More from Silt’s candidates for mayor | PostIndependent.com

More from Silt’s candidates for mayor

Ballots for Garfield County's municipal elections are being mailed out this week in Silt, New Castle and Carbondale. Silt voters will have their pick between three candidates for mayor and nine candidates for four Board of Trustees seats. This week the Post Independent will profile and pose questions to each of the candidates vying for what has become the county's most heated race this spring.

Today, see profiles and expanded responses to some key questions from the three mayoral candidates: Bryan Fleming, Keith Richel and Jay Barner. Tomorrow, look for responses from the nine trustee candidates:

The mayoral candidates seek to replace current Mayor Rick Aluise, who has been the mayor since April, 2014, but who is not running for reelection.

Bryan Fleming

I heard a lot about accountability and transparency, openness and honesty at the election forum: Why do you think this became such a big issue for candidates and many residents, and how will you look to address it as trustee?

"Somebody is trying to push a narrative," he said. "There is no hiding or collusion of any kind. If it's happening, why didn't the other board members say something?"

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He added that the board goes into executive session for legal advice and employee matters, and it has never been an issue in his eight years on the board.

Grocery store was another big topic at the forum: Is that something you will continue to be proactive in looking to bring to Silt?

"I have been part of the push to bring a grocery store to Silt since I was elected eight years ago," he explained.

He added that he and Mayor Aluise have worked tirelessly on it and have come close in the past.

"I will continue to market Silt for a grocery store," he said. "I was the only candidate at last week's forum that believes it can happen."

I wrote a few weeks back about Silt's strong sales tax numbers for 2017: How will you look to continue that in 2018 and beyond?

"[By doing] the same type of things we are doing currently," he said. "We need to continue to look for businesses to come in and support the businesses that are here."

Fleming said he wants to keep every dollar possible in Silt.

Jay Barner

I heard a lot about accountability and transparency, openness and honesty at the election forums: Why do you think this became such a big issue for candidates and many residents and how will you look to address it as trustee?

Barner said he had an issue with all of the executive sessions the old board seemed to go into and felt that the council was silenced. He said that the residents have the right to know about the issues between the mayor and police chief.

"As mayor it starts at the top down," he said. "You must be open and honest."

He referenced the recent controversy over Silt's shed policy and admitted he didn't know all of the parameters, but "that is something that we can look into. Let's get all the facts."

Grocery store was another big topic at the forum: Is that something you will continue to be proactive in looking to bring to Silt?

"Most definitely," Barner said.

"My theory is that we have to have what the grocery store is looking for," he explained.

Barner said that Silt needs to have the right infrastructure for a grocery. They need access and availability and space for parking, making sure you have the right infrastructure for a grocery store.

"If we take care of home stuff — infrastructure, transparency, openness — the rest will come," he said.

I wrote a few months back about Silt's strong sales tax numbers for 2017, how will you look to continue that in 2018 and beyond?

"Must build an environment for economic growth," he said. "My job is to build an environment so that businesses will succeed."

Keith Richel

I heard a lot about accountability and transparency, openness and honesty at the election forums: Why do you think this became such a big issue for candidates and many residents and how will you look to address it as trustee?

"I think there is a lack of information getting from Town Hall to the citizens," Richel said.

He added that the executive sessions the board was having leaves the public feeling left out of the equation.

"I feel some of those meetings could have happened in an open forum," he continued. "I only want to enter executive session if town attorney says we legally have to."

Grocery store was another big topic at the forum: Is that something you will continue to be proactive in looking to bring to Silt?

"I'm definitely going to be proactive in trying to bring a grocery store to Silt," Richel said. "We need to start with housing development and getting more people to Silt."

He wants to work on ordinances and building codes to create more viable options for affordable housing, such as tiny homes.

I wrote a few months back about Silt's strong sales tax numbers for 2017: How will you look to continue that in 2018 and beyond?

"We need to make sure that every business already in Silt is supported by the town," he said.

Richel said he will use economic development tools to bring in new businesses to town.