Trustee races, recalls on Parachute ballot — part 2 |

Trustee races, recalls on Parachute ballot — part 2

Tim Olk
Staff Photo |


Day one story.

Editors note: Due to the number of candidates, the Post Independent split Parachute’s races into two days. Today is day two, featuring the candidates in the citizen-initiated recall efforts. Names appear in alphabetical order.

Trustee recall

Tim Olk

Age: None provided.

How long have you lived in Parachute?

I moved to the Western Slope in 2005 from the Front Range (Firestone area) for a job that I’m still at and love. In 2008 my family and I moved to Parachute for the small-town feel. I was raised in a small town and wanted my kids to have the same type of experience. My oldest graduated from Grand Valley in 2014 and is currently a sophomore in college studying nursing. My two other children are currently at Grand Valley (junior and sophomore).

What do you do for a living?

I have worked in the same industry for 18 years now and love what I do. I have worked at Casey Concrete for 11 years now.

Are you involved in any groups or community activities?

I decided to run for the Board of Trustees in 2014 to try and help Parachute grow and become a much more desirable place to attract more people. I have also been on the planning and zoning commission for about seven months.

Please explain why you believe the people of Parachute should vote for you, and include any specific issues you hope to address.

I would love to see a place where someone can live and work in the same area as they do upvalley. The only way we can achieve this is to keep the town moving forward and bring in businesses that hire local people. I personally feel that the current, sitting board has done a pretty good job doing so as there have been 40-60 jobs created since I have been on the board.

Some of my interests include hiking fourteeners, riding four wheelers, running obstacle races, watching movies, and above all spending time with my family. My favorite movies are “Back to the Future,” “Lord of the Rings” and “Star Trek.”

Tom Rugaard

Age: I am 45 years of age.

How long have you lived in Parachute?

I have lived in Parachute since 2003. I was born and raised in Audubon, Iowa, on my parents’ farm. I moved to Colorado in 1993 to Fort Collins and to Fruita in 1997.

What do you do for a living?

I work as an HVAC estimator for Mountain Air Mechanical in Rifle, Colorado.

Are you involved in any groups or community activities?

I am a member of Faith Journey Church (Formerly Faith Baptist) on Railroad Avenue here in Parachute. I have also been involved with the pee-wee wrestling program for about 11 years and the pee-wee football here in Parachute for the past eight years. I also have helped the parks and rec with youth baseball on occasion. I have three boys, and they have kept me busy over the years.

Please explain why you believe the people of Parachute should vote for you, and include any specific issues you hope to address.

Well, in my case I am not up for election. I am being recalled over a single issue that has a part of the town upset. Unfortunately on any town board there is going to be disagreements from its community members.

I stand by what I have done 100 percent. Parachute has seen a drop in sales tax revenue from about $1.5 million to a little over $800,000. With this loss in revenue, jobs and the threat of property values put the town in a position where we could not afford to provide services like police, water and sewer, other town staff, as well as seeing property values going down to where our schools and fire protection would be largely affected as well.

So we as a town board had an open workshop to discuss the marijuana industry that wanted to come to town (which the marijuana industry is legal in Colorado and Parachute, whether we have a retail store or a grow facility or not).

Since oil and gas was moving out, we listened. I for one changed my mind on where I stood. A large part of this change was due to the fact on how highly or heavily the marijuana industry is regulated. Every employee is background checked, every seed is accounted for, it goes through rigorous testing to ensure good products, which I now believe is a better alternative to what people would find with the old street or illegal product.

I like the fact that a government-regulated industry will create jobs and increase property values, as well generate sales tax, and that this is a much better alternative than the old way of drug cartels and criminals running the industry.

I would like to end with that I stand for business, I stand for local jobs. I don’t believe I can tell you what your moral compass should be. I believe I have the best interest of Parachute on my mind when serving on the board. Also, the marijuana industry in not the save-all-save-all that some may think we believe, but I do believe it could bridge the gap from an economy here in Parachute that is not solely dependent on the oil and gas industry. I would appreciate a vote (no) on the recall election.

Lonnie Stanley

Age: I am 62 years old. Married to my wife, Debbie, for 42 years, with one daughter and son-in-law with two grandchildren.

How long have you lived in Parachute?

We moved to Battlement Mesa in October of 1989. We bought our home in Parachute in June 2003 and have resided there till the present.

What do you do for a living?

I am an IC electrician by trade. I am a retired volunteer firefighter with the Grand Valley Fire Protection District.

Are you involved in any groups or community activities?

I served on the fire district’s pension board and board of directors. Still serve with the district’s auxiliary. Have served on the town of Parachute’s planning and zoning board. Started “The Cinderella Project” for less fortunate ladies who need an outfit for a special night.

Please explain why you believe the people of Parachute should vote for you, and include any specific issues you hope to address.

I want to protect the citizens’ voice, rights and property. Help the town grow responsibly with good, long-term jobs and companies. Look to the future and not just for a quick fix to the same things that have happened before when the busts hit.

Things for the residents and tourists will be attracted to and come back for. We need council members who will listen to the citizens and, no matter personal feelings, vote for the best for the town and its citizens.

To protect all legally platted town property and right-of-ways open to all the people and not for anyone to fence and farm. Unlimited marijuana dispensaries, grows, etc, is not right for this town or its citizens’ sentiment. Mainly to right wrongs, be the citizens’ voice and to bring the citizens’ faith and trust back to our town government.

Mayoral recall

Judith Hayward

Age: I am 74 years young.

How long have you lived in Parachute?

I have lived in Parachute since 1984. I was born and raised my family (two sons – Dan and Scott) in Madison, Wisconsin. I have six grandchildren.

What do you do for a living?

When I moved to Colorado I worked as the Western Slope director of the American Heart Association for 18 years. Prior to that I worked all over the United States as an economic development fund raiser and organizer, and was staff to the first Mesa County Economic Development Campaign in 1983. I met and married Lee Hayward upon moving to Parachute. He passed away in 1998. I am retired and am a full-time worker for my community that I love.

Are you involved in any groups or community activities?

My involvement in our community includes:

1985-2003: Elected trustee to Colorado Mountain College Board

2003-11: Member of the Colorado Mountain College Foundation

1995-present: Member of Colorado Mountain College Advisory Council

2000-present. Organized and president of Grand Valley Historical Society

2003-12: Trustee and mayor pro tem of the Parachute Town Council

1985-present: Member of Parachute/Battlement Chamber of Commerce

1985-present. Member and board member of Grand Valley Park Association

1995-2000; Founding member of Grand Valley Education Foundation

2008-2013: Represented town on Rifle Regional Economic Development Committee

2008-2013: Represented Parachute on Garfield County Clean Energy

2010-present: Member of NW Colorado Cultural Heritage Tourism Committee

2014-present: Member of Grand Valley Economic Development Committee

2015-present: Member of Garfield County Economic Development Partners

2010-present: Member of 4 Rivers Historical Alliance

Please explain why you believe the people of Parachute should vote for you, and include any specific issues you hope to address.

I will be an active mayor of Parachute and will represent Parachute throughout the county and state of Colorado. I will and have listened to Parachute businesses and citizens. Working with our chamber of commerce and helping our information center to promote our business will be a priority.

Cultural heritage tourism ideas will help fill some of our hotel rooms, help our restaurants and other shops. Partnering has been the main way I have accomplished the successes of the historical society.

Working with all our businesses, school district, fire district, Battlement Mesa (Service District and Metro District), Grand Valley Historical Society, other nonprofits, chamber of commerce, to name some, will be my main priority to work on accomplishments for the town.

As a member of the Grand Valley Park Association, the building of the event center on the donated property south of Solvay Company, will be something I will actively pursue for the association and for the town’s behalf.

I am a very involved community person and know how to get things done, and I love this town. Diversification is an absolute for Parachute so we are not devastated when one element moves out.

Roy McClung

Age: 45

How long have you lived in Parachute?

Aside from a few years where I was attending college, I have lived in Parachute my entire life. My great-grandparents homesteaded on Parachute Creek in the late 1800s and I am the third generation to graduate from Grand Valley High School. My sister and her family also live here. This is truly our home.

What do you do for a living?

I am the packaging supervisor for Natural Soda in the Piceance Basin. I have previously worked for American Soda (Solvay Chemicals) as well as most of the oil shale facilities in the area.

Are you involved in any groups or community activities?

I am presently the mayor of the town of Parachute, as well as serving on the Parachute Planning and Zoning Commission. I have served the town in some capacity for nearly 15 years. I also serve as the president of the Grand Valley Educational Foundation, was a past executive board member for the Colorado Municipal League, served as the vice president of the Grand Valley Parks Association, member of the GarCo School District 16 steering committee, and I volunteer through my local church.

Please explain why you believe the people of Parachute should vote for you, and include any specific issues you hope to address.

I have lived in Parachute my entire life and have seen the ups and downs of the energy economy. I have worked to help bring new jobs, stability and a diversified economy to the town. We continue to face economic challenges locally and it will take a diversified effort, looking at all possibilities, to continue making Parachute a “Safe Place to Land.”

My experience and relationships with town staff, state and county legislators, as well as various state agencies, allow me to keep the town of Parachute in the mix for grants and other considerations.

I look forward to continuing my efforts to make Parachute a place with a thriving economy, where people can find jobs and raise a family, where tourists want to stop and visit, where there are opportunities for everyone to find something they enjoy.

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