First, some background…
Don Anthony is a Colorado native, born in Colorado Springs. Thirty years ago, Don moved to Park County to live and work on the family ranch on the lower Tarryall outside of Lake George. He and wife, Mary, currently live in Lake George with three of their five children and still run a cattle and hay operation. Their two grown children live in the Denver area.
From Eagle Scout to Undersheriff, Don has spent the better part of his life in uniform. After four years in the Marines followed by four years in the Air Force Reserves, he started a career with the Park County Sheriff's Department as a dispatcher in 1989. Don became a patrol deputy after nine months with the department and continued to work his way up through the ranks to the position of Undersheriff. During his law enforcement career, he earned several awards, including top driver of his class at the Academy, and 1994 and 1996 Deputy of the Year. In 2004, the Central Colorado Cattleman's Association nominated Don as the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for the State of Colorado.
Questions and Answers…
Q: Why did you decide to run for the office of Park County Sheriff?
A: I have worked under four different Sheriffs during my career. I have learned what works and what doesn't. Numerous people from around the county, as well as current Sheriff's office employees have urged me to run for Sheriff. I feel I can bring back the public trust that the Sheriff's office has lost.
Q: If you had not lost your job with the Park County Sheriff's Department, would you have still made this run for office?
A: It has always been my intent to run for Sheriff, but when Sheriff Wegener appointed me, I publicly stated that as his Undersheriff I would not run against him. Sheriff Wegener had indicated that this would be his last term in office and I was planning to run four years from now.
Q: What changes would you make in the Sheriff's office, or what would you do differently, if elected?
A: In order to rebuild the trust of the public, the Sheriff needs to be accountable to the people, not the other way around. Park County is very large with diverse cultures. If elected, I will be available to hear the concerns of the public throughout all districts of the county. There are other things I would like to work on, such as consistency of internal policies and getting a better handle on budget issues and the frivolous spending of seizure funds. A portion of the profits from jail operations could be used to pay down the bond early in case there is an interruption in income for the jail. The income from housing prisoners is not guaranteed and we should plan ahead for the possibility that something could happen from time to time that might reduce the current revenues. The department should not be counting on that income for operating expenses.
Q: Why are you best qualified for this position?
A: I have been part of disciplined uniformed organizations most of my life. I am very involved with community organizations and stay in touch with the citizens. Having over 25 years of experience with a variety of issues, such as budget control, inventory, fire management and EMS service, and 16 years of loyal law enforcement background, adds to proven management experience right here in Park County. I have a vested interest in Park County and the Park County Sheriff's Office.
Q: Now, a more philosophical question. What is your attitude toward our county government? Is Park County government too big, too small, or just right?
A: Portions of our county government have lost the trust of the citizens due to decisions being made without educating the public enough as to what and why the decisions are being made. I believe the public would be more supportive of the decisions that have been made in the past had they been more advised. I believe the size of our county government needs to be reorganized. It seems that services and positions are being cut in some places and being added in others without really looking at the repercussions. Maintaining the civil rights of the citizens and providing public services are essential and pose huge hurdles for all of the different areas of our county government. Services have to be weighed as to whether they are wants or they are needs. Once this is determined, they need to be acted on accordingly.
Website for Don Anthony