Hot Sulphur Springs CO Colorado

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March 27, 2012
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Meet the Hot Sulphur Springs Candidates

Questions:

1. What do like the about Hot Sulphur Springs?

2. What experience qualifies you to be Mayor/Trustee?

3. What do you think is the most serious issue facing Hot Sulphur Springs in the next four years?

4. What solutions do you propose for the immediate problems facing Hot Sulphur Springs?

Name: Ken Anderson

Town: Hot Sulphur Springs

Running for trustee or mayor? Trustee

Occupation: Owner, Rocky Mountain General Store in Granby, 7 years

Education: B.S. Physical Education, University of South Florida

How many years in Grand County? 9 years

Original hometown: St. Petersburg, Fla

Family: Wife, Sharon. Two children and three grand-daughters.

Pets: Two cats, Max and Mama Kitty

1. Our community reminds me of "Mayberry" in the "Andy Griffith Show." It's a place where you know your neighbors' names and where neighbors help each other. A place where you can call the mayor, police chief, and the bank president by their first names. Someday, we may even have a Floyd the barber. Sharon and I love going for peaceful walks in the morning or evening, seeing the stars out at night, festivities in the park, and going to the little country church. I know all this seems idyllic, but I think that's why most of us live here - the quality of life.

2. I spent 23 years working for a large city and in public transportation dealing with or managing multi-million dollar budgets. For the last seven years, we've owned a small business. I know what it takes to function as a team, how budgets work, how to prioritize, and the value of planning ahead. I believe following guidelines, codes, and regulations are important to maintaining consistency and integrity. More importantly, being approachable and open to the concerns or suggestions of the general public is key to success in every level of government.

3. We need a specific plan to pay for upcoming capital improvements, maintenance, repairs, or government regulations to the water/sewer systems. We're being charged rates of 33 percent - 50 percent higher than the actual costs to "save for a rainy day" and for the repayment of loans. Plus, we have a recommended 5 percent annual increase. We need specific estimates on the life expectancy of the parts of the system and their expected replacement cost, repair, or warranties. This will allow us to efficiently manage the system and set rates more precisely.

4. We need to be consistent in the appropriations process for "budgeted" and non-budgeted items. Public comments should be encouraged during discussion items at board meetings. Those two will solve a lot of discontent. We should work towards hiring a town administrator. We should promote and lower the burdens for small businesses and get the Hot Sulphur Springs Chamber active again. Both help maintain a vibrant, stable community. We're reacting instead of managing and planning. We can do better, and I can bring a new and different perspective.

__________________

Name: Lori Baumgardner

Town: Hot Sulphur Springs

Running for trustee or mayor? Trustee

Occupation: Maintenance Worker 1 for CDOT, ranch manager, wife, mother 

Education: Some college, English, night school for accounting and economics

How many years in Grand County: 19

Original hometown: Born in Spokane, Wash., raised in Colorado. Colorado resident for 45 years

Family: Husband Randy, daughter Elizabeth Gramm (26), sons Michael Gramm (23) and Matthew Baumgardner (7)

Pets: two Dogs, two Cats, seven Horses, Ranch Cattle 

1. I love the small community. I enjoy sitting on the deck looking at our beautiful scenery while listening to the horses and chickens in the neighbors' yards. Where else can you live and have livestock in your yard? I also have great neighbors!

2. As a small business owner and campaign manager, I understand the importance of effective communication, accountability, timeliness, and mutual respect. In addition, I care about the solution rather than the problem and use positive, forward-thinking methods to "get the job done."

3. I am most concerned with the $706,000 the town is considering borrowing from the state of Colorado. In addition, we have to pay back the Federal Government $1 million. When added together with the existing loan remaining on the last sewer plant repair, I am not sure we can afford it. Nine out of the last 12 samples failed the testing required by the state, so we have to show progress to prevent the potentially crippling fines.

                                                                  

4. It is my firm belief that we need to get a handle on our spending. Through these huge loans, unnecessary purchases, and ultimate lack of accountability, we have gotten ourselves into a position where the only thing to do is act. As a collaborative effort, we must put one foot in front of the other to resolve issues of irresponsible spending, passive problem solving, and indifference. The mentality of what it means to work for your town needs a reset. As employees of a community where the ultimate goal would be to see our town thrive, it is imperative that town employees be held to a higher standard of accountability, time management, and fiscal responsibility. 

We have the opportunity to turn these things around and start to make an impact in a positive light rather than bill our residents obscene amounts for their water just to meet our ends.

___________

Name: Kathy Knight

Town: Hot Sulphur Springs

Running for trustee or mayor? Trustee

Occupation:

Education:

How many years in Grand County? 17 years

Original hometown:

Family: I have two daughters.

Pets: Many pets and I love them all.

1. I love my small town, where we know all our neighbors, and we are more than willing to help each other. I think it is important to keep the small-town agricultural feel for generations to come.

2. I have been on the board for six years and I have been involved in 4-H, rodeos, Roping Club, Winter Sports Carnival, Grand County Arts Council, and a youth mentor. When needed I am more than willing to volunteer for any organization to help our community.

3. In the future I see the town's infrastructure to be a major concern facing the town.

4. I feel we need to find the solution to this problem by building a plan considering all options. This plan needs to be financially responsible so as not to create any more financial burdens for the citizens of our town.

_____________

Name: Christine Lee

Town: Hot Sulphur Springs

Running for trustee or mayor? Trustee

Occupation: My husband and I retired five years ago and moved to Hot Sulphur.

Education: I have a degree from Chicago Teachers College and before retiring I taught math at the Paul Simon Chicago Job Corps.

How many years in Grand County?

Original hometown:

Family:

Pets:

1. I love the small-town atmosphere of Hot Sulphur with its friendly people

and laid-back feel. You can walk from one side of the town to the other

and always find someone to talk to. In addition, the beautiful mountain

scenery and the proximity to many recreational activities nearby drew us

to this town.

2. In running for the town board, I bring previous experiences as president

and treasurer of my condo board and president, treasurer, and secretary

of the Chicago Audubon Society. During the past five years I have

participated in many Hot Sulphur Springs events. I petitioned against the waste transfer station. This past year, I co-chaired the Food and Fun Fest for the

Winter Carnival. I was coordinator of Hot Sulphur Days in 2011 and am

currently coordinating the 2012 Hot Sulphur Days.

3. As with many older towns, Hot Sulphur has serious problems with its

infrastructure. We have a new water system, but the town's sewer system

is also in need of repair or replacement as well as many of its roads.

4. I will work with the current town board to obtain grants and loans to fix

our roads and sewer system. I believe that not enough has been done to

advertise and publicize the attractions Hot Sulphur has to offer: first-class fishing, hiking and bicycling in the mountains, snow sports and

hunting close by, a nice spa, and a wonderful historical museum. Our

town should take advantage of these attractions to help bring in more

people as visitors or permanent residents. More people can support more

businesses and add to the tax base, thus lowering water and sewer bills.

_________________

Name: Lucy Meirose

Town: Hot Sulphur Springs

Running for trustee or mayor? Trustee

Occupation: Office manager

Education:

How many years in Grand County? 15 years

Original hometown: Aurora, CO

Family: Husband, son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter

Pets: Three dachshunds

1. Although we are the county seat, I love the small town feel, the friendliness of our citizens, and the beauty of our surroundings.

2. I have been a Hot Sulphur Springs Trustee since 2008, and I have worked as an office manager for over 29 years. I am used to working with people to prioritize and problem solve.

3. The Town of Hot Sulphur Springs' most serious issue is adequate funds to replace the aging infrastructure, most importantly the sewer system, followed by the repair of town roads.

4. I would propose that the town solicit a variety of experts to submit solutions to our most pressing problems. The town board could then weigh the various solutions against the costs which would aid us in determining how to proceed with improvements and the funding needed.

________

Name: Robert H. Shirley II

Town: Hot Sulphur Springs

Running for Trustee or Mayor? Trustee

Occupation: Department of Regulatory Agencies State of Colorado

Education: One year of college

How many years in Grand County? More than 22 years

Original Hometown: Littleton, Colorado

Family: My lovely wife, two daughters, one granddaughter

Pets: One Cat

1. I like and enjoy the small size of our town, the friendly people, and the quiet.

2. I have been a town trustee since 2005. I left the board for most of 2010 because of work-related issues. I was reappointed the end of 2010. I was a board member during some rough times. Our water plant had all but quit working, we were on water rationing, and we had to drink bottled water. The board worked through these troubled times and now we are blessed with a state-of-the art water treatment facility. I have worked on helping to balance the annual budget, which is a very tough part of the job.

3. The sewer plant is in need of some repairs, and the roads are also in need of repair. We have old water and sewer mains in this town that will require upgrading and or replacement. All of this work will require money, which is in short supply.

4. We will have to see about grants to repair the sewer plant and, and if unavailable, the town will have to seek another loan. It's one day at a time for Hot Sulphur Springs. You have to be willing to adjust your wants and needs as problems develop and adjust accordingly.

________

Name: Summer Shuster

Town: Hot Sulphur Springs

Running for trustee or mayor? Trustee

Occupation: Business operator of The Depot Restaurant and The Barking Dog Pub.

Education: High school

How many years in Grand County? I have lived in Grand County for 23 years.

Original hometown: Littleton, CO

Family: I am a single parent of three amazing girls.

Pets: We have two dogs and two cats

1. I love the town of Hot Sulphur. It makes my life complete. This one is a tough question because there is more than one answer to this question. Hot Sulphur is like one big family, and when I or someone I know needs support, anyone, including myself, would lend a helping hand. It truly is God's country. My girls have a safe place to grow up.

2. I was previously on the town board for two years and learned a lot, plus I enjoyed it so I ran again at the end of those two years and did not get enough votes to stay. I want to bring people into the town so we can survive and am willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish this task.

3. There are two issues that I think will become serious. A shortage of water that we take from the river, which we could look at wells. There are natural springs running year-round in town, so I think we could utilize the water under ground to our advantage. Also, the town is becoming a ghost town. I am a very positive person and pray everyday that things turn around not only here in Hot Sulphur Springs, but in the country. I don't think people realize what could actually happen.

4. I have a lot of ideas that could become solutions as to how we could tackle the many problems facing the town. We need to tackle them as a town, not just trustees. I think a lot more townspeople need and should step up with their ideas and thoughts as to how we could solve the town's problems. We can only take it one day at a time and face the problems that we know we can fix right away. The sewer, the infrastructure, streets, meters, and the list goes on. It is so overwhelming, that what do we do first? Then how much money is needed? Who is going to fix it? How long is it going to take? All of these are questions that are running through the trustees' minds when they are making decisions. How can we fix what we have without money or the manpower to make sure it gets accomplished? It is a work in progress that could take years to accomplish. We need more people to come to town, so we can support the town.


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The Sky-Hi News Updated Mar 27, 2012 08:15PM Published Mar 27, 2012 08:13PM Copyright 2012 The Sky-Hi News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.