Four vie for three Carbondale trustee seats
Three incumbents and one challenger are running for three open trustee seats on the Carbondale Board of Trustees in the April 4 municipal election.Trustees John Foulkrod and Stacey Patch Bernot seek to retain their trustee seats after being elected to two-year terms in the 2004 election, while Trustee Scott Chaplin is seeking a second four-year term.Challenging for one of the seats is Carbondale businessman and columnist for The Valley Journal newspaper Barry Maggert, who ran for the Town Council twice unsuccessfully in 2002 and 2004.Name: Stacey Patch BernotAge: 28Occupation: homemaker, full-time college student, and I help my husband run Grounds and Gardens, a landscape companyFamily: husband, Mike Bernot; son Hayden, 7; and daughter Kendall, 5How long lived in Carbondale? Born at Valley View Hospital, raised in Carbondale, moved to the Front Range for college, and returned to raise my family in Carbondale.Why are you running for trustee? I am passionate about Carbondale, I want to help shape Carbondale’s future, and the best way to make a difference is to participate. I feel that I have a unique perspective that needs to be represented on the board.Previous experience: Currently a trustee; Carbondale Chamber of Commerce Board, Parks and Recreation Commission and Vale Board, all as a trustee liaison.If elected, what are your goals for the town?• Plan for the future to ensure the town is on sure financial footing. We need to be open to all information and facts in order to make sound policy for the town.• Highway 133 is a problem for traffic, pedestrians and businesses. We are on the state’s list for funding, but the date to receive funding is uncertain. We need to be more proactive.• See to it that Carbondale’s infrastructure is maintained and provide resources to see that projects are funded accordingly.• Complete the recreation center, get moving on the Gateway River Park, and all of our other recreation projects as outlined in our five-year master plan that are funded through an existing 1/4-cent sales tax.• Carbondale has many goals from affordable/attainable housing, safer pedestrian routes, adequately paid staff, quality services, and fostering cultural activities that make Carbondale what it is. These goals and many more are very important, but we as a board need to make sure that we have adequate funding in order for them to be accomplished.Any changes you’d like to see? I would like to see the Board of Trustees strive for transparent, healthy discussion that is open to everyone. We as leaders of this community need to be respectful of all opinions, ideas and goals. If we can work together on this we will create better policy that will serve all of Carbondale.Biggest issue you see facing the town right now? With declining fund balances, dipping into reserves and unsure how to finance the future wants, needs and service levels I believe creating our financial goals and strategy are imperative. We have started on this process, but until we make decisions on exactly what projects need to be funded and how, what service levels we are comfortable with, and what truly is the definition of maintaining our infrastructure, we can’t move forward.Do you feel you have the time to commit to the board, i.e., meetings, special meetings? Over the last two years I have spent countless hours in board meetings, committee meetings and informal grocery store chats about my duty as an elected official. What qualities do you feel you will bring as an elected official? I feel that I offer an array of viewpoints:• I am a fifth-generation Carbondale native, and I am fortunate to have that historical base to draw from in shaping the future.• I am a mother raising my children in a community where the quality of life outweighs the cost of living, but, by the same token, understand how difficult it is to continue to live here.• I am a business owner, and I understand the struggles of making a service business work in this competitive area.Favorite pizza topping? Mushroom Hobbies? I enjoy anything outdoors – camping, fishing, gardening, coaching soccer, hiking, and every activity my children participate in. Favorite TV show/movie/book/author? TV: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Book: “Oh the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss. Author: James Patterson
Name: Scott ChaplinAge: 44Occupation: project manager for the Center for Sustainable Technology, a green office park to be located in Carbondale and scheduled for completion in 2008 and providing a new home for Solar Energy International and a dozen similar organizations in state-of-the art solar “green” buildings.How long lived in Carbondale? 12 yearsWhy are you running for trustee? I love this town and would be honored to continue being part of a team that helps sculpt our community’s future.Previous experience: I have worked for, and with, local and state government agencies on and off or the past 20 years, including creating an Energy Efficiency Financing Project for the city of Ann Arbor, Mich., and recycling plans for Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County. I came to the valley to work at Rocky Mountain Institute as a senior research associate, where I focused on water issues for seven years. I have held several positions on Carbondale boards including the Carbondale Planning and Zoning Commission and as chair of the Carbondale Environmental Board. Currently co-chair of the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority. I occasionally volunteer for various local organizations including KDNK, Thunder River Theatre Co., Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute, CCAH and the Carbondale Mountain Fair.If elected, what are your goals for the town?• Economic development based primarily on strong support for existing businesses (especially retail businesses that meet the needs of local workers and those involved with renewable energy technology, education, and high-technology); and recruitment of new businesses that complement our current mix.• Smart Growth – growth rates above 2 percent or 3 percent are harmful to the fabric of our community. I am committed to keeping the quality of life for existing residents a top priority.• Recreational and cultural activities supported by the town and local foundations.• Affordable housing for renters and homeowners that does not require ongoing subsidies.• More trails and traffic mitigation. • Highway 133 safety, flow and beautification improvements.• Recycling, energy efficiency and solar projects for town-owned buildings and parks.• Fiscally conservative planning and revenue diversification for the town.• Improved understanding and communication between Latinos and non-Latinos; and a celebration of all the diversity of our community.• Increased regional cooperation and planning, especially with Re-1 and Glenwood Springs.Any changes you’d like to see? More candidates in the next trustee election. More expediency in moving forward on projects that benefit the community.Biggest issue you see facing the town right now? Streamlining the development process so projects that are appropriate for our community can move forward in a smooth and timely manner. Most people in the community have already moved beyond the so-called “big-box” debate. The Board of Trustees needs to do the same. A Super Wal-Mart-sized project would be horrible for a town our size, adding more than 10,000 cars per day to Highway 133 and causing many locally-owned stores to go out of business. Large retailers such as Home Depot, Costco and others have been building attractive stores well under 60,000 square feet for years, and they are capable of doing the same in Carbondale. I am committed to helping new retail projects come to town if the projects will have an overall positive impact on our community. I’m very optimistic that we are going to be getting a proposal for a retail project that is suitably sized, architecturally beautiful, pedestrian-friendly, environmentally-friendly and financially-beneficial to the Town.Do you feel you have the time to commit to the board, i.e., meetings, special meetings? YesWhat qualities do you feel you will bring as an elected official? Experience working on issues involving both large and small communities, moderate views, open-mindedness, approachability and a strong sense of professionalism.Favorite pizza topping? Organic summer sausage, easy on the cheese; no bologna.Hobbies? Playing guitar in a bluegrass band, contra dancing, camping, biking, going to meetings.Favorite TV show/movie/book/author? I don’t watch TV. Book: “Don’t Think of an Elephant” by linguist George Lakoff
Name: John F. FoulkrodAge: 58Occupation: contractor; managing partner C’dale LLCFamily: wife, Georgia Chamberlain, married 31 years; daughters: Olivia Chamberlain Foulkrod, 28, bilingual teacher in Boulder School system, graduate of CU, CRMS and Carbondale Elementary school, and Catherine Chamberlain Foulkrod, 22, graduate of Brown University, Roaring Fork High School and Carbondale Elementary.How long lived in Carbondale? 30 yearsWhy are you running for trustee? Because Carbondale is my home, and I care deeply for the town, its people and its future.Previous experience: Trustee from 1982-1992; Garfield County P&Z; member Carbondale Education Foundation; member Carbondale Home Rule Committee; director, Carbondale Invitational Golf TournamentIf elected, what are your goals for the town? My number one goal is to get Carbondale’s spending in line with its revenues, and build up Carbondale’s reserves to a level that will allow capital improvements, maintenance, and services in line with what Carbondale citizens expect and deserve. The salaries and benefits that our town employees receive are below the levels of other towns in the area. In order to bring the salaries to a level competitive with other area municipalities, the town’s revenue picture must be improved. I do not believe this should be accomplished by raising taxes, but by expanding the commercial sector of the town.Do you feel you have the time to commit to the board, i.e., meetings, special meetings? I am self employed, and my wife and I are empty nesters, so I have the time to devote to the position.What qualities do you feel you will bring as an elected official? I am a person who is not afraid to ask hard questions, and will listen to others of different opinions. I feel good ideas evolve through thoughtful discussion. I am comfortable with numbers, and feel the budgeting process is a crucial part of the job. Unfortunately, the board has fallen into the habit of spending money outside the process.Favorite pizza topping: SausageHobbies? Pheasant and elk hunting, golf, and spinningFavorite TV show/movie/book/author? TV show: West Wing; movie: “Syriana”; book: mysteries; author: Tom Wolfe
Name: Barry MaggertAge: 44Occupation: owner of structural engineering firmFamily: wife, Renee Maggert, married 24 years; three boys, Bryant, 21, studying film at CU-Boulder (Film), Lee, 21, studying architectural engineering at CU-Boulder, and Taylor, 19, studying civil engineering/construction management at CSU Fort CollinsHow long lived in Carbondale? 20 YearsWhy are you running for trustee? Because I don’t feel my interests, the citizens’ interests or the property owners of Carbondale are being well represented. I’ve watched the Town Mother candidates railroad their vision of unreality down our throats. I’ve watched them give away money like it’s not theirs, which, guess what, it’s not. It’s ours. I’ve watched them manipulate the Economic Roadmap Group to their illusions, at the expense of the citizens’ desires. Their illusions are heading to one inevitable conclusion, higher taxes for the citizens of Carbondale.I think the town government should get back to the basics of running the town services – roads, parks and police. Citizens’ money should be spent the way we want it spent, not spent the way the Town Mothers want to socially engineer us.My opponent wants to raise property taxes and give them to nonprofits. Nonprofits do wonderful things for society, but I think the citizens of Carbondale should be able to choose which nonprofit their money goes to, and at a time they are able to send it. I believe support for nonprofits should come from the individual not from the government. I believe in lower taxes so that the individual can support the organizations they choose to support not the organizations that the government forces us to support through taxes.My opponent wants to help out the endangered species around the world, but he doesn’t see that, here in Carbondale, the endangered species is the working class family.It’s time we look at a balance between the millions of dollars they propose in new town expenditures, and balance that with the four to five million dollar town budget.It’s time we look at nurturing businesses that can add to the town income without raising the cost to working families. It’s time for good, open discussions between the trustees, not closed minds, to an economically smothering point of view.Previous experience: No previous political experience; 18 years running my own business.If elected, what are your goals for the town? My goal is to get our fiscal priorities straight. We need to look closely at the Economic Roadmap Report and cull the good ideas we have the money to take on and weed out the Santa’s dream list and social engineering projects. There is plenty that can be accomplished through economic development as opposed to raising taxes on our citizens.Any changes you’d like to see? Carbondale is second to last (Colorado cities over 3,000) in town revenue per capita, but we have the largest sales tax rate in the valley. By encouraging commercial development in currently zoned locations, we can increase town revenue without raising any taxes.As a Libertarian, I’d like to use that opportunity to lower taxes on our citizens. A new commercial village on 133 with an anchor tenant, and the large increase of town revenue shifted from Glenwood to Carbondale, gives us the opportunity for reduction in taxes starting with where they don’t belong. I’d like to see removal of the regressive sales tax on food, which affects the poor the most. This has been done recently in other Colorado cities and we can create the opportunity here.Biggest issue you see facing the town right now? The Economic Roadmap for Carbondale needs to not be a roadblock to our future economy – both to our existing businesses and future ones. Let’s give our citizens the income they need to help out their fellow man, and not exacerbate the situation where only government is seen as the way to help people.Do you feel you have the time to commit to the board, i.e., meetings, special meetings? Yes. And since I’d like to see the town government get back to the basics and less time with the Christmas list of things we don’t have the money for, I’d like to reduce the number of meetings from every Tuesday to every other Tuesday. Efficiency starts at home.What qualities do you feel you will bring as an elected official? I have run my own business for 18 years. I understand how to meet budgets, manage people and manage money. As a private business, I’m geared toward working within my means. My opponent only understands how to take money from people when he wants more.Favorite pizza topping? PepperoniHobbies? Golf, snowboarding, swimming, hiking national parks.Favorite TV show: Battlestar Galactica (the new one), Two and Half Men, Lost; movie: Shawshank Redemption, Fargo; book: Atlas Shrugged, State of Fear; author: Ayn Rand, Michael Crichton
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Images of mud and debris slides on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon near Bair Ranch (MM129) taken on Wednesday, Aug 4.