New Castle candidates explain views on the economy, pedestrian walkway
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
NEW CASTLE, Colorado – In the April 3 municipal election, four candidates are running for three open seats on the New Castle Town Council.
The Post Independent sent the candidates a questionnaire to learn more about their experience and their vision for New Castle’s future.
Running for four-year seats are incumbents Mary Metzger and Patrick Stuckey and challengers Merle Means and Bob Gordon, who are both past council members.
Voters can learn more about the candidates at a Meet The Candidates event at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, at Town Hall.
Information on the candidates is also available on the town’s website, http://www.newcastlecolorado.com.
Town Clerk Melody Harrison sent out ballots for the mail-only municipal election on Wednesday. She recommended that ballots be completed and mailed back to Town Hall, with the proper postage, no later than Thursday, March 29, to ensure they will be delivered by election day.
Late voters should plan to hand deliver their ballots to Town Hall no later than 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3.
Replacement ballots can be picked up at Town Hall from from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day.
Five years in New Castle
1. Downtown Economic Development, 2009; Planning Commission, August 2010 to present; New Castle Town Council, 2007-11; New Castle Chamber of Commerce, Volunteer New Castle Appreciation Dinner co-chair 2011 and 2012, River Center facility manager, Castle Valley HOA Design Review Committee.
2. The economy is our biggest issue, and the council is doing our best to find new ways to bring in more businesses.
3. Having no pedestrian bridge is a huge safety issue. It needs to be built as soon as possible, along with a new intersection at Castle Valley Boulevard and Highway 6. These two projects are a top priority and they are in the pipeline.
Six years in New Castle
1. Incumbent councilman, Rifle Regional Economic Development Corp. alternate, New Castle Economic Advisory Committee, Design Review Committee, Lakota Canyon Ranch Subdivision, Climate Action Advisory Commission, Planning Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, RFTA representative. I am developing an application for a historic structure assessment grant for New Castle’s Old Town Hall.
2. Many of the issues facing New Castle are related to current economic conditions. My main focus is supporting local businesses to grow and prosper. By encouraging new business development, we will be creating new jobs for current and future generations to make New Castle a stable, sustainable and enjoyable community where we can live and work.
3. I believe a pedestrian bridge would be beneficial to give people a safe alternative to cross over the many obstacles that divide New Castle. It would greatly increase pedestrian activity between the residential areas and businesses on both sides. The pedestrian bridge should be tied to the improvement of Highway 6 and Castle Valley Boulevard intersection for increased safety.
12 years in New Castle
1. Town council, Planning Commission, Parks, Open Space and Trails Committee, Historic Preservation Commission, Comprehensive Plan, Library Committee, Cemetery Committee.
2. Economic development. We need to attract new business to New Castle. With the town being landlocked, it is important to annex property east of town. In doing so, we need to relax strict zoning and building codes, offer incentives and reach out to prospective business in an effort to co-create a viable and sustainable future for New Castle. Our historic downtown needs to be cleaned up by offering incentives to business owners to renovate. Most importantly, we need to increase parking and advertise and promote properties that are currently available.
3. I believe that this project is very important. Residents south of the interstate walk across the existing bridge to access shopping and RFTA. The bridge is barely wide enough for two cars, let alone pedestrians. I’ve seen a mother on the bridge pushing her child in a stroller.
We are lucky that to date we have not had a serious or fatal accident. The bridge should also be widened to accommodate wider vehicles along with improving the four-way intersection.
40-plus years in New Castle, off and on
1. I have been in Public Service most of my adult life, including Silt Town Board, Rifle Planning and Zoning, New Castle town council 1998-2010, New Castle Historic Preservation, Climate Action Advisory Commission, Board of Adjustment, Comprehensive Plan Committee, Re-2 School District Strategic Planning, New Castle Senior Housing, co-founder of Boy Scout Troop 221.
2. The most pressing issue any town, city or state is facing at this time is our economy. Revenue is always needed to keep any government thriving. Paying bills, repairing town facilities and maintaining quality parks are just a few issues New Castle faces. We need to keep businesses open and bring new ones into our town for tax revenue.
3. Pedestrian walks are something that I support. The most important issue is financing and planning. I will be more than willing to work with those who are striving to make this possible. Parks and safe pedestrian walkways are vital in keeping communities connected.
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