County commissioner candidate profile: Kristen Manguso
Republican candidate Kristen “Kris” Manguso is running for reelection as Grand County Commissioners for District 3 this year. She faces Democrat challenger William “Bill” Thompson.
Originally from Littleton, Manguso spent six years in the U.S. Air Force in the 1980s. She moved to Grand County 20 years ago. She was initially elected Grand County Commissioner in 2014 after spending roughly eight years as planning director for Grand County government. She replaced former Grand County Commissioner Gary Bumgarner.
Her election in 2014 marked her first political campaign. She has not held elected office prior to her current role as county commissioner. Manguso stressed the significance of the relationships she has built over the past four years as an important factor in her ability to accomplish goals for her constituents. She noted she currently serves on the regional transportation and planning board that helps determine where CDOT funds will be spent in the state’s northwest region.
“I am working on getting shoulders on Highway 40 near Kremmling, Byers Canyon safety and widening the highway to four lanes between Fraser and Winter Park,” Manguso said.
Manguso said she sees issues connected to the Grand County Jail as the biggest issue facing Grand County government over the near to medium term. She noted the county recently signed a contract to have a needs assessment conducted for a potential future jail. Manguso said she has deep concerns about where such a facility might be built and how construction would be funded.
“I will not support construction of a new jail without a vote of the people first,” Manguso said. “It is the right of the residents of Grand County to have a voice in the construction of a new jail. That is nonnegotiable for me.”
She further highlighted concerns about roads and road related maintenance and issues related to water and the Colorado River Compact as the other major issues facing the county.
“We have to make sure we continue to monitor the Colorado River Compact Agreement and make sure the conditions are met to protect the water of Grand County,” Maguso said. “ I am a not one more drop person. I do not support one additional drop going to the east.”
Looking forward to the long-term Manguso identified growth as the most significant issue she believes Grand County will face in the future.
“I think we need to work with the municipalities to try and manage that growth,” she said. “Obviously in unincorporated Grand County we don’t have the infrastructure. We need to make sure we drive growth toward existing infrastructure.”
Manguso said voters of Grand County should select her because of the relationships she has built during her time.
“It has been an honor and a privilege,” Manguso said. “I would like to continue working on transportation issues in the county and serving on the Water Quality and Quantity Committee, and just serving the people of Grand County for another four years. I ask for your vote.”
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