Conversation with … Kremmling’s mayor, Tom Clark
August 12, 2008
Kremmling Mayor Thomas Clark has his hands in a little bit of everything.
As well as running town board meetings he also participates on several other Grand County boards, while still finding time to enjoy the little things in life.
How did you, a Miami native, end up in Kremmling? How long ago did you move here? What are some of the benefits and what do you enjoy about living in Kremmling?
I first came to Colorado 37 years ago to become a student at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden. In 1987, I moved to Idaho Springs to open the Lord Byron Gold Mining Company. During that time I first became acquainted with Kremmling. The timber for our underground mine came from Hesters Log of Lumber and Father John Kaufman of St. Peter’s Catholic Church was a partner in the mine. In 1994, I moved to Kremmling. My favorite hobby is exploring and Kremmling offers the opportunity to explore the mountains all around us. I am also an avid fisherman. During my 14 years in Kremmling I have met some really wonderful people and they are our best/greatest asset. I also enjoy the small town atmosphere.
Did you always want to be mayor? How long have you been mayor?
When I was young I always thought I would leave religion and politics to my old age. I guess that means I’m older now. Several of our citizens asked me if I would consider running for mayor and at first I was reluctant. However, after many years of discussing this with many citizens I decided to give it a try. I first ran for trustee in 2000, but with 12 candidates for five seats I did not even try and I still received over 90 votes. I decided to run for mayor in 2002. I have really enjoyed being the mayor for the last six-plus years.
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What do you like about your job as mayor? What’s the most challenging part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the progress that we have made. My goal has been to better the community without losing our character. I find it extremely rewarding to be able to work with all the special districts, governments and people to achieve this goal. Kremmling has come a long way in the last six years. One of the great challenges I have is arranging transportation to go to all these meetings. My vision is not correctable so I do not have a driver’s license. I have to find a carpool ride and I take this opportunity to network with my colleagues and discuss pending issues. I guess this means I’ve been “green” all my life.
What are some of the big projects the board is working on?
The big projects that the town is working on now are water drainage and streets. With two new board members we are planning to have a retreat to discuss our direction for the future. The biggest project we’re working on now of course is the water system, specifically the distribution part. It is our plan to have the majority of the distribution system replaced in the next five years.
During my tenure on the board we have seen great strides in our water system including a pumping plant to deliver more water to our water treatment plant and secure usage of our existing water rights. We have begun replacement of our distribution system as well as making great strides in improving our treatment plant. The town has worked with the Chamber of Commerce to get our visitor center. The town has annexed new property into the town limits for a grocery store, a hotel, the new school and a future housing subdivision. New businesses have come to town and old businesses have dressed themselves up. Our sales taxes showed a steady increase, and now with the new pellet plant we see industry coming to Kremmling.
How many groups and boards are you a member of?
I am currently the chairman of the Grand County Water Information Network, I am an at-large member on the Colorado Basin Roundtable (water for the 21st century). I am on the executive committee of the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments and a member of the Water Quality and Quantity Committee and Rural Resort Region. I am also a member of the Colorado Municipal League’s Water and Wastewater Issues Committee. I have recently been asked to chair that committee. I am a member of the Kremmling Memorial Hospital District Steering Committee. I am currently working with the Bureau of Land Management on the resource management plan and Grand County on their master plan. I’m involved with the Colorado State Forest Service on healthy forests management. I currently spend about one third of my time donating to these causes.