Craig mayoral and city council candidates speak at AARP meeting

— Craig mayoral and City Council candidates outlined their visions for the city during a forum at an AARP meeting. At times, the discussion turned from Shadow Mountain to marijuana to gun laws.

Craig resident Evelyn Tileston asked each candidate to outline one thing they thought would make a significant difference in the lives of Craig residents.

First-time council candidate Jarrod Ogden said if elected he would continue to work on the relationship between Moffat County and the city, making them as transparent as possible.

Current council member Byron Willems said living within the community’s means and within its budget are the most important things on which the city should focus.

“A recreation center would be great. So would sidewalks. There’s a lot of things we could do, but funding is an issue,” Willems said.

Incumbents Gene Bilodeau and Jennifer Riley agreed that diversifying Craig’s economy and working together to form partnerships with Craig’s schools and education system were key to improving life in for everyone.

Mayor Terry Carwile’s answer was short and sweet.

“If I could wave a magic wand it would be sidewalks. Sidewalks all over town,” Carwile said.

Others share that desire for sidewalks, including council member Ray Beck, who is challenging Carwile for his mayoral seat. Beck also said he would like to see an event center, better broadband service and support for the college, including dorms.

Gun laws were discussed as well before Carwile stepped in and said no gun laws would not come before the City Council. Beck, Carwile, Ogden and Willems expressed their support for the Second Amendment.

“I took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution first and the Colorado Constitution second,” Willems said.

Others questioned the decision to approve a moratorium on “pot clubs,” not quite sure of its meaning. Riley told attendees the moratorium banned only the formation of “pot clubs,” not marijuana in general.

Shadow Mountain was another hot topic for those who attended Monday’s forum, with many expressing their opinion that taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for improvements to the aging subdivision.

“That project is going to hinge on whether or not those folks vote themselves an improvement district,” Carwile said.

Craig’s municipal election is April 2. In addition to the two mayoral candidates, there are six candidates, including three incumbents, running for the three open City Council seats. Candidates John Smith and Tony Bohrer didn’t attend Monday’s AARP meeting.

Darian Warden can be reached at 875-1793 or dwarden@craigdailypress.com

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