Who will fill the void?

Five Craig residents run for three council seats

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On Tuesday, three Craig City Council seats are up for grabs.

Five people are running for those seats: Ray Beck, Rod Compton, Bridgette Harris, Joe Herod and David VanWagner. Mayor Don Jones is running unopposed.

From having City Council experience to working in the community, the five candidates and the mayor have a variety of experience.

On page 18 are answers in the candidates' own words about the future of Craig, and what they would like to accomplish. For more information on the candidates or the election, go to www.craigdailypress.com, and click on the Election 2007 button.

Voting takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Centennial Mall, 1111 W. Victory Way.

Ray Beck
Age: 57
Occupation: Meter Technician for Yampa Valley Electric Association
Political experience: Did not answer
Political Party: Republican
Family: Married, with four children and four grandchildren
Craig resident for the last 28 years

Q. What do you see being the biggest challenge facing City Council in the next term?
A. One of those challenges will be to continue to work with all the council members and the city manager to stay within the budget. The budget is the key and dictates what projects we can accomplish each fiscal year. We need to be diligent with the taxpayers money.
As our city continues to grow, traffic through town will become a real concern on Highway 40. Working with CDOT will be imperative to overcome those traffic issues.

Q. What one or two things would you like to accomplish on council?
A. I want to be able to make an important contribution and difference to the community, while being approachable as well as an effective representative for you, the citizens of Craig. I want to continue to establish communication between the city and county while striving to reach common goals for which all of Moffat County can benefit.

Q. With the expected boom coming, what is your vision of the city in the next four years?
A. We have established a good foundation to be able to control the growth. We adopted the Craig Master Plan in 2003, updated the City Charter in the fall of 2006, and adopted the revised Land Use Code. The addition to the Craig Water Plant and expansion to Elk Head Damn will help us deal with the expected growth. The proposed tax base will award us more funds for capitol improvements and other projects.

Q. What is your view on the immigration issue in Craig?
A. Immigration is a very real issue and needs to be dealt with by those who are trained and certified. It historically is the responsibility of the Federal government. We have an immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency here in Craig. They receive their directives from Homeland Security and work with local law enforcement. Immigration issues and enforcements must be handled by authorized agencies.

Q. How is the best way to coordinate various agencies to ensure there is no duplication of services?
A. The key is communication, cooperation and coordination between agencies and or committees. We all live in the same community and share the same services. The entire community will benefit with enhanced teamwork. Working together is the key to our success.

Rod Compton
Age: 51
Occupation: Pastor
Political Experience: Although I have not held political office, I have always been heavily involved in the political process. I have been a caucus leader as well as a representative for my party. I believe voting is a freedom that many people choose not to exercise.
Political Party: Republican
Family: My wife Ann and I have been married for 26 years We have two children. Chris is a sophomore at Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas. Catherine is a senior at Moffat County High School.
I've been a resident of Craig since November of 2000.

Q. What do you see being the biggest challenge facing City Council in the next term?
A. Since the adoption of the zoning and planning and having a masterplan in place, I believe we can now focus on the quality of life for our residents and potential businesses that would look at N.W. Colorado for relocation. I would like to see us revisit the idea of a recreation center, an assisted-living center, possible drug rehab center with the new hospital, and work with our School Board on the future of our facilities.

Q. What two things would you like to accomplish on council?
A. I would like for the citizens of Craig to know that they have council members who are available, cooperative and concerned for the whole community. I would also like to see the communication and cooperation with the county and other agencies continue to get better.

Q. With the expected boom coming, what is your vision of the city in the next four years?
A. All you have to do is look at some of the other communities that have faced growth. We can be proactive or we can wait and try to fix problems after they occur. If we continue to be progressive, we could make our downtown area an attraction for shoppers and create an atmosphere that is conducive for growth.

Q. What is your view on the immigrant issue in Craig?
A. I have no problem with immigrants in particular. In fact, almost all of us are products of immigration. That's one of the unique characteristics of America. However, I do have issues with illegal aliens, and I believe as America, we need to continue to maintain our distinctiveness in accordance with our culture and language.

Q. How is the best way to coordinate various agencies to ensure there is no duplication of services?
A. I believe we have made huge strides already with the inception of Love INC. This allows the agencies to work in accord to meet the needs of those who are struggling. The cooperation of the city and county are also crucial in maintaining quality services for our citizens and in particular our senior adults.
Bridgette M. Harris
Age: 35
Occupation: Retail Sales
Political Experience: None
Political Party: Did not answer
Family: Married with four kids.
Craig resident for eight years

Q. What do you see being the biggest challenge facing City Council in the next term?
A. I see the biggest challenge facing City Council this next term as the growth that the community is experiencing and the projects that are already in the works such as the college expansion and the new hospital.

Q. What one or two things would you like to accomplish on the council?
A. I would like to accomplish a number of things while on the council, but I have park projects as one of the things on the front of my mind.

Q. With the expected boom coming, what is your vision of the City in the next four years?
A. My vision for the city for the next four years is one of growth. I am very excited about all of the upcoming projects from the college to the hotel expansions. I see Craig becoming a very self contained (entertainment and shopping) community, and that excites me. I have always tried to do as much business in Craig as possible, and over the next few years that is going to be 100 percent possible.

Q. What is your view on the immigration issue in Craig?
A. I think the immigrant issue is something that we need to take very seriously. I think that cooperation between all of the enforcement departments is a must and on a city level, I think that we need to educate employers on fair hiring practices and then make sure that they are enforced.

Q. How is the best way to coordinate various agencies to ensure there is no duplication of services?
A. I think communication is the key to coordinating agencies to ensure that there isn't a duplication of services.
The better communication and cooperation we have between the agencies, the better our community will run.

Joe Herod
Age: 45
Occupation: Owner of Craig Sports
Political Experience: Four years on Craig City Council
Political Party: Republican
Family: Wife: Lila. Children: Casey and Chelsey
Craig Resident for 45 years

Q. What do you see being the biggest challenge facing City Council in the next term?
A. Growth will be the biggest challenge for the council. The increase in oil and gas development, new business and tourism is good for our community, but we need to be prepared. We have a master plan in place and we will need to continue to build our infrastructure. Unfortunately, with this growth we may also see an increase in crime so we will need to consider additional law enforcement support.

Q. What one or two things would you like to accomplish on the council?
A. I am pleased with the working relationship we have between the city and county, and I would like to see this continue. We have been able to set priorities for important projects in our community and support one another with requests for DOLA funding. We are also working on the water plant upgrade and I would like to see this completed within the next couple of years.

Q. With the expected boom coming, what is your vision of the city in the next four years?
A. In the immediate future we will see the completion of Wal-Mart and Walgreens, the Kum and Go stores will be remodeled, and the Elkhead Reservoir will reopen for recreational use. Within the next four years I hope we see the completion of a new hospital and the expansion of CNCC. A community needs quality healthcare and quality education. This is progress and exciting times for the city of Craig.

Q. What is your view on the immigration issue in Craig?
A. I fully support legal immigration, and we are fortunate to have a non-profit organization like Comunidad Integrada to help with this integration in our community. I think our local law enforcement and INS is doing a good job trying to manage illegal issues.
Q. How is the best way to coordinate various agencies to ensure there is no duplication of services?
A. As a councilman it is important to have a good understanding of the missions of various agencies to ensure there is no duplication. Often it appears there is duplication of services but with further knowledge of agency operations you find that is not necessarily true. Maintaining strong communications between the city and county helps when funding these agencies.

David D. VanWagner
Age: 50
Occupation: Real Estate
Political Experience: registered voter
Political Party: Independent
Family: Married with four kids and five grandkids
Craig Resident for 26 years

Q. What do you see being the biggest challenge facing City Council in the next term?
A. Growth management.

Q. What one or two things would you like to accomplish on council.
A. To insure land use and tax base are managed properly.

Q. With the expected boom coming, what is your vision of the city in the next four years?
A. To have competitive shopping and good service for the citizens of Craig.

Q. What is your view on the immigrant issue in Craig?
A. Anyone here legally does not promote a problem if here illegally then they become a legal problem to be dealt with by law enforcement; and not by the citizens of Craig or members of City Council

Q. How is the best way to coordinate various agencies to ensure there is no duplication of services?
A. Communication between departments, and streaming that information to the personnel in the field.

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