• 20220420-184937-EMD20Ellis

Current board director

Why are you running for office?

I have been on the EMD board for 16 wonderful and productive years. I believe my experience in the Evergreen community and on the water board make me a great candidate to continue to lead Evergreen in a responsible way for our changing future. Since the first year. I have always been an inquiring mind. In my time on the board, I have listened and learned from numerous experts and special committees allowing me to bring a breadth of knowledge of our unique district with a focus on environmental impact for the next thee years.


Why are you the best candidate for the position, especially governing a district whose operations are technical?

Being born and raised in Evergreen, volunteering and working with community members for so many years has given me a lot of connections. I have always been curious what other communities are doing to answer water and sanitation issues, and I’ve been diligent in researching solutions used by other districts to help Evergreen. When we have had technical projects, I excel at collaborating with our board members, residents and employees to develop solutions. A major strength is my ability to communicate technical projects to every member of our diverse community and listen to their feedback.


What experience or expertise would you bring to the EMD board?

In addition to my years on EMD, I‘ve gained experience and expertise from my time on the boards of and in association with Evergreen Trout Unlimited, Audubon, MALT, Evergreen Park & Recreation, Leadership Evergreen, EChO, Chamber of Commerce, Evergreen Downtown Business Association, Jeffco Outdoor Lab, Mount Evans Hospice and as director of community relations at Evergreen National Bank. Through my years of being the “unofficial mayor of Evergreen,” I’ve learned that the most important part of leadership is listening and responding to the concerns of people with full transparency and working to help effect real change for my hometown.


What are the three biggest challenges facing EMD?

1) Replacing our aging water and sewer infrastructure 2) Succession planning for water and sewer department positions that become available 3) Managing water supply with climate change in mind and managing water needs with population growth.


How do you propose tackling those challenges?

1) Using our in-progress mapping system to prioritize our 11 areas we are placing into a project calendar to begin work on infrastructure.  2) Utilizing our incredibly talented employees to train new workers for a seamless transition of expertise due to retirement. 3) Expanding our conservation plan to balance the water needs of Evergreen with reduced water availability. We are replacing customers’ water meters with a system that reads, bills, and notifies the user and EMD of increased water usage, which could be due to broken pipes, leaks, etc. This program will reduce water waste and keep customers informed.


What would you do to promote openness and transparency in government?

I will continue to promote openness and transparency of our board by encouraging residents to come to our open public meetings as well as continuing to post minutes on the website and social media. All community members are welcome to come and contribute at our monthly meetings. EMD meets every year to review our bylaws with legal counsel to make sure we are engaging in fair and transparent practices. I look forward to continuing the promotion of transparency within our board and to our community.


How should EMD respond to requests for water and sewer for large developments, especially when those developments are usually highly charged in the community?

Requests from the Jeffco Planning Department come to us in the form of “Can you provide water/sanitation for this residential/commercial project?” The board answers these requests based on availability of water and sanitation. This is one step in the multistep process of the Jeffco Planning Department approving a building project. The board is legally bound by the rules and regulations of the county to provide an accurate response to the planning department’s request; we are not responsible for the approval of developments.


As EMD has seen drought conditions for many years, how can EMD improve communication with constituents, so they follow the rules?

Utilizing many different forms of communication and outreach to inform our customers has always been a priority for me. We use social media, the Canyon Courier, our website, and email along with numerous signs around town with drought status updates posted. Getting the word out on water conservation because of drought conditions is paramount to our communities’ resilience in the face of climate change. We work with garden clubs and HOAs, and provide pamphlets illustrating the importance of reducing water waste. I’m hopeful that through education we will get more community members to follow drought restrictions.


Is there anything else you’d like voters to know about you?

To all the people I know, you are aware of how much I care, work for and love our community! And to all the folks I have yet to meet, I hope to meet soon, so I can help answer any questions as well as share my thoughts on helping EMD to be the best.