Granby candidate forum sparks debate on affordable housing and economic development
March 3, 2016
A public forum for candidates running for the Granby Board of Trustees and for Granby Mayor was held Wednesday evening at Ski Granby Ranch.
The forum was sponsored by Granby Ranch and was moderated by Patrick Brower, Enterprise Facilitator with the Grand Enterprise Initiative. The forum featured seven of nine individual candidates with three mayoral candidates and four candidates for Town Trustee present for the forum.
All three of the candidates for Mayor of Granby were present Wednesday night. The Granby Mayoral candidates are: Dick Broady, Paul Chavoustie and David Lockwood. A total of four of the six candidates for Granby Trustee participated in the forum including: Becky Johnson, Greg Mordini, Nick Raible and Paul Robertson. Absent from the forum were two candidates for Trustee: Bethany Hardy and Jane Harmon. Among all the candidates running for the Board David Lockwood, Greg Mordini and Paul Robertson all serve on the current Board as Trustees.
Hardy provided a written statement for the forum that was read by moderator Patrick Brower. Hardy was unable to attend the candidate forum because she is pregnant and is expected to give birth at any time in the near term. Trustee candidate Jane Harmon was also absent from the forum, visiting family members on a trip that was planned prior to the scheduling of the candidate forum.
The forum kicked off with opening statements from the three mayoral candidates followed by statements from the Trustee candidates.
Mayoral candidate David Lockwood spoke about his tenure on the Granby Board as a Trustee, his local business and a few ideas he has for the Town. Mayoral candidate Paul Chavoustie spoke about his history in Grand County, his development business ventures and his vision for the community. Mayoral candidate Dick Broady talked about his family's extensive history in Grand County and his past experience serving on the Granby Board as well as the importance of public figures taking responsibility for their actions.
The four Trustee candidates each briefly outlined their own family histories in Granby and what personal qualities each individual felt made them qualified to serve on the Town Board.
The initial questions that kicked off the forum pertained to residency and attendance requirements for Board members. The questioned were raised because more than one member of the current Board lives in Granby but works or spends extensive amounts of time in the Front Range area. Granby Town Manager Wally Baird was on hand during the forum and outlined to attendees the current town statutes on the issues.
During his opening speech candidate, and current Board Trustee, Greg Mordini spoke to those issues; Mordini lives in Granby but his job is based out of the Front Range. Likewise Mayoral candidate and current Town Trustee David Lockwood also spoke to questions regarding Board attendance. Lockwood was recently on an extended excused absence from the Board for military service. Lockwood and Mayoral candidate Chavoustie engaged in a brief heated discussion on the topic.
A series of more specific policy questions were also posed to the candidates ranging from their stance on recreational marijuana sales in Granby to their feelings about the current relationships between the Town of Granby and the communities two largest housing developments, Grand Elks and Granby Ranch. The majority of the candidates expressed staunch opposition to recreational marijuana sales in Granby with Mayoral candidate Dick Broady and Trustee candidate Paul Robertson calling for a ballot measure in Nov. to determine a clear position of the town's electorate on the issue.
When the various candidates were asked what they viewed as the top three issues facing Granby over the next five years the majority of responses revolved around: affordable housing, economic development, Town government revenue streams, beatification efforts for the community and improving sidewalks throughout Granby with a focus on the areas around the local schools and a pedestrian walkway over the railroad tracks.
Granby's municipal election will be a mail ballot only election. Election day is technically scheduled for Tuesday April 5 but ballots will be mailed out to active voters in the community starting March 14. All ballots for the Granby election will be mailed out by March 19. Voters can return their ballots either via mail or by dropping them off physically at Granby Town Hall. Ballots will be accepted any time after voters receive them until 7 p.m. on April 5.