Eight Fraser Valley Recreation District hopefuls vie for two seats
Sky-Hi Daily News
Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District candidates Traci Brammer, Jill Carey, Kevin J. Davlin, Greg Gallavan, John Kacik and Terry Stanford will challenge incumbents Jim Fox and Howard Venezia for their seats on the Board of Directors.
The district’s election is May 6 at the East Grand Fire Station. Absentee ballot forms are available at the Fraser Valley Recreation Administration Office, 216 Eisenhower.
The board is in charge of five projects that were originally going to cost $19.5 million, but now have a $21.15 million price tag, figures show.
Projects include a $14.88 million recreation center; $3.07 million clubhouse at Pole Creek Golf Club; $1.64 million irrigation project at Pole Creek; $432,674 sports complex; and $1.12 million water and sanitation project at the sports complex, documents show.
Brammer, 36, is a heavy equipment operator for the Winter Park public works department. The Granby resident has lived in Grand County for 15 years.
“When I saw that there were some openings I just felt the urge to run,” she said.
She has a passion for recreation and a degree in the field, she said. With a 4-year-old daughter, this is a good time to get involved, Brammer said.
“I would definitely make sure that all the budgets stay on track,” she promised. “We owe it to the taxpayers to keep that on schedule.”
The district is on the right track, she said. “I attended that last board meeting, and I was very impressed.”
Carey, 51, is a Fraser resident who’s lived in the county for 2 1/2 years. She is involved in real estate sales.
The district’s future plans are exciting projects for locals and visitors, she said.
“I want to get involved,” Carey said. “I think it is an excellent thing. … (I will) serve on the board to the best of my abilities.”
A potential track and day care would also benefit the community, she said.
The district is doing a good job, Carey said.
Davlin, 48, is a Fraser resident and has lived in Grand County for 22 years. He is an attorney with Livingstone, Mueller, O’Brien and Davlin, P.C.
If elected, he said he will keep a close eye on the budget.
“We need to look at the finances closer,” he said. “Spending has gotten out of control. … I don’t think we can afford a Cadillac of a (pool) system.
“I’d keep a lot better control of the money,” he said, if elected.
His goal is to save money.
“The economy is in a downturn. I don’t think we’re going to get the tourism trade (the district expects),” Davlin said.
Incumbent Fox, 65, retired from International Business Machines Corp. The Tabernash resident has resided in Grand County for eight years. The board president served a four-year term.
“We got a lot of things done on that board,” he said. “I was on the board when it was able to turn around the financial situation.
“We were able to install permanent restroom facilities on our golf course. That had been sorely lacking.”
Fox said he helped improve the sports complex and increase participation in the parks and recreation programs.
“I want to see these community enhancement projects through,” he said.
His goal is to get them done on time, on budget, and to the satisfaction of voters, he said.
Gallavan, 57, of Fraser is a business owner. He has lived in Grand County for 32 years.
“I have a degree in outdoor recreation,” he said. “I’ve never done anything with the degree and feel I should get involved because I have a background in that.”
With his 25 years of restaurant management experience, he could help run the Pole Creek Golf Club restaurant, Gallavan said.
“They (board members) need oversight on all of this money,” he said. “They’re going to need some good expertise to run all of that.”
Since the bond issue was approved, he has been watching the district and attending every meeting, he said.
He supported the recreation facility but not the other projects on the bond issue.
“I feel that they added the other projects to appease more residents,” he said. “I’m very against the recreation district spending $1 million to put a bathroom out there.
It’s just ridiculous. I feel we can still put the project in but I don’t think we have to spend $1 million.”
This is his campaign platform: “We’ll build those projects, we won’t go over budget and we won’t be coming back to the taxpayers for more money,” Gallavan said.
Kacik, 40, of Fraser, has lived in Grand County for 16 years and is a stay-at-home parent and former electrician.
He is serving his second term on the Grand County Library District board as treasurer and has a lot to offer the district, he said.
“I have kids that live in the district,” Kacik said. “They use the facilities, classes, sports complex and golf course. … I have something personally invested in seeing that the district is successful.”
He also vows to represent the district residents if he wins a seat.
Stanford, 54, of Fraser has lived in Grand County for five years. He is the general manager of Rendezvous.
He is running to become more involved in the community. With the district’s bond money and big project plans he is a good candidate, he said.
“I think my experience handling large, complex construction projects will benefit the district as they begin these large projects,” he said. “I sat in on some of their recent board meetings. I think they have a good start.”
Venezia, 77, of Winter Park, has lived in Grand County for 15 years. He spent 48 years serving as a merchant marine and Navy captain.
The incumbent and board vice president said he has the best interest of the community in mind.
“(The board) is bringing better management and more bang for the buck,” he said. “I definitely can do the work. I’m experienced. You reach a part in your life when you do what you think is right … where you follow your heart.”
Venezia said the board chose local contractors and subcontractors to complete its construction projects. It also was successful in doubling the number of district participant who use the recreation facilities and attend programs, he said.
He plans to keep the projects on budget.
“You can’t spend money you don’t have,” he said. “We are not irresponsible. We really have not kind of wandered off the track.”
Venezia and his wife raised five children who were actively involved in sports. He also has experience with sports and has been a coach, equipment manager and league commissioner.
“I’m pretty well experienced,” he said. “I’ve been involved my whole life.”
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