City Council candidates speak out

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Francisco Reina

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Jennifer Riley

This is the second part of a question and answer series with each Craig City Council candidate who will appear on the April 7 municipal election ballot.

Among the answers given, voters will be able to find each candidate's account of how they have been involved in the community to this point, what drove them to seek public office and whether they think the city operates smoothly now or should be changed.

The election will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday in Centennial Mall, 1111 W. Victory Way.

There are six candidates vying for four City Council seats: incumbents Terry Carwile, Byron Willems and Gene Bilodeau, who was appointed to fill a vacancy; and hopefuls Joe Bird, Francisco Reina and Jennifer Riley.

Three of the available Council seats carry four-year terms, while the fourth is for two years. The top four vote-getters all will claim a seat, with the fourth taking the two-year term.

Mayor Don Jones is running unopposed for his third term.

Francisco Reina

Age: 63

Occupation: Retired

Time lived in Craig: 33 years

Public service history:

• A member and participant with AYSO/CYSA Youth Soccer and other local and regional soccer leagues for 28 years

• Volunteer with Boys and Girls Club of Craig

• Volunteer interpreter for the Craig Police Department for 10 years

• Volunteer with Reach Everyone Preventing Suicide

Q. Why are you running for municipal office?

A. Craig is my home. I consider people here my family. I will do my best for them.

Q. What is the single biggest issue Craig faces today or will face during the next four years?

A. Management and employment must go to those who qualify, regardless of race, color or creed.

Q. Do you believe the city needs to change or alter any of its operations or policies? Why or why not?

A. Yes, more thought needs to be given for decisions made and the effect they will have on the working class and their families.

Q. What is your view about how local government should operate?

A. There should be more thought given to decisions made today that have a long range effect on our families and generations to come.

Q. If you could say one thing to every local voter concerning your campaign, what would it be?

A. Let's make Craig a place to be proud of, proud to live in and be from. Vote for me.

Jennifer Riley

Age: 36

Occupation: Moffat County Assessor's Office chief appraiser

Time lived in Craig: 27 years

Public service history: I currently serve on a number of boards, including the Moffat County Library Board of Trustees - treasurer, Moffat County Employee Retirement Board - chair, Moffat County Employee Health and Benefits Board and Moffat County Schools Federal Credit Union - secretary.

Q. Why are you running for municipal office?

A. I am running for City Council in order to give back to the community in which I was raised. I believe working with various governing agencies has given me experience in government finance, employee benefits and policymaking. I believe I have skills and experience that would benefit the City Council, the employees of the city and the citizens of Craig.

Q. What is the single biggest issue Craig faces today or will face during the next four years?

A. I believe the biggest challenge facing individuals, businesses and government is weathering these uncertain economic times. All are faced with rising costs of goods and services. Currently, Craig is benefiting from strong sales tax revenues, stable property values, and new growth, but fiscal responsibility is vital to the continued success of city programs and services.

Q. Do you believe the city needs to change or alter any of its operations or policies? Why or why not?

A. Based on the information I have today, I don't know of any particular operation or policy that needs to be changed. In the past several years, Craig has seen an incredible amount of growth, including new residential subdivisions, new construction for large and small businesses and a new school and hospital. By all appearances, the city operations are working and running smoothly. However, operations and policies should be periodically reviewed and updated to address changing needs of the community.

Q. What is your view about how local government should operate?

A. Representative government is intended to be a voice of its constituents. Because we live in a small community, residents have easy access to their representatives to voice their concerns. I believe governing starts with people who are interested in making a difference.

Q. If you could say one thing to every local voter concerning your campaign, what would it be?

A. I would like the opportunity to represent the city of Craig. I will bring hard work and dedication to the City Council. I will listen to the questions and concerns of the citizens, and work toward solutions that are in the best interests of the community. I have come to understand that the most effective leadership comes from listening and working together. I am asking voters to elect me because I want to be part of Craig's future growth and progress.

Questions submitted by Daily Press writer Collin Smith. He can be reached at 875-1794 or cesmith@craigdailypress.com.

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