Nancy Doty says she wants to take the skills she’s nurtured during her eight years as Arapahoe County clerk and recorder and use them to better serve the citizens as a county commissioner.
“I care about the future of our county a lot,” she said. “We need good leadership, and I believe I’m the best person to provide that leadership.”
Doty is vying with former Littleton Mayor Doug Clark for the Republican nomination for the District 1 county commissioner seat now held by the term-limited Susan Beckman. So far, no Democrats have stepped up to challenge the winner of that June 26 Republican primary in the November general election.
Doty said Clark’s reputation could hurt the county should he be elected.
“Under my opponent’s watch, the city was perceived as anti-growth and anti-development,” she said. “That’s what could happen to the county.”
While Englewood and Littleton make up most of District 1 and are generally built out, areas to the east have loads of developable land left.
Doty says she would focus on keeping the budget conservative and balanced, and make sure open-space funds are not wasted nor abused. She recently met with the group working on a master plan for the South Platte River corridor.
“I’m very impressed with the work the group has done,” she said. “I think it’s a great thing and a wise use of open-space money.”
She said an issue of particular concern is making sure oil and gas exploration in the county is responsible and encouraged, not hindered by regulations above and beyond what are already in place at the state level.
“I don’t want to make it more difficult,” she said. “Our economy depends on this in so many ways. It affects our food prices, transportation and so many products we use on a daily basis. And I want to see more jobs come in.”
Doty says her financial, administrative and managerial skills have uniquely prepared her for the commissioner’s job. She’s a certified public accountant who served as chief financial officer for six of Gov. Bill Owens’ offices, managing people and budgets.
“I have a staff of 118 here in the clerk’s office, where we interact with almost every citizen of the county,” she said. “When I took over, this office was in chaos. Morale was low. Customer service was not good. And it’s been turned around. I get many compliments.”
She took pains to get the right people in the right positions, upgraded technology and streamlined processes. Knowing lines were long at driver’s-license offices, she added one in Centennial and one in Aurora.
“I ran it like a business,” she said. “Just common sense, that’s all it was.”
During her tenure, she’s gone to court to fight against what she calls “unfunded mandates” like printing unnecessary paper ballots.
“I saved the county about $1 million by saying no,” she said. “I stood up to the secretary of state and a U.S. congressman, so I’m not afraid to stand up for the taxpayers.”
She says her background has better prepared her for the job than Clark’s time on council has prepared him.
“When you have to make a decision on your own for more than 350,000 voters, that requires a lot more leadership than sitting on a board with seven people,” she said. “When you’re on your own, you take the kudos or the criticism by yourself. … It’s not about the money. I’m doing it because I want to, because I care. I’m very employable.”