Occupation: Retired from Trapper Mine, owner of Downtown Books
Years in Craig: 37
Immediate family: Widowed, sister and brother-in-law live in Craig
Previous political experience/civic involvement: Eight years on Craig City Council, two years serving as Craig Mayor. Additional organizations include the Bears Ears Sportsman Club, Museum of Northwest Colorado, Colorado Northwestern Community College Foundation Board, Yampa Valley Data Partners and Moffat County Planning Commission, among others.
Q. The Craig City Council recently passed an ordinance prohibiting the use of marijuana on industrial and commercial zoned properties. Do you support that ordinance? Why or why not? If elected, what other steps would you take in regards to Amendment 64 implementation?
A: This ordinance is intended to prohibit the establishment of marijuana “clubs.” Although the language in Amendment 64 prohibits public consumption, it does not specifically address the private club aspect. The ordinance was drafted by the Craig police department and unanimously passed by city council. Also, given the absence of state regulations relative to Amendment 64 at the present time, I don’t see the need to take further action until state regulations are in place.
Q. Craig recently took part in a downtown revitalization assessment focused on spurring economic development in the downtown core. What do you consider to be the state of Craig’s economy, and what specific steps would you take as a city councilor to address local economic issues?
A: Craig’s economy is on the upswing, but we are still not as strong as we were several years ago. Our sales tax revenues are climbing and our construction permit numbers are up, but we still have a lot of work to do. The City of Craig is and has been a strong supporter of the Craig/ Moffat Economic Development Partnership. The city also is a member of the Craig Chamber of Commerce. The city’s long-standing support for these organizations is testimony to its commitment to economic development, diversification and vitality. The City of Craig also is involved in the broader Yampa Valley Economic Development Council effort.
Q. Do you agree with renewable energy mandates? If so, why? If not, what would you do to change things?
A: I am troubled by the idea of mandates and I question their necessity. I think they create an environment that gives rise to business ventures of a sort that cannot withstand competitive pressure when the mandate is not present. I believe, as an elected official, I should advocate for what is in the taxpayer’s interest. In other words, I don’t believe that the taxpayer should bear the burden when a business that is created in a mandated environment fails, especially when that failure is a product of an artificially mandated market.
Q. Rehabilitating the Shadow Mountain subdivision is estimated to cost $4.5 million in city and county funds. Do you support that sort of expenditure, and what do you think is the right long-term approach to Shadow Mountain capital infrastructure needs and oversight?
A: I support the partnership that has been formed between the city and the county to address the Shadow Mountain infrastructure improvements. I also think that it is important to have the residents of Shadow Mountain as partners in this effort. I think it is crucial that we address these infrastructure needs in the most efficient and timely manner possible. I believe that city/county partnership is key to addressing infrastructure needs in Shadow Mountain over the long term.
Q. Years ago, voters approved the idea of building a recreation center but would not support the $15 million cost for its construction or tax increases to fund the center into the future. Does the City of Craig need a rec center, and if so, would you explore options to reintroduce the project while in office?
A: From time to time I hear from residents in our community that Craig needs a rec center. They point out that some of the surrounding communities have recreation centers, and they say that Craig should also have one. Previous surveys performed by the city show that the community regards a rec center as important as well. I am open to discussing a rec center, or any other amenity with community members anytime.
Q. What do you view as the most pressing issues and greatest opportunities facing Craig in the next two to four years, and what are your ideas to address them?
A: I anticipate that the Shadow Mountain infrastructure improvements will be a multi-year project. Hopefully the energy impact assistance grant fund will grow, and our grant applications to help fund the Shadow Mountain project will be viewed favorably. The city will continue its partnership with the county in applying for these grants and we will closely coordinate planning and construction until the project is complete. The city also is in the process of implementing the “Safe Routes to School” grant, so that some sidewalk construction can be accomplished in the neighborhood surrounding Sandrock Elementary and Craig Middle School. I hope that we as a community can have a broader conversation about sidewalk construction, repair and maintenance citywide in the near future. The recently completed community assessment, provided by a team of consultants from DOLA and Downtown Colorado, Inc. will present us with an opportunity to improve our local business area, and soon we will see detailed report on the results of that assessment. The report will give us a platform from which we will be able to formulate a plan to revitalize our city’s business area.ocal business area, and soon we will see detailed report on the results of that assessment. The report will give us a platform from which we will be able to formulate a plan to revitalize our city’s business area.