New Castle mayor hopefuls no novices
Two contenders vying for mayor of New Castle are not so far apart in what they think is good for the town.
Real estate broker Larry Borgard and current mayor Bill Wentzel will come before the voters April 2.
Wentzel, a mortgage broker, has been on the town council since 1996 and the mayor pro tem since 1998. He was elected to fill Mayor Steve Rippy’s seat when Rippy stepped down to take the job of town manager last April.
Borgard has also served his time on town boards. While living in Glenwood Springs, he sat on the planning commission from 1990 to 1994. He was chairman of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association board from 1985 to 1986.
Since moving to New Castle eight and a half years ago Borgard served on the town council from 1995 to 1999 and on the planning commission from 1993 to 1999.
Wentzel, who has lived in New Castle for eight years, said he’s proud of the accomplishments made by the council in the six years he’s been a member. Among them are upgrades to sidewalks and streets; completion of Ritter Plaza, the first phase of the redevelopment of downtown; completion of Castle Valley Boulevard; and doubling capacity of the town’s water and wastewater plants.
“We’ve built a pretty good working council,” Wentzel said. “We’ve worked hard in the past six years to accomplish these things in New Castle.”
During that time, “our basic government services have caught up with our population explosion,” he added.
Wentzel said he’s also proud of the improvements that have been made to the town’s parks and trails.
Last month, the town signed an agreement with Castle Valley Ranch developers Eric Williams and Steve Craven that provides for donation of open space in the subdivision that will be developed as parks.
If he’s elected, Wentzel said, he’d like to develop more recreation opportunities, complete the downtown streetscape project, continue to rebuild streets and sidewalks and “attain reasonably-priced, high-speed Internet access.”
Borgard wants to be New Castle’s next mayor because “I just love the town and the people. I just think if I want to get something done, I have a lot of people to draw from,” he said.
With his involvement in many organizations, Borgard said, he’ll have the backing for projects he’d like to see begun or completed.
Along with Wentzel, he’d like to see the downtown streetscape project completed. Doing so will help New Castle’s economic development, he said.
“I want to get businesses into town,” he added.
Recreation is also important to Borgard. He would push through the town’s plan to refurbish Burning Mountain Park in downtown, with new playground equipment, a new gazebo and sidewalk.
He’d also focus on Castle Valley Boulevard.
“The city holds the covenants for Castle Valley Boulevard. We need to make sure the covenants are abided by. People are working on cars on the street,” he said.
Traffic must be slowed on the street as well.
“We tried speed bumps last summer but they didn’t work. Maybe we need to try swales,” he said.
Borgard also gives high marks to the present council.
“The town has gone a long way since I moved here,” he said. “I worked with Bill (Wentzel) for two years. He and I get along together fine.”
But the town needs a mayor who gets out and meets with citizens, he added.
“You’ve got to show up for everything. Bill is a real good leader, but people don’t know who he is.”
In addition to the mayoral race, five candidates are vying for three town council seats, including incumbents Bob Gordon and Pam Bunn. Also running are Greg Russi, Karen Wood and Rebecca Bondurant.
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