Gaiter focused on economic development, greater efficiency

Lew Gaiter III emphasizes his commitment to economic development and continuing to make the county operate more efficiently if re-elected as District 1 Larimer County Commissioner.

Those goals are among the seven spelled out an updated strategic plan adopted last year, acting as a broad guide for the county’s direction during the next five years.

But the Republican said he’s not talking about the “classic economic development” of casting a line out in hopes of landing the whales bringing with them hundreds of jobs — although he said they certainly are welcome.

Instead Gaiter said the county should act as a convener and facilitator to help existing businesses create jobs. In keeping with that mission, Gaiter noted, the county created an additional assistant county manager position so current assistant manager Neil Gluckman, former Larimer Workforce Center director, can devote entirely to economic development.

To that end, Gaiter said Larimer County should work with the individual municipalities within to grow our own healthy crop of entrepreneurs and remove barriers obstructing small businesses from navigating the maze of regulation.

“Let’s get behind them and support those people,” he said. “We can’t eliminate the maze but let’s get getting through the maze a little easier.”

At the same time, Gaiter said he wants so see the county continue finding ways of working more efficiently. For example, he points to his ongoing efforts to reduce paper shuffling. He also cited as an example an innovation reducing the costs and increasing efficiency at the Midpoint Drive facility. Social services workers who frequently work away from the office now share workstations rather than being assigned unnecessary individual cubicles.

It’s a similar situation with the alternative sentencing facility, which Gaiter said was built to efficiently meet well-defined needs saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

Gaiter previously was a business owner, software and computer networking consultant and software research and development engineer. He was appointed by Republicans to fill a vacancy in January 2010 and elected to a full term that November.

Gaiter supports the proposed jail operations tax extension. Unless approved, he said, the jail will run in the red next year, requiring the county to draw down reserves set aside for unanticipated needs such as repairing county roads damaged by flooding.

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