Jones running for mayor

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Mayor Don Jones is running unopposed in the April 3 elections, and that's all right with him, he said, because there still is a lot to be accomplished by the mayor and the Craig City Council.

"We will complete the Ridgeview Trail this year all the way to Sunset Elementary School," he said. "Part of that includes getting rid of the Craig Ditch and putting the drainage underground."

Jones also points to many projects getting underway this summer in Craig, including Wal-Mart, the hospital's move west of town and plans that call for an expansion of Colorado Northwestern Community College.

New subdivisions and town homes are scheduled to begin building this summer, along with a new bus depot and improvements to Safeway, as well as the town's Kum & Go convenience stores.

The 54-year-old Jones is married to Jean and has three children. He has been a City Council member since 1995, and is completing his first two-year term as mayor.

He has been in Craig since 1958 and is a business owner since 1979.

Looking back at the current City Council's results, Jones is pleased by what has been accomplished.

"The biggest thing is the new Land Use Code," he said. "We spent two years on that, and it's really going to shape the city in the future."

The new code requires more architectural design work on buildings and more landscaping surrounding businesses.

Jones said updating the city charter was a less glamorous, but necessary, achievement completed by council.

He is sorry to see two council members ending their terms, saying it has been a pleasure working with Kent Nielson and Tom Gilchrist.

He also commended the council for its work on the Elkhead Reservoir expansion project, saying it will be a "great asset for the community."

Jones looks to the future optimistically, hoping that oil and gas development might broaden an economy that has been dependent on coal and power for so long.

"I think energy exploration will give us opportunity in different fields," he said. "It seems like anybody that wants a job can have one in Craig."

He said this summer, council will begin planning the celebration for Craig's 100-year anniversary in 2008, somewhat of an anniversary for Jones himself.

"I came here in 1958 when the town was celebrating its 50th birthday, and now we are planning for the 100-year celebration," he said. "We have some great ideas, and the more public involvement we get, the grander it will be."

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