Occupation: General contractor and owner of Three Sons Construction Inc.
Years in Craig: 12
Immediate family: Wife, Tona Ogden, and three sons, Levi, Seth and Carter Ogden
Previous political experience/civic involvement: Served as an alternate for the past three years on the City of Craig Planning and Zoning Board.
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: I do support the ordinance for the time being because it allows the City of Craig time to watch and see what develops at the state level, which also allows the city time to prepare, if necessary, any new regulations regarding the legal use of marijuana on industrial or commercial zoned properties. However, if the time comes that the use of marijuana becomes legal on industrial, commercial or any of other “zoned” properties, then I feel it will not only be mine, but all elected officials’ obligations to listen to their constituents’ questions and concerns regarding all proposed regulations on the use of marijuana in their community.
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: I would consider Craig’s economy to be currently stable but a little on the stagnant side. As long as legislation against the use of coal in our power plants is kept from happening, then I believe that Craig will continue to be here for generations to come. However, I also feel that every community needs steady, stable growth to continue to thrive, and the City of Craig, including Moffat County, needs to attract new businesses and business professionals in order to secure that stable economic growth. I feel that Craig’s approach to the downtown revitalization is an excellent step in the right direction, and if elected to City Council, I will do all that I can to ensure that Craig’s economic development stays on the path of steady, stable growth.
Q: Do you agree with renewable energy mandates? If so, why? If not, what would you do to change things?
A: I do not agree with the actual energy mandates themselves but I do agree that the use of renewable energy should be considered and pursued in a more economical manner. To try to force new mandates on natural resource-based communities such as ours is not only bad for our economy but also pushes the idea of utilizing renewable resources further into the future. So, I feel that a slower approach to the use of renewable resources not only makes it a more appealing idea but also allows the industry time to perfect the technology needed to harness these types of resources.
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 do support the rehabilitation of the infrastructure of the Shadow Mountain subdivision. It started out almost 40 years ago to be a quick short-term solution to the housing problem of the boom and has turned into a well-established subdivision of our community that deserves to be maintained as well as the rest of the community. I believe the direction that the city and county are currently headed, in regards to the DOLA grant funding, is the right direction and through cooperation and diligence all goals should be meet.
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: I do feel that the City of Craig and its residents want, need and deserve a recreation center. I also understand the staggering cost for this type of project and am willing to explore all possible funding options. In addition to the recreation center, I feel that it should be built with some type of conference/banquet hall to help generate revenue and cover the costs of running this type of building. This addition would also entice larger business and venues to the Craig area, which in turn generates revenue for the community. It will take time to see a large project such as a recreation center materialize, but with the city and county working together I feel it can happen.
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 believe that the most pressing issue and greatest opportunity that Craig faces is the use of our local natural resources. By that, I mean we need to be able to continue to utilize the use of our coal in a responsible manner that preserves our environment as well as a very significant contributor to our stable economy. At the same time, developing our natural gas resources responsibly while creating a good working relationship with the professionals of the industry and encouraging them to help Craig grow in a stable manner.