Burke announces re-election bid for Grand Lake mayor
The political forum is heating up in Grand Lake with the announcement by Judy Burke, current mayor of the town of Grand Lake, that she has filed to run for a second term.
A full-time resident of Grand Lake for more than 30 years, Burke has served on every committee and board in town, with the exception of the Cemetery Committee and the Board of Adjustments.
She started out in public service as a board member of the Grand Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Planning and Zoning chairperson and Business License chairperson. In addition, she has served on the Board of Trustees for 18 years, mayor pro-tem for eight of those years, and finally the last four years as mayor.
Burke was active in the municipal government of Grand Lake during the days of the gambling questions and worked on the committees to move forward a land swap on the beachfront with the Grand Lake Yacht Club, to annex the Grand Lake Lodge and the marina committee, which spearheaded the effort for the town to take back its marina in order to remodel the facility and purchase new equipment for it.
Burke originally came from Kansas, where she graduated from Great Bend High School and Emporia State University with a master’s degree in business education and a minor in economics and marketing. Upon arriving in Grand Lake she received a real estate license and eventually purchased ERA Grand Realty, which she still owns today.
During her years in the real estate business, she has been involved in the development of Shadow Park West Condominiums and the Lake Kove Subdivisions. At one time Burke was also involved in operating the lumber company when it was in Grand Lake, the Lake Kove Marina, and a retail business in the present site of the Fat Cat Cafe.
When asked why she wants to run for Mayor of Grand Lake again, she said she has a passion and a vision for the community.
“Grand Lake has been very good to me and I believe in giving back to the community,” she said. “There are projects that I have been in on from their beginning and I want to see them completed, projects like the completion of the landscaping at the new Visitor’s Center and entrance to town, the town’s gateway signs, the new Grand Lake Library facility, the build-out of the Headwaters Marina, and the fulfillment of the town’s Comprehensive Plan.”
Also high on Burke’s future plans is the continuation of the development of working relationships with Rocky Mountain National Park. Burke was asked to testify before the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks in July in Washington, D.C., and was asked to return for additional testimony in the future. She has been active in working with the Park Service on the Betty Dick property, the Repertory Theatre plans for a new theatre, with the Chamber of Commerce, the Grand Lake Fire Department on the Community Wildfire Protection Plan and with an evacuation plan for the area.
Also, in cooperation with the Grand County commissioners Burke was able to work with the Colorado Department of Transportation to secure up to $1 million for tree removal work to ensure a safe route out of Grand Lake.
Burke has worked toward effective communication between the town of Grand Lake and the county commissioners, the mayors of the other communities through semi-monthly meetings, and has solicited help for the community from the Department of Local Affairs to work on the water quality issues on Grand Lake, and from U.S. rep. Mark Udall and Sen. Wayne Allard’s office for help with the pine bark beetle issues in Grand Lake and Grand County.
And even more importantly, she said she wants to work toward the continuation and growth of the economy of Grand Lake so that the long-time locals and newcomers can make a living and stay in our “Piece of the Rockies.”
“It takes a lot of work to maintain the sense of community that Grand Lake has. It is not achieved overnight or in only four years,” Burke said. “When I moved here I was told that if I stayed 40 years I could become a member of the Newcomers Club. Well, I still have a few years to go.”
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