Q&A with Lisa Neal-Graves, candidate for Douglas County commissioner, District 2


Party: Democrat

Residence: Unincorporated Douglas County near Parker

Campaign website: www.lisanealgraves.com

What makes you the best choice for this office?

I am a former tech exec, attorney and community volunteer with 25+ years of innovative leadership building teams, solving problems and guiding long-term strategic planning. I will bring disciplined decision-making, professionalism, empathy, and integrity to the Board of County Commissioners. A servant leader, dedicated to community, I value bringing people together, keeping our families safe with sustainable, smart growth that leads to a better future. I'm proudly endorsed by Democrats, Republicans and Independents from 18 to 70+ years old. This variety of support speaks to my commitment to representing everyone in Douglas County and why I am the best choice for this office.

If you're elected, what single issue will be at the top of your agenda?

We must secure a better future for Douglas County. This requires an economic recovery and long-term development strategy that supports local businesses, considers a sustainable culture of innovation, is rooted in smart growth, and addresses infrastructure gaps exposed by COVID. Working with business owners, local chambers, community organizations, and residents we will develop a recovery strategy that focuses on fostering entrepreneurship, small business growth, and high-paying jobs. The strategy must consider how Douglas County can take action now to provide support that helps in the short-term while setting us up for a better future in the long-run.

If you're elected, what must you accomplish in order for you to consider your term a success?

To consider my term successful, one or more of the following must be planned and implemented: development and implementation of an economic recovery strategy, the establishment of a Youth Commission, or a holistic water strategy — each of which is essential to our county's future. We must be economically stable. We must invest in and listen to our young people as they are inherently more invested in our future and will inherit the consequences of the decisions we make today. And we must plan and grow in a way that considers one of our most scarce resources, which is water.

What do you see as the most important role of a county commissioner?

As the main policy-making body for Douglas County — the Board of County Commissioners is responsible for setting the budget for the county, protecting the health, safety, and welfare of residents, and managing growth, infrastructure, and resources. These are critical and necessary for the ongoing management of our county, disciplined decision-maker — the most important role. County commissioners must be deliberate in their research, seek advice from experts, and most importantly meet with the residents they are elected to represent to support making decisions in the best interest of all the residents in Douglas County.

What new challenges brought about by COVID-19 do you see affecting the county in the coming years and how will you help address them?

In addition to the major changes in the economy – specifically the deterioration of many small businesses and restaurants, COVID-19 revealed the deficiencies in our communications infrastructure. While there were known limitations in our county cell phone coverage, these deficiencies have been exacerbated by the pandemic. As a result, we have an opportunity to establish a commission on innovation with an initial effort focused on ensuring consistent cell phone and broadband coverage that is greatly needed in our county.

What do you believe Douglas County's health services should look like in the future?

Douglas County's health services should be consistent, efficient, and meet the needs of residents. With Tri-County Health, we have an opportunity to build on a 54-year relationship of TCHD meeting our needs, to create a culture of innovation, and ensure the expansion of services and improvement of delivery. Specifically, TCHD should expand to include a better mental health strategy. Douglas County has one of the highest rates of teen suicide in the country, which should be treated as an emergency. We need to urgently address mental health generally and teen suicide specifically with a focus on examining systemic causes.


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