Note: Candidate answers were not modified or edited except to eliminate paragraphs or bulleted lists. Candidate photographs were included if the candidate submitted them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terry Carwile

Ray Beck

Jennifer Riley

Gene Bilodeau

Byron Willems

Tony Bohrer

Jarrod Ogden

John Smith

Position sought:

Mayor

Mayor

Council seat

Council seat

Council Seat

Council seat

Council seat

Council seat

Current employment:

Owner, Downtown Books, retired from Trapper Mine

Retired from Yampa Valley Electric Association

The Memorial Hospital

Colorado Northwestern Community College

Owner, Craig Fire & Safety

Pastor of Apostolic Lighthouse Church/ Manager of Elkhorn Outfitters

Owner, Three Sons Construction

 

Time in Craig:

37 years

34 years

30 years

19 years

50+ years

30 years

13 years

 

Why are you running for this position?

I have always been involved in the community.  I served on City Council for 6 years before being elected Mayor in 2011.  I have a commitment to public service.

I am running for mayor because I have a passion to serve our community, the time to represent you locally as well at the state and federal levels. My involvement through CLUB 20 has allowed me to be your voice on issues important to Northwest Colorado and the Western Slope. I can and will make the commitment to serve and work with you to help make our community a better place.

I am running for re-election so that I can continue to provide input and guidance in the City’s strategic direction. The decisions made by today’s elected officials will impact future generations. I want to be part of the process of growth and success.

I have been very involved in Craig, Moffat County and our region for many years.  I feel that I have represented the citizens of Craig and in Moffat County very well during my term and I want to continue to do so. I have a good deal of interest in being a part of making Craig the best possible place to live.  Being a member of city council allows me to serve the community in a very direct capacity.

I have had the opportunity to serve the community of Craig as a City Councilor for eight years. As a small business owner, public servant and resident of Craig for more than 50 years, I believe I reflect a common community voice. I believe in strong community infrastructure, smart economic development and supporting programs and policies that invest in the overall health of our community and its residents and visitors.

I think Craig is a great place to live and I want to be a part of making it better. There will always be things we can change but the bottom line is everything we do we should do because it is going to make Craig a better place. Our personal agendas cannot stand in the way of doing what is best for Craig. My agenda is very simple “To Make Craig The Best Place To Live In Colorado” “The Best Days of Craig are Ahead of US”

I believe Craig is a not just a town on the Western slope of Colorado but rather a strong community with great people. This community has been great to me and my family. I believe I can add new ideas and skills to the City Council.

Interested in Helping the City thrive

 

Terry Carwile

Ray Beck

Jennifer Riley

Gene Bilodeau

Byron Willems

Tony Bohrer

Jarrod Ogden

John Smith

How would others describe you as a leader?

I am an experienced, capable, productive, forward-thinking and knowledgeable leader.

Others have described my leadership as a man who will take time to listen; one who leads by example and is willing to communicate and collaborate with the community in partnership to solve problems. It’s our town and our community.  I have been involved in the community since 1994, organizing events and serving on local boards in a leadership roll. I understand that a leader only accomplishes things by being a team player and working with others to reach short term and long term goals. I am pro-active and it has often times been pointed out that I am a visionary and follow up with people and assigned tasks.

Others would say that I am fair, I will listen, and I will make the tough decisions. I believe in accountability at all levels – from staff to management, and I hold myself to the same standards I expect of others.

I believe people would describe me as a very sincere and dedicated leader.  The words or statements I have heard others use to describe me as a leader are: fair, a good listener, strive for consensus, willing to make difficult decisions, patient, leads by example, honest, and a person of integrity.

I’m invested in Craig and Moffat County and am committed to being part of the leadership that guides our city in a positive direction. I represent a conservative viewpoint, which brings an important balance to a diverse council. My strong moral values are reflected in the decisions that I make as a City Councilor, business owner and citizen.

Proactive, Hard Working, Consistence, Persistent, Honest, Reliable, Dependable, Respectful

I can remain calm even in a chaotic and stressful situation.  Listen to people, their opinions and ideas. Consider concerns and use my best judgment when making a decision. 

Capable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terry Carwile

Ray Beck

Jennifer Riley

Gene Bilodeau

Byron Willems

Tony Bohrer

Jarrod Ogden

John Smith

Have you been in business for yourself or have you managed a business for someone in the past?

I am currently a business owner.

I retired from YVEA in 2009 after 37 years of employment.  I had a couple of home based businesses and then later sold real estate for three and a half years. I understand the importance of a budget and the costs associated with keeping the doors open.  Keeping the revenues in the black allows for income and paying overhead expenses are critical in order to do business. Maintaining a balanced budget is critical to those employees who depend on it as their source of income.

My last two jobs have been for public service entities – the Moffat County Assessor and TMH. Both receive funding from local tax dollars, so I understand the need for total transparency to taxpayers. I’m using their tax dollars to provide a service. The same is true of City Council. We have to be responsible and prudent when spending tax dollars to provide services throughout our city to our citizens.

Yes.  At the beginning of my professional career I had my own business and at another time I worked as an independent contractor for IDS/American Express.

Yes. Craig Fire & Safety – 22 Successful Years – and still here!

I owned B’S Concrete for 2 ½ years and I am manager of Elkhorn Outfitters

I have owned and successfully operated Three Sons Construction for the past 7 years.

In Business - Self Employed 47 years

 

Terry Carwile

Ray Beck

Jennifer Riley

Gene Bilodeau

Byron Willems

Tony Bohrer

Jarrod Ogden

John Smith

Are you a member of the Craig Chamber of Commerce?

Yes

 

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

 

Terry Carwile

Ray Beck

Jennifer Riley

Gene Bilodeau

Byron Willems

Tony Bohrer

Jarrod Ogden

John Smith

How have you participated in your community by volunteering your time? Tell us about organizations you have assisted and what your role was:

Bears Ears Sportsman Club, chair; Museum of Northwest Colorado board, chair; Yampa Valley Data Partners, former chair and current board member; Colorado Northwestern Community College Foundation, board member;  there are others, and they have all been educational and rewarding.

I have been active in the community since 1994, volunteering my time and skills to the Friends of the NRA, serving on the Craig Planning and Zoning Commission and worked for Country Living Realty for three and a half years as a Broker Associate. I served on the Centennial Committee which organized a number of events in honor of Craig’s 100 years as an incorporated town. I along with five other volunteers organized the Craig Air Fest at the Craig Moffat County Airport in 2008. I was instrumental in organizing the first Moffat County Balloon Festival in 2010 and 2011. I am an active member of CLUB 20 and serve on the Executive Board as their Membership Chair. I represent Craig and Moffat County as the voting board member at the spring and fall meetings in Grand Junction on issues important to our way of life and western Colorado. As a Council Member since 2007, I serve on three local boards as a liaison to the City Council which includes; the Yampa Valley Economic Development Council, the Craig-Moffat County Airport Advisory Board and the Yampa Valley Regional Airport Commission. I have held a position of leadership on all these boards in the past six years. I was the co-author of the Citizens Academic Scholarship, which is specific to CNCC; and most recently was accepted to the CNCC Foundation Board. If we as a community don’t support and promote our college, then who will? I have had the honor of working with our local veterans setting a flag pole at the west end of Loudy-Simpson Park;  and just last year helped coordinate and set a flag pole in downtown Craig in front of Alice Pleasant Park. I also brought in the Economic Enrichment Network called The Discovery 9 program made up of a small group that met for over a year talking about and suggesting ideas for economic development.

I am currently serving my second term on the Moffat County Libraries board of trustees.  In the past I have volunteered my time on other boards including Economic Development (city liaison), the Colorado State Barbecue Championships steering committee and the Moffat County Schools Federal Credit Union (secretary). I volunteer at my daughter’s school when I can.

Grand Futures of Moffat County – on grassroots group that brought this group to Craig and Moffat County and then served as a board member; Colorado West Mental Health Center – board member; Moffat County United Way – board member; Craig Chamber of Commerce – Past board chair and sitting board member; Rotary Club of Craig – member; Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership – board member; Small Business Incubator Advisory Board – board member; Northwest Colorado Regional Workforce Board – board member; Moffat County School to Work Alliance – board member; Community Evaluation Team – board member; St. Michael’s Parish Council – council member; Craig Parks and Recreation Advisory Board – board member; Youth Services Council – board member; Visiting Nurse Association – co-facilitated group counseling for bereavement; Coached youth sports for 15 years; t-ball, soccer, football, baseball, and basketball from pre-school to high school age students; Craig Youth Soccer Association – Past President and board member; St. Michaels Soup Kitchen – prepare, serve, and cleanup

I have been a committed public servant for more than 30 years: Craig Fire Rescue, Firefighter – 23 years, Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board of Directors – 12 years; current president, Colorado State Fire Fighters Association Executive Board – 8 years; past president, Colorado Wrestling Officials Association – 10 years; past president, Colorado Wrestling Official – 25 years, including 18 state tournaments, Craig City Council – 8 years.

Ministerial Alliance,  chaplain for Craig Police Department and Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, Chair of MTCA (Moffat County Tourism Association), Child Protection Team

I have been involved in the Doak Walker football program for over 8 years, as a volunteer coach and a father three boys that play football. I have also been an alternate for the Planning and Zoning Committee for the past 3 years.

Donated Time & money along with wife, city flowers, Victory Corner etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terry Carwile

Ray Beck

Jennifer Riley

Gene Bilodeau

Byron Willems

Tony Bohrer

Jarrod Ogden

John Smith

What do you feel are the biggest obstacles facing the city? What solutions would you propose for overcoming those obstacles?

I don’t like the word “obstacle”.  There are challenges, and the city takes them on every day.  It is always a challenge to provide good service to the community in an economy that is gaining strength, but is still weak.  It is a challenge to develop and diversify our economy.  It is a challenge to maintain local control, the ability to govern ourselves.  We need a strong presence in the economic development arena.  We need strong advocacy for our local industries and our educational system.

I feel the biggest obstacles facing the city are the continued increase in EPA 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 through the Department of Local Affairs grant money that will be available to aid in our capitol projects and infrastructure in the future. In order to overcome these obstacles, we need to stay current on these issues, set priorities and manger the taxpayers’ money wisely.

For the city to ensure long-term 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.

1) Relying on the energy and extraction industries as our primary revenue sources.  We have little control over what the future holds for these industries in our area.  Hopefully they will be here a very long time.  Whether they are here or not, Craig and Moffat County need to look at ways to diversify our economy and our economic base.  We need to make Craig and Moffat County as business friendly as possible. We can help our local merchants succeed by promoting buying locally.  Where possible we must encourage business start-ups. To keep local dollars in Craig we need to support new businesses to provide residents with selection and competitive pricing. 2) Community Appearance:  We have a number of appealing and well maintained facilities such as Woodbury Park and City Park.  We also have a number of residents who take pride in their homes and property by keeping them in very good condition.  Unfortunately we also have a number of areas in Craig that are not well maintained.  We need to continue to foster a community sense of pride in the appearance of our community.  One community grass roots based organization that is doing great work in the area is the Beautification Committee.  The city supports and applauds this group and hopefully their actions can encourage others.

Unlike Washington, DC, 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 Department of Local Affairs grants becoming more scarce, the City is constantly faced with finding creative ways to finance positive progress. The current City’s 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.

I feel if you can get the people of Craig to the point to live their life to the fullest some of the obstacles that we face will no longer be obstacles. One obstacle we have been facing not only in Craig but in this state has been Suicide. 30,000 people commit suicide each year in the United States – a rate of 11 in every 100,000 Americans, or one person every 17 minutes. The Rocky Mountain region has the highest suicide rate in the country.  In 1998, the suicide death rate in Colorado was more than 14 people per 100,000, making it the 12th highest in the country and 36% higher than the national average. An estimated 9,600 Coloradans seriously contemplate suicide each year and approximately one-half to two-thirds of these individuals are not being treated for their suicidal symptoms. Suicide rates hit a record high in 2009 with 940 reported in Colorado. All of us have been affected by this in our town in some way a friend, family member or a friend of a friend. It is time for us to become procative and not reactive.

Being a rural and somewhat “isolated” community, it can be challenging to get professionals and new businesses to look at and view Craig as a place for their future.   By continuing “open minded” support of new projects like THM and CNCC we are more likely to bring in new “quality” people/professionals and businesses to the community.

fov't attitude towards coal, agriculture, regulation, etc. Solution would be elect people who agree with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terry Carwile

Ray Beck

Jennifer Riley

Gene Bilodeau

Byron Willems

Tony Bohrer

Jarrod Ogden

John Smith

What is your long-term vision for Craig? What needs to be done to get there?

It is my long-term vision to have a community that is attractive to business.  That means that local entrepreneurs have an opportunity to start businesses in a favorable environment.  It also means that businesses are inclined to relocate to Craig.  “Craig is open for business.”  We are embarking on a journey to revitalize some of our business areas.  We are beginning to address other infrastructure needs around the community as well.  It is also my long-term vision to see our community college develop into a residential campus that will provide the means to grow our economy locally.  I hope our community actively participates in this effort.

I believe we need to come together as a community, capitalize on our strengths and build up our weaknesses. We need to work together as a region and support each other in economic development; and promote broad band to and for our rural population. As your mayor, I will continue to represent you through my affiliation with CLUB 20 by staying current on issues and up-coming regulations that may weaken our ability to offer those traditional serves that we all have come to expect. CLUB 20 has a past history of influencing state laws and policies. Working and solving problems together will make us stronger and a more attractive community for others to do business in. My long-term vision would be to support our viable energy industry which is one of our largest economic drivers, along with our traditional outdoor recreation. I also believe in finding ways to support and promote a viable work force through education in the community.

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 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. 

My long term vision of Craig would be to build on our current strengths, which are numerous, and see this as a community that people want to live in.  And if not live in, it’s a place they want to come and visit and spend time in.  It would be a community with a very diverse economy, low crime rate, low illegal drug usage, exceptional educational systems, good employment opportunities, top tier medical facilities and a good selection of healthcare providers.  To get there will depend on the will of the community members.  There are numerous individuals, groups, organizations, and businesses that are helping Craig move in this direction currently.  We need more people to join these efforts.  We need to have a city and county government that will not only support these efforts but lead by example.

Coal is a pillar of the Craig and Moffat County economy. As a City Councilor, it’s my job to ensure that the Council and the community partners we work with believe in and support the coal industry and to help protect the thousands of jobs and dozens of businesses that rely on a vibrant and sustained coal industry. Diversification of the economic and small business mix is important to the sustainable future of any community. As Councilors, we have a responsibility to make doing good business in our community easy. I will work to ensure that barriers to entry in Craig are limited to only those things that are necessary to ensure quality business practices that improve the landscape of our city.

In a City there are two different visions that have to merge into one.  The leadership of Craig’s Vision (City Council, Mayor, Local Business Owners and Managers) Then you have each house holds vision. (Mom, Dad, Employee and Volunteer) We all have to make sure we are heading in the same direction. My Long term Vision for Craig is everyone working together to make it a better place for our children and our children’s children. It is amazing what you can accomplish when everybody is heading the same direction.

Maintain a positive and stable economic growth, promoting the wellbeing of the current and the future residents of Craig.

Making the city attractive, business friendly, safe for citizens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terry Carwile

Ray Beck

Jennifer Riley

Gene Bilodeau

Byron Willems

Tony Bohrer

Jarrod Ogden

John Smith

What is your understanding of the revenue stream for the city of Craig? The major expenditures?

The city’s revenues are mostly generated by sales tax.  The city also receives revenue from mineral extraction in the form of severance taxes and federal mineral lease payments.  We also receive revenue from property tax and the Highway Users Tax Fund (HUTF).  There are also fees, fines, penalties, etc.  The city’s biggest budget expenditures are for road & bridge, police services and parks and recreation.

We have a 21 million dollar budget that we over see as a Council with most of those dollars being  generated through our city and county sales tax which goes into the general fund. Our biggest debt service is paying back our 8.7 million dollar loan that was implemented in 2006 in order to upgrade our water plant. This will be paid off in 2027; but as a result of this much needed upgrade, we are in a position to handle additional growth for years to come. The price of materials are continually going up and it is costing more and more to do business whether it’s delivering water to our customers or repairing and maintaining our city streets. We still have a debt service for our waste water upgrades that will be paid off in 2015. The city of Craig has managed the budget very well over the years which, is critical in this economy.

Nearly 75% of our revenue  ($6.5 million) is generated from taxes – sales tax and property tax.  In addition, approximately $1 million comes from the State as a direct distribution of revenue generated by severance tax dollars and federal mineral lease dollars. Our largest expenditures are for the benefit of public safety – providing police protection (1) and maintaining our roads and infrastructure (2). The third largest expenditure is on our parks and open space, our swimming pool and our recreation programs. Our greatest expenditure across all departments is personnel – our employees (nearly 60% of our expense budget is on employees’ wages and benefits).

The vast majority of our revenue comes in the form of property taxes.  In 2012 approximately 70% of the revenue came from property taxes, approximately 26% came in the form of intergovernmental funds with the remainder coming from miscellaneous sources such as charges for services, licenses and permits, fines, and contributions. The major expenditures for that same time period can be broken down as follows:  approximately 64% for personnel; approximately 24% for operational; and approximately 12% for capital.

An investment in employees (wages and benefits) accounts for just more than 50 percent of the total annual budget. Infrastructure and equipment are the next two biggest pieces of the annual budget. Infrastructure needs such as our New Water Plant, Ongoing street improvement, Replacing old water & Sewer Lines as needed are necessary investment in the future of our City.  Responsible fleet management ensures a capital replacement program that aligns the city’s biggest priorities with timely replacements on a schedule that allows for the fleet to turn after solid use, but before down time and safety concerns create inefficient practices.

Revenue is broken down into 5 categories: Sales Tax, Property Tax, Other taxes , Other Revenue, Intergovernmental. Expenditures are broken into 3 Categories: Personnel, Operating, Capital. The Major Departments are Police Department with 33% of 2012 General Fund, Road and Bridge Department 22% of the General fund and Parks and Recreation with 14% of the General fund

The incoming taxes. Sales, lodging, and property. Federal grants.  The major expenditures? Keeping our infrastructure working. Roads & utilities.

1) Sales tax, real property. 2) Road & bridge, city police

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terry Carwile

Ray Beck

Jennifer Riley

Gene Bilodeau

Byron Willems

Tony Bohrer

Jarrod Ogden

John Smith

What does the city do well? What needs improvement? What can you do to make these improvements?

Our city does an outstanding job of budgeting within its means.  Our city staff deserves great credit for formulating and presenting responsible budgets to city council.  The city does a fine job of providing a high level of service to the community within a conservative budget structure.  We need to improve our ability to develop infrastructure, i.e. sidewalks, alleys and sewer/water lines in some areas.  I think we can do a better job of code enforcement.  A strengthening economy will go a long way to help us accomplish these things, and as your mayor, what I can do, have done, and will continue to do, is to help prioritize our city’s service and capital improvement needs. 

I believe we need to focus on what the community is doing right. The city has a great pool of employees that serve our community well by making sure they provide those basic services we have come to rely on at affordable rates.  They provide excellent water and refuge service, and provide us with clean and accessible streets and allies. We have an exceptional police department that continues to serve and protect its citizens and is involved in the community. What needs improvement is the notion that just because we have done it this way for so long and it works well; we must consider new ideas and suggestions that would help improve community relations and customer service. As your mayor, I will advocate working with the community to help achieve those goals.

The city manages its financial resources exceptionally well. It can be difficult to prepare a budget for a future year when 75% of revenue comes from taxes. Our staff has done well in its predictions of future income from taxes, and we have been able to meet or exceed our budget predictions. In addition, our department leaders manage their own budgets responsibly and often have unspent dollars at the end of the year. Our employee turnover is also very low which indicates that our compensation and benefits are competitive. To improve, I think the city needs to define what it really means to “work well with the county.” We talk in general terms about the relationship we have with our fellow elected officials, but we’ve never talked about what working well together really means. I think for the city and the county to best serve the community, we have to look at what we share – the common boundaries – and find a way to improve that. For example, the area immediately outside of the city limits – the buffer zone. We need to work together to design a master plan that works for both entities and people in and outside the city limits. It doesn’t serve our citizens well when one entity makes a decision that has far-reaching impacts simply because it has the authority to do so. Collaboration, like what is occurring with the Shadow Mountain water and sewer line project – is an example of working together with the best interest of the community in mind.

The city does a very good job in being fiscally responsible.  Throughout the recession the city did a commendable job of allocating it resources without compromising services to the citizens. The city does a great job within many of its departments.  Examples are the Road and Bridge department keeping our streets in such good shape year round – especially during the winter with snowplowing; Parks and Recreations does a wonderful job of maintaining our recreational facilities and provides numerous opportunities for citizens of all ages in our community to engage in healthy and educational activities.  Our law enforcement department works very diligently to keep our community members safe.  I believe the community would be surprised to find out what our police department deals with on a monthly basis and without their efforts our community would look very different than it does today.   I also think the city does a very good job of taking care of its employees.  The longevity of staff and the lack of turnover is a testament to this. I believe the city can continue to improve its efforts to make this a safe community.  As a member of city council I can support the efforts of both our courts and police.  I will continue to advocate for and support providing them with necessary financial resources.  I will be especially supportive of their efforts to curb underage drinking and the reduction of drug use and distribution in Craig and Moffat County. Though we have come a long way, I believe we still have a lot to accomplish with regard to improving the physical appearance of our community.  I will support and encourage continued beautification efforts, maintenance of parks and open spaces, and the efforts of Code Enforcement Officers.  We do need to find a way to address the lack of sidewalks in Craig.  This is not just an aesthetic issue but more importantly it is truly a safety issue.  I will promote a full exploration by the city to look at all options available to address this concern.

The City of Craig is well managed with an appropriate balance between addressing immediate community concerns and executing future vision. One doesn’t need to look much further than the new $8 million water plan to see that we care a lot about community infrastructure. Critical city services such as timely snow removal, street maintenance, trash pick-up, law enforcement and parks and recreation continue to more with less, finding creative ways to meet community needs while operating under a conservative fiscal policy. For a community of our size, we offer a lot. But we also strive to continue making Craig a better place to live, work and play. The City of Craig has an excellent City Manager in Jim Ferree. The job of City Council is to take the 30,000-foot approach to the whole community and drive discussions, questions and policy that will help each department to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible. Every department and service of the City of Craig should constantly work to achieve best practices in all aspects of operations and it’s the City Council’s job to drive those discussions. I feel responsible for strategic planning and long-term vision and the Council holds the City Manager accountable for execution.

The City Does a great Job: Keeping the streets clean, Maintaining our Parks, Youth Sports and if something is Broken (Like A Water Line) They work endless hours to make sure we have our water again as soon as possible. Improvements: No matter who you are or what business you are in there is always things we can approve on, Casting Vision for Craig (Communication is key to making any kind of improvements), After School Programs for 7th-12th graders (We do a great job for K-5th grade after school “Boys and Girls club are awesome for that age group” but the older kids needs something besides sports, Budget can always use work. (Keeping cost down and not wasting) Simple!!!!

Maintaining good road conditions, reliable public utility services, and Parks & recreation programs for all ages. We need to continue to improve and maintain the relationship between the city and county governing bodies. Establish transparent lines of communication and common goals for the greater good of the entire Moffat County.

2) Sidewalks, streets. General appearance of Craig is not good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terry Carwile

Ray Beck

Jennifer Riley

Gene Bilodeau

Byron Willems

Tony Bohrer

Jarrod Ogden

John Smith

How would you support Craig’s economic growth and development?

Our city is actively engaged in economic development and has been for many years.  Our long-standing memberships with the Craig Chamber of Commerce and the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership are examples of city’s support economic development.

I have been a consistent supporter of economic development locally and regionally since being elected to City Council in 2007. I support our Craig Economic Development; the Regional Yampa Valley Economic Development Council; and currently serve on that board as the chair. This board is looking at potentially partnering with Yampa Data Partners and Shell Oil over the next several months to develop a plan on the social and economic impacts of future oil and gas exploration and production. This working group will look at those short-term and long-term impacts that may help guide us into future growth and how we might be prepared to meet those potential demands. I support potential new businesses; encourage shopping locally and our coal related industries. The Craig station is one of our largest employers and with more than 300 employees and another 433 indirect jobs that overall has a huge economic impact to our community and local economy.

In all of the years I’ve served on council, I have supported our $25,000 annual contribution to Craig Moffat Economic Development Partnership (CMEDP). For 2013, CMEDP asked for an increase in our contribution, and I did not support an increase because I believe the organization needs to focus on its strategic development and vision. It may be time for the city to explore a new relationship with CMEDP. Instead of simply funding an organization, we should perhaps consider partnering with them. We have multiple organizations in the community with overlapping purposes – MCTA, Craig Chamber, and CMEDP to name a few. We should be able to find a way to utilize the strengths of all of these organizations that will best serve the future of economic development in Craig.

The city has been a long-time supporter of the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership.  I will continue to support the funding of this group as it is our primary economic development organization in the community.  This group does have an uphill battle as we have seen over the years that some of the drawbacks to companies coming to Craig include: broadband issues, limited cellular coverage in our business district, distance from interstate travel, lack of rail opportunities to name a few.  I do not feel we can compete with other communities who offer financial incentives to entice companies.  What we can do is promote a community that is appealing for people who want to start, expand, or relocate a company to Craig.  We must have, in addition to our outdoor recreational opportunities and friendly people, is a top notch educational system, a comprehensive medical community, a safe community, a financially healthy city, a strong business and retail sector, and a diversified economic base.  Some of these areas we are doing well in and others are improving.  Where practical and appropriate the city will be a model and strong advocate and supporter.

Economic Development is a tricky term in a small town. Many citizens perceive “growth” to mean big-box retail stores and more people. The City of Craig is an example of an “economic farming” environment where current small businesses and new small businesses can come to plant their seeds and grow. It’s important to the sustainability of our community to continue to allocate funds to “farming” of small businesses to ensure that those with a solid business plan have a fertile environment in which to thrive. This includes limiting barriers to success in the Planning & Zoning process as well as offering resources to SMB owners. Economic hunting is important to our future, but it requires time, resources and financial incentive. To recruit new businesses to Craig, there must be incentives from the City, which might include lower tap fees, reduced city utilities, reduced taxes or free land as examples. In all communities, new incentive programs can generate hard feelings with existing businesses who did not have similar resources. At some point, the City must develop programs and policies that encourage new business, which will, in turn, support the economic growth of ALL businesses in the community. The City of Craig cannot compete with the incentives offered by other communities. City Council must determine whether we want to compete in the “business hunting” space and, if so, how we can attract and retain quality companies.

I first would want to educate the people of Craig on this. There is a difference between Economic Growth and Economic Development. They go hand and hand, yes, but not the same. The greatest way to support something you believe in is to educate others about the topic you support. Economic Growth: Economic growth has traditionally been attributed to the accumulation of human and physical capital, and increased productivity arising from technological innovation. Economic development: The scope of economic development includes the process and policies by which a City or Nation improves the economic, political, and social well-being of its people.

By encouraging all local business and patrons to shop local, and by being open to new businesses.

By doing business here and keeping my property looking like somebody owns it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terry Carwile

Ray Beck

Jennifer Riley

Gene Bilodeau

Byron Willems

Tony Bohrer

Jarrod Ogden

John Smith

What is the city’s role, if any, in improving public education?

The City of Craig provides significant financial support to our local community college, and the city funds the School Resource Officer positions for our K-12 schools.  These are examples the city’s readiness to actively partner with the local public education system to help advance its mission.

I believe public education is the life blood of any community and this nation. Our young adults are our future leaders, educators and business entrepreneurs. I think the city of Craig has been a real partner with the Moffat County School District when it is within our budget to do so. As an example, supporting the two School Resource Officers through our police department which aid the school staff, teachers, students and the community in dealing with concerns who help make the education environment a safer place and a great experience for our children to learn in. I also believe the community has taken an active roll is supporting the local school district by forming the Maximum Commitment to Excellence, The Booster Club and the Friends of Moffat County Education  supporting the schools financially or by other means. As co-author of the Citizens Academic Scholarship which is geared towards Higher Education to CNCC is another example of supporting are graduating seniors.

I was just discussing this with my husband, Steve, a teacher in our school district. I believe our community is experiencing similar barriers in our education system that are present nationally. Our role as City Council is to be informed about the school district’s plan to address shortfalls and provide input when asked. We can support positive changes. Educating our youth is not the sole responsibility of our public education system. Education begins at home with families and extends out from there. Involvement at all levels will be important as we move forward.

I do think the city has a role in the improvement of public education.  I see our role as one of advocacy and support in the efforts of the educational institutions.  In addition I believe the city should be present for community forums about our educational system and participate when appropriate in committees that seek to support education.  Once such example, and one the city regular attends, the Maximum Commitment to Excellence Committee.  I do know there is some discussion in the community that the city may be asked to go to the voters on behalf of the school district a present a ballot question to ask for a tax that would go to Moffat County RE-I.   If this does come before the city, I know I would want to have a great deal of information and fully understand what the dollars would be used for and how long this tax would be proposed for.

The City of Craig took a big step in maintaining the safety of children in schools by funding two School Resources Officers. In previous years, City Council funded one SRO and the Moffat County School District funded a second SRO. When school budgets were cut, the city stepped in because we feel these officers are an important piece of the education program. The City of Craig is not the Moffat County School District. As with any organization, the organization itself is responsible for analyzing its budget concerns and finding ways to fill gaps through cutting resources and programs or generating new revenue streams. Schools are no different. The responsibility of the City of Craig is to have a seat at the table for important education discussions and to offer support in practical areas. We realize that schools are a critical part of community infrastructure that can impact new business, population growth and the overall success of our children as adults, but funding education isn’t our priority.

Again I go back to the communication and education. If the City will address these two areas (Communication and Education) on any subject it will get rid of a lot of confusion. People in general judge prior to Communication and Prior to being educated on the subject. (I know I have done it before).

It’s the city’s obligation to support the Moffat County School District through fund raising and events. And by presenting our community as a desirable place to raise a family.

Not a lot. Student of the Month, etc. Civic awards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terry Carwile

Ray Beck

Jennifer Riley

Gene Bilodeau

Byron Willems

Tony Bohrer

Jarrod Ogden

John Smith

Do you perceive the national focus on renewable energy a viable threat to Craig’s long-term economic viability? If yes, what should the city do?

I think that if we are able to sufficiently develop and diversify our economy, it will not be a long-term threat.  Our efforts to develop and diversify the local economy will strengthen its long-term viability.  We live in an area rich in natural resources, coal, oil, natural gas, and yes, uranium.  We should be poised to develop these resources responsibly and advocate for their responsible use.  We will see opportunities in the future for renewable energy development.  I hope that we can take advantage of these opportunities as they present themselves.  Northwest Colorado has always been a leader in energy production.  I believe we should strengthen and assert that leadership.

I believe in a balanced approach to renewable energy. It should be on a volunteer basis and not be mandated as an example; to be 20% renewable by 2020 by the state and federal government.  If the government is going to provide incentives for renewable energy aren’t they really saying they don’t support our current energy resources? I strongly support our coal industry and believe we set the bar for the nation in terms of clean coal technology. I believe we can set the bar towards renewable energy by implementing low cost infrastructure which will save the taxpayers money over the long term.

No. Simply put, coal is the most affordable source of energy for electricity. Our coal is among the cleanest produced in the nation, and our coal-fired power plants have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to ensure that the production of electricity is as clean as possible. They will continue to invest in making sure the electricity produced meets the standards set forth by the EPA.

Potentially.  If the national focus is to promote renewable energy at the expense of coal, then it will remain a threat.  The city can support our coal industry by being a voice of support.  We can also take the opportunity whenever possible to advocate through letters, conversations, and perhaps resolutions.  Unfortunately we have found that it seems no matter how strong or loud Northwest Colorado voices its concerns it often falls on deaf ears.  That said we should still voice our concerns.  This again speaks to the importance of Craig and Moffat County’s ability and desire to look for and support the diversification and strengthening its economy and our economic base.

Yes. I firmly believe that coal is still king. It’s important to diversify our economy and to support energy growth across all sectors – gas, oil, wind, etc. To do anything less than encourage energy growth diversity is irresponsible. That said, coal drives our economy and should remain at the forefront of our decisions as we plot the course for a stronger, better city.

Yes! I hate to answer the same on a lot of questions but we have to do our best in educating people that are against renewable energy and start communicating and not arguing. There is a big difference in communicating something for the benefit of Educating them and arguing our points of view.

Yes I do. I feel it is not only the City’s but the Counties obligation as well, to work with the local mines and power plants to educate people on the responsible use and value of coal and natural gas to the City of Craig and the entire Yampa Valley.

Elect people in Congress that we think will help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terry Carwile

Ray Beck

Jennifer Riley

Gene Bilodeau

Byron Willems

Tony Bohrer

Jarrod Ogden

John Smith

Should the city take any steps to address hydraulic fracking and if so, what?

I don’t think there is a need for the city to address hydraulic fracturing at this time.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Commission has spent numerous hours developing regulations that are applicable to the industry and insuring that those companies  meet those requirements.  In fact the Colorado Oil and Gas regulations are considered some of the most highly regulated rules in the nation. To the best of my knowledge, there has not been any confirmed scientific research that fracking in fact has caused any water or well water polluting or health issues. There is a lot of speculation, but fracking is a tool that allows the oil and gas industry to make sure they can get consistent production from a well long-term and capitalizing on their financial investment. I really don’t see the city taking any action on fracking at this point other than making sure our land use code under Article 9 is updated and in line with the state regulations.

The city should monitor fracking activity and work with local, state and federal agencies to ensure that appropriate precautions are being met. The city’s current zoning and land use plans are current, and beyond that, we must rely on support from other agencies.

I do not believe our current land use codes address hydraulic fracking.   We should have our codes reviewed and ask our legal counsel to provide Council with direction as to what our options are should the possibility of in town fracking become a real consideration. 

No – It looks like the State of Colorado may do just that.  If the State does not address hydraulic fracking – I don’t think we should.

The city should do what they can to educate the people about it. But the city doesn’t control any land where this going to be taking place. This would fall on our County Commissioners but the City should team up with the County and do what we can to Educate people about fracking because we all benefit from the drilling of wells.

To be honest I lack the knowledge in this area to verbalize much of an opinion regarding hydraulic fracking. From what I have read about fracking it appears to be safe for the environment and an efficient method for extracting our natural resources. Once again I stress that I only have a limited knowledge on the subject and I also feel that each individual “land owner” should have some “say so” on what happens on his or her property.

No the city should not address, unless it's under the city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terry Carwile

Ray Beck

Jennifer Riley

Gene Bilodeau

Byron Willems

Tony Bohrer

Jarrod Ogden

John Smith

There is currently a concern about the safety of residents trying to navigate the snow banks created between the street and the sidewalks. How would you address this issue with the Colorado Department of Transportation? What solutions would propose for this problem?

As a business owner, I try to make sure that the snow banks left by plowing the streets are leveled sufficiently to allow access to my shop.  A number of the downtown business owners, including me, contract with a local individual to remove the snow banks when traffic conditions permit, usually a Sunday morning.  It may be possible for the city to partner with the Colo. Dept. of Transportation to find a more efficient way to facilitate safe pedestrian access in the areas that CDOT plows.

I would be willing to talk with any representative from CDOT concerning this particular issue and see what they would be willing to do in partnership with the city that would allow us to financially address this problem. I also believe this really comes down to what we want our priorities to be; and in fact, it boils down to money. If our Road and Bridge department were to aid in this process, that is going to have to be based on manpower and equipment availability which is also hampered by weather conditions at the time. On the other hand for those who see this as a safety concern let’s then sit down and come up with some solutions or recommendations that that make financial sense.

This is a problem, but there’s not an easy solution.  Some have suggested plowing snow to the middle of the roads like they used to do in the past. I don’t agree with this solution. In addition to the plowing, there would be added cost for coming through, removing, and hauling away the center bank of snow.  I believe there needs to more action than just removing the snow banks to make the downtown areas more navigable. Property owners need shovel the walks in front of their businesses as well. Removing the snow banks could be accomplished by hiring a contractor. I don’t believe the City should take the full responsibility of the snow removal. There are other businesses in town who pay private contractors to remove snow, and the City shouldn’t favor one business segment over another.

This is a topic of much discussion during the winter months in Craig.  It’s very difficult as we have two state highways that run through and intersect in town.  The snow removal is under the jurisdiction of the State of Colorado and not Craig.  Unfortunately this is an ongoing issue with CDOT and they have been approached about it in the past.  I’m not sure this has been approached under the new administration at the State of Colorado.  This might be a time to bring the issue up once again.  For the snow to be removed, the street has to be cleared of parked cars. The discussion would need to take place over enforcement of such an ordinance or law.  The state budget truly has a big impact on what CDOT would or could do.  

It’s no secret that the Colorado Department of Transportation doesn’t have the funding it needs to support appropriate resources dedicated to the maintenance of its highways. Recent allocations of dollars to highway projects will help with many of the most critical issues, but snow banks in downtown Craig aren’t likely to top the priority list now, or ever. We, as the City and its business owner and residents, will have to step up to the plate to create and maintain the safe and visually appealing. There are some opportunities to dispatch City of Craig crews to pre-identified “high priority” areas within the city, but the reality of doing that routinely without overtime and other added expense, is minimal.

Honestly this is the first time I have heard of this problem. I honestly believe CDOT wants Craig to be a safe place as much as the residents of Craig wants it to be safe. I am not aware of any conversations between the city and CDOT but that is the first place we need to start. There is always two sides to every story. Communication goes a long ways.

The majority of streets in Craig are the city’s responsibility and not the states and the Downtown Business Association does an increasingly better job of snow removal, as well does the city. We have “top notch” crews who do an excellent job.

We are the city. We have resources to take care of these issues by ourselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terry Carwile

Ray Beck

Jennifer Riley

Gene Bilodeau

Byron Willems

Tony Bohrer

Jarrod Ogden

John Smith

A lack of sidewalks has been addressed as both an aesthetic and a public safety concern for the city of Craig. Is this an issue you feel the city should address and if so, how (including funding options)?

Residents in our community are rightfully concerned about the lack of sidewalks and sidewalks in disrepair.  It is an aesthetic and safety concern, and it is also a concern from an economic development standpoint.  A pedestrian-friendly community will increase foot traffic flows to all business areas in our city, as well as increasing the safety of our children in the neighborhoods surrounding our schools.  The city is in the process of implementing a “Safe Routes to Schools” grant, which will result in the construction of some sidewalks in the neighborhoods surrounding Sandrock Elementary and the Craig Middle School.  It is my hope that upon completion of the “Safe Routes” project, we will be able to engage the community in a broader conversation about sidewalks city-wide, which will result in a master plan for sidewalks, including a permanent, stable funding stream for construction, improvement and maintenance.

The lack of sidewalks and crumbling sidewalks throughout the community has been a problem for years and will continue to be a problem until the community comes together to help address this issue. We have several options at this point which are individual responsibility in front of each  owner’s property to put in their own sidewalks, develop an improvement district within your neighborhood or put an initiative forward on the ballot for voters to endorse. This issue was put on the ballot on April 1st 2003 to increase taxes by one mill, which would have generated $46,000 the first year with the potential of increased funding in the following years based on property assessed values. The citizens at that time voted it down by a vote of 311 to 210. On a personal note, I am in the process of replacing the sidewalks in front of my property, a project that we started last fall and will finish this spring. If the community feels this is important as a whole maybe it’s time to put it on the ballot again.

I don’t disagree that the lack of sidewalks in some areas is a problem.  Our older neighborhoods were constructed with minimal sidewalks. Because many of the sidewalks are immediately adjacent to the street, they get covered with plowed snow in the winter. New subdivisions now have adequate sidewalk requirements, but there aren’t many new subdivisions being developed. In 2003, the city proposed a mil levy increase that would generate around $40,000 that would be added to the current money allocated annually for sidewalk maintenance, but that mil levy proposal failed miserably. The city has the authority – through its easements – to install sidewalks, BUT in many neighborhoods this means removal of a lot of established landscaping and trees, and it means added expense for the owners. I believe it is time to look at funding solutions and take the information to the voters. Sidewalks – installation and maintenance – are a community responsibility. No single entity should bear the entire cost – and this includes the city. Some areas would be easier and less costly to install sidewalks, and some would be very difficult and expensive (along any state highway).

As stated previously this is a legitimate issue.  I do believe the city should address it, though the sidewalks are not legally the responsibility of the city. The city cannot mandate sidewalks or repairs unless it is new construction.  Some community members have taken it upon themselves to either repair their sidewalk or put one in, but this is small percentage.  This problem will continue and only get worse.  The city does not have, nor will they have anytime in the foreseeable future, the ability to fund through current revenue streams the repair of current sidewalks let alone construction of new sidewalks. What the city can do is give serious consideration to looking into what the cost would be to address the sidewalk issue.  How to pay for such an undertaking is the issue.  Among the options are to create a special taxing district or potentially implement a city wide tax for the improvements.   There would need to be a considerable amount of community discussion take place prior to such a course of action.

First and foremost, the sidewalks belong to the landowner, and I don’t foresee that changing. The reality of our situation is that part of the city was built with sidewalks and part was not. I recognize this as a safety issue for our citizens and children, but the city simply doesn’t have adequate funding to address the problem as a whole. In 2003, the city asked the taxpayers for an increase to fund sidewalks. The increase would have meant $46,000 for the first year and a 1 mil property tax increase each year thereafeter. The measure was defeated by a vote of 311 to 210. This vote is the voice of the taxpayers and it demonstrates that the priority for the community isn’t in sidewalk improvement. Voters have passed initiatives to fund healthcare, schools and other programs it felt were priorities, but this wasn’t one. The bottom line is that the funding has to come from somewhere, and without cutting current city programs, there are no available dollars to allocate to a city-wide sidewalk project. One potential option is to have adjoining landowners form improvement districts to self-fund projects within their geographic area. Improvement Districts have the opportunity to receive assistance from the City of Craig in areas such as negotiating bids, hiring contractors and developing long-term repayment programs. It isn’t free, but it provides a more manageable solution for property owners.

Anytime there is a safety concern it needs to be addressed and evaluated. You are not going to satisfy everyone all the time but when it comes to safety we need to do our best to make the people feel safe while they are walking around our Great City.

I do feel the city should address the sidewalk situation creating safer passages for our children and residents in general and I also understand these improvements will take time. Possible funding solutions for these and other improvements in general could be the use of grants, or the spoils of responsible natural resource development in the area.

Yes - Bond and give property owners 20-30 years to repay.