Because of his vast experience with engineering work in the United States and overseas, Neal Mancuso said he understands the importance of infrastructure and planning.
That is why the Bennett resident has thrown his hat in the ring for the Adams County Board of Commissioners District 2 seat.
"The county is not guaranteed a future. What ever its future is going to be, you have to work for it," Mancuso, a Republican, said. "Adams County does not take the lead looking at how the development is going to occur"
Mancuso is a Vietnam-era veteran but served his time in the states as an army corpsman and pharmacy specialist, serving and training in military hospitals. He used the GI Bill to earn an engineering degree from Montana Tech, and took graduate courses at the University of Denver. He worked with Raytheon and Merrick Engineering, and retired in 2006 but did some consulting work for a couple years after that.
He's lived in Colorado three separate times for a total of 20 years and has lived in Adams County since 2000.
"Adams County is one of the greatest places in the country to live or I wouldn't have moved here," Mancuso said. "It's doing a lot of things right."
He praised the county's efforts to get the spaceport designation at Front Range Airport. He also noted that the area could grow through gas- and oil-development opportunities, and said the county should produce a regional comprehensive plan.
"The time to plan for that is now," he said.
Mancuso has been on the Bennett Board of Trustees for eight years and will leave the board in April because of term limits. He's also been involved with the planning and zoning board.
He said that, as a commissioner, he would like to get involved with the educational system and support alternatives to college for students.
Mancuso has been married 47 years to his wife, Peg, and the couple have three children and 14 grandchildren.
Municipal inmate jail cap
Mancuso said he would like to examine all the issues that led to the Adams County commissioners deciding to cap the number of municipal inmates at the jail. He said he would like to examine the possibility of private partnerships that could help reduce the cost of housing inmates.
"We need to resolve the present political cloud that hangs over our county," Mancuso said, adding that the justice process should be allowed to run its course. He said once that cloud lifts, the positives of the county can shine through – such as the national awards the county receives and how well the cities inside the county are faring.
Expanding board to five members
Mancuso said he would support increasing the number of commissioners from three to five, as long as the two additional members aren't at-large. He said one at least should have a district to represent.
Mancuso said he doesn't want to kill the FasTracks expansion up north but would like the Adams County Board of Commissioners to examine the entire system and not just have the Regional Transportation District officials determine the right thing to do.
"If a ballot issue was going to be a tax directed at the northern area, I wouldn't be for that," he said. "I don't see, at this point in time, the benefit of FasTracks until 2035."