Terry Carwile, one of seven Craig City Council candidates, fields a question Wednesday during a candidate forum at Centennial Mall. Candidates joining him at the forum were, from left, Gene Bilodeau, Joe Bird, Jennifer Riley and Francisco Reina. Mayor Don Jones, who is running an unopposed bid for re-election, also was in attendance. More than 30 people attended the forum.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Terry Carwile, one of seven Craig City Council candidates, fields a question Wednesday during a candidate forum at Centennial Mall. Candidates joining him at the forum were, from left, Gene Bilodeau, Joe Bird, Jennifer Riley and Francisco Reina. Mayor Don Jones, who is running an unopposed bid for re-election, also was in attendance. More than 30 people attended the forum.

Candidates discuss recreation center

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Gene Bilodeau answers a question about a potential recreation center in Craig on Wednesday during a forum at Centennial Mall. Candidates answered a variety of prepared and submitted questions.

If you go

What: Craig City Council meet-and-greet session

When: 5 to 6 p.m. Friday

Where: Downtown Books, 543 Yampa Ave.

• The meet-and-greet is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call Terry Carwile at 824-3108

— Craig City Council candidates fielded questions ranging from the area's methamphetamine problem to building a recreation center during a candidate forum Wednesday night at Centennial Mall.

More than 30 people attended the forum, which was sponsored by the Craig Daily Press and KRAI.

Incumbent City Councilors Gene Bilodeau and Terry Carwile, and hopefuls Joe Bird, Francisco Reina and Jennifer Riley answered questions in the second of three candidate events scheduled for the week.

Councilor Byron Willems was out of town.

The first question of the night was about the current relationship between the Moffat County Commission and the City Council.

Riley said the relationship between the two governing bodies is good but could be better.

"I think the relationship is good right now, but there's always room for improvement," Riley said. "I think the county and the city have a different philosophy when it comes to governance, but I think with an open line of communication we can have a better relationship."

Carwile said the council and the commission should focus on working together because both serve the people of Craig.

"I don't think there should be distinct lines between the county and the city," Carwile said. "Craig is the seat of Moffat County, so there should be more communication because a lot of what we do is focused in the same community."

The main topic of a forum Monday was the possibility of a recreation center in Craig. The recreation center issue came up again Wednesday.

Bilodeau said a recreation center could help with other problems in the community, but securing funding would be almost impossible.

"I definitely think it comes down to a matter of funding, but I think a recreation center would help," Bilodeau said. "I see a problem in our community with methamphetamine abuse, I see a problem in our community with teen drinking, I see a problem in our community with teen pregnancy, and I think that having a recreational facility would help with all of those because those kids would have somewhere else to be.

"I'm a firm believer that healthy people make healthy decisions."

Reina disagreed with Bilodeau, saying the community had plenty of recreation opportunities without a building.

"No way," Reina said. "Craig needs more unity and support, we don't need a rec center.

"We have soccer fields and open land - it would be a waste of money and time."

The candidates were asked about the current planning and zoning regulations and whether they helped or hurt the city's growth potential.

"Yes, I think we need to make changes to streamline the process," Bird said. "We need to make sure that it's the same for everyone and that it's as quick and easy as possible. That's how we're going to attract new business."

The candidates were asked whether Communities Overcoming Meth Abuse and Grand Futures had helped to curb meth abuse in Craig and whether the city should take on an expanded role.

"I think COMA and Grand Futures have helped eradicate some of the problem, and the city definitely plays a role there, too," Riley said. "We've seen some products removed from our grocery stores. And it's been a joint effort between city, county and state."

Another topic was how Craig could attract visitors from Steamboat Springs and Meeker.

Bird said the city's efforts to bring in visitors should focus on its people.

"The Chamber of Commerce has spent a lot of time and effort on its Web page - getting visitors and hunters signed-in and familiar with Craig before they come here," Bird said. "We have pamphlets at the airport showing all of the activities you can do in Craig, but we need to focus on the good people here - that's where we shine above the rest."

Craig Mayor Don Jones, who also attended the forum, is running an unopposed bid for his third and final mayoral term.

The remaining six candidates are vying for four positions.

Comments

taxslave 5 years, 8 months ago

Anyone spending money needs to listen to this man. If any of you know Tony or anyone else who wants to put our butts on a bigger hook, please forward this to them......thank you...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2qDW34Fr64

This is Gerald Celente of Trends Research

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taxslave 5 years, 8 months ago

Or this Glen Beck commentary last night..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xM2hWszRns

eyebrows should be raising by now

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als362 5 years, 8 months ago

I think that it is time for Mr. Bilodeau to team up with Mr. St. John and pool their monies together and build this stupid rec center themselves. Then when they go broke over this ridiculous thing, at least the city won't be broke because of it. This man, at the last city council meeting told the school board that $365,000.00 was too much money to spend, but now he is all for spending millions on a facility that only a few will use, and that will become a giant white elephant on the cities financial back.

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valleylocal 5 years, 8 months ago

OK, als362 and Taxslave...you've wrote enough of your thoughts about this subject, so please redirect your comments towards another subject or story. Everyone knows how you feel...drop it!!! I can't wait for them to find funding for this project but on the other hand, if they do build a rec center, we will never hear the end of it from you two. Get out and get some exercise today instead of over posting your thoughts, thanks.

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lonelyone 5 years, 8 months ago

I for one was kind of amazed that even the the rec center has been voted down twice, they kept saying there was plenty of support for it??? But they all said too, that now is not the time for it because no one would support another tax increase. at least that is what i remember from last nights forum.

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als362 5 years, 8 months ago

I have no problem with any kind of facility as long as those that want to use it, pay for it. If valleylocal can get this thing built, fully funded, and mainained with no help except from the people that want to use it I will get on the band wagon 100%. If it is going to cost me one red cent, then I am 100% opposed. And I will just keep on telling people what I think about these things because it makes valleylocal so happy.

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valleylocal 5 years, 8 months ago

It gives me great pleasure knowing how you stand and what it says about you...I wish I could stop paying into social security, some social service programs, penal systems, county road maintainance, libraries, etc, because I don't use these facilities or programs but yet I have to pay into them (without complaint), when I would rather have that money go towards a rec center or a CNCC sponsored rec center.

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taxslave 5 years, 8 months ago

If city council can bring this up over and over and over and over again than I can post against it over and over and over again.

They know how well feel also, voted down and STILL IN OUR FACE FOR MORE MONEY.

Kool-aid drinkers

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als362 5 years, 8 months ago

Valleylocal is so silly I can't even believe it!. You do use the systems you metioned above. You use social security to provide for your future retirement, and to take care of your relatives that are on medicare/medicaid/social security now. You use the penal systems to keep the felons in the places where they should be. Don't even try to tell me you never travel on a county road, that I will not believe. The libraries teach your children. The statement you made above is really showing how goofy you are. If this is the mentallity of all you muscle heads then we REALLY don't need a rec center. It would just breed more like you.

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valleylocal 5 years, 8 months ago

First, I'm not even close to a muscle head so don't even judge. Second, social security won't be around by the time I retire in 20 years. Third, my grandmother isn't on medicare/medicaide/social security because she busted her butt all her life and was raised not to receive help. Fourth, the reason why I mentioned the penal system is because i'm not in it, therefore I don't use it, but yes you are correct about keeping the felons locked up, but they should have to work for their stay! Fifth, do you really think the library is used by todays generation as it was a decade ago? Its not, due to the internet and other resources at school, and last but not least, the county roads, maybe I do drive on a few here and there, but I don't see why our county plows have to drive up a road 15 miles or so to reach 1 driveway. So, just because I like to stay in shape and would like a nice place to go to get out of the cold doesn't paint me as a muscle head!!!

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trout2k 5 years, 8 months ago

The bottom line for is that we live in a wonderful community with countless outdoor recreation opportunities and we could use to grow as a community and have even more opportunities. Our community deserves it. the youth deserve it. What Gene B said is true. Statistics prove that early intervention is the best combatant of drug addiction and abuse. A healthy community is a happy community and a less drug-dependent community. There is hard evidence to support these claims. Mr. Bilodeau did not make this stuff up. He stated a fact. Early intervention in the forms of good mental and physical health are key components of prevention. Since the mind and body are interconnected, good physical health and the seed of positive health social norms could sprout and blossom in to something greater than we can even begin to envision. Some folks can stick their head in the mud about this and pretend we live in a different place with different problems, but the fact remains that the longer we ignore this problem, the bigger it will grow. There is no single solution....it takes a combined approach. Good health as a cultural norm is one component toward living in a more happy and healthy community. These are hard times financially and socially. No one knows what's gonna happen next. We must take positive steps toward the future and have an optimistic point of view, a dream. And we have to keep smashing forward. It's the American way.

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als362 5 years, 8 months ago

You people can make all the positive steps you want to, I just don't want to pay for a facility that after a short period of time will be used very little, by very few, and a giant cost white elephant on the city/county's back.
As has been stated by many people here on these pages. If this rec center idiocy was going to be such a big hit, someone or some group in the private sector would have built it a long time ago. If you can get this thing built with no taxes, and no permanent liability on the city, and asure us that it will fund itself, then you will never hear another word from me about it, that is until it falls on its face and becomes the great liability that it is sure to become.

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als362 5 years, 8 months ago

valleylocal your last post proves to me that you are a muscle head, nothing more nothing less.

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als362 5 years, 8 months ago

Hello all readers; I need to appologize to everyone that reads these pages. I let my temper and emotions get the better of me and that is wrong. I am sorry for that. Please accept my appology. What I should have done was ask, how do you plan to pay for this rec center? If you plan to use taxes, you will more than likely get my temper back up again.
But if you can get the thing built without the use of tax dollars, then I say go for it. I doubt that anyone will oppose it as long as it doesn't use any tax dollars. I must say though, that I think for a facility like this to stand alone with no money being put into it but membership fees, I think is slim at best. But I will also say, if it can be done, I wish you all the luck toward that end in the world. I do believe that this facility if built must be forced to stand on its own fees.

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AltitudeAdjustment 5 years, 8 months ago

If you went to the candidate forum you would have heard that each candidate said very similar statements about a rec center. Mr. Bilodeau said, much like the other candidates, that a rec center is needed for kids, but the voting masses don't want to pay for it and it's not in the budget, and as such he wouldn't support it. Open gym time, raquet ball courts, indoor running track, indooor pool, weights, etc. would be great for the community. The two current fitness centers in craig are under utilized, but that does not mean that a rec center that offered more ammenities would'nt be used properly. How about Trapper/College and Holistic do a joint venture and have the city and county kick in some tax incentives and free land to have it built. Neither of the two fitness centers are very appealing and they only offered limited ammenities. Like Mr. Bilodeau I think we could use a rec center but I don't want to see tax dollars pay for it, atleast if the current economic conditions continue to exist

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als362 5 years, 8 months ago

In my opinion if the facilities that are available now are under utilized, then a facility that is 5 or more times larger, will 5 or more times less used, and be 5 or more times a liability to the city/county.
How about waiting until we see that there are lines everyday, all day, waiting to get into use what is available now, then we can think about building something larger.

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George Robertson 5 years, 8 months ago

Your entertainment should NOT be government/taxpayer funded! Recreation is a function of the private sector. Ask the people who are building the movie theater and those that built the bowling alley where their funding came from. If there is enough profit incentive/interest, the private sector will build a recreation center. The taxpayers on numerous occasions have indicated that they DON'T want their tax dollars spent on this boondogle, so please give it a rest. Thank You.

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als362 5 years, 8 months ago

There you go nimrod, you are exactly right on the money!!!

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calvinhobbs 5 years, 8 months ago

I think the city missed a perfect chance for a cheap rec center alternative when they did not help fund the middle school gym addition. They would have had access to TWO full gyms, a cardio room, locker rooms. Meeting space would also have been there. I know now, that I will not vote for a rec center, if the city does not feel they can put up some surplus to pay for access to a nice facility, why should I pay taxes on something I will not use? My kids are active on their own, sports at the high school and summer activities. My wife and I walk every night and ride our bikes so we do not need this.

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