Meet Brent Buss and Theresa Hamilton, candidates for Rifle City Council | PostIndependent.com

Meet Brent Buss and Theresa Hamilton, candidates for Rifle City Council

This the last of three days of questions and Answers with the candidates for Rifle City Council.

Ballots were mailed out last month for the Sept. 12 election.

Today, see answers to questions from two of the six candidates, Brent Buss and Theresa Hamilton. On Monday, Helen Artist-Rogers and Joe Carpenter provided answers. Wednesday Q&As featured Sean Strode and Barbara Clifton.

The candidates seek to replace Mayor Randy Winkler, who is term limited, and Dana Wood, who decided not to seek re-election. Mayor Pro-tem Clifton’s seat is up after four years and Hamilton’s seat is up after just two years.

The top four vote-getters win seats.

Brent buss

How long have you lived in Rifle and what made you want to run for City Council?

Brent has been a resident of Rifle for 23 years with his wife, Tamara, and three children Silas, Luke and Morgan. He is originally from Illinois, served in the U.S. Navy, and enjoys baseball and outdoor activities. Drawing from his 13-year experience in retail grocery management, Brent started his own business and now owns/operates Thrifty Thrills Thrift Store in Rifle and Glenwood Springs. In addition to providing a place to donate and purchase gently used items, Thrifty Thrills has donated over $100,000 to local and national charities since the business opened six years ago. Brent has been on the Garfield County Energy Advisory Board for seven years, and he has served as chairman. He and his wife have been involved in the local business community through the Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce and they enjoy attending community events.

In what areas would you like to see Rifle improve? What will you focus on if elected?

As a candidate, his greatest focus is in supporting existing businesses and in seeking opportunities for local economic development within Rifle. As a small business owner, he understands the challenges that come with starting, growing and maintaining a business operation; his efforts will zero in finding ways to build steady economic growth rather than accepting the boom-bust cycle which has been a pattern in the area.

At the candidate forum, each of you said that you would support the bond initiative involving the construction of a new E. Dene Moore Care Center as well as support the construction of a new pool. Why do you think it is important for Rifle to invest in projects like these?

Brent is a supporter of the E. Dene Moore Care Center primarily because of the health services it provides to the community as well as the jobs it brings. The health care provided by the center will be much needed to serve the community’s current elder population and the aging baby boomer population. The center provides jobs for doctors, nurses and support staff for the community. A new pool in Rifle could attract residents from surrounding communities, which would add to the tax base. Furthermore, there won’t be the need to raise additional taxes for the project.

Over the years planning meetings have shown that residents would like to see more trails built in Rifle. How you will prioritize trails and bringing recreational activities to town if elected?

Brent strongly believes that Rifle’s largest asset is its beautiful natural areas and that the city should actively promote these to attract visitors. Brent would highlight attractions and activities such as the ice and rope climbing, Rifle Falls, Rifle Arch, Rifle Gap, hiking, biking, camping, etc. Visitor spending in local businesses helps everyone by supporting our tax base. As they say, a rising tide lifts all boats.

How will you ensure that Rifle Western Adventure Weekend becomes the hallmark September event for Garfield County for years to come?

He wholeheartedly supports Rifle Adventure Weekend – it was easy to see the positive effect the event had on local businesses as well as it acting as a boon to the spirit of the local community. This year, Brent and Tamara will have a booth at the event.

theresa hamilton

How long have you lived in Rifle and what made you want to run for City Council?

My family moved to Rifle in 1988 from central Illinois. I’m a Midwestern farm girl at heart. My father looked at many places in western Colorado and what piqued his interest was a horse in the middle of Railroad Avenue and of course, right behind it, there was a pile of horse poo in the middle of Railroad, and he said this was the place he wanted to move his family. At the time, I was a student at the University of Illinois. I came to Rifle and stayed in Rifle because of the people.

I was elected to a two-year term in 2015. I ran then because I wanted to give back to the community that has given so much to me. I want to continue to serve for many reasons, but the biggest is that the city is in the midst of great opportunities with the selection of a new city manager, an election for the construction of a new pool, and the continued upgrading of city infrastructure.

In what areas would you like to see Rifle improve? What will you focus on if elected?

I will continue to advocate for the continued upgrade and improvement of our critical services: water, sewer, roads, public safety and attempt to balance that with the development of infrastructure elements that improve the quality of life for residents — including the trail system, pool and broadband. People will come to visit because of our great natural beauty — they will stay and relocate businesses because we have great amenities that support them and meet their needs.

At the candidate forum, each of you said that you would support the bond initiative involving the construction of a new E. Dene Moore Care Center as well as support the construction of a new pool. What about these projects appealed to you and why do you think it is important for Rifle to invest in projects like these?

My philosophy on economic development is that people will stay in communities that meet their needs. The first questions that many people ask when they come to a community is how are the schools, where is the YMCA/rec center etc., and where are the best doctors. Sometimes they take for granted that the community will have good water, sewer, streets and police because those are the basic services every community should provide. Projects like the E. Dene Moore Care Center and the Art Dague Pool renovation are projects that support community members for years to come. They support the oldest and the youngest among us.

Over the years planning meetings have revealed that residents in the area would like to see more trails built in Rifle. How you will prioritize trails and bringing recreational activities to town if elected?

The city of Rifle conducts a regular survey that asks about the opinions and priorities of our constituents. Some of the recent priorities indicated by the citizens include the pool and our trails. I will continue to advocate that the city continue to use that as a guide and we prioritize our trails/recreational projects. We must continue to keep an eye on the ongoing operational and maintenance costs of these facilities as we construct them.

How will you ensure that the Rifle Western Adventure Weekend becomes the hallmark September event for Garfield County for years to come?

I am excited that so many groups and organizations have come together to create a signature event for the fall. I look forward to seeing how Western Adventure Weekend is received by the community, see the successes and the areas for improvement and encourage the continued collaboration to make it the hallmark September events.


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