Moffat County Commissioner candidate Melody Villard answer questions from the Craig Press ahead of June 30 primary
With the June 30 primary just around the corner, County Commissioner candidates Tony Bohrer (running unopposed in District 1), Melody Villard (running for District 2) and Chuck Grobe (former County Commissioner running for District 2) checked in with the Craig Press to answer a few questions.
Today, the Craig Press reveals candidate Melody Villard’s Q&A.
Villard is running to replace current District 2 County Commissioner Ray Beck, who decided to not run for re-election.
District 2 County Commissioner Candidate Melody Villard
- Age: 45
- Occupation: Self-employed rancher and doTERRA wellness advocate
- Years in Craig: 44
- Past Political Experience: no offices held
- Civic organizations involved in:
- Below are some of the projects, boards, and events that I have served on.
- Northwest Colorado Products
- Northwest Colorado Cultural Heritage Tourism
- Colorado Tourism’s Heritage and Agritourism committee
- Augusta Wallihan Chapter – NSDAR
- Yampa Valley Piece Makers Quilting Guild
- Museum of Northwest Colorado
- Moffat County United Way
- Northwest Colorado Parrot Head Club
- Moffat County Tourism Association
- Northwest Colorado Wool Pool
- Ranch Management Consultants’ Executive Link (EL)
- mikeroweWORKS Tradesman
- Developing and producing the original Moffat County Tear-Off map in 2011
- NWCCHT Gateway Interpretive sign project
- Supporter and resource for the Wyman Museum
- “The 100 Year Journey” regional tourism promotion initiative
- Saving and rehabilitating the Luttrell Barn (now Luttrell Barn Cultural Center)
- EL Meeting Facilitator
- Website production for small businesses, museums, events and activities
- Social Media marketing education and assistance
- Events: (past and present)
- Sheep Wagon Days
- Craft Show & Santa event organizer
- Founding member – Moffat County Balloon Festival
- Grand Old West Days (with successful back to back bids for the CO State Highschool Rodeo Finals)
- Whittle the Wood marketer
- Re-activating Ride N’ Tie Days Rodeo
- Rotary Club’s 2019 Bill and Nancy Muldoon Humanitarian Award
Q: Commissioners must approve budgets, and to do this, they must have a thorough understanding of revenue and expenditures and various budget categories. What specific experience do you have managing a large, complex budget?
A: As a former Department Head for Moffat County I am familiar with the county’s budget process. Department Heads are tasked with formulating their specific budgets within their department and the types if income that may be specific to them (for example: lodging tax, payments in lieu of taxes, additional revenues specific to say Road and Bridge, the Jail, Human Services and the landfill, etc.) Once the Department heads have done the work to the best of their (and possibly their board’s) ability, the county Finance Director works closely with the Commissioners to review the suggested budgets and make revision recommendations or to approve the budgets submitted by the Department Heads.
Q: How will you make sure the government operates transparently?
A: I will do my best to post information well in advance of meetings and workshops so that the public can have the opportunity to participate and again to post information in the form of minutes so that interested parties may read what actions have been taken. The days of having a public posting of meetings in only one place is not enough anymore. People are getting their information more and more online. In the time it takes to email an agenda it can be posted in several different places. Getting the public involved in the actions of the commission is the best way to ensure that they are informed.
Q: With the impending changes coming economically (closure of the mines and the power plant), how do you see the Just Transition committee helping from the state level, and what will you do locally to see the community move forward with a plan?
A: I will admit I need to do more research on the Just Transition bill and current committee work. Even without the COVID shutdown, the Just Transition, from my understanding is a band aid where a tourniquet is needed. There could have been some relief felt but it does not address the larger and more long-term problems associated with shutting down coal-based electrical energy. The revenue loss throughout the COVID shutdown will require deep cuts in all budgets and this funding will likely not go untouched. Working closely with the board and our regional partners we will have to rely more on what we can do together than trying to weather these detrimental cuts on our own.
Q: Thanks to the coronavirus, the county – along with the entire country – is staring down an economic recession. If elected, what will you do to see economic development continue to happen here?
A: As I have said we will need to create a business-friendly climate for private individuals to start or renew businesses in Moffat County. We can try to attract location neutral businesses and will surely need to clean up our “curb appeal” to do that. We need to continue to support the industry that we currently have and work to encourage new creative opportunities to shine through.
Q: Do you support the creation of a special recreation district with the intent to build a recreation center in Craig and if so, how, specifically would you bring this about?
A: At this time, I do not support a special district to fund building a recreation center. We have underutilized indoor space and ample amounts of outdoor recreation opportunities to provide for our citizens to seek ways to stay healthy, active, and connected without the need for an additional tax on an already overburdened system.
Q: What is your position on supporting a bond issue for the school district?
A: I do not feel that I have enough information for or against this to make a statement for or against a bond issue at this time. As a homeschool parent I am less involved in the needs of the school district over the past five years. I would have to research and give equal consideration to both sides of the issue before weighing in.
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As Moffat County moves forward in adjusting to the decision to move away from coal as an energy provider forced on the communities from the state level, the Office of Just Transition’s final action plan…