Fraser town board elections 2008 – Questions for the candidates | SkyHiNews.com

Fraser town board elections 2008 – Questions for the candidates

Mayoral candidates

Fran Cook

How many years have you lived in Fraser? 13

Q. What are the issues involved in the possible merger of Winter Park and Fraser?

A. The most important issue is the will of the citizens of both towns. Our Joint Working Group study told us the many ways in which both towns would benefit from such a merger, and a future commission will develop a scenario of how that combined town could operate, but the overriding question is whether the people want it and what they want it to be.

Q. Do you have any ideas on how to bring recycling back to the Fraser Valley?

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A. I think we just need to find the right combination of service provider and service plan. There’s no lack of interest or effort, and we continue to work on potential solutions: we’re widening our scope of potential services and providers in hopes of finding a partner who fits our needs. Knowing the value our communities place on recycling, we are even researching the feasibility of providing recycling services with collaborative towns and county resources until a professional provider can be engaged.

Q. What role should the town board play in the creation of attainable workforce housing in Fraser?

A. This is another case of partnering with the right providers. We have been fortunate to partner in developing Wapiti Meadow and Fox Run and look forward to attainable housing in Grand Park. The town of Fraser is also in the preliminary stage of developing a combined small commerce/attainable housing complex in the heart of oldtown that will help Fraser’s economic vitality while preserving its community character.

Q. What might you as a trustee or mayor do to help preserve the water quality and flows of the Fraser River?

A. We serve a two-fold process here: The town is diligent in managing and developing our town water resources through its Water Resources Committee and its Public Works Department, and we will improve management as we coordinate sanitation services into them. Additionally, we coordinate with other district and governmental agencies that preserve the health of the Fraser River through representation on a multitude of advocacy and supervisory committees.

Q. If elected, what do you hope to accomplish during your term?

A. Given the agreement of the Board, I hope we will restore affordable recycling services, promote economic vitality, balance wise development with preservation of community character and values, maximize the efficiency of all public services (water and sewer, roads, parks and trails, safety, and fiduciary management), ensure the fullest and best possible community health care services, foster efficient and affordable community transportation.

Samuel Talbert

How long have you lived in Fraser? I’ve been a resident of Fraser for five years, and of Grand County for the past eight years.

Q. What are the issues involved in the possible merger of Winter Park and Fraser?

A. Part of what makes Fraser a great place to live is the small town atmosphere, sense of community and historical value. I’m afraid if we were to merge with Winter Park, we would quickly start to lose it. We need to fight to preserve our small town values, not hasten the loss.

Q. Do you have any ideas on how to bring recycling back to the Fraser Valley?

A. I don’t believe it is a question of if, but how soon we can bring recycling back to Fraser. The community has been very adamant in voicing their support and I believe it should be funded, at least in part, by the community. This would encourage more people to recycle, because they are paying for it, and if the recycling ever became profitable, the community funding could be withdrawn.

Q. What role should the town board play in the creation of attainable workforce housing in Fraser?

A. As more high end homes and condos are being built in Fraser, it is getting harder and harder for the working people of this town to find a place to live. The town of Fraser needs to address this problem by encouraging developers to build more low income housing. This could be done by instating a development tax on new builds over a certain dollar amount with the revenue going to the Grand County Housing Authority, and by giving tax breaks to developers who build low income housing. I would also like to investigate the possibility of instituting rent control, with incentives for landlords who were willing to work towards providing affordable housing.

Q. What might you as a trustee or mayor do to help preserve the water quality and flows of the Fraser River?

A. One of our top priorities in preserving the resources of Grand County should be heeding the advice of those who are deeply involved. Groups such as the East Grand Water Quality Board, who are doing extensive research on the water problems in the Fraser River, need our support. We should work hand in hand to implement long term solutions, before the problem becomes unmanageable.

Q. If elected, what do you hope to accomplish during your term?

A. If elected, I will work to keep the free spirit of the town alive, so that as we do acquire new residents, whether they are full or part-time, they can embrace the strong sense of community we are so lucky to have. I believe we can shape the future of this town to those ideals, in a way where growth doesn’t affect our historical value. I would enjoy having the opportunity to work with the local enforcement agencies to close the rift that has occurred between our local residents and officials. I believe our town has a spirit worth protecting, and preserving, and that I can offer new perspective to help us reach those goals.

Trustee candidates

Joyce Burford

How many years have you lived in Fraser? 10

Q. What are the issues involved in the possible merger of Winter Park and Fraser?

A. The Joint Working Group (JWG), comprised of three people each from Winter Park and Fraser, worked very hard

and spent many months working on the 56-page report that covers all the practical issues if the two towns were to consolidate: personnel, organization, land use, special districts, finances, etc. You can view this report by going to http://www.frasercolorado.com. What comes next is the two towns forming a commission, again made up of three people from each town. It would be the commission’s job to get down to the nuts and bolts of the process – educating the voters, looking at the legal aspects, finding out what is required to go to ballot, and making a final recommendation to both town boards whether this issue should even go to ballot or not. And if it were to go to ballot, it is ultimately decided on by the voters. Obviously, there would be some benefits to the towns consolidating, but would the benefits outweigh the cultural and historical differences between the towns? The voters may choose to remain separate in order to preserve each town’s identity and uniqueness. Of course, there’s the question of the “name,” which could be the biggest issue of all. Regardless of the outcome, I still look forward to the towns continuing to collaborate and cooperate with each other as we’re doing now.

Q. Do you have any ideas on how to bring recycling back to the Fraser Valley?

A. Recycling is not just a Fraser Valley problem, but a county-wide problem and needs a county-wide solution. All the towns, in addition to the county, need to be on board and committed to getting a decent, workable recycling program, and the biggest problem, as I see it, is how to fund it. I have been doing some research into other communities as to how they are funding their recycling programs. A good site to visit as to how other states are handling this issue is http://www.epa.gov/jtr/state/funding.htm. The state of Colorado has no annual budget for recycling programs for its municipalities, but does have a couple of agencies that handle grants. I would be in favor of working with other towns and seeking a county-wide solution. If that is not possible, then for the Fraser Valley, there may be a solution already at our fingertips. Our existing local trash companies like Waste Management and The Trash Co., which probably collect the bulk of trash in the Fraser Valley, also collect and process recyclables. They both offer partnering with communities and municipalities to provide economical and sustainable recycling programs. I see something like this being funded by both town support and by fees to residential and business users.

Q. What role should the town board play in the creation of attainable workforce housing in Fraser?

A. The town board should play a very active and vital role in attainable housing. Fraser has long been a community where the workforce of the Fraser Valley has lived and played, including myself. It’s what gives Fraser its character and personality. But Fraser also is also home to two of the area’s largest developments, and I do not want to see it become a community of mostly second home owners, where locals are no longer able to afford to live. Although the town does not want get into the business of being a developer, providing attainable housing for locals is one of the main reasons we are moving forward with – and why I’m supporting ” the FroDo development and the possibility of working with Mercy Housing, who already manages Wapiti Meadow. Along with that, the town board is committed to making sure that any existing and future developers we work with provide attainable housing as part of their master plans, and overseeing that they make good on their promises.

Q. What might you as a trustee or mayor do to help in preserving the water quality and flows of the Fraser River?

A. Development, growth and the growing needs of Denver remain the biggest threats to the flow and health of the Fraser River. As many of you may already know, Denver Water already diverts about 65 percent of the Fraser River’s waters, and at one point, wanted to take as much as 85 percent to meet part of Denver’s anticipated growth. The river was also listed in 2005 as one of American River’s most endangered rivers. The Fraser’s already reduced stream flow is cause for concern to all of us. The Army Corp of Engineers is planning to release its Draft Environmental Impact Study (EIS) this year in response to Denver Water’s request to obtain more water from the Moffat Collection System, which includes the Fraser River. A little good news is that rather than taking water from communities that depend on the Fraser without negotiating a deal that protects their needs, Denver Water has instead entered into conversations about a possible compromise that will satisfy local concerns about growing water demands. When the Draft EIS is released, the public will have a chance to comment, and further public hearings will be held before the Final EIS. As a Fraser trustee, I will be looking for the results of that study, commenting and attending public hearings where possible, urging Fraserites to do the same, and participating in any appropriate discussions/negotations that arise.

Q. If elected, what do you hope to accomplish during your term?

A. If I’m elected to another term, the things I would like to accomplish include, but are not limited to, the following: seeing the successful fruition of the FroDo development, and hopefully its completion; actively and responsibly participating in the Fraser-Winter Park possible consolidation process, regardless of its outcome; continuing to oversee and manage the ongoing relations with our developers, trying to achieve a balance between growth and what’s best for the town; and I’d like to find ways to make our Fraser businesses more economically successful. I’ve lived in the Valley for 14 years, and 10 years in Fraser. Change is inevitable, but I, like a lot of you, don’t want Fraser to change too much and want it to retain its character. If you’ve read any or all of my responses, thank you for taking the time, and please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions at (970) 485-2737 or joyceburf@lycos.com.

Kim Linin

How many years have you lived in Fraser? 2

Q. What are the issues involved in the possible merger of Winter Park and Fraser?

A. The quantitative report prepared by the Fraser/Winter park joint working group identified key areas of impact, and provided positive results for annexation of Fraser by Winter Park. Obviously, the towns need to collaborate on the complex issues involved before bringing any sort of recommendation to the community for a vote. I believe the toughest issue will be the emotions surrounding such a decision. As your trustee, I will work to understand and resolve open merger issues, hear your views, work with Winter Park and Fraser officials to make recommendations that best benefit our greater community, and present those recommendations to voters for review.

Q. Do you have any ideas on how to bring recycling back to the Fraser Valley?

A. As a private citizen, I participated in the collaborative initiative by the towns to find a recycling solution. I, like many others, was disappointed that only one trash company provided a bid for residential recycling. I support the immediate issuance of a more open-ended proposal to the trash companies that could result in a comprehensive solution involving trash pick-up, recycling and reducing the impact on the landfill.

Recycling is the right thing to do for our environment. However, recycling is a complex topic that involves not only residential recycling, but also commercial recycling including construction waste. Financial considerations require us to identify and implement a solution quickly as landfill space is limited and costly. If elected as your trustee, I will continue to work to find an acceptable solution that will bring recycling back to our community.

Q. What role should the town board play in the creation of attainable workforce housing in Fraser?

A. I believe the town board should lead this initiative by researching successful affordable housing programs in other resort towns, and incorporate such a program into our master plan. The reality is that we live in a resort community where people come to play, retire, etc., and housing prices are going up. We need affordable housing for the local workforce. Our community will be strengthened if residents are able to work and live in town and participate in civic activities.

Q. What might you as a trustee or mayor do to help in preserving the water quality and flows of the Fraser River?

A. This is a serious issue for our Fraser Valley, and I believe that water may become our next natural resource crisis in America. Two miles of the Fraser River flows through the town of Fraser, so we are stewards of the river. Not only our community, but our tourist-based economy depends on a healthy environment that includes a healthy river. There is pending legislation in the Colorado Senate that could address flow issues, which directly impact the river’s health, and in turn, our economy. Fraser has historically helped the Fraser River, and participated in the Fraser River Enhancement Program which improved the river health given the low flows. As trustee, I will continue to keep abreast of current issues from experts in the field, seek their input and take issues and ideas back to my fellow trustees and town officials for discussion and action.

Q. If elected, what do you hope to accomplish during your term?

A. I feel I can bring a fresh perspective, and fact-based decision making to serve you, my fellow community. I am an excellent listener, and have a strength for understanding complex issues and developing and implementing solutions. I would like to identify and implement a recycling solution; make Fraser a better place to live, work and visit by balancing growth with preservation of our rich community heritage; and examine the feasibility of a higher education center in the area that would attract and retain advancement-minded individuals, and provide higher education opportunities for local graduates.

Vesta Shapiro

How many years have you lived in Fraser? 22

Q. What are the issues involved in the possible merger of Winter Park and Fraser?

A. The monetary issues have been well researched by the Joint Working Group. Other issues, such as combining services ” water and waste treatment, planning departments and public works ” are going to take some time. We have several good models for co-operation, such as the Fraser-Winter Park Police Dept and the Building Department. The discussion now needs to address the issues which are more difficult to pin down. There are philosophical and aesthetic differences between the two towns. How does Fraser retain its identity and sense of community while being assimilated into the resort community? What will we call the entity? How will Winter Park’s tax and fee structure affect Fraser? Is the timing right to consider a merger? Will the voters show any interest in such a merger?

Q. Do you have any ideas on how to bring recycling back to the Fraser Valley?

A. This has to be viewed as a regional issue ” working with the other towns and the county is the only possible approach, unless someone wants to try to duplicate the defunct Grand Recycles program.

The county is looking into options and we are trying to find a larger solution for waste management. (Perhaps in the interim we should make it mandatory for everyone going to Denver to take a load of recycling with them?

Q. What role should the town board play in the creation of attainable workforce housing in Fraser?

A. This has to be an ongoing concern in order to preserve the eclectic town we call Fraser.

It’s important to be able to live where you work. We need to ensure that development addresses our needs, not push all of the workforce farther down valley. We have been active partners with Winter Park (Fox Run), Mercy Housing (Wapiti Meadows) and the Housing Authority in facilitating the building of affordable housing. I would like to see this approach continue.

Q. What might you as a trustee or mayor do to help in preserving the water quality and flows of the Fraser River?

A. Actively support the efforts of the existing groups (who know exactly what they’re doing) working on this issue.

Q. If elected, what do you hope to accomplish during your term?

A. Continue to serve the interests of the people who live here ” keep Fraser user-friendly ” do my best to assist in the process of smart growth ” see the creation of a neighborhood of truly affordable, owner-occupied, deed-restricted, single family homes. And I would really, really like to see a quality dog park in town.

Eric Hoyhtya

How many years have you lived in Fraser? 11

Q. What are the issues involved in the possible merger of Winter Park and Fraser?

A. I believe it comes down to what we want as a town. Do we want to make ourselves into a metropolitan area? Or do we want to have our towns stay streamlined? We have a small hardworking crew in the town of Fraser; they work hard with a tight budget and do a great job. Some would say economies of scale are inevitable from the new size of the combined towns, but I believe that as government grows, the waste to scale grows disproportionally.

Q. Do you have any ideas on how to bring recycling back to the Fraser Valley?

A. I hope, at the very least, we can interest a recycling company in coming up from Denver once a week and have a collection site like we used to have, manned by volunteers.

Q. What role should the town board play in the creation of attainable workforce housing in Fraser?

A. This is one of the biggest issues I think we have as a board. Cornerstone has promised the town all the affordable housing for Rendezvous and Grand Park. As a Town Board I certainly hope we can convince Cornerstone that $250,000 homes are not really affordable to the workforce in this Valley.

Q. What might you as a trustee do to help in preserving the water quality and flows of the Fraser River?

A. I hope that this is always the focus of the board. We should stay on the lookout for any way to improve the river and our water as it is the most important resource entrusted to the Town.

Q. If elected, what do you hope to accomplish during your term?

A. Things change so quickly I find that the best I can hope for is to try and keep the town on a good track. Keeping a place where people can afford to live in a healthy happy environment.

Scotty Brent

How long have you lived in Fraser? 5 years. On Fraser planning commissioner for three years.

Q. What are the issues involved in the possible merger of Winter Park and Fraser?

A. There are many advantages to a merger of the two towns, most of them financial. These advantages were brought to light by the initial study done by the Fraser and Winter Park town boards. I think the biggest issue is going to be that most locals feel that Winter Park is not Fraser and Fraser is not Winter Park. I believe that all the issues need to be studied further. When the issues have all been identified they should be presented to the voters of both towns and the people should vote on it.

Q. Do you have any ideas on how to bring recycling back to the Fraser Valley?

A. There have been discussions about franchising trash service in Fraser and requiring all residents to have trash service. I believe that any franchise granted should require curbside recycling. This arrangement would solve two problems. If residents were all required to have trash service dumping of household trash at local dumpsters by part time residents would be curtailed and recycling would be easy for Fraser residents. This doesn’t address the rest of the county but would work well for Fraser. I think the county should consider similar options for unincorporated areas.

Q. What role should the town board play in the creation of attainable workforce housing in Fraser?

A. Historically the town has been involved in affordable/attainable housing projects like Fox Run and Wapiti Meadow. While there are no large projects in the works right now, I think the town should support more projects like these. I believe that area employers should help shoulder the costs any new projects as they stand to benefit from them also.

Q. What might you as a trustee or mayor do to help in preserving the water quality and flows of the Fraser River?

A. The town has recently completed the Fraser River Enhancement Project (FREP). Although nothing like this is currently under way, I think this is a great example of how the town can cooperate with other agencies and entities to accomplish a lot with small resources. I would seek out and support more projects like this in the future. In the short term we should watch closely how the Moffat Tunnel discharge permit is handled by the state and the railroad. Currently the railroad has to monitor water quality of tunnel discharge for two years. After this period there will be a determination about treatment of the discharge. The East Portal discharge is treated. Most of the West Portal discharge comes from the same source. I believe the West Portal discharge should be treated also.

Q. If elected, what do you hope to accomplish during your term?

A. Whether I am elected or not I want to try and get people more involved in local affairs. This starts with voting, it’s the easiest and most effective form of activism. I have been active in getting people registered to vote in this election and making them aware of the issues in our community. I know through my interaction with local residents that they really care about the issues. I want to return a sense of ownership of the town to its residents. I think we should continue the previous board’s work to develop a real downtown business district that is pedestrian friendly (FRODO) and to promote a business friendly culture in Fraser. More businesses in Fraser would help relieve the tax burden on residents. I would also like to explore more options to promote responsible pet ownership.

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