“I really, really enjoy it. It’s been great from the time I’ve been on there. I think I still have something to contribute — I haven’t been burned out yet.”
— Craig Mayor Don Jones on running for one of three open city council positions in April’s municipal election
The last six years of Craig resident Don Jones’ life were the best yet, he said.
It’s no coincidence, Jones said, those years were spent serving as Craig’s mayor. But, he was recently faced with a decision regarding his public service.
Jones, who is term limited as mayor, had to mull finishing his mayoral tenure and running for a city council seat, or bowing out of more than a decade-and-a-half of public service to the city altogether.
Ultimately, Jones decided to seek additional time serving the council and the community he has grown fond of, he said.
“I have met a lot of wonderful people (and) seen a lot of accomplishments,” he said. “A lot of things have happened in Craig over the last 10 or 15 years, all for the positive. You always have your ups and downs, but we have moved in a positive direction.”
Jones said he picked up a nomination petition packet Friday to run for one of three open city council seats in the election.
He has served as mayor for three consecutive two-year terms, and must wait two years before he can run again for mayor.
He has served on the city council since 1995, he said.
“I really, really enjoy it,” he said. “It’s been great from the time I’ve been on there. I think I still have something to contribute — I haven’t been burned out yet.”
Jones said he went “back and forth” on whether to pick up a nomination packet, which needs the signatures of 25 registered voters before he can be placed on the ballot.
“I had a lot of people ask me if I was going to run that wanted me to run and I just wasn’t sure,” he said. “I guess the reason for being indecisive is that sometimes you have got to know when to let go even though you are having fun.
“And I guess I wasn’t ready (to let go) yet and so I’ll see what happens.”
Three council seats currently held by Ray Beck, Joe Herod and Byron Willems are up for grabs in addition to the mayor’s position.
So far, Beck, Willems, Joe Bird, Bill Johnston, Stephen Hinkemeyer and Tony Bohrer have all picked up council packets, city clerk Shirley Seely said.
Jones said he also wanted to remain on council because there were a few things he wanted to “see through.”
“It’s a few odds and ends I’d like to follow through with and some new stuff that might be coming down the road,” he said. “I would just like to be involved still.”
Chief among those concerns was continuing negotiations between the city and Moffat County Commission concerning the Moffat County Public Safety Center.
“I don’t want it to get lost in the shuffle and lose perspective,” he said. “If we have, say four new council members come on, that might happen.”
Jones said he also doesn’t think the issue of deer inside city limits has faded away.
“I think we are just in a lull mode,” he said. “Everybody realizes they are hungry right now. Let’s see what happens in April, May and June when the trees bud out. Who knows? Maybe we’ll lose a bunch this winter.”
Jones said he still has “passion for the community” and “experience to keep us going.”
“It’s not really a hobby. Second job,” he said. “It is something I enjoy — helping make the community run more smoothly, be more efficient, be a better place to live.
“(I want to) be a part of that, not creating all of that, but being a part of the community.”
Brian Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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