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About Thomas: The Highlands Ranch resident served as the Douglas County coroner from 2011-15. Prior to that, she attained the rank of major during her 26 years of service in the Colorado State Patrol.More information: Lora@LoraThomas.org; 303-346-3256; www.LoraThomas.orgWhy should voters choose you for this office?Voters should vote for Lora Thomas for county commissioner because I have the proven experience and qualifications for this position. I've managed large public-sector budgets, have developed and implemented public policy and have demonstrated the desire and ability to work collaboratively with other agencies. As the coroner, I kept my campaign promise to bring accountability to the office; I improved professionalism and services, shrunk the budget by 33 percent and ended corruption.Describe an accomplishment that best illustrates your effectiveness as a leader.I ran for coroner in 2010 because the office was plagued with out-of-control spending and a lack of leadership. My experience as a Colorado State Patrol major prepared me for the challenge. We improved services while shrinking a bloated budget by 33 percent. Guns and prescription medications had been stolen from the coroner's office — one employee was criminally charged and convicted. I developed policies to prevent further corruption. I know how to look at a problem and solve it, step-by-step.What is your position on the increasing growth and development in Douglas County?Like many of you, I'm blessed to spend time with my granddaughter — she's so innocent and spontaneous that sometimes I wish that she would never grow up. But she will. And, in the same way, growth will happen in Douglas County. Growth brings vibrancy and opportunity, and I support growth that's managed in balance with water, transportation systems, jobs and existing residents. Open Space is an important component of the county's overall plans, too.What needs to be done to ensure the county can accommodate a population with a growing number of seniors?Seniors are not a namby-pamby group that needs help. Our seniors are a richly diverse group of talented and experienced individuals who provide leadership, volunteer resources and guidance to the county in numerous ways. Douglas County is well prepared for its growing senior population. For example, Neighborhood Network is a nonprofit organization in partnership with the county that provides resources to help seniors age gracefully in place. We must be sure our seniors know how to access this resource.What else should voters know about you?I would like voters to know that a vote for Lora Thomas is a vote for an independent thinker who will listen to the citizens, and make decisions based on principles of limited government, private property rights and the rule of law. I will represent the people of Douglas County, and I respectfully ask for your vote on Nov. 8.
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