Two new names have surfaced in connection with Craig’s April municipal election, which includes three city council seats and the mayor’s position up for grabs.
City clerk Shirley Seely said Thursday six residents have picked up nomination petition packets for the three council seats currently held by Ray Beck, Joe Herod and Byron Willems.
So far, Beck, Willems, Joe Bird and Bill Johnston have all picked up council packets, which need to be signed by 25 registered voters and returned to Craig City Hall by March 4, Seely said.
Add Craig residents Stephen Hinkemeyer and Tony Bohrer to that list.
Hinkemeyer is a mining production manager for Trapper Mining Co., and Bohrer is a pastor for Apostolic Lighthouse Church.
The 52-year-old Hinkemeyer has lived in Craig since 1982. He has not run for city council before.
He has served on the Moffat County Land Use Board since 2002 and was involved with other boards and land issues in the last several years.
Hinkemeyer said he would like to step up to the plate and replace term-limited city council members that “have done a really good job at making the city a viable operation.”
“I have been following what has been going on with the council, and there are quite a few members that I thought were real good members of the council that (are) leaving, and I thought, ‘Well, now might be the time to look into becoming a council member,’” he said.
Hinkemeyer was prompted to run for council after hearing about the “struggles” with the negotiations between the city and the Moffat County Commission concerning the Moffat County Public Safety Center.
“I thought, ‘Well, rather than go down there and make a statement to the council, it would be just as good to be on the council, try to understand all about that decision and make the right one,’” he said.
Hinkemeyer said he also has a background that would fit the position, including experience in financial analysis.
“I’m pretty well rounded and a good problem solver,” he said.
Bohrer is a 28-year-old Craig native who also manages Elkhorn Outfitters. He has not run for city council before.
He also volunteers with the Ministerial Alliance group that helps the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and Craig Police Department.
He said he hopes to bring some “fresh” ideas into what he thinks is already a well-run city government.
“I think our city council has done a great job,” he said. “They cut back money when they saw the economy going down and so our city hasn’t been in a huge deficit, if you would, through that.”
Bohrer said he was encouraged to run for a council seat by other residents.
“I think part of it is that I pastor a church in this city and I believe in this city,” he said. “I think Craig is a good place to live, a good place to raise a family, and I want to be a part of making it a better place to live and a better place to raise a family.”
He said he would like to help boost city tourism and support its industries like hunting.
“I think Craig has the potential of being a destination for people to want to move and that would keep our economy up,” he said.
Bohrer said he doesn’t have an agenda for serving the council, if elected.
“I am not running for it to help me personally in no way,” he said. “I’m in it to benefit Craig.”
But, overall Bohrer said he feels like he could help steer the city in the right direction.
“I feel like Craig’s best days aren’t behind us,” he said. “Our best days are before us, and I want to be a part of that.”
Bird, a 47-year-old service manager for Cook Chevrolet, ran unsuccessfully for city council in 2009.
Johnston, 58, previously served 10 years on the city council from 1999 to 2009. He is Craig Fire/Rescue’s chief and the maintenance superintendent at Tri-State Generation & Transmission’s Craig Station.
Beck has served on the council for s single four-year term. Willems has served on the council since 2005.
Current city council member Terry Carwile remains the only resident to pick up a packet to run for mayor, Seely said.
Craig Mayor Don Jones is term limited after serving three consecutive two-year terms. He must wait two years before he can again run for mayor.
Herod, who is term limited, said he would not pursue a mayoral bid.
Council members serve four-year terms and are limited to two consecutive terms.
The city’s municipal election will take place April 5.
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