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About Phil

Background and Motivations for my Campaign

 

Introduction

My wife, Nancy, and I have lived in Woodland Park for 21 years, and we’re proud to call this our home.

In terms of my background, I’m the seventh of eight children and was raised in suburban Chicago.  My father’s parents immigrated from Italy, and he was born in the Bronx.  He was a successful attorney and CPA.  My mother hailed from Minnesota and her maiden name, Moos, was prominent there.  Her cousin, Malcom, was President of the University of Minnesota, and a speech writer for President Eisenhower.

She studied musicology at Northwestern University, where she received a master’s degree.

Ours was a typically lively household, but one where learning and education was strongly supported.  In retrospect it was a wonderful time, with a strong emphasis on studying and Church activities.  As cradle Catholics, our religion was an integral part of our lives.

As my parents were adults in the Depression, they imparted to their children the importance of a strong work ethic, as well as a deep understanding of the importance of helping those less fortunate.  That has been a guiding influence throughout my adult life, one that has inspired me to be actively involved in my community.

 

Candidacy for County Commissioner

I registered my candidacy with the Secretary of State in June 2018, about two and a half years before the November 2020 election.  That demonstrates my deep commitment to serving as your County Commissioner.

Since that time, I’ve met with current and former Commissioners, in particular former Commissioner and friend, Jim Ignatius, all of whom encouraged my candidacy.

You might recall that I was on Woodland Park City Council for seven years, four years as Mayor Pro Tem.  First, from 2002 to 2008 (2004-08 as Mayor Pro Tem), and again from 2015 to 2016. 

I was also on the city’s planning commission for a year where I gained an understanding of land use issues.

In 2015 I was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to the 4th Judicial District Nominating Commission.  Our job is to interview candidates for judgeships, and my goal is to ensure the candidates will respect the rule of law and make judgements free of bias. 

In terms of community service, I was on the Board of Trustees of our local hospital for two years.  I also served on the Board of Directors for Help the Needy for two years.  And I was a Rotarian for several years.

Public service is a real passion for me.  It’s an opportunity to apply my leadership and business skills in the political arena.  That includes safeguarding the taxpayers’ interests, fighting for limited government, and for a budget that maximizes value and demands efficiency. 

My professional career was in health care administration.  After my undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Iowa and University of Minnesota, respectively, I worked for United HealthCare, at its headquarters in Minnesota.  My position was Corporate Manager of Provider Relations, and I was responsible for operations in 44 states nationwide.

In 1996 my wife, Nancy, and I moved to Colorado, where I began working at Kaiser Permanente, again in Provider Relations and contracting.

In 2000 I pivoted from the insurance side to physician practice management, accepting a position as Manager of Mountain View Medical Group’s primary care services at Langstaff-Brown Medical Center in Woodland Park.  I was also Contracting Manager for the entire medical group.

In 2005 I began working for Associates in General and Vascular Surgery, with offices at Memorial Hospital.  In 2011 I segued to UCHealth as Director of Business Operations.

I left that position in 2013 and began writing a book and traveling with Nancy, which was thoroughly enjoyable.  But, after a time I was contacted by a physician friend to be Administrator at Pikes Peak Nephrology Associates, where I remained until May of 2019.

When I think about what matters most for a public servant I think about the Constitution.  It’s the roadmap I’ve been following for decades and it’s never steered me wrong.

My Motivations for Running

In May when I stopped working, I began attending the Commissioners’ meetings to learn this job firsthand.  It’s exciting to get a real sense of how it all works, and I know I can bring new energy and know-how to make it even better.

I hear from residents that transportation is a real concern.  Making our roads the best they can be will be job number one for me.  I’ve been attending meetings of the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments and I’m learning how I can work with them to get better results from CDOT.

I’ve also actively participated in Commissioner Marc Dettenrieder’s Teller County Wildfire Committee.  It’s comprised of US Forest and Colorado Forest officials, CUSP (Coalition of the Upper-South Platte), county emergency personnel, and regional fire chiefs. 

The goal is to coordinate multi-jurisdictional agencies and personnel for forest mitigation and management, to reduce wildfire risks and protect communities and businesses.

Because your tax dollars fund the county’s budget, I want you to know that I’ve successfully managed multi-million-dollar budgets, turning deficits into profits. 

Do you think money plus politicians equals trouble?  I completely agree, which is why I’m funding my campaign myself.  I want you to know that my decisions will be made without any financial influences.

I also want to comment on the notion of liberty.  You know, it’s the heart of our great nation, and something we tend to forget is that it’s really non-partisan—we all cherish it.  So, if you have a business or work for one, a low-regulatory environment makes your life easier, and more profitable.

And, it’s important to say that a County Commissioner serves all residents.  So, regardless of whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat, or Unaffiliated, I’d love to know what you think matters. 

If you’d like to meet and talk, or have questions, send me an email at mellaforteller@gmail.com, or give me a call at 651-8767.  

Thank you, and may God bless you.



Philip Mella
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