Craig municipal election guide |

Craig municipal election guide

Meet the candidates…

Name: Terry Carwile, Craig Mayor

Age: 65

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.

Name: Ray Beck, Craig Mayor candidate

Age: 62

Occupation: Retired from Yampa Valley Electric Association after 37 years

Years in Craig: 35

Immediate family: Wife, Dixie

Previous political experience/civic involvement: Six years on Craig City Council, three years on Planning and Zoning, six years on the Yampa Valley Economic Development Council, six years on the Yampa Valley Regional Airport Commission, six years on the Craig/Moffat County Airport Advisory Board and four years on the Club 20 Executive Board.

Name: Byron Willems, Craig City Council member

Age: 54

Occupation: Owner/President of Craig Fire & Safety, Inc.

Years in Craig: 50+

Immediate family: Wife, Kim and daughter, Emily Knudsen

Previous political experience/civic involvement: Eight years on Craig City Council, 23 years as a Craig Fire Rescue firefighter, 12 years on the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board and eight years on the Colorado State Firefighters Association Executive Board.

Name: Leland Ray (John) Smith, Craig City Council candidate

Age: 70

Occupation: Rancher

Years in Craig: Born and raised in Craig. Savery, Wyo. resident from 1976 to 1998. Grand Junction resident from 1998 to 2004. Returned to Craig in 2005.

Immediate family: Wife, Sally, plus three daughters and seven grandchildren.

Previous political experience/civic involvement: Carbon County, Wyo. School Board

Name: Jennifer Riley, Craig City Council member

Age: 40

Occupation: Chief of Organizational Excellence, The Memorial Hospital at Craig

Years in Craig: Born in Craig and lived here a total of 30 years.

Immediate family: Husband, Steve Martinson and daughter, Caroline

Previous political experience/civic involvement: Four years on Craig City Council

Name: Jarrod W. Ogden, Craig City Council candidate

Age: 37

Occupation: General contractor and owner of Three Sons Construction, Inc.

Years in Craig: 12

Immediate family: Wife, Tona and sons, Levi, Seth and Carter Ogden

Previous political experience/civic involvement: Three years as an alternate on the Planning & Zoning Board.

Name: Gene Bilodeau, Craig City Council member

Age: 57

Occupation: Vice President of Craig Campus, Colorado Northwestern Community College

Years in Craig: 19+

Immediate family: Wife, Nancy and sons, Jacob and Tucker

Previous political experience/civic involvement: Six years on Craig City Council, Moffat County United Way Board, Craig Chamber of Commerce Board, Rotary Club of Craig, Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership Board, Small Business Incubator Advisory Board, Northwest Colorado Regional Workforce Board, St. Michael’s Soup Kitchen, Moffat County School to Work Alliance, Community Evaluation Team, St. Michael’s Parish Council, Craig Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Youth Services Council, Visiting Nurse Association, Craig Youth Soccer Association Board, Grand Futures of Moffat County Board and Colorado West Mental Health Center Board.

Name: Tony Bohrer, Craig City Council candidate

Age: 30

Occupation: Pastor, Apostolic Lighthouse Church and manager of Elkhorn Outfitters

Years in Craig: 30

Immediate family: Wife, Shannon

Previous political experience/civic involvement: Moffat County Tourism Association Board

Craig Daily Press: 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?

Terry Carwile: 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.

Ray Beck: Yes, I do support Ordinance 1029 that was unanimously passed by the Craig City Council. This is a moratorium imposed on the use or consumption of marijuana products on non-residential property and within non-residential zoning districts. Amendment 64 was approved across the state last fall. As a result Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed a task force to take an in depth study at what those impacts may have in Colorado. Just recently the task force came out with their recommendations. We as a council will be taking a look at drafting up a permanent ordinance that complies with the state recommendations in the near future and we are seeking legal advice as we go through the process. This is a hot topic among some and may require a series of meetings within the community.

Byron Willems: I support the ordinance. Amendment 64 was passed before adequate state regulations were adopted. I want to avoid that in Craig. I did not support Amendment 64, but I respect the voice of the voters and want to ensure that Amendment 64 is implemented appropriately. It makes sense to restrict the start-up of businesses designed to allow marijuana smoking before rules about its sale are finalized.

In regard to the implementation of Amendment 64, we should wait until the state finalizes regulations and determine if those regulations adequately meet our needs. If the state fails to meet its deadline, we should continue with a moratorium until we can all align at the same time. It’s a waste of city resources to develop guidelines that may or may not align with the state. The cart is way before the horse on this issue.

John Smith: I support the ordinance and am not in favor of marijuana in any form.

Jennifer Riley: Yes. I voted in favor of this moratorium. Amendment 64 allows for legal possession and use of small quantities of marijuana by people 21 and older. The Amendment has language that will allow commercial cultivation in the future. The City’s ordinance to prohibit use of marijuana on industrial and commercial properties was to prevent the creation of establishments in which people could bring their own marijuana and smoke — like a bar except instead of using alcohol, patrons would use pot. The legislature is currently working to determine the appropriate regulation, and until then, the City will wait and see what comes from that. Once the state guidelines are in place, I will support lifting the moratorium and passing an ordinance to comply with the state regulations.

Jarrod Ogden: 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 the obligation of all elected officials to listen to their constituents questions and concerns regarding all proposed regulations on the use of marijuana in their community.

Gene Bilodeau: Yes I support the moratorium. The passage of Amendment 64 charges the Colorado Department of Revenue with developing the regulations for marijuana cultivation facilities, marijuana testing facilities, marijuana manufacturing facilities and marijuana retails stores by July 1. In addition, by Oct 1 the State of Colorado will start accepting said applications and also on this date local regulations must be in place. Until these state rules and regulations are developed, made public, and fully understood by Craig City Council it would be premature for Craig to adopt any of its own rules and regulations. If elected I would review and understand the state rules and regulations once set forth. I would use this information as the council explores its options and makes decisions about what place marijuana will have in Craig.

Tony Bohrer: I do support this ordinance. I have heard both sides argue their points and still feel the need to support this ordinance. One of the biggest reasons I am against amendment 64 is because Marijuana is a starter drug.

CDP: 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?

RB: I believe that Craig’s economy can be attributed to several factors, including our existing businesses, on-going oil and gas exploration, and the energy sector in relationship to our coal industry. I also strongly believe we benefit from our outdoor recreation and hunting opportunities as well. The downtown assessment came up with many great recommendations that will help us as a community to create a more vibrant economy. We all live in the same sandbox and need to bring organizations and businesses together and make a list of priorities starting with the least costly and moving on to those more costly projects. We would then need to establish what our potential funding resources are and make a commitment to accomplishing short and long-term goals for the future. I support our Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership, the regional Yampa Valley Economic Development Council and the SET program as hosted by USDA Rural Development, which is “Stronger Economies Together.”

BW: Research suggests that prosperous and sustainable communities are only as healthy as the “core.” A strong and vibrant downtown will lead to a more engaged community, stronger appeal to new businesses and more spending from visitors. Craig’s economy is largely dependent upon a few key industries. Small business diversification is key to strengthening downtown and creating viable economic drivers that can withstand big industry booms and busts.

I think it’s critical to the city’s long-term health to remove unnecessary barriers to entry for new businesses and to develop responsible and thoughtful incentives for new businesses or current businesses seeking to grow.

JS: The economy is dependent on coal and oil. The city needs to be visually attractive and friendly to business.

JR: Craig’s economy is stable and showing some signs of growth. Our sales tax revenue in 2012 was higher than the prior two years, and our first month of sales tax in 2013 came in above what we budgeted. I think for Craig to be an attractive, vibrant community we should work with our downtown businesses to determine the viability of the proposal from the downtown assessment. Most of what needs to happen for the downtown core will come from the business owners and the owners of the vacant real estate. The city can assist with making changes and upgrades to the public spaces that will help make the downtown more appealing for current businesses, future businesses and patrons.

JO: 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 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.

GB: This assessment was a very good process for our community. The final report will be available in six to eight weeks. Though we have certainly felt the effects of the recession were it not for the mines, power plant, and the oil and gas sector with the taxes each of these industries pay we would have felt the impact much more than we did. I would describe the Craig economy as stable.

If re-elected I will continue working to support increased diversification of our economy. This means supporting the current business community and encouraging the growth of new businesses in Craig.

To attract new businesses, and stabilize existing ones, we need a community that is aesthetically appealing, safe, has a strong educational system, an educated workforce, and a good healthcare system. As a community member and sitting city council member I have worked towards these efforts and will continue to do so.

TB: I think the economy is coming back slowly in some businesses and real slow in others. I was able to attend two nights of the assessment and feel like it went really good. They had a lot of great ideas and I can’t wait to hear the full report in six to eight weeks. I believe it all comes down to vision. The bible says, “without vision the people perish.” We need a fresh vision and to try to create some excitement for our downtown businesses. They are a big part of our community.

TC: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.

CDP: Do you agree with renewable energy mandates? If so, why? If not, what would you do to change things?

BW: No. I understand the importance of incorporating renewable energy into the long-term energy crisis solution. Like many government mandates they are pushed out as a blanket initiative with incredible costs to communities and with little thought for how those impacted most will adapt quickly enough to keep up with the mandate, while preserving the community economy. It is a waste of resources to spend our time fighting the initiatives, but we should be working diligently to determine how we can meet mandates while protecting the economy and jobs related to traditional energy sources.

JS: I am not particularly agreeable to renewable energy mandates. We should be using federal funds to build hydroelectric dams, which makes more sense for our area.

JR: I don’t agree with mandates in general. Most mandates do not take into consideration external factors. While I support renewable energy, mandating its use has unintended consequences that get passed on to the consumer. Mandating that a certain percentage of utility power come from renewable energy creates added expense for the utility, and that added expense gets passed down to the consumer through higher overall utility bills. As a local elected official, it is my obligation to be informed about mandates that may impact the community.

JO: 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.

GB: The federal mandates I’m familiar with are well intentioned but unrealistic. I support the use and scientific research into renewable energy, such as solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas, ocean, geothermal and municipal solid waste. However, I believe there is much work to be done with regard to availability, cost and dependability.

Renewable energy has a place but not at the expense of the current resources, such as coal. I will be a proponent of the continued use of coal, clean coal technology and natural gas. I will speak against energy plans that do not include coal and other fossil fuels.

TB: No. Craig City Council doesn’t have much control of the mandates of renewable energy for Moffat County. We need to do our best to communicate and educate people on the mandates. The city needs to do whatever it can to help the commissioners, and the commissioners need to help the city to make it the best place we can.

TC: 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.

RB: I believe in a balanced approach to renewable energy. It should be on a volunteer basis, not mandated. I believe there’s a lot we can do as individuals and business owners that does not require involving the government. I served on a committee last year with Yampa Valley Data Partners, which developed the Northwest Colorado Energy Diet. We made a list of 30 items that range from the least expensive to advanced measures to reduce energy use in our homes and businesses. I believe we can support renewable energy by implementing low cost infrastructure, which will save the local homeowners and business owner’s money over the long term.

CDP: 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?

JS: Shadow Mountain was designed to be a temporary mobile home park for the construction of the power plant. After the plant was completed, the mobile homes were to be removed and the lots reconfigured so that every two mobile home lots would become a single home lot. That said, according to county and city officials, the water and sewer lines are sub-par. I think we need to help the residents as much as possible, and the power plant should help also, by securing a bond to provide a way for residents to pay for their share of the project over time.

JR: Shadow Mountain, while located in the county, is serviced by city infrastructure — sewer and water. The residents of that neighborhood pay a premium for their water and sewer, and we have an obligation to maintain it. I think the city and county’s joint approach is the right one. We are working to determine the scope, identify funding sources for the infrastructure and exploring ways to make affordable the necessary upgrades that each property owner will be required to implement. It will likely be another year before we can even consider starting the project.

JO: 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 Colorado Department of Local Affairs grant funding, is the right direction, and through cooperation and diligence all goals should be met.

GB: I do support the expenditure for a number of reasons, primarily one of safety. In the event there is a need for fire suppression, the current lines do not have the necessary capacity to support efficient and adequate efforts. By statute Shadow Mountain cannot be annexed into the City of Craig. Because of this the city will have very little long-term oversight — other than the water and sewer lines. Since Shadow Mountain has developed into a long-term residential subdivision it’s imperative its infrastructure be updated and brought up to code. The subdivision oversight will remain under Moffat County.

TB: I understand that Shadow Mountain was built to last 10 to 15 years and it has more than doubled that amount of time. It sounds like a lot of money and I feel like we need to do whatever we can to keep the cost as low as we can. Also to make it as easy for the people who live there as possible. It is going to cost the homeowners a lot more money if something does break. We need to be proactive and not reactive.

TC: 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.

RB: Shadow Mountain Village was built in 1974 and is past due for maintenance to the water and sewer lines, along with the pavement, sidewalks and curb. The county and city have put a lot of taxpayer’s money into the upkeep of our city streets and county roads. Shadow Mountain Village residents are taxpayers and use the city services. This is a long overdue capitol improvement project that needs to be completed. The county and city are committed to working together over the next three to five years to accomplish this task.

BW: The city has an obligation to service all of its customers. We need to find a way to accomplish the Shadow Mountain rehabilitation. We should quickly explore the best process to get from where we are today to the completed upgrade. The city and county recently pulled the DOLA grant application on the recommendation of DOLA that we establish an improvement district so landowners can help bear the burden of private property upgrades. I see next steps as setting up the improvement district, applying for DOLA funds and outlining the remaining costs and timetable for finishing the project.

CDP: 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?

JR: Whether or not the city needs a rec center is for the community to decide. Whether I serve on council or not, I would participate in discussions about the viability of a rec center. I do not, however, support a property tax for a new rec center. Any plans for a rec center have to be funded by some other form of revenue.

JO: 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. With the City and County working together I feel it can happen.

GB: The City of Craig would benefit from a recreation center. There has been a lot of conversation over the years about the need in Craig to provide healthy life style opportunities for community members of all ages. It’s well documented the more options a community has for recreation, the healthier a community is. Recreation centers provide opportunities for citizens to participate in activities that are healthy for mind and body. We live in an area with numerous outdoor recreational opportunities. We fall short on indoor opportunities that are readily available. I would definitely explore all realistic and financially sound options.

TB: I am in full support of revisiting the idea of a recreation center. We can look at other ways than rising taxes to get this project done.

TC: 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.

RB: I would support an event center that had multiple uses and could benefit all ages within the community. The event center would be capable of providing enough space so we could hold large conventions that would allow us to bring in tourism and potential economic development. The event center would also have the capability of supporting indoor recreation and sports. If the community sees this as a priority, I would be willing to explore the idea and help with a design. Grant money may be available, but the bigger discussion would be how to support it once it was built.

BW: Yes we need a rec center. In addition to offering a positive and healthy environment for community members of all ages, it would supplement activities offered by organizations such as Boys & Girls Club of Craig. I am willing to explore all options for making a rec center possible. Based on history, taxpayer funding (at least for the full project) seems unlikely, so we will need to find creative ways to fund the project. I think it’s time we bring the project back to the drawing board.

JS: Craig does need a recreation center. The city and county, along with the local energy entities should talk to the Baggs, Wyo. council and find out how they were able to build their center. I think $15 million is more than we need to spend. I believe it could be done for less.

CDP: 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?

JO: 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 we need to develop our natural gas resources responsibly while creating a good working relationship with the professionals of the industry and encourage them to help Craig grow in a stable manner.

GB: The most pressing issue facing our community is the state and national debate as well as legal proceedings over the use of coal-fired power generation plants and coal in general. In 2010 Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association alone provided $8.1 million dollars to Moffat County in property taxes, $700,000 in sales taxes and had a direct regional payroll of $28.2 million dollars. Tri-State and Trapper and ColoWyo mines together had a direct payroll of $38.9 million. If outside forces have their way some of our biggest taxpayers and strongest economic drivers may be forced to make decisions that could negatively impact our community and region. I will continue to support efforts to counteract these influences.

Perhaps one of our greatest opportunities is if the current oil and gas exploration can move into production. Regardless of this outcome we must be proactive. The recent Craig downtown assessment reinforces some of the opportunities that myself and others have been working towards and I will continue to address, including making the most of what we currently have, improving the aesthetics of our community, strengthening local retail businesses, supporting the establishment of new businesses, and collaborating among key stakeholders to create a stronger and unified community.

TB: Our most pressing issues include coal, oil and gas.

We need again to communicate and educate as many people as we can about these areas. We need coal jobs and we need oil and gas. When you create jobs you improve the economy, the people and the city.

Craig is full of opportunities. We have a lot of great things going for us, but, like everywhere, we have some things that we could use a little help on. A little bit of vision casting could go a long way in our great town. All of us want it to be a better place for the generations to come.

TC: 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.

RB: I feel that some of the issues facing the city are the continued increase in Environmental Protection Agency regulations with the water nutrient bill that passed last year, potentially adding more costs to be in compliance. Regulations that are being imposed on small and large business will have a financial impact right here in Craig and the city will feel those impacts. I also believe that transportation, health care and education will continue to suffer for lack of funding and will impact us locally. I have concerns about the lack of funding in the future at DOLA being able to provide grants for our capitol projects and infrastructure. In order to avoid these concerns, we need to stay current on these issues, set priorities and manage the taxpayer’s money wisely. We also need to capitalize on the energy industry and our natural resources for future growth and expansion of businesses in our community. We need to continue to support our outdoor recreation and hunting opportunities that bring a lot of outside revenue into the community. We need to look for ways to help create a more vibrant economy by taking advantage of those recommendations produced by the recent downtown assessment.

BW: Unlike Washington, D.C. the City of Craig must operate efficiently and effectively within the annual budget. Ensuring that the City of Craig is fiscally sound should be a top priority. With revenue streams such as DOLA grants becoming scarcer, the City is constantly faced with finding creative ways to finance positive progress. The city’s current conservative approach to setting annual budgets in addition to a smart and thoughtful budgeting process contributes to the city’s ability to improve infrastructure year after year in anticipation of community growth needs.

Maintaining quality city fleets to ensure that community needs are adequately met and employees are operating safe equipment.

Keep city employees healthy by offering quality insurance and benefit programs, appropriate resources for mental and physical wellness and providing compensation packages that help city employees to feel valued.

Overall, my vision is to ensure the City of Craig is a great place to live and work and that the environment supports and encourages responsible economic development, growth and opportunity.

JS: The national economy. It is hard to project a long-term solution when we don’t know what the federal government is going to do about taxes, health care costs, the war against coal, reluctance to open areas to drilling, and other regulations. All we can do as a city is to keep the costs in line with revenue and make the city attractive and welcoming to both businesses and tourism. If we can present a city with taxes as low as we can possibly make them and water cheap enough so people can water their lawns without going broke, we will be on the right track

JR: For the city to ensure long-term growth and development, we need to participate and help shape our economic development plan. We cannot rely on extraction resources indefinitely. Economic development in the future has to include finding ways to grow businesses to support and extend our local industries as well as neighboring industries. Currently, our largest employers are energy-based. Other large employers include the hospital and the school district. Our community college is in constant search of programs that they can offer that will help sustain and grow these industries. Technical programs offered by the college not only bring people to the community, they help retain people.

My vision for Craig is to be a community of choice for businesses and families. In order for this to happen, we need to work collaboratively with primary industries, our downtown businesses, our healthcare system, and our education system to ensure that all are functioning at their highest levels. The city’s specific role will be to be to continue to wisely allocate dollars to support and upgrade the infrastructure and provide services at the expected level.

Compiled by Brent Boyer and Joe Moylan.

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