innovative and affordable housing options and help build a community where people can live where they work.

Protecting our Environment

Our climate is changing right before our eyes. From extreme heat to record floods to disastrous wildfires, climate change threatens everything we hold dear. We must:

  • Continue to protect our clean air, water, and natural areas
  • Increase real-time air quality monitoring
  • Address stationary and mobile sources of air pollution
  • Work with the state to identify and plug low-producing oil and gas wells
  • Protect and restore our forests, watersheds, rivers, and aquifers
  • Expand clean energy and conservation programs, and
  • Move forward with our first-ever Climate Smart/Future Ready: Strategies for a Sustainable Larimer County
Behavioral Health and Community Safety

Larimer County is already ahead of other places when it comes to diversion programs and alternatives to incarceration. People who pose a threat to public safety need to be incarcerated, but people dealing with mental health or substance abuse issues don’t necessarily need to be in jail. Together, we will:

  • Finish constructing and open our first-ever Behavioral Health Campus
  • Continue investing in community behavioral health and substance abuse programs
  • Complete our project to double the size of the Alternative Sentencing Department and expand pretrial services and community corrections
  • Keep building an economy that works for everyone through investments in housing, childcare and economic development
  • Protect every woman’s right to make personal health care decisions

Accomplishments as a Commissioner:

In 2018, when I asked for your support to become a commissioner, I pledged to open up county government: engaging community members to increase access to economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for everyone in Larimer County. And that’s exactly what we’ve done.

Increased Affordable Housing, Workforce Development and Childcare Options
  • Dedicated federal and county funds to help homeowners purchase their mobile home parks and establish resident-owned communities
  • Created and preserved affordable housing and worked to prevent homelessness
  • Invested in childcare, early childhood learning and workforce development
  • Increased access to broadband in underserved areas of the county
Maintained Fiscal Responsibility and Invested in County Staff
  • Adopted a balanced annual budget, investing in services and capital improvements while maintaining healthy county General Fund reserves
  • Invested in raises for county staff – including Sheriff’s Deputies – to help with retention and recruitment
  • Instituted an award-winning program for employing people with disabilities
Increased Access to Mental Health Services and Promoted Alternatives to Incarceration
  • Directed county funds to community-based behavioral health organizations
  • Started construction of our first-ever Behavioral Health Facility
  • Upgraded our facilities and expanded our alternatives to incarceration programs:
    • Community Corrections
    • Alternative Sentencing
    • Pretrial Services
Strengthened County Resiliency to Deal with Natural Disasters
  • Responded to the Cameron Peak Fire and the Black Hollow Flash Flood
  • Invested in ongoing recovery and disaster emergency preparedness to ensure public safety and resiliency
  • Opened a new Regional Emergency Operations Center in Johnstown for enhanced communications and responsiveness to disasters
Ensured Clean Air and Water and Protected Natural Spaces
  • Promoted sustainable economic development while protecting our air, water, natural areas, and open spaces
  • Launched our first-ever Climate Smart Initiative to address climate change and extreme weather events through mitigation and adaptation
  • Adopted some of the state’s most effective oil and gas and 1041 regulations
  • Promoted renewable energy, electric vehicles, and regional multi-modal transportation systems
  • Invested in outdoor recreation, trails, the preservation of working farms and ranches, and forest health initiatives
Increased Transparency, Accountability and Access to County Business
  • Expanded access to county services and operations: broadcasting most county meetings and work sessions, creating a more user-friendly budget process, hosting community conversations, and being accessible
  • Launched a new equity, diversity, and inclusion advisory board
  • Innovated and improved services for youth, families, and older adults

Larimer County has been our home for 46 years. I have spent my entire adult life in public service because I am dedicated to bringing people together to solve the issues that impact us all.

I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished, but now more than ever, we need to be kind to each other, listen, come together around our shared values, and complete the work in front of us.

John Kefalas Reads to his Granddaughter