City Council Q&A: Sean Hovorka |

City Council Q&A: Sean Hovorka

Craig city council killed an ordinance that would have taxed recreational marijuana and funded the Museum of Northwest Colorado and Craig library branch.
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Seven men are running for four open seats on Craig’s city council.

We asked each to respond to a few questions about their thoughts for the future of Craig, should they be elected to one of the seats.

Sean Hovorka is a production superintendent at Trapper Mine who is running for public office for the first time. Here are his answers:

Craig Press: What are your three top priorities if you’re elected to council?

Sean Hovorka: My first priority will be ensuring we have a reasonable and responsible budget. Once the budget is understood, it will be critical to know how we best leverage the funds we have available to focus on the remaining two priorities of ensuring we encourage sustainable growth and making Craig attractive to industry and recreation development opportunities. Along with these last two priorities comes the caveat of holding individuals responsible. Sustainable growth means that we have to be sure that the changes we are implementing can carry Craig through for a reasonable amount of time. We don’t want a sudden surge of growth that outgrows our infrastructure. Additionally, any recreation and industry that we bring in must be held responsible for not negatively impacting our existing resources or economy. The people who have made Craig what it is today need to be our priority. However, we also need to understand that if Craig is to grow and thrive, we will have to go through some potentially uncomfortable changes.

CP: How would you describe the ideal role of local government?

Hovorka: I have always held the stance that government needs to be as limited as possible. The primary role of government needs to focus on upkeep and improvement of infrastructure, community safety, and encouraging new business growth to ensure a competitive and healthy economy. These focus points will be increasingly crucial as Craig goes through its impending transition away from the coal industry. Improved and increased infrastructure will be necessary to ensure a competitive route for exporting our goods and services for whatever industry we find next. As was seen this last summer, Highway 40 is a primary alternate route for when I-70 shuts down. While this is a state-maintained highway, we will have to ensure the state that it is worth the investment to expand and maintain the state highway to serve our community. The increased traffic and growth that Craig has seen also bring an unfortunate opportunity for increased crime. Ensuring our city police department is adequately staffed and equipped to deal with these changes will be critical.

CP: What is the most important issue for Craig to tackle in the next two to four years, and how would you address it if elected?

Hovorka: The most critical issue for Craig to tackle in the next two to four years will be identifying what our next sustainable industry is going to be. With the power plant and mines scaling down and potentially going away by 2028, we will need to ensure a smooth transition between mining and whatever comes next. I will address this issue by working with transitional entities, such as The Office of Just Transition, that have been set up to help communities through this process. It will also be essential to work with our City Manager and Economic Development personnel to ensure the best options are considered during this transitional period.

CP: What steps will you take to make your time in office representative of the people who elected you?

Hovorka: My Facebook page, ‘Sean Hovorka for Craig City Council’, has stated my goals and plans during the campaign. Should I be elected to City Council, it will continue to be used as a place where I will share potential growth opportunities and explain my stances on community issues. I would also like to start hosting an event where I could sit down at a local coffee shop one morning at least once a month where people from the community could ask me questions about my decisions or voice their concerns in the community. I understand that there is an opportunity for public comment during city council meetings, but having this time in a less formal setting would encourage more individuals to participate.

CP: Why are you the right person to sit on the council at this time in Craig’s history?

Hovorka: The next few years will be some of the most important in determining the future of Craig. It will take an individual who is open to both input and criticism from their constituents when making the decisions that will determine Craig’s path forward. It will also take someone capable of making difficult decisions knowing that there will always be some people disappointed. What Craig doesn’t need right now is a bunch of empty promises and buzzwords meant to make people feel comfortable. Please make no mistake; this transition will be uncomfortable. Still, I am confident that with the right leadership, Craig will come out the other end of it stronger and more economically stable than before.

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