Grow an Economy that works across La Plata County

We need to grow and bring good jobs to La Plata County to improve quality of life for everyone. People define a "good job" in many different ways. 

I define it as a job that contributes to a good quality of life, and well-being for families of all kinds. 

My priorities are to: 

  • Continually streamline and improve County land use and planning processes so they make better sense, are less cumbersome and less costly.

  • Look to areas of the County for planned “growth hubs”, light industrial expansion and attainable/workforce/affordable housing. 

  • Be a champion for our infrastructure. County Roads and Bridges are the County’s largest asset.  We must take care of them for the future.

  • Look to modern, clean energy technology(ies), local food/ag and timber, the arts, and sustainable recreation as economic development opportunities.  

  • Support efforts to expand broadband.

  • Continue to improve the airport incrementally as funds allow.

  • Think holistically. Tie “growing good jobs” to housing, and availability of childcare and transit. 

  • Keep productive, close ties with organizations, including all local governments and the Tribe, to "grow good jobs" 

Provide Adequate & Excellent County Services  

We can no longer count on the oil and gas sector to pay the bulk of our bills. We must plan for adequate County Government service delivery. This will take revenue to address a growing population including development of rural areas. The County needs to make the case as to why more revenue is needed.


My priorities are to:      

  • Make this JOB #1 through tax payer education and input and using precious resources wisely 

  • Continue to determine where efficiencies can be found in the County budget.  

  • Institute more measurement in each County Department’s budget around outcomes (set measurable goals and better communicate what County tax money does for residents, etc.)

  • Ensure growth pays its own way

 Ensure more Affordable/Attainable Housing

Many in the workforce, young people and seniors on fixed incomes are getting priced out of many parts of our communities. We can do more.  


My priorities are to: 

  • Partner to expand the Tool Kit for building affordable housing   (examples:   use of public dollars for infrastructure, relax some regulations if project is affordable, tie in with City’s tools, unlock La Posta road, support transitional, low-income and senior housing, be a sponsor of grants donate County land for projects, watch mobile home park issues, etc.)

  • Ensure an Affordable/Attainable Housing Plan is done by 2022.

  • Develop a program under the La Plata Economic Development Alliance or another entity for Affordable/Attainable/Workforce Housing.   

  • Support the work of PATH as it looks to address homelessness, with the City of Durango


Increase Safety in the Face of Changing Weather and Forests 

Southwest Colorado is getting hotter and drier. Our weather is changing fast and it impacts all residents in businesses in many ways, as we saw with the 416 fire. We need to continue the good works happening and increase our capacity to respond to droughts, beetle kills, wildfires and flooding. We also need to encourage projects that address forest health.


My priorities are to:

  • Support and advertise community efforts to help residents do fire mitigation

  • Continue efforts to help residents impacted by flooding

  • Make permanent the radar system on Missionary Ridge

  • Help residents implement local CWPPs (Community Wildfire Protection Plans)

  • Ensure water docks are available during droughts

  • Consider out of the box solutions for wide-scale forest restoration to protect water supplies   

Be the model for Modern/Clean Energy on the Western Slope 

Our society is moving to renewables quickly as the cost comes down and many have a desire to reduce our carbon usage.  La Plata County can be the leader among all Western Slope communities. Can we move the energy conversation to growing good jobs and being a model for modern/clean technology(ies)? 

My priorities are to: 

  • Work collaboratively for the development of a plan   

  • Involve the agricultural, power and current energy sectors to learn and benefit from their experiences (i.e. are there ways ag properties to convert some parcels to solar installations)

  • Work to permit solar facilities where appropriate and safe

  • Consider where solar panels could go on County buildings

  • Continue efforts to reduce County Government energy consumption

Take care of our Land, Air and Water and Balance Interests/Needs

Private and public lands and landscapes are valued by all. We all want clean air and water. There are many needs and interests involved in these issues.  I will balance them.


My priorities is to:

  • Continually improve our land use Code and planning systems so they are more simply and offer certainty and assurance to everyone. 

  • Protect our water supplies and collaborative efforts to improve water quality.

  • Require adequate water in approving new developments.

  • Restore trust in the County planning process.

  • Ensure each of the District Planning District or RCCs are supported, balanced, fair; improve outreach and communication with each of the 12 groups.  

  • Continue implementing the 2017 Comp Plan.  

  • Stand up for Public Lands in our County.

  • Keep good relationships with all federal and state land and water management agencies.   


©  Paid for by :  "Marsha for Commissioner."  Marsha Porter-Norton registered agent.  2019.                                 All Rights Reserved.