Sky-Hi staff

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March 25, 2014
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Town candidates answer Sky-Hi questionnaires

Editor’s note: Municipal elections take place April 1. Candidates are listed by town in alphabetical order. The questions they were asked are listed under the subhead of each town.

Winter Park

1. What do you like about your town?

2. What experience makes you qualified to run for the town board?

3. What would be your ideal outcome for the Sitzmark properties?

4. Do you think talks should resume concerning a merge of the towns of Winter Park and Fraser?

5. What do you think is the most serious issue facing Winter Park in the next four years? What solution(s) do you propose?

Name: Barbara Atwater

Town: Winter Park

Running for position of: Town council

Occupation: Legal Assistant

Education: Master’s in Business Administration

How many years in Grand County? 12

Original hometown: Quincy, Mass.

Family: Husband Randy, parents Joe and Kitty Connolly, and six siblings

1. I feel safe. I do not worry about crime, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes. I live in a small resort community located only 70 or so miles from Denver that provides me with fine dining, special events, music festivals, and all the outdoor recreational activity I could ever want!

2. I have lived in this community for 12 years and have four years of experience on this council. During those four years, I have learned to listen, to speak up, and to respect the opinion of others. I have also learned a great deal about the art of collaboration.

3. A mix of commercial, residential and open space that strongly encourages and influences pedestrian activity, complements our core downtown activities and provides life and vibrancy to our north portal of town.

4. Never say never, but at this time, no.

5. One important issue is, how can the town continue to maintain financial stability while implementing its important capital projects? One solution may be that we have to consider taking on debt. We are one of the very few municipalities in Colorado that carries no debt, and that is indeed something to be proud of. However, that may have to change; not all debt is bad.

Name: Charles (Chuck) Banks

Town: Winter Park

Running for position of: Town council

Occupation: Retired Optometrist. Now seasonal employee at Winter Park Resort

Education: Dr. of Optometry

How many years in Grand County? Property owner in Grand Co. since 1980. We built our present home at Lakota ten years ago, and have lived in Winter Park full time for seven years.

Original hometown: I grew up in Raytown, Mo,, a suburb of Kansas City.

Family: My wife Nancy is a retired nursing educator. She is a Resort Host, and is active in CASA and Advocates here in Grand County.

Pets: We have one dog, a Kelpie named Shadow.

1. Winter Park is a great place to live because of the year-round outdoor recreation available just outside our door, and the friendliness of the residents. The Summer activities in Hideaway Park, the special events in Summer and Winter at the Resort, and the great restaurants in Town make living here seem like a full time vacation.

2. I owned a successful three doctor professional practice for over thirty years. Understanding patients’ problems and helping to solve them was the key to our success. For the last eight years I’ve worked in guest services at the Resort. This involves the training and supervision of 95+ volunteer Hosts whose goal is to enhance the experience of our guests at the Resort. I am a commissioner for the Winter Park Water and Sanitation District, and also the Winter Park Plans and Zoning commission, so I’m very familiar with both water and development issues that affect winter Park.

3. I would like to see the properties sold to a financially sound developer with a track record of successful development in a resort community. This property has DC zoning and would be ideal for a mixed use residential/commercial project. The Town recently paid for a professional visioning process for the site, and I think it is a good plan that would require a deliberate construction schedule so as to not overwhelm the existing businesses on the Highway 40 corridor.

4. No. We currently have combined police and building inspection services between the two Towns, and fire protection is provided by the East Grand Fire Protection District. The differences in current taxing policies would difficult to combine. The two Towns should continue to work together and combine services where feasible, but I don’t see any advantage in combining the two towns.

5. The lack of regular public transportation between Fraser, Winter Park, and the Resort prevents us from developing a stable, year-round population. We need young families, working singles, and retirees to have a Town that can provide all of the needed shopping and services that make people want to live here year round.

I would like to see a comprehensive study of what it would take to develop a transportation system, what state funds may be available to help fund a system, and could a reasonable ticket charge cover the cost of the system.

Name: Nick Kutrumbos

Town: Winter Park

Running for position of: Winter Park town council

Occupation: Owner of Deno’s Mountain Bistro

Education: University of Denver, Daniels College of Business B.S.B.A. Real Estate Management

How many years in Grand County? 30+ years

Original hometown: Winter Park

Family: Deno Kutrumbos, Dr. Betsy Kutrumbos, Teddy Kutrumbos

Pets: A fish named Vito

1. I’ve been fortunate to grow up in this beautiful area, and I’ve seen many positive changes over the years. One of the most impactful additions is Hideaway Park. The park is a world-class venue that serves as a communal center and gives us the opportunity to enhance the economy by providing jobs and cultural activities.

2. I have deepened my understanding of the needs of families and youth in our community by serving on the board for the Grand Foundation’s G.A.P. Fund for Youth. In addition, I am a second-generation business owner who has been fortunate in maintaining positive growth in a seasonal economy during difficult financial times. Owning a restaurant provides accessibility to tourists and locals, allowing me to be on the front line of understanding the Winter Park experience.

3. The Sitzmark project is an encouraging addition to the community, and is a project I’m looking forward to being a part of. If done correctly, the effort can help positively develop the town of Winter Park. The space gives us a unique opportunity to showcase the beauty of the Fraser River. It should also be used to provide public and commercial diversity, including educational and/or meeting areas to stimulate balanced growth.

4. If I am elected, I look forward to working closely with Fraser in researching the pros and cons of merging our two towns. At the present time, we share many important services. I’m optimistic that our collaborative efforts will positively enhance both towns.

5. One issue that is seriously impacting our community is a shrinking and highly seasonal economy, resulting in the loss of our young native work force. We need to think strategically and creatively in order to compete with other resort towns. My intimate understanding of what businesses need to thrive and my availability to the public will provide great insight moving forward. I’m confident that maintaining the highest of standards is imperative so that the overall “feel” of our town is one that makes us proud.

Name: Michael Periolat

Running for position of: Town council

Occupation: Owner/Broker, Real Estate of Winter Park, LLC

Education: BS – English Literature, DePauw Univ., Greencastle, Ind.

How many years in Grand County? 21

Original hometown: Flossmoor, Ill. (south suburb of Chicago)

Family: Wife Kirsten and two girls, Sarah, 7, and Nicole, 8,

1. What I like most about Winter Park is its open space and sense of community. You don’t have to go too far to either get into the woods or run into someone you know. Winter Park is also a World Class Ski Resort and Mountain Bike area, two of my true loves. It simply “feels good” to be in Winter Park.

2. I have served on the Town Council for many years (10-12, I can’t remember), but this has not seemed like a long time! It honestly takes a long time to understand all the workings of a town and this experience alone helps. I have also been a past chamber board member, served on the town planning and zoning, and I was a volunteer with NSCD for 10 years. All of these experiences helped me understand the town and keep me in touch with many aspects of the town/ community. My real-estate experience keeps me in touch with both local and “visitor” needs in the community.

3. In the perfect world, the SItzmark Properties would develop very slowly and carefully, but in the end, it would be great to have a smaller grocery store, several public/community amenities and some live/work space. I’ve also always believed the NSCD really needs a “campus” for athletes, visitors and families. If somehow this could happen on the Sitzmark sites, it would be a great addition to the town.

4. We should always be open to sharing resources and services and cutting costs wherever possible by cooperation between Winter Park and Fraser (like we already do, with a shared police force, building dept., etc.) but I’m not in favor of merging the towns. I respect the “history” of both towns, and I feel both towns are proud. There would be little to no “cost savings” due to a merger, and a lot of heartache, so let’s just let this topic die and keep working together as we already do.

5. The most serious issue, hopefully, will be managing new growth in our town and county. Transportation, water, schools, etc. are all topics of concern and require careful consideration during good times and bad. Solutions are best achieved by simply staying involved, listening, asking all the right questions and hiring all the right experts to help. The Town of Winter Park has always been good at listening and the “asking for help” in finding solutions. You can never know everything, so I’m always looking to gather the best group of people I can around me, to help get things done right. I’ll continue to have this attitude, and hopefully we are challenged with opportunities over the next four years.

Name: Katie Riemenschneider

Town: Winter Park

Running for position of: Town council

Occupation: Realtor

Education: Graduate of Butler University

How many years in Grand County? 24

Original hometown: Valparaiso, Ind.

Family: Husband Rick, sons Noah, 12, Jakob, 8

Pets: None currently, maybe soon!

1. The involvement of all the people that live and work in Winter Park and seeing how much people care for their community. We are extremely lucky as well to have such a great work force that runs this town.

2. I have served on the town of Winter Park’s Planning and Zoning as well as being a current Town Council Board Member. I am quite involved in the community being a business owner, property owner and volunteer for many things such as nonprofits and other boards. I spend a lot of time enjoying the town events and outdoor activities the area has to offer. I really enjoy where I work and live and want to continue to see Winter Park be a great place for others to enjoy.

3. That is a long-term goal in my opinion, and every meeting we have, we meet with the interested party in developing the piece, and all the public comment we get will get the town closer to your question. Personally I want to see jobs created, a live-work environment included and a cultural-growth part of the plan.

4. Possibly, I have heard this mentioned more in the past few years.

5. Growth. As we all know growth brings business for everyone but also can be tough to manage. Bringing in the right businesses and developments is part of this process. How we attract people to do this and get them sold on how they can be successful in Winter Park is key. I don’t know if I have solutions, but some things I feel that are needed are: Strong school systems, looking at all of Grand County on certain discussions, not just Winter Park, having year-round activities (which I feel we are really tapping into great things year-round already), supporting our businesses that are here and making them more successful.

Name: Peggy Woods

Town: Winter Park

Running for position of: Town council

Occupation: Typical Grand County mixture of several; heaviest in accounting.

Education: Some college, some trade school, always learning.

How Many years in Grand County? 25

Original Hometown: I was born someplace else, and have lived other places, but this has been my only true home.

Family: My two children and their families live elsewhere in the state.

Pets: Two dogs. One thinks he is the Official Town Greeter.

1. Size, Location, Ambiance.

2. Work ethic, strong accounting background, honesty, listening to others, open mindedness.

3. I need to study this a bit more before committing to an answer. I would also like more feedback from my neighbors

4. Yes.

5. We could really use some new businesses; there are still several vacancies. Something new, exciting, and unique. Maybe poll some residents and visitors and ask what they would like to see? Maybe offer a business startup incentive for a creative idea? Turn it into a contest?


1. What do you like about your town?

2. What experience makes you qualified to run for the town board?

3. What would be your ideal outcome concerning Byers Peak Properties?

4. Do you think talks should resume concerning a merge of the towns of Winter Park and Fraser, and why?

5. What do you think is the most serious issue facing Fraser in the next four years? What solution(s) do you propose?

Name: Jane Mather

Town: Fraser

Running for position of: Town trustee

Occupation: Corporate real estate consultant and software developer

Education: B.A., Harvard, Ph.D. Stanford, both in economics

How many years in Grand County? 15 years

Original hometown: St. Joseph, Mich.

Family: I’m not married and don’t have children, so the Fraser Valley community is my family here. I spend lots of time with my cousin in Denver, who is more like a sister, and with my parents, 83 and 91, who spend summers across the Divide in Meeker Park.

Pets: Taz is a 6-year-old border collie. She is my second search dog I’ve trained and certified to look for lost and missing people.

1. Fraser is small and friendly with wonderful outdoor recreation. Like many other residents here, I could earn more money living elsewhere, but I live here for the quality of life. Living here is a gift, and we owe it to those who have welcomed us into their community to protect it.

2. Living here for 15 years, I’ve gained some understanding and respect for town residents’, taxpayers’ and other community members’ priorities. With my background in economics and 25 years evaluating major real-estate projects, I understand what kind of financial analysis the town board needs to treat people fairly, collect only the funds that are needed, and protect our town finances.

3. Millionaire developers should not be able to take advantage of small communities. Byers Peak Properties’ (BPP) should pay its share of costs rather than shift them to residents and taxpayers. The development should support and protect what makes our community special, especially open space. Rather than the dire consequences predicted before the annexation vote, Town of Fraser and Grand County discussions with BPP are moving in the right direction.

4. Two town staffs add costs, but many residents and business owners fear less representation with a combined government. Adding to Fraser residents’ concerns, the 2007 study found Winter Park would need to annex Fraser to preserve Winter Park’s real estate transfer taxes. Most voters would be from Fraser, but annexation could still feel like a take-over. Our towns should continue combining activities (sewer, police, judge and building department so far) to save money and build trust.

5. We need to manage growth to support, build and protect our community. Our town board has been focusing on acquiring water storage for augmentation, a serious need with reasonable solutions. The town board also needs to ensure that growth pays its share of costs and that we protect what makes our community special. We can’t just assume that growth will be good for the Fraser Valley.

Name: Andy Miller

Town: Fraser

Running for position of: Town trustee

Occupation: General Contractor

Education: BA in Elementary Education

How many years in Grand County? 40

Original hometown: Denver

Family: Two sons, Skyler, 23, Forest, 26

Pets: I can’t quite bear to bring any more uninvited visitors in our furry neighbor’s wild neighborhood.

1. People. When fall ends and Safeway fills with visitors, eye contact and a “hello” is tough to get out of anyone – reminding us the intimacy of interaction between Valley neighbors is a gift warming us all. Participating in sports — skiing, hiking, biking — gives us the strength to fuel our vitality. Hiking up peaks with 80-somethings makes me believe I might live forever.

2. I was a local journalist for six years (Winter Park Manifest newspaper), covering town politics. I’ve started and been involved in numerous local nonprofit recreation and public service projects, helping build facilities designed to enhance enjoyment for both visitors and locals. As a contractor, I know how to bring ideas to fruition for a fair price. I am also a former teacher and child care center director — I will keep Fraser a great place to grow up.

3. Annexation to the town after a fair deal for both the developer and the taxpayers is found. The senior water right owned by the developer should become part of the town water portfolio. If the project is approved by the county, the town’s interests — mainly water, sewer and infrastructure – must be protected. The developer needs the town for water and sewer service, the presence of the regional sewer plant means the state will not permit a new sewer plant in the Fraser Valley.

4. Fraser and Winter Park are interdependent, if one town fails, both would crumble. If a full-sized grocery store is built in Winter Park, taxpayers will be protected from a potential disaster if sales taxes are shared by a unified town. Winter Park brings sales tax and visitor services to the table, Fraser (trusting a good deal with Byers Peak) brings water and an affordable place for employees to live.

5. Transportation. Traffic tie-ups summer and winter are already degrading quality of life for visitors and locals. A gondola from downtown Winter Park to the ski area would be a first step, ending the need for two-thirds or more of the shuttle system. Also, a shorter ski season is on the climate horizon, we need to beef up our summer plate. A larger trail system is one relatively inexpensive enhancement for visitors and locals.

Name: Vesta Shapiro

Town: Fraser

Running for position of: Town trustee

Occupation: Retired

Education: Yes

How many years in Grand County? 42

Original hometown: No one place, we moved a lot.

Family: None

Pets: Kitty-free at present

1. The diverse, hard-working, fair-minded (for the most part), opinionated folks who call Fraser home.

I am not enchanted by those who bring their Chicago-style paranoia of government here and try to turn everything upside-down. Keep the McCarthy Hearings and the Ignorati out of town business, please.

I have worked with several boards and staffs, and I will defend this organization’s honesty and integrity to anyone. I’ve heard invective leveled against board and staff that I never thought I’d hear in this town. Differences of opinion can be discussed, but this is destructive to the process. Respect is either mutual or it doesn’t exist.

2. I have served on the Fraser Planning Commission since 1991 and have put in 11 years on the town board. I am familiar with the issues now before the town, and I am passionate about seeing these things advance.

3. It’s an irrelevant question — that well has been poisoned for the present. The issue is dead. Perhaps at some future point we can get back to the table and rework an agreement that is in the best interests of the taxpayers and businesses in the town. Or not. It’s a shame it was handled the way it was ­— this will cost the taxpayers a lot of money, unnecessarily.

4. No. I don’t think the timing is right, and I don’t think it should be pushed. We’ve been combining services where it makes sense, and I think the two towns may eventually move towards a merger. Fraser has more important issues on the table.

5. The rabid level of obstructionism we’re currently seeing. There are a lot of serious issues that need focus, but this is wasting our resources. We need to work on the actual problems, not beat dead horses. As far as respect, all I will say here is that it’s a two-way street. I’ve started a short-term blog for the purpose of discussing anything the voters, or the candidates, wish to go into in-depth. Please feel free to comment at: I’ve extended an invitation to the other candidates to join in. If anyone would like me to put up a page for discussion, I would be happy to accommodate them. My contact info is in the introduction.

Name: Katie Soles

Town: Fraser

Running for position of: Town trustee

Occupation: Winter Park Ski Patrol Risk Manager

Education: Bachelor of Arts

How many years in Grand County? 39

Original hometown: Portland, Oregon

Family: Husband Dennis, children Will and Elle

Pets: Nollie- another Fraser black dog

1. My friends and neighbors, wonderful views, our Library, our recreation center, the paved streets, Fraser Valley Elementary and the kids that come with it, Safeway, the great trail system, the Fraser River, walking to the town hall, the social aspect of the post office, its colorful and interesting history.

2. I have served on the Fraser Planning Commission for seven years. For 24 years, I have served our community through three nonprofits: Grand Recycles- founding member and executive director, the Colorado Headwaters Land Trust, founding board member, treasurer and president, Grand Huts Association, current treasurer. I have 39 years of cumulative knowledge of our town, excellent listening and communication skills, and sincere love for our community.

3. They are incorporated into the town of Fraser and have responsibility for long-term maintenance of their infrastructure. Fraser acquires their water rights and mitigation ponds. These ponds and the PDD preserve the view corridors to Byers Peak and maintain the traditional water flow zones. That the buildings along County Road 73 have their open space adjacent to the wetlands corridors, and heights are stepped gradually as they approach the center of the meadow.

4. Discussions about consolidation have been very useful, resulting in cost savings with combined services. Bigger is not necessarily better. At this time I think the benefits of having our own government outweigh the costs, however this conversation should continue. Good, open, collaborative communication between Fraser and Winter Park benefits us all.

5. Bringing in new business. We need the jobs, year round visitors, and we need the tax revenue. Solution: Work with the board, planning commission, residents and Business Without Borders to identify potential businesses, identify their stumbling blocks, and find ways to improve their success.

Name: Steve Sumrall

Town: Fraser

Running for position of: Town trustee

Occupation: Builder/broker/property manager

Education: No PhD in sophistry here, but a lifetime of learning by doing

How many years in Grand County? 35

Original hometown: Aurora, Colorado

Family: Yes

Pets: Yes, a long line of faithful companions both dogs and cats have shared my life.

1. The enduring sense of place that is Fraser. Fraser is home.

2. I live here and have bee­–n involved and paid attention to what was going on around me.

3. Byers Peak Properties would be annexed into Fraser with a reasonable unit/density to make it financially viable to extend municipal services by the town.

4. First, read the report that was prepared by the towns more than seven years ago that is on Fraser’s website titled “Joint Working Group, Final Report” and understand the issues involved. They really haven’t changed much. Then have a public discussion of those issues and any others, and put the question to a vote of the people. I’ve been willing to talk about what’s involved and why for seven-plus years.

5. Unfunded mandates that drain the towns resources with little net improvement. I propose reasonable regulations that don’t bankrupt communities.

Name: Cody Clayton Taylor

Town: Fraser

Running for position of: Town trustee

Occupation: Land surveyor

Education: Associates of Applied Sciences in Architectural Drafting

How many years in Grand County? 24

Original hometown: Fraser

Family: Brett Hamilton (fiancé), Pat and Cristie Taylor (parents)

Pets: None

1. What don’t I like about Fraser! I grew up in Fraser and love the small town atmosphere and character. We have such a diverse population and close-knit community. The history, the people, the scenery, the friendships, and the visitors play a role in how I love this unique town.

2. I have lived in Fraser my whole life. I am sixth generation Clayton and my family has played an active role in Fraser government for decades. They taught me growing up what it means to be a responsible resident of Fraser and what it means to care about future generations. As a younger candidate, I have high energy and an enthusiastic optimism of how Fraser should grow and prosper for many years to come.

3. I believe BPP and Fraser should work out an agreement, which would see benefits for the town of Fraser’s residents over the 45-year project. Fraser should benefit through water augmentation and storage increases which would result in firming our water rights and adding to Fraser’s water portfolio. It would also increase our investments in water and sewer services, and protection of the surrounding environment. Annexation would be preferable to ensure responsible future growth and development.

4. No. Fraser would lose its identity in a Winter Park/Fraser merger. Fraser citizens take pride in our community and a merger would not reflect appropriate representation of our core values and beliefs. Fraser has its own history and character, and I want to preserve that for generations to come. I am a sixth generation Fraserite, and I believe our government has served the people with the idea that Fraser will always be just that. Fraser.

5. The most serious issue facing Fraser in the next four years is Fraser’s water and sewer utilities. There cannot be a town without these basic services. As councilman, I will work hard to see some of the issues with infiltration be addressed and ensure our sewer plant runs efficiently and effectively. The water utility needs a dynamic and intensive approach to make sure it will sustain robust growth for many years to come.


1. What do you like about your town?

2. What experience makes you qualified to run for the town board?

3. What if anything should the town do to help preserve the downtown core of Granby?

4. The Granby area has a very complex network of water and sewer services for its residences. As a trustee, what might you propose to make all water and sewer service the best it can be, more affordable and simplified for all Granby-area taxpayers?

5. What do you think is the most serious issue facing Granby in the next four years? What solution(s) do you propose?

Name: Ken Coatney

Town: Granby

Running for position of: Town trustee

Occupation: Supply Chain Manager

Education: B.S. business administration, B.A. German language How many years in Grand County? 16 Original hometown: Grand Junction, Colo.

Family: My wife of 25 years, Colleen, grew up in Granby. She is employed as a contract bookkeeper. We have one daughter, Erin, who is a senior at Middle Park High School. She plans on attending University of Northern Colorado in the fall to study business finance. Pets: Two Bernese Mountain dogs, Marco and Klausi, and one cat named Pitch to rule the roost.

1. Sense of pride and community that we all share. People look after one another and are compassionate.

2. This would potentially be my third term of office as a trustee for the Town of Granby. I have a very strong understanding of the governmental rules and processes that statutory towns must adhere to under the state charter. This includes budgeting, zoning, development and the nuances of supporting the mission of the town to provide quality and affordable core services to the community. I also have a keen understanding of the challenges the town faces in regard to water rights, economic development as well at the multiple General Improvement Districts and Metro Districts that exist in the community.

3. The downtown core of Granby is a primary image to the visitor and traveler through the area. As Trustees, we have set up and need to continue to fund facade improvement and paint grants to help our downtown look fresh and inviting. In addition, the downtown economic development committee needs to continue to be funded. The town has also partnered with the Granby Chamber of Commerce and provided funding to support classes and networking opportunities for businesses in the area to further hone their skills at marketing themselves, managing and marketing their businesses. While local government can’t show preferential support of one business over another, we must pave the way for local businesses to succeed and bloom as well as for new businesses and entrepreneurs to feel they can succeed in this market.

4. The various governmental agencies that provide water, sewer and infrastructure services throughout the wider community do inherently create redundancies in labor, capital expenditures and administrative costs, let alone confusion for the public. There does exist some degree of savings and transparency that could be realized if there were to be consolidations. I feel this is one of the best “low hanging fruit” options that currently exist if the entire community feels committed to the change. This topic has been floated with other boards several times in the last decade but has never gained traction. The recent source water mandates that were issued by the State of Colorado are helping to break down some of those barriers and both of the respective boards and staff members are doing a great job of partnering for a potential long-term solution to that challenge. Other consolidations are possible. It takes time, trust, courage and commitment by all of those boards and the citizens to make this or any other major service modification truly work as fair and equitably as possible for all parties. I would encourage anyone in the community that has the time and opportunity to attend their respective board meetings for the different service entities to learn what opportunities exist. Speak to your elected officials about options and other areas of concern. There are several other key challenges that are in front of these boards that need more citizen input. Educating ourselves via participation in the system we call government is a crucial first step.

5. There are several expensive infrastructure projects that need to be addressed soon. The DeBarrard lift station in the Granby Ranch area needs to be updated or replaced. This is a critical project that will be expensive but needs to be addressed very soon. In addition there are improvements to the North Service area water filtration system that need to be planned for in future budgets and expenditures. As these core assets reach the end of their functional capacity, we set aside funding and also seek state financial support to reduce the operating cost impact to these updates.

Continuing to control costs of development and infrastructure obligations to keep our existing neighborhoods viable and healthy. We have to balance the cost of required services with what we can afford from both a cost and value perspective. If the cost of ownership of property be becomes not competitive in the market place we won’t see new home buyers attracted to the community and existing home values could also be impacted. This takes prudent research and examination of all variables to make sure we are getting as much value as we can to meet the expectations of the community for quality services that we all can afford.

Name: Rebecca (Becky) Johnson

Town: Granby

Running for position of: Town trustee

Occupation: Retired school teacher

Education: BS in Education

How many years in Grand County? Three years

Original hometown: Gillette, Wyo.; grew up in Leadville, Colo.

Family: Spouse Kenton; two children Rusty and Kristi; and six grandchildren

Pets: Dog, Kona

1. What I like best about Granby is the homey atmosphere. It is a warm, friendly and welcoming community. I also like that people go out of their way to remember who you are. We have felt welcome since the day we arrived.

2. The experience I have to offer the town board is that I have served on HOA Boards and a variety of town committees in Gillette and also here in Granby.

3. The town should try to preserve the downtown core of Granby by aiding small businesses to enter town and provide a year-round service or product to the community.

4. The Granby area does have a very complex water and sewer network; therefore, this does create a problem with the North and South water districts. I do not think it is feasible to combine the two and make one district. However, the South District is in need of updating and replacing of the current system to meet state codes. As a town, we need to look at all the options to do this: 1. New water treatment plant 2. Opening of Well No.1 3. Use of Well No. 4 with high chemical elements to feed Granby Ranch snow-making system 4. Use of grants and low interest loans to defer the cost of all the above.

5. I feel the most serious issue facing Granby in the next four years is town development with control on keeping the “Hometown Atmosphere” and the solution for the water/sewer problems of the North and South water districts. Solutions for town development will take planning and the help of outside business developers. The water/sewer problem will take bids, options, and a variety of financial aid to help the citizens of Granby afford the cost of this development.

Name: Charlie LaBrake

Running for position of: Town trustee

How many years in Grand County? 34

Original hometown: Massena, N.Y.

Family: Wife Janet of 31 years

Pets: Two dogs, Abby and August, both of which were adopted from the shelter.

1. What I like about Granby is the friendliness that is still here. I like being able to walk into any business or just down the street and knowing people by their names and them knowing me as well.

2. Like I mentioned in the first paragraph, I have been on the board for the last two years and served once before as well. I am a taxpayer and have the best interest of all taxpayers whenever I have to vote on an issue. I have also been the chairperson for the department of streets and buildings both times I have served on the board. My experience in this department comes from being involved in several of the developments in Grand County from the ground up, meaning I helped build the roads to many of the present developments that we have today.

3. Downtown Granby IS the foundation that it was built on, and it should be preserved. We, as the town board, need to help businesses succeed and prosper in any way possible. Working with the chamber of commerce, the town’s facilitator, and the enhancement committee, I hope we can all come up with truly workable ideas to maintain and improve our downtown area.

4. The town is now at a crossroad where we have to build another water treatment plant for the southern water district. This plant will cost approximately $8 million, which will be funded by the town of Granby and the cost will be passed onto the citizens of the South Service Water District. These fees were unfortunately inevitable and need to be divided among the recipients, including Ski Granby Ranch. If water goes through the filtration system of the proposed new plant, then all the people need to pay the same amount, including the ski area for its snow-making equipment. To be fair to the ski area, if there is a way to use unfiltered water for their snow-making equipment, the rate shall be adjusted.

5. Right now the most serious issue is the new water treatment plant. We need to address all avenues to get the most for the taxpayers’ money. Another issue that needs to be dealt with is the development of the undeveloped lots at Grand Elk and the person who purchased them, allowing that person to proceed with it. Two more issues are the walkway over the railroad tracks and Raffety Park. Funds are needed to finish these two projects as well. We are also facing a rebuild of the road on Christiansen Avenue. In closing, I would appreciate your support in being re-elected as a trustee on the Granby Town Board. I would really like to see all of these issues facing all of us dealt with and finished.

Name: Paul Robertson

Town: Granby

Running for position of: Town trustee

Occupation: Small Business Consultant

Education: BS – biology and chemistry, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minn.

How many years in Grand County? 4 years

Original hometown: Indianapolis, Ind.

Family: Wife Gretchen and daughter Alex

Pets: Lab/Beagle Mix, Haley

1. Granby’s location provides nearly unlimited recreational opportunities. It’s only minutes to World Class skiing, hiking, fishing and camping but out of the hustle and bustle of the main tourist towns nearby. Its size lets us get to know one another and directly affect our quality of life. We can depend upon our neighbors.

2. I’ve run my own business for 15 years, having moved it from Indianapolis to Granby. While in Indianapolis, I ran a CEO Roundtable, it was like a small Chamber of Commerce, and our only focus was helping each other grow our businesses. Though relatively new to Granby and Grand County, I got directly involved and quickly sank deep roots. I’ve served local community groups, joined Grand County Search and Rescue, and serve on its board. I recently placed an article featuring the Granby Chamber of Commerce in over 200 national media outlets, and just completed an online business and restaurant guide.

3. Our planning and growth should fit directly with Granby’s current “hometown” feel and flavor. Gambles is a perfect example of this. It’s a modern in-fill building, providing VERY needed products and supplies for our residents, but they took the time to have it fit in visually. I also believe that we should do all we can to make Granby a “strolling” Main Street, similar to Grand Lake. Anything we can do to make it easy to park once and then visit and shop would enhance Main Street. Each business can build traffic for one another.

4. I think that we need to evaluate the impact of snow-making on ANY proposed solution to the recent state mandated water treatment requirements. As it now stands, the solution proposed accommodates very expensive peak capacity requirements that are present for only three months of the year. The Water Board needs to increase its due diligence by soliciting an evaluation of the original engineering plan and, then, soliciting a second bid for any construction of a treatment facility. We should look a little further ahead, strategically, as well. The State mandate for the South District could just as easily be applied to the North District in the future. This is an issue for the whole town, North and South.

5. I think that we need to look ahead strategically, as the economy recovers. We need to balance growth and building with the flavor of Granby that we all love. The needs of our community were recently demonstrated in the Library Board and School Technology issues that came before our voters. We do need increasing revenues to support our community, but with a close eye on efficiency and transparency. Increasing revenues to build the kind of community we want can’t be ignored if we wish Granby to remain the high quality community that it is. Increasing revenues requires growth in both population and our local businesses and these, in turn, require ever-increasing services. Our most important task is to become more strategic, with forward-looking planning. We need to look for proactive ways to serve our community, and be less reactive to problems and issues that are facing us.

Name: Deborah Shaw

Running for position of: Town trustee

Occupation: Chiropractor / Acupuncturist

Education: San Bernardino Valley College AA Degree, Palmer College of Chiropractic DC Degree

How many years in Grand County? 33 years

Original hometown: Boulder, CO

Family: Married to Dr. Jeff Shaw, 35 years. Sons Steven, 32 years old, and Daniel, 30 years old.

Pets: 2 cats, 4 dogs (3 are rescue labs)

1. I like that Granby is a mountain town with small-town values, a sense of community and people helping each other. It is a safe place. Granby was a great place to raise sons.

2. I was a town trustee for 10 years. I was a planning commissioner and was on the board of zoning and adjustments. I have an understanding of the development history of Granby. I care about this town and what is good for Granby and its citizens.

3. The town can support the downtown core businesses with signage that lets visitors know we have a historic downtown Granby. The town supports the Granby Chamber with a yearly donation. We budget for flowers and hanging baskets. We also support the Grand Enterprise Initiative with a yearly monetary donation.

4. First of all, north of the Fraser River is the Town of Granby North Service Area water system and Granby Sanitation which are two different entities. South of the river is the South Service, which is water and Granby Sanitation. Also involved is the SilverCreek Sanitation District. All these entities are a very complicated situation. The mayor and town manager are working towards a way to bring all the entities together and remedy the entire situation.

5. I think running Granby with a minimum staff and keeping the town of Granby finances fiscally sound will be a challenge.

Name: Robin A. Trainor

Town: Granby

Running for position of: Town trustee

Occupation: Grand County EMS - administration

Education: Buena Vista High School, Abilene Christian University, Mesa State University

How many years in Grand County? 23 years in May

Original hometown: Buena Vista, Colo.

Family: Glen- married 30 years in August, Jordan- 27, currently residing in Broadbeach, Australia, Aaron-22, police officer in Frisco Colo.

Pets: Daisy-10, Pekingese, Cooper-2, Yellow lab

1. I love the community, the small town, family feel. Knowing a little bit about everyone, knowing when you go to the grocery store it will take you an extra hour because people care about what is going on in your life and want to share what is happening in theirs. I like knowing if there is a need, people will step up and do anything in their power to fill that need.

2. I served previously for six years and have served on the board of adjustments since 2009. I believe the leadership skills I have acquired both personally and professionally have equipped me to listen, ask the hard questions and make a decision based on what is best for our entire community.

3. I would love to see every building filled with successful businesses; I’m not convinced it is the town’s responsibility to fill them. We can encourage, guide and even offer financial incentives, but the bottom line is, what do the people of Granby want? Are we content being a “residential” town or do we become a destination for business? Aesthetically, have a definitive vision, know what downtown will look like and not vary from the vision.

4. It is unrealistic to expect to have superior service, simplicity and low fees simultaneously with the current system(s). We must identify the immediate issues, develop a reasonable strategy and methodically improve the processes and infrastructure that we have in place. Unless someone gifts the town a huge amount of money, we must work within the confines we have.

5. Local healthcare: the multi-million dollar facility is in trouble. The community should require transparency and accountability from those making the decisions about health care in our community. We will most likely be asked to be financially responsible for the actions that have surfaced from those decisions. The Kremmling community is watching their services disappear, and I ask if we are willing to pay for the same experience.

Grand Lake

1. What do you like about your town?

2. What experience makes you qualified to run for the town board?

3. What key elements from the recent Grand Lake Downtown Assessment do you think town government should address?

4. What can you do as a trustee to help Grand Lake: A. Get its elementary school open again. B. Bring its library back to full hours?

5. What do you think is the most serious issue facing Grand Lake in the next four years? What solution(s) do you propose?

Name: Jeanie Baird

Town: Grand Lake

Running for position of: Town trustee

Occupation: Customer relationships specialist

Education: Hotel and resort management

How many years in Grand County? 14

Original hometown: Aztec, N.M.

Family: Adam husband, Oden son, 7, Ashlynn daughter, 5

Pets: Dogs Piston and Achilles

1. The element of “extended family” is probably the single most feeling that comes to mind. Then there is the beauty, convenience of walking for anything I need, and knowledge that if I need ANYTHING, someone will help me to make it happen. The celebration of seasons in the work environment. Meeting tourists and getting to know many of them personally as they return, building friendships and the knowledge they are the sole reason for my income, and I enjoy that.

2. My experience comes from years of working with the public and being involved in decisions, laws, rules and regulations the town makes that impacts my livelihood as well as that of my coworkers, family and customers. My husband and I are raising two children in a village that has recently lost its elementary school, and had its library hours and programs cut significantly. Being involved allows me to be informed and also accountable in some respects for the future of their education as well as their peers.

3. Bridging “the gap” between the town and the Grand Lake community and business community is probably the number one item I would like to see resolved. I would like expanded social media to enhance the town’s platform for informing locals and new homeowners of what is being done to help our town move forward, how they can help, when meetings are being held and what is on the agenda. It is currently being shared via email or on their website. I would like to see it used in a forum that people use daily.

Having a year-round economy is important to all of us here. I see a great effort being made by our chamber and businesses to market Grand Lake’s winter and shoulder seasons. Additionally we have a great community of volunteers who come together creating new events bringing tourists and business in during the winter months.

4. My personality is almost always positive and upbeat. I see myself also being a great mediator, making sure to understand the facts and being able to express them to others in a way that is understandable and identifiable. While everyone will never always agree on everything, most of the time people really need to just “understand” the issues and the “whys” of how we have reached a point. While at this time I can honestly say I don’t know the “facts” of why we no longer have our elementary school or why our library hours have been cut, I do know that once I acquire the information I will make every effort to bring both of these very important resources back into our community on a full-time basis.

5. Boosting our economy on a year-round basis. Bringing no cost or low cost seminars for locals and their business employers to learn how to better help themselves. Creating a new platform encouraging new businesses to come into our community with ideas, jobs, and new things to do.

Name: Lisa Jenkins

Town: Grand Lake

Running for position of: Town trustee

Occupation: General manager – The Gateway Inn

Education: BSBA - Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

How many years in Grand County? 13 years

Original hometown: Colorado Native. Born in Boulder, Colo., and graduated high school in Erie, Colo. I consider both my hometowns.

Family: Daughter Lauren Reed is a 23-year-old college student living in Fort Collins with her husband James. She has lived and worked in Grand Lake more than half of her life. Daughter Lindsey Wilson is a 22 year-old working as a marketing consultant in Columbus, Ohio, after attending college on a golf scholarship at the University of Illinois and interning for a minor league baseball team in Arizona while continuing her education.

Pets: None ☹

1. There are so many things I LOVE about Grand Lake: The beauty of the landscape, the quaint look of the boardwalk and downtown, the lake itself, Rocky Mountnain National Park at my back door, the quiet and the busy seasons, wildlife all around town, and mostly the people. Grand Lakers are the most fun, giving, and loving people I have ever known.

2. My education, military background, 20-plus years of business management, previous nonprofit board positions, and my knowledge and history of the town are what makes me qualified to run for town board. I have attended many town meetings over the past three years and read most meeting agendas and minutes for the meetings that I have not attended. I know what issues the current board of trustees has been working on and the work that continues.

3. Developing policies to encourage investment. Zoning regulations and sign code need to be reviewed along with improving directional signage, parking, boardwalk development, dedicating lots for future affordable housing development, and supporting efforts to explore the viability of transit options with neighboring communities. The town needs to continue to preserve water quality, maintain public open space, and keep homeowners and future homeowners in mind to create a thriving downtown and a great place to live.

4. It will take a huge investment from the community to bring a school back to Grand Lake and as a trustee, I will do all I can to support any efforts brought before the board. I will do whatever I can to meet the requests of the Library District when they present them to the board just as the trustees met the requirements from the School District. With a better outcome, I hope.

5. Retention. Business retention, job retention, and resident retention. The town took a first step with the Downtown Assessment and National Park Livability Study. Opportunities to make Grand Lake a better place to live and work were presented. Some suggestions have been implemented and others have not. I believe that if the town and the community can come together to implement those suggested opportunities that retention will be obtained, followed by development and growth for all businesses, residents, and home/landowners.

Name: Lance Sabo

Town: Grand Lake

Running for position of: Town trustee

Occupation: Retired businessman

Education: College, medical technician, microbiologist

How many years in Grand County? Two years this time, but have previously lived in Grand Lake and owned and operated a restaurant from 2000 – 2004, and spent many summers in Grand Lake previously.

Original hometown: Lakin, Kan.

Family: Wife Cindy, married 44 years, two sons, six grand children and one great-grandson

Pets: One cat, Winston

1. The size and population, friendliness of the local citizens and the town’s potential and the location.

2. I have spent my adult life in building businesses; marketing and teaching successful business practices helping others build and develop successful businesses of their own. Being able to work with others, look at the goals set before us and plan a strategy to reach those goals is something I have done many times. Being able to look at a larger picture and find a way to reach short-term goals and yet keeping in mind the long-term goals of the community.

3. The businesses in Grand Lake have an additional struggle because of the vast differences in their sales between the summer and winter months. The Downtown Assessment spelled out the need for business owners to form a business owners group and meet occasionally and outline specific items they believe will improve their year-round profitability. The town can then assist in finding ways to work with the business owners’ ideas for a better in-town economy and year-round profits.

4. As a trustee, the only thing I can do is continue to relate to the board members of both the school and library that Grand Lake deserves their services. It’s important as a small community that the children have the same educational and intellectual benefits as larger communities. It is necessary for the children of Grand Lake to have an open library when they are out of school.

5. Maintaining and improving the infrastructure of a community, such as its water system, street maintenance, snow removal and the hundreds of other things a town needs to function is always serious. These items go on and on and the cost involved becomes staggering. To achieve the goals set for this community it needs to build a larger and younger population and to do so means developing businesses and year-round tourist interest in our community.

Name: Edward Underwood

Town: Grand Lake

Running for position of: Town trustee

Occupation: Mason/tile setter

Education: Middle Park High School, School of Hard Knocks, University of Life

How many years in Grand County? 50

Original hometown: Born in Kremmling, Grew up in Granby

Family: Single

Pets: None, at the moment

1. It is a small town full of friendly, helpful, and eccentric people.

2. I have been both a follower and a leader in the U.S. Army and as a mason. I am a great listener and am willing to follow up on ideas from anyone. I try to think outside the box for solutions to problems.

3. While there are many things in the Downtown Assessment that need to be addressed, the most important one is getting the various organizations and groups in the area to communicate and work together better.

4. Work on making Grand Lake an easier and more attractive place for younger families to move to and open businesses. This should help, but also need to work with both the school district and the library district to ensure the needs of the community are being met.

5. Retaining and attracting businesses is a high priority for Grand Lake. I would like to see the town change some of it’s regulations that make it hard for a new business to come to Grand Lake.

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The Sky-Hi News Updated Mar 28, 2014 12:00PM Published Mar 28, 2014 10:25PM Copyright 2014 The Sky-Hi News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.