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ABOUT THIS SPECIAL ISSUE In this special Candidate issue you will find our candiates that are running for trustee or mayor position. The candidates were places in alphabetical order and were given the same exact questions. ELIFE published their answers the exact way in which we received them. No editing or proofreading was conducted. ELIFE takes no politcal stand and wishes all the candidates luck!
Trisha Ventker is an author, photographic artist, branding and social media infuencer and publisher of ELIFE, NoCo, Denver Colorado Luxury magazines. Reader impressions have surpassed 7.5 million for the magazines, with the Denver publication being nationwide. She is best known for her first book Internet Dates From Hell which had the movie rights to it optioned by Paula Wagner. Trisha is also one of the first Indie Book authors to have a book optioned for the big screen. Ventker is originally from New York City, presently residing in Colorado for the last 12+ years, with her husband and son.
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O R A L D A T E S
You 1) Tell us about yourself, your family and why you are running? I am a 10 year resident of Erie, the current Mayor of Erie, and previously served 4 years as Erie Trustee. I am an aerospace engineer and manager for Ball Corporation delivering U.S. Military and Space solutions. Prior to that, I was an engineer for a U.S. Intelligence Agency developing solutions for the U.S. Military. I hold a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Engineering Management from CU Boulder and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Ohio State. I have held elected leadership positions in IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) representing 10,000+ members regionally, I was the founding liaison to the Erie Sustainability Committee, and a grades 3/4 head coach for youth lacrosse . I am married to Alex, mother to Quentin, Harrison and dogs Lily and London. It is a true privilege to serve as your Mayor and I am seeking re-election to continue making Erie the best place in Colorado to call home.
2) Why should the community put their trust in you and what will you do to unite the community, stopping the disrespect towards those with different opinions? I am optimistic and I value collaboration over divisiveness. Erie is an amazing community made up of amazing people. Even where we don’t agree on policy, I value your opinion because I know we all genuinely want our community to be the best it can be. Residents deserve elected officials that uphold civility as we navigate our present and future challenges. I am sharing my civility oath so you, the residents, will hold me accountable to the highest standards. I pledge to: • Respect different opinions • Debate the idea, not the person • Disagree constructively • Listen
O&G 3) What is your plan for putting health and safety first, related to Oil & Gas operations in neighborhoods and near schools? I will forcefully apply the maximum amount of local control legally permitted by SB181 to eliminate the impacts of oil and gas operations in Erie. I have led the fight for Erie residents impacted by the urban interface between oil and gas development and our schools and residences for more than six years and I am committed to the pursuit now more than ever. As of my submission on February 28, 2020, there are no new oil and gas wells approved by the State of Colorado intended to be drilled and fracked in Erie. While this is an encouraging moment, the tone-deaf responses Erie residents and the Town of Erie received from the State of Colorado and the oil and gas industry during the Pratt and Waste Connections drilling in 2014 serves as a critical reminder that we cannot let down our guard in our pursuit of protecting the health and safety of our residents. My respect at the State and regional governments helped me gain a voice for Erie residents when it mattered most, contributing to the passage of landmark Colorado Senate Bill 19-181 during my first term as Mayor. This new legislation fundamentally changes the landscape affording municipalities local control where none existed before and we will apply the law with maximum force. >>>
Economic Development 4) What is your plan for attracting new businesses such as: restaurants, retail, centralized grocery store, and service, that are not fast food or dental offices, allowing residents to put their money back into Erie, rather than neighboring towns? The impressive depth and breadth of new businesses that have chosen to call Erie home during my first term as Mayor is a testament to putting the right focus on creating a supportive business environment. Business optimism for Erie is on a powerful, positive trend. We have two landmark development projects underway, Nine Mile and Town Center, that will significantly boost Erie’s economic sustainability. Construction of the Nine Mile project, including a Lowe’s Home Improvement, is underway creating a substantial recurring sales tax revenue stream for Erie residents. Across 287 in Lafayette, pre-leasing is underway on a similarly-sized property, generating an additional recurring sales tax revenue stream for Erie residents as agreed in the landmark “50-50 revenue sharing” IGA with Lafayette I helped negotiate. The Town Center project, approximately 400 acres in the center of town across from the Erie Community Center, is one of the single most exciting and place-making opportunities in Erie’s history. I understand the importance of ensuring the project is executed mindfully to uphold Erie’s core principles and honor our rich history. The designs, completed through unprecedented community collaboration during my first term, have the community buzzing. Included in the designs are a small grocery store, hotel, community park space, small business startup space, community plaza, retail, dining and office space and diverse housing. I am uniquely qualified to guide this extraordinary opportunity from a set of designs to a unifying space we are all proud of.
Open Space 5) What is your position on Open Space, with respect to allowing developers to pay fees to reduce it and the town purchasing more Open Space? Four days after giving birth to my second son, I returned to the dais to cast a Yes vote for the single largest open space acquisition in Erie history. The Wise Farms property, 169 acres of transcendent beauty, is more than double Erie’s previous largest open space acquisition. I understand Erie residents cherish open space as a timeless, invaluable town amenity so residents can trust that I will continue investing in our world-class open space and parks portfolio as Mayor. I believe Erie residents are less concerned about the logistics of which party purchases the open space and more focused on ensuring the maximum amount of open space is acquired, preferably in accessible locations that are easier to enjoy. Accounting games that reduce open space commitments from developers for Erie residents are not tolerated on my watch. My approval of the single largest open space purchase in Erie history in my first term as Mayor was just the start. >>>
Infrastructure 6) What is your plan to grow the townâ€™s infrastructure to support the growing population and resulting increased traffic? I negotiated the doubling of straight lanes crossing 287 and Arapahoe as part of the Nine Mile project, at 287 and Arapahoe, to alleviate painful and increasing traffic congestion for Erie commuters. Residents can expect to see a noticeable improvement at 287 and Arapahoe during rush hour in late 2020 after construction is completed. In my first term as Mayor, I demonstrated the ability to cultivate partnerships with neighboring county and municipal governments. Because transportation changes require a local coalition, these improved relationships will help us implement transportation solutions that alleviate increasing congestion for our residents commuting to work and for our neighbors to support Erie businesses. Commuters to neighboring cities such as Boulder and Denver will benefit by additional doubling of lane capacities through green lights at our congested borders to reduce commute times for Erie residents. I helped create intersection improvement plans for 287 and Erie Parkway which will begin construction in 2021. As Mayor, I will continue collaborating with surrounding municipalities and jurisdictions to make improvements to our gateways and corridors of Highway 7 and Erie Parkway/I25.
Jennifer Carroll FOR
You 1) Tell us about yourself, your family and why you are running? My name is Barry Luginbill and in short, I am a man who is directed by a relentless work ethic, servant heart and strong values. At the age of 21, I took a job in the warehouse of a local manufacturing company. Twenty years later, I am the Global Operations Manager for that same company. I graduated with the 2019 class of Leadership Program of the Rockies and am the current Chair of the Erie Economic Development Council. I know the true meaning of fighting hard for a better future. I put myself through college â€” becoming the first person in my family to ever graduate from college. I am a volunteer football coach at Erie High School, I am loyal, and have stayed committed to serving the company, employees I work with and the community I live in. I am a committed husband to Jessica, my wife, and dedicated father and stepfather to our five children ranging in age from 20 to 3. I guide, with strength, both within my business and my family â€” not because I am a great leader, but because I am a great listener. I graduated from Centaurus High School in Lafayette and have lived in the surrounding communities since 1993. I moved to Erie with my family in 2016. I am running for Mayor because I believe my life experience, education, and business acumen bring a level of leadership and accountability to our Board that Erie so desperately needs. Our town is in a position where fiduciary responsibility and accountability need to be restored to reduce the financial burden we have placed on our residents.
2) Why should the community put their trust in you and what will you do to unite the community, stopping the disrespect towards those with different opinions?
Â In my career, I work with individuals all over the world and in some instances, we bring together cultures that historically do not get along with each other. My leadership style and experience have given me the confidence that I can unite the Board, the Town Staff, and project a sense of unity throughout the community. Residents will then realize that though we all may not agree on everything, we can have civil discussion and debate, without creating a culture of division. I truly believe our community is longing for leadership that promotes unity, even through disagreements, and I have displayed this ability in our community, and in all aspects of my life.
O&G 3) What is your plan for putting health and safety first, related to Oil & Gas operations in neighborhoods and near schools? SB 181 gives us the ability to control operations locally, and this is something that our residents have spoken clearly that they want and need. I believe we should take a hard look at what SB 181 allows us to do as a local municipality, as well as, what makes sense for our community. In looking at what other municipalities have done since this has passed, I would have to say that I am most impressed with how Adams County handled this. They listened to their residents and implemented regulations that reduced the impact of oil and gas exploration on their residents. Erie can look at doing as well. I believe we need to develop an advisory team that includes experts from both sides of oil and gas, possibly a lobbyist that understands law and regulation and can act at the state in a political arena. This would provide the board and residents information and advice on our options and how we go about eliminating a negative impact on our community. In addition, a team comprised of experts from both sides of the oil and gas would ensure all our residents have a voice and it would be my recommendation that just like an environmental planner, these people would be appointed through staff and citizen groups. I would encourage this group of individuals to host community events based on education, sounding boards for concerns, and general roundtable discussions. I truly believe this will allow us to make decisions that are best for Erie and our residents. >>>
Economic Development 4) What is your plan for attracting new businesses such as: restaurants, retail, centralized grocery store, and service, that are not fast food or dental offices, allowing residents to put their money back into Erie, rather than neighboring towns? Before we focus on bringing in new businesses, we need to work with existing businesses to help ensure they thrive. Currently we have businesses struggling immensely due to astronomical tax increases. We will do our town a huge disservice if we do not focus on all the special taxing districts and understand how they make it nearly impossible for small business to operate in Erie. Once we can create a solid foundation, like what our neighboring communities have done, we will see an increased interest in businesses coming to Erie. As someone whose company explored Erie as an option to move our business, I can say with firsthand knowledge, we do not have an environment that is friendly to new business. We must evaluate our processes, fees, taxing structure, and other requirements on businesses to ensure we are competitive enough to make Erie an attractive option.
Open Space 5) What is your position on Open Space, with respect to allowing developers to pay fees to reduce it and the town purchasing more Open Space? I personally am not a fan of the â€œfee in lieu ofâ€? option we give builders. I believe that with every development, we should see open space and/or parks for individuals in that community and our community at large to enjoy. That said, I am also not a proponent of purchasing open space for the sake of purchasing open space. Part of the process of owning open space is maintaining open space and I believe this to be an area we are failing. Whether it be designated open space, town-owned land, or common areas around town, the maintenance and upkeep is severely lacking and that is a concern for many residents. One of the things a neighboring community does is designate a certain percentage of sales tax to the purchase and maintenance of open space. This is a process I am very fond of and would love to see Erie focus on. We have a tremendous amount of land and maintaining it should be much higher on the priority list.
Infrastructure 6) What is your plan to grow the townâ€™s infrastructure to support the growing population and resulting increased traffic? I am not necessarily sure growing the infrastructure is necessary as the developers, in most cases, will be responsible for the infrastructure needed to complete their project, like what Erie Highlands and Colliers Hill did with Erie Parkway. That said, infrastructure such as water, parking in Old Town, and even trunk infrastructure out at I-25 are things on which we should focus. As most might be aware of by now, Erie is in the beginning stages of challenging a recent change to flood planes (now flood ways) set forth by Boulder County and FEMA. With the newly released change, our water treatment facility is now surrounded by flood ways which bring extreme challenges to expanding it to support the growth already approved. >>>
If we are unsuccessful with our challenge, this expansion will likely cost significantly more due to the infrastructure that will need to be put into place to lift the facility out of the flood way. Areas like 1-25 are areas we missed huge opportunities to develop recently through TIF funding. Now we will be tasked with finding other ways to fund that project. Ultimately, we need to take advantage of opportunities when presented, ensure that developers are completing their required infrastructure additions and improvements, and ensure that all new approved development has a solid plan for infrastructure, specifically roads and traffic signals, will be implemented. I would bring a level of forward thinking and planning that would address some of the infrastructure needs and issues before they arise, allowing us to operate in a proactive manner rather than reactive.
Barry Luginbill FOR
Christiaan van Woudenberg
You 1) Tell us about yourself, your family and why you are running? I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa of Dutch parents, grew up near Edmonton, Alberta, and have been a Colorado resident for over 30 years. After an undergraduate degree in molecular biology from CU Boulder and graduate work in computational biology at CU Denver, I ran my own software development company for 5 years before moving to enterprise software development. I’m currently a Chief Product Owner at Maxar, Inc. in Westminster, where I coordinate software development for a group that creates advanced products from our satellite imagery. My two teenage daughters and I have been in Erie since 2007, where we enjoy the mountain views, the small-town feeling, and easy access to all that Denver and Boulder have to offer. I have been a Trustee for the Town of Erie since 2018; public service has been an incredibly rewarding, yet challenging endeavor. Erie is at yet another crossroads; I am running for Mayor of Erie because I believe we still have time to pivot from a bedroom community to a thriving self-sustaining city that is both economically and environmentally sustainable.
2) Why should the community put their trust in you and what will you do to unite the community, stopping the disrespect towards those with different opinions?
In my time as Trustee for the Town, I have held true to my beliefs and the platform upon which I ran, advocating above all else for our residents’ health, safety, and welfare. I’m the only Board member that has attended every Board of Trustees regular meeting since I was elected. I am a committed public servant. I stood alone in my opposition to the Crestone operator agreement because none of the provisions of the agreement were sufficient to prevent a recurrence of the noise and odor nuisances of previous operations. I have the conviction to stand up for my principles and our community. I am proud of the integrity I bring to the office of Trustee, and will continue to do the same as Mayor. As a Trustee, I’ve already dealt with a number of contentious issues, from oil & gas to open carry at Town facilities and downtown parking. I look to the framework that we’ve already built with the Town Administrator for public engagement to proactively identify such issues and add extensive community involvement to issues that warrant it. However, we need to learn from our past missteps, such as with Crestone operator agreement and the engagement with the Republican Women of Weld. Clear communication, clear expectations, and open community involvement are all central to ensuring residents’ views are heard and incorporated into the Board’s decisions.
O&G 3) What is your plan for putting health and safety first, related to Oil & Gas operations in neighborhoods and near schools? We must put an end to the practice of residential drilling; if only we treated unconventional oil & gas exploration like any other industry, the practice would cease to exist. I’ve testified at numerous COGCC hearings and legislative sessions, consistently calling for an end to residential drilling. I believe in a just transition from fossil fuels to carbon-free renewables; I’ll vigorously support programs that ensure the workers that have given so much to heat our homes, fuel our cars, and ensure our energy independence can transfer their skills to other industries. >>>
Economic Development 4) What is your plan for attracting new businesses such as: restaurants, retail, centralized grocery store, and service, that are not fast food or dental offices, allowing residents to put their money back into Erie, rather than neighboring towns? Developers of all sizes still face significant challenges with bringing projects to Erie; between frustrations at the Planning department, an overly-prescriptive Unified Development Code, and excessive fees, it’s time to overhaul how we bring development to Erie. When we show success in our implementation of the Town Center master plan to start in on two of the five parcels this year, we will use this model to attract additional unique, place-making developments to the Town. The Town Center master plan includes 255,000 sf of retail commercial space, 76,000 sf of live-work space, as well as a 46,000 sf grocery store. While the project is ambitious in scope, it represents 2% of our planning area and one year’s worth of growth. With the addition of Westerly to the east and 9 Mile to the west, we’re finally on our way to weaning ourselves from a revenue reliance on residential building permits.
Open Space 5) What is your position on Open Space, with respect to allowing developers to pay fees to reduce it and the town purchasing more Open Space? Fee in lieu agreements should only be used under special circumstances for small infill developments where an open space dedication would render the project infeasible. In the vast majority of cases, open space dedications and neighborhood parks should be incorporated within a development to ensure residents have nearby opportunities to enjoy these amenities. Town staff constantly monitors the real estate market for open space acquisition opportunities, bolstered by a Trails & Natural Areas Fund that expects to see $2MM in contributions for 2020 from general property tax alone. The same fund was the majority source of funds for the Wise Farm open space acquisition, Erie’s largest ever. While I too was a bit shocked at the price tag, this acquisition is another key step in preserving what’s left of Erie’s rural character for future generations. >>>
Infrastructure 6) What is your plan to grow the town’s infrastructure to support the growing population and resulting increased traffic? Traffic and the lack of regional transportation infrastructure is one of the top issues facing Erie and the surrounding municipalities. Given state and federal gas tax rates upon which CDOT relies haven’t changed since 1991, only $209MM is available for local projects for the entire state each year. We’re already significantly constrained by traffic on SH7 and Highway 52 with no near-term projects on the horizon to alleviate congestion through these crucial corridors. As Mayor, I will continue to explore public-private partnerships with developers and neighboring communities to build out our transportation infrastructure to the vision set forth in the various transportation master plans. A robust and reliable public transportation network between Erie, Denver, and Boulder is another key aspect to solving our transportation woes, but has similar funding issues. Between RTD Fastracks delays on the North Metro Rail Line, recent proposals to cut back RTD JUMP service between Erie and Boulder, and an analysis showing the SH7/I-25 interchange reaching a failure state in less than 10 years, our membership in the State Highway 7 Coalition is crucial to advocating for our residents’ needs. As Mayor, I’ll aggressively advocate for funding these projects with state and federal resources where possible.
Christiaan van Woudenberg FOR
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SHOULD YOU SELL YOUR HOUSE TO AN IBUYER? by Sally Grenier You’ve probably been hearing a lot about so-called “iBuyers” and are wondering what’s involved. An iBuyer is a company that will buy your home for cash, so you can then go and purchase your next home without a contingency. These companies claim to “accelerate the buying and selling of homes, making the process easier and immediately profitable for sellers who want to get their hands on the cash sooner than later.”
What is “Fair Market Value”? Basically, it’s what a ready, willing and able buyer is going to pay for your home on the open market, and is often based on what similar properties have been selling for in recent months. Third, the iBuyer isn’t looking out for your best interests. They are just looking to make some quick cash. Here is a real world example of how the numbers add up:
Sound too good to be true? It IS! If you’re in a hurry to sell, and don’t care how much money you get for your house, or how much it costs you, then go for it! But if you want to get the most out of your home’s equity, then you’re MUCH better off by selling with a REALTOR. Selling to an iBuyer is all about convenience. But what is the actual COST for that convenience? First, the iBuyer is going to charge you 6%-7%. Yes, this is similar (or MORE) than what a REALTOR will charge you to list & market your home, but that commission gets split between listing agent & buyer’s agent. An iBuyer pockets 100% of that fee. Second — and this is a key point — the iBuyer is NOT going to pay you fair market value for your home. They are going to give you a lowball offer, possibly as much as 10% below fair market value. Here is a real world example of an offer from Perch.com. They made an offer of $458K (which, coincidentally, was the AVERAGE selling price in the neighborhood). This did not take into account things like bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, lot size, location, schools, or UPDATES! If I were to list that home today I’d list it for $495K.
If you’re thinking of selling, you’ll want to look at ALL factors involved. If getting top dollar for your home is your number one priority, then selling to an iBuyer is NOT the way to go. But if you’re looking for a quick sale without the “hassle” of listing your home traditionally, then selling to an iBuyer might be a good option for you. If you’re curious to know what the Fair Market Value is of your home, I’d be happy to perform a FREE market analysis so you can see the numbers yourself!
Should You Sell Your House to an iBuyer?
Sally Grenier is a longtime Colorado resident and has lived in Erie for 15 years. For more information about Sally, please visit: sallygrenier.com
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The Power of DP’s Sweet Life An Interview with Danay Powers, owner of the new DP’s Sweet Life
ELIFE: Tell us about yourself and your family. Where are you originally from? DANAY: I am a Colorado native through and through. I am originally from Arvada, Colorado but have lived in Erie with my husband for eleven years now. We have three amazing boys (12, 9, and 7) and a little red headed princess (3 years old). I met my husband, Andy, 16 years ago in college. We became great friends and then started dating 14 years ago. We have been married for 12 years. He’s my best friend. The best husband anyone could ask for. ELIFE: What prompted you to delve into the baking business? DANAY: I have always been an artistic person but never truly had an outlet until I found my love for baking about ten years ago. I would bring my homemade cake or cupcakes to my kid’s birthday parties and the guests really seemed to love how they looked and tasted. Over time, I began getting requests from friends and family to do sweet treats for their events. In the year of 2017, I had 1 order a week for the entire year! This was before we officially announced that we were going to start a bakery. In mid 2017, my husband and I began doing market research on the town that we live in (Erie, CO) to see if a bakery is something that was needed. During this process, we kept on seeing cake requests on the Erie, Colorado Facebook page and my name would be recommended many times. I knew I had something special and wanted to share it with everyone. We opened the business officially in January of 2018. From there, as people had positive experiences, they told their friends and business began picking up. Fast forward to eleven months later, we are now fulfilling roughly 100 custom orders a month, have two full time employees, and are about to officially open the doors on our bakery in old town Erie. ELIFE: What’s your favorite thing to bake? DANAY: My absolute favorite part of the business is to create and decorate realistic looking cakes. So far, I have done guitars, snakes, footballs, and many more. Regardless what a customer is looking for, I am up to the challenge. >>>
ELIFE: Whatâ€™s the most difficult thing you have baked before? DANAY: Just before we organized the business in December of 2017, an order came in from a friend that had a corporate client that needed 800 Christmas sugar cookies. This was a time when we had zero employees and no idea how much work went into providing a top notch product on an order of that size. It took roughly seven whole days to produce and we had tables of cookies strewn about all over the house. Without our friends and family that order would have never been completed as successfully as it came out. ELIFE: Tell us something that most people donâ€™t know about you. DANAY: One thing that no one seems to know is that I am completely self taught and have no formal baking education. All of our recipes and creations were put together from hard work and trial and error. Also, on top of having four young kids and a flourishing new bakery, my husband is on the road roughly 100 nights a year for business which puts sleep at a real premium right now. ELIFE: Tell us about your new location in Erie. DANAY: Our location is a real labor of love for sure. We have personally put in the time to rehab the 60 year old building during nights and weekends. One thing that makes our bakery different is that we really put an emphasis on providing the customer the full baking experience in the form of decorating classes and birthday parties. We have been Erie residents for some time now and love providing a sweet new place in old town so we can further be a part of this amazing community.
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T R U S C A N D I
S T E E D A T E S
You 1) Tell us about yourself, your family and why you are running? I am BRyon Bednar and I’m running for Erie Trustee. To understand why my first name is spelled with two capital letters, check out Bednar4Erie.com. I’ve been married to my best friend for 38 years and we have 3 sons, 3 daughtersin-law and 5 grandkids. I’m running for office for them, and you, and your children and grandkids. My primary reason for running is that Erie has failed the Prime Directive for every elected official: Protect Health, Safety & Environment. In 1935 Erie noticed the streets were caving in because coal mines were too close to the surface. That legacy continues with Oil and Gas. Erie’s #1 issue that must be addressed is that we continue to fail to protect the health and safety of our citizens. My pledge is to inspire Erie leaders to do the right thing and put Health & Safety First & Always. The second reason I am running is to help create an Integrated Comprehensive Plan. Our development decisions do not adequately consider long-term impacts to the balances necessary for a robust community. Also, Erie growth should be guided by a Financial Master Plan but one does not exist. The third main reason for running is to help Erie grow from a Statutory Town to a Home Rule City.
2) Why should the community put their trust in you and what will you do to unite the community, stopping the disrespect towards those with different opinions? I’m not a politician but I’m told that I’m a good listener. I’m an experienced Professional Engineer who has led teams in environment, safety, construction and operations; getting things done while protecting health and safety. I’m a nationally recognized Planning Leader who developed an integrated planning process for the Air Force that won the National Endowment for the Arts Presidential Federal Design Award. I have served as a Capital Investment Program Manager directing the 5-year Operations & Maintenance, Energy, Comprehensive Planning, and Housing programs worth over one billion dollars supporting 9 Air Force bases, 10 stations, and 58 remote sites with $5.8 billion of facilities and 485,663 acres of land spread around the world. I have served my community as trustee for three different churches and as Vice President of Properties for the Pikes Peak Boy Scout Council. But all that experience is meaningless without a coalition. And that brings me back to listening. Trust and respect must start with hearing and empathizing with all sides. As long as we can unite behind our primary goal of protecting health, safety and environment, I’m convinced we can find a common path and build respect and unity within the Town’s leadership, among the citizens, and the neighboring communities.
O&G 3) What is your plan for putting health and safety first, related to Oil & Gas operations in neighborhoods and near schools? I testified at our State Capitol twice in support of Senate Bill 181 and met with our Governor and Senator to advocate for support. I discussed the implementation of the new law with the head of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. SB181 provides the State and Erie the authority to write and enforce rules that will protect our health and safety. Erie’s rules will be reflected in the Unified Development Code which I helped revise. However, I also believe National Security is essential for our health and safety and Energy Independence is key. Through conservation, renewable energy and successful Oil and Gas extraction, our country is almost independent of non-US carbon fuel. While we support the oil and gas workers who discover and deliver the oil and gas we use every day, we must not expose children and families to the hazards of oil and gas extraction. Neighborhood drilling, too close to homes and schools, must stop. >>>
Economic Development 4) What is your plan for attracting new businesses such as: restaurants, retail, centralized grocery store, and service, that are not fast food or dental offices, allowing residents to put their money back into Erie, rather than neighboring towns? I would love to tell you there is a quick and easy answer; but there’s not. The Erie we have today didn’t happen overnight. It is the result of incremental decisions about land use and short-term financial needs all made without the benefit of an integrated comprehensive plan. If you look at the Towns website you will see a long list of outdated “Master Plans” that aren’t coordinated. You will also notice there is no Financial Master Plan that could guide where Erie will spend your money and, more importantly, where they will get it. So, the answer is imbedded in the question: “Plan.” However, it is Plan the verb, not the noun. Successful planning is a never-ending process. It does not result in a book gathering dust or a web link never used. I have already discussed some of these ideas with the Town Administrator. I believe we already have the tools to make Erie more than fast food chains or dental offices. I also believe our transition to Home Rule will provide enhanced authority to drive a better balance for future development.
Open Space 5) What is your position on Open Space, with respect to allowing developers to pay fees to reduce it and the town purchasing more Open Space? Tradeoffs can serve a function if they are consistent with the Comprehensive Planning Process. However, your question implies that Erie is not good at negotiating reduced Open Space in one area only to buy more somewhere else. You are right and I believe the problem goes well beyond Open Space. I am concerned about other decisions the current Board has made such as the truncated development at 9-Mile Corner and the outrageous Crestone Operator Agreement that put a 30-well mega pad barely 500 feet from our Erie citizens and 1,000 feet from our neighbors in Broomfield. One of the current Trustees even testified at the Capitol that the project is second only to Battlement Mesa for the most harmful oil and gas project in Colorado. I believe the current board is comprised of good individuals but I suspect they are not getting good advice. That’s not a very direct answer to your question so let me try to summarize. Open Space is an essential element of every community. If a developer’s tradeoff jeopardizes the balance of Open versus Developed space in the proposed development area, it must be disapproved. If the balance can be maintained, a win/win solution is possible. >>>
Infrastructure 6) What is your plan to grow the townâ€™s infrastructure to support the growing population and resulting increased traffic? There are three parts to this answer and all three must work in concert. First, the Financial Master Plan I propose must demonstrate the capacity to fund near-term construction costs and long-term sustainment. Second, if the proposed development or annexation is consistent with the Comprehensive Planning Process AND supported by the Financial Master Plan then it can be approved. Third, part of the Comprehensive Planning Process is competent Traffic Engineering. We all know of intersections where the guard rails are always damaged or accidents frequently occur. Comprehensive Planning embraces all the interconnected infrastructure elements but none seem more neglected that traffic when you wait three light cycles to get through an intersection. Each new development must be evaluated against the capacity of the entire infrastructure network. In the case of traffic, that network does not stop at the Townâ€™s border. Unless we use our planning process to interface with adjacent communities, counties and the State, more and more of our roads will be like Highway 7 and our intersections like Erie Parkway and 287.
Bryon Bednar FOR
You 1) Tell us about yourself, your family and why you are running? I am Brandon Bell and I hope to earn your vote on April 7th for the Board of Trustees. I grew up in Boulder where I went to Fairview High School. I met my wife Theresa back in 1992 at CSU and we have been married for 23 years. We have four children, Myranda (21), Dawson (18), Bethany (15) and Miles (13). Myranda is a senior at MSU Denver studying Elementary Education, and Dawson is a biochemistry major at Ft. Lewis College. Bethany and Miles attend Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette. Theresa is completing her certification in special education and is a reading specialist for children with dyslexia. We moved to Erie in July of 2017 and have attended Calvary Bible Church in Erie since 2016, where I occasionally play drums on the worship team. I attended Colorado State University and originally was going to be a musician (I played the drums since I was 9). I had a career change and went into IT/software engineering and have spent 22 years in that field. I am currently a Lead R&D Software Quality Assurance Engineer at Broadcom Ltd. I have served on non-profit advisory boards. I have been a parent volunteer at Peak to Peak charter school, where I also served as assistant coach for girl’s golf when my daughter was on the team. I want to see Erie move into a path of economic prosperity, while maintaining the things we all know and love about this town. The parks, the trails and the family atmosphere which makes Erie one of the best places in Colorado to raise a family.
2) Why should the community put their trust in you and what will you do to unite the community, stopping the disrespect towards those with different opinions? I believe that my colleagues I’ve worked with throughout my career, would say that I am trustworthy. While I am not perfect, I hold integrity and honesty in the highest regard. Elected officials should have a reputation that is above reproach, and candidates should be upfront about issues or conflicts of interest they have. As far as uniting the community, the most important thing you can do as a leader is listen. We will never get everyone in town to agree on everything, and there are still deep disagreements on the direction the town is taking. Some folks want more retail, others don’t want any new growth. There is always a choice to be made, and there will always be some that disagree. Leadership isn’t about always being right, or always satisfying someone’s wishes. Leadership is making a decision, standing behind it, but also holding yourself accountable for the repercussions of your decisions.
O&G 3) What is your plan for putting health and safety first, related to Oil & Gas operations in neighborhoods and near schools? First off, I am absolutely in support of protecting residents who have had issues with proximity to oil and gas operations in Erie. However, rather than pitting one side against the other, I believe in working with people to find mutually beneficial solutions while holding the oil and gas companies accountable. We need to reject the dichotomy that either you’re a stooge of the oil companies or you are for shutting down all oil and gas operations. I do not believe people who work in the energy industry are bad people. They are working a job just like every other American, and many of these workers are Erie residents themselves. Many of the oil and gas operations that are in close proximity to housing, are in unincorporated Weld County and outside Erie’s jurisdiction. We need to work with our neighbors and the county commissioners to resolve some of these issues rather than try and go it alone. >>>
Economic Development 4) What is your plan for attracting new businesses such as: restaurants, retail, centralized grocery store, and service, that are not fast food or dental offices, allowing residents to put their money back into Erie, rather than neighboring towns? I think the town generally has a good plan for economic development and we have seen some positive projects come to town over the past few years, like the BCH campus, the franchise restaurants on Highway 7, or the town working with CoSolve who will be locating in the 105 Wells Street building. I would like to see improvements with permitting fees as being possible barriers to businesses coming into Erie. I know the Economic Development planner is in the process of launching new tax incentive programs for businesses in Erie, and while Iâ€™m excited to see that, I want to make sure it remains competitive with surrounding areas, especially to the east of us. Our greatest opportunity is at the I-25 corridor, and thankfully there have been a few things set into motion that will finally allow us to bring water and sewer to those areas. However, the current boards failure to get the major contributors for the TIF districts at the I-25 URA was a huge setback. I would like to try to rectify that, as it will mean tens of millions of dollars that can help fund infrastructure for that key area of commercial development.
Open Space 5) What is your position on Open Space, with respect to allowing developers to pay fees to reduce it and the town purchasing more Open Space? As much as Erie has grown, it has always kept a good mixture of suburban and rural living. I am glad to see that the Wise Farm area was able to be maintained for open space. As long as we have a economic model for buying and preserving those areas, I think itâ€™s good for the town. Wise farms is able to produce revenue through agricultural leases. Erie did end up paying a premium price for that property due to a failed development project, so we need to be respectful of the budget to ensure that maintenance costs are within reason. As far as developers paying fee in lieu of open space, the whole idea of that policy is a prohibitive impact fee to encourage use of open space. This is a policy that I think it would be determined on a case by case basis. If someone is trying to take advantage of the fees to create more density, hopefully that will be apparent in the review process. There may be cases where a developer cannot make a project work without falling below the threshold for open space. The most important thing is to see that the developer is working with town staff and the board in the review process and taking input back into their plats when revisions are made. >>>
Infrastructure 6) What is your plan to grow the townâ€™s infrastructure to support the growing population and resulting increased traffic? We need to work with town staff on revisiting the master plan for roads in Erie. In talking to residents, infrastructure, and the conditions of the roads are some of the most consistent complaints I have heard. Erie is built off a county road grid that has been here longer than most of the residents have, and since most residents are commuters it creates a strain on traffic flow. We also need to make sure that new development does not further strain the northsouth traffic through town. While I am generally in favor of the Town Center plan, I am gravely concerned about the proposed access point at the corner of County Line Rd. and Austin Ave, as it will create a bottle neck for south bound traffic. I would like to see improvement plans for the north-south access roads through town. CR5 is the main route between the High School and residents on the north-east side of town trying to access retail along Highway 7, and drivers on that road must compete with truck access to the landfill. Also, there will be heavy construction traffic on CR7 when work on the new substation for United Power begins. Funding is obviously a problem and we need to find a tenable solution so we can build those roads out. For general infrastructure around new development, I would like to direct town staff to work on an incentive program that would encourage developers to build more of the infrastructure up front rather than staged.
Brandon Bell FOR
You 1) Tell us about yourself, your family and why you are running? As a member of the Erie Planning Commission since 2015, I have been involved in working with my six other planning commissioners to help steer Erie’s economic and residential growth in the most pragmatic and innovative way possible. While at the same time keeping the health and safety for not only my family, but all of Erie’s families as the core foundation of what makes Erie such an attractive place to live. Me: My wife and I moved to Erie in the winter of 2011, and our daughter was born in October of 2011. As an eight year old, she is the light of our life, and our North Star when it comes to making life decisions that impact her, and the family as a whole. I am a gold star son. My father was a Denver, CO resident from the time he was 5 until he died. He was a 1967 West Point Graduate and helicopter pilot who was killed in action in Vietnam when I was 6 months old. My mom went back to school at the University of Colorado, and met her current husband, who was attending CU Boulder to earn his Masters in Civil Engineering, and was an active Naval officer, who she married in 1973, and he became my Dad. I continued to grow up as a military brat for the first 17 years of my life, living in several states and finally residing outside of Washington DC in Bethesda, Maryland. I graduated from Marquette University with a BA degree in Political Science, with a focus on National Security Policy. Upon graduation I returned to Washington DC and worked for the US House of Representatives on a sub-committee that dealt with International Trade policies and programs for Small Business. As much as I enjoyed working for the US House of Representatives, I realized that the world was going to change rapidly as a result of the legislation that was being worked on at the time, would eventually become the landmark Telecommunications Act of 1996. The legislation would unleash a bold new world for the commercial internet, and rapidly change the way we work, live and interact with each other. As a result, I switched careers at the age of 23, to the wild west of hi tech and telecommunications industries and worked at companies such as Microsoft, ICG and Level 3 Communications, and as business analyst and project management consultant for a well known consulting company and other small start ups along the way that were at the forefront of the technology revolution, culminating in landing at University of Colorado-Boulder in 2012 as a Senior Project Manager, where I am currently employed. Throughout my life and career, one constant has always been front and center...CHANGE. Getting married in 2008, I spent three years attending Graduate School at the University of Denver, while working full time, during the upheaval of the Great Recession and earned my Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership with a focus on Innovation and Change. Because the central theme of my life has been about change, I believe that I am uniquely suited to handle the unprecedented change that the Town of Erie is going through now, and in the future. In 2015, I was appointed to the Planning Commission, and have been working with six peers within the framework of its statutory authority to provide expertise and judgement on issues of housing, zoning, and business opportunities that come before the commission. It is our job to provide counsel to the Board of Trustees, on doing the necessary due diligence when it comes to analyzing and voting on issues that will provide a positive impact for Erie now and for generations to come. It is through gaining this experience, that I decided to contribute even more of my time and experience to helping guide Erie in a positive direction. >>>
2) Why should the community put their trust in you and what will you do to unite the community, stopping the disrespect towards those with different opinions? I try and follow a life lived with Integrity. I strive to deal with people from a position of Trust, Communication, Collaboration and Respect, whether it be throughout my 25 year career in the hi-tech and government industries, my homelife, the Planning Commission, and with friends and family. For the most part, I value people’s opinion, as long as they are grounded in sincere honesty, integrity, fact and positive passion, and as a successful project manager, that is how I am able to get work completed successfully.
O&G 3) What is your plan for putting health and safety first, related to Oil & Gas operations in neighborhoods and near schools? With the passage of SB-181, local communities like Erie, now have more control when it comes to shielding our schools and homes by using our newly granted powers of local zoning and ordinance authority to improve our air quality, protect our drinking water and reduce the noise that comes from the negative impacts of oil and gas operations not only within our town limits, but working in unison with our neighbors in Lafayette, Broomfield and Boulder to strengthen our resolve to protect our healthy way of life for all citizens of Erie. In addition, with the future maturation to a home rule governance model for the Town of Erie, it will be incumbent upon us to codify our charter in the language that is both aspirational, realistic, and legal. Which means, that we will leverage our new found control to do what is right to ensure that the impacts of O&G are mitigated as much as possible, so that we can provide the level of assurance for our citizens that the air they breathe, the water they drink and the environment they raise their families up in, is as healthy as possible.
Economic Development 4) What is your plan for attracting new businesses such as: restaurants, retail, centralized grocery store, and service, that are not fast food or dental offices, allowing residents to put their money back into Erie, rather than neighboring towns? Info from my website that addresses this: Erie’s Formula for Long Term Success • I believe in a strong and responsible collaboration between Erie’s town government and business to enable businesses to not only start in Erie, but to thrive in both the short and long term. • I believe in a balanced multi-pronged approach to developing a strong, diverse, vibrant and sustainable business foundation that can enable Erie to become a model for public-private partnership in the Front Range. • Fiscally Responsible Incentives Package • Providing a fair and equitable incentives package for businesses both small and medium size, that benefits not only the businesses by helping grow their business, so that they can plant their strong roots here in Erie for the long term, while also enabling Erie to diversify and grow its tax revenue base so that not only can it pay for the necessary amenities that our citizens young and old have asked for, but can also mitigate the effects of the boom and busts cycle that our local, state and national economies experience every few years. >>>
• Town Center Development • Town Center: My experience as a project manager will be a valuable asset for the Board of Trustees when it comes to guiding the building of the new Town Center in the core of Erie. The new Town Center will serve as central business and cultural location for the Town of Erie for generations to come. It is important that we get it right. • Airport Park Business Development • Airport Park business opportunity: I believe that in addition to the Town Center, Erie Municipal Airport can be a robust engine for economic development. It is time to leverage the unique opportunity we have with our Airport to bring in a different kind of business to our town.
Open Space 5) What is your position on Open Space, with respect to allowing developers to pay fees to reduce it and the town purchasing more Open Space? It is an ongoing conversation about the model that has been developed to enable the town to ensure that we balance our development building with the right amount of open space, so that our citizens way of life is not adversely impacted. The current model has provide a method for doing that, however, as we all know conditions change, so it is a policy that should always be modulated to reflect the changing economic times, and challenges we face as we manage our growth appropriately.
Infrastructure 6) What is your plan to grow the town’s infrastructure to support the growing population and resulting increased traffic? As a resident of Erie, and one who commutes to work, and outside the town to shop, I am truly passionate about this issue, as it is one that impacts all of Erie’s citizens on a day to day basis. It is time to begin next chapter of our strategy to improve our infrastructure to scale our roads, provide more variety of recreation amenities, and other services to meet the demands and expectations of our citizens, so that we can capitalize on the work already in progress. For more information, please click on the following link: HERE As a highly experienced project manager, strategic thinking coupled with highly effective implementation of thoughtful and highly effective tactical solutions will help enable Erie to constantly evolve and stay ahead of the curve in the future, as our demographics and population continue to change in more rapid ways than we can imagine.
Ari Harrison FOR
You 1) Tell us about yourself, your family and why you are running? I have lived in Erie for 18 years, my daughter completing K-12 while competing in basketball; and my son will complete K-12 in two years. I love the experience of the Erie community, and believe it has so much to offer. I want to help shepherd the necessary economic growth, keeping Erie a pleasant and thriving community, protecting and building on the charm of Old Town, while ensuring quality development in newer areas. I believe my accounting and finance background, which includes years as both an external auditor and internal auditor of financial statements and operations of for-profit companies and governmental entities makes me a strong candidate to help ensure the town stays on a fiscally healthy path.
2) Why should the community put their trust in you and what will you do to unite the community, stopping the disrespect towards those with different opinions? I have a vested interest in the town, having lived here longer than I consistently lived anywhere else. I am a two-time homeowner, and am not going anywhere, so I need to be accountable for my actions. I am active in the community and will be facing residents on a regular basis. Beyond that, my employment record indicates consistency, continuity and the ability to work within very diverse cultures. I am active on several Erie Facebook pages, and I would say that I am respectful toward people, whether or not in agreement with them.
O&G 3) What is your plan for putting health and safety first, related to Oil & Gas operations in neighborhoods and near schools? SB181 is supposed to provide more guidance on the what and how of what we can expect the framework of that relationship to be, but those rules are slow in coming. In the meantime, we need to work as symbiotically as possible with O&G companies to ensure the highest quality and thoroughness of monitoring operations that end up moving forward. Both sides have rights; both sides have obligations. The governance aspect of the Board of Trustees is to balance those in accordance with statues, and in accordance with the wishes of the town’s residents, not my own needs and wants. I believe both the 2018 Erie election and the Proposition 112 ballot initiative gave an indication of what residents want. The 2018 Erie election resulted in our current board, with trustees Haig, Deakin and van Woudenberg being elected. The Proposition 112 ballot initiative to make the “setback” distance 2500 feet from any structure intended for human occupancy was more difficult to analyze. While Prop112 was defeated 55% to 45% statewide, the town of Erie voted approximately just the opposite, 55% - 45% in FAVOR of 2500 ft setbacks. If that’s what residents wanted then, I’m hard pressed to think it has changed drastically in the intervening 16 months. How do I know this? I downloaded precinct results from the Colorado Secretary of State website and mapped that data to Erie precinct maps. I just love spreadsheets THAT MUCH!! Actually, I just wanted to know how the town of Erie voted. I am happy to share my analysis. >>>
There continue to be contentious sides to the oil and gas issue. The health and safety of our neighborhoods and schools should not be contentious, and we absolutely need to err on the side of safety. The opposing sides have conflicting claims of fact vs. fiction, so we must build a plan to either bridge the opposing claims or assume a worst case so that we can protect our schools, neighborhoods and community. An agreement to a set of data points or assumptions is the first step to defining how we monitor odors, sounds and emissions, or audit of the chemicals and water that is being used in oil and gas operations. The town needs to hold oil and gas companies accountable to being good corporate citizens. Irrespective of the election outcome, we have board members who are far more knowledgeable about oil and gas than I am. I already have folders of information to read on both sides of the issue, so I’m catching up!
Economic Development 4) What is your plan for attracting new businesses such as: restaurants, retail, centralized grocery store, and service, that are not fast food or dental offices, allowing residents to put their money back into Erie, rather than neighboring towns? Attracting any new business means the town needs to meet the business’ demographic model, whether that is rooftop count, population count, complimentary businesses, foot traffic, or road access. It also needs to NOT be a pain in the back to get up and running, whether that involves new construction, building out existing locations, or permitting a new type of business, Erie needs to make ALL of this as painless and inexpensive as is reasonably possible to do. The town is already helping with Tax Increment Financing, and reevaluating property tax assessments and categorizations, among other assistance to small businesses. This needs to continue, along with being as aggressive and creative as makes sense. My first short-term goal would be to get as much time with the Economic Development Department as possible without being a distraction. The town has made considerable progress, and I’m not going to march in and try to say I have all the answers. I don’t. What I do want to do is to continue the momentum that we have with Nine Mile, Highway 7 and Town Center. I realize Town Center is a longer-term project, but it behooves us to get going on planning it thoroughly so that we’re moving dirt, not shuffling papers ad nauseum.
Open Space 5) What is your position on Open Space, with respect to allowing developers to pay fees to reduce it and the town purchasing more Open Space? The Wise Farm acreage was a nice purchase by the Erie, protecting an attractive entryway into the town. I would love to have the town continue acquiring open space, personally, but would like input from our citizens before pursuing it too aggressively. I certainly will not automatically vote down an idea on principle, because I really love open space. >>>
Infrastructure 6) What is your plan to grow the townâ€™s infrastructure to support the growing population and resulting increased traffic? There are already several plans in place, including expanding (and traffic controlling!) Erie Parkway toward I-25, rerouting the County Line Road approach and intersection at Highway 7. As building continues, traffic needs to be at the forefront of the Boardâ€™s mind with each and every application. The Town Center preliminary plan has several traffic calming and directing inclusions, but still needs work (or at least in-depth review) before we go too much further down the planning and approval process, in my opinion.
Dan Hoback FOR
You 1) Tell us about yourself, your family and why you are running? My name is James Lee and I am asking for your vote for Trustee. I am a Colorado native, growing up most of my childhood in Thornton. My parents moved our family to Erie in 1997 when I was 15. I fell in love with this town as soon as we moved here. Iâ€™m a fan of wide-open spaces and the countryside. Erie looked quite a bit different back then with more dirt roads and one gas station. I purchased my first home in Erie in 2005. My Wife Kristy and I built our first home in Erie together in 2015. We have a two-year-old son Parker, and our little Shih Tzu dog, Zorro. I have spent my entire life in the trucking and logistics industry. Seven years ago, my family and I started our own business. We started with a small SBA loan and one customer. We have grown that business significantly and profitably over those seven years. I bring business experience to the table. I know how to build a business from the ground up; the time, dedication, blood, sweat and tears when failure is not an option. Iâ€™ll bring that work ethic to the town with me. I am a board member with the Colorado Motor Carriers Association (CMCA). Through the association we have worked on a lot of projects with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to deliver traffic solutions to Colorado. Currently I am part of a working group with CMCA and CDOT addressing a traffic solution for a state highway that runs through Commerce City. My main reason for running is to protect the small town feel of Erie, while helping the town grow responsibly. It is my intention to leverage my business and transportation experience to help shape our future in a positive direction. I will do my part to deliver solutions for the future growth, ensuring we are putting the infrastructures in place to support the growth. We have so many talented people in Erie, it is my intention to listen and work with all of you as we grow together. I want to do my part to give back to the community that has given me and my family so much. I am asking to be your voice, working together, creating solutions.
2) Why should the community put their trust in you and what will you do to unite the community, stopping the disrespect towards those with different opinions? I am asking the community to put their trust in me because I have been a part of the Erie community for 23 years. I have watched Erie go from a map dot nobody really knew about, to now a highly desirable place to live. It is my intention to respect and protect that small-town community feel, knowing that we have to grow responsibly. With a population of almost 30,000 people, it is our responsibility to provide services to the town that the public demands and wants. With my background in transportation and business I am well suited to not only help design the most basic need of moving people successfully through the town, but also attracting the right types of businesses that respect our values as a town. I have heard, and respect, the opinions of the residents who would like to see Erie stop building; unfortunately that is not a reality. What we can do is work together to create solutions to protect that small-town feel while we grow and provide services. This problem is not unique to us; Colorado as a whole has boomed and it is our job to provide solutions for the growth. Sadly, in the last election cycle I saw a lot of disrespect on both sides voicing their opinions on many issues. Rarely is anything accomplished when one side or the other is yelling so loud the other side can no longer hear the argument. I have been in a leadership position from the age of 17, and have the ability to bring people together to create solutions. This is not always an easy task; tough uncomfortable conversations are a part of that process. I am the type of leader who can effectively communicate to bridge that gap to create win-win solutions for both sides. There is always middle ground when each side respects the opinions and ideas of the other. I believe in face-to-face conversations. People tend to be more respectful when they do not have a keyboard to hide behind. We as a town can, and should, do better at respecting each other, I will do my part to lead by example. >>>
O&G 3) What is your plan for putting health and safety first, related to Oil & Gas operations in neighborhoods and near schools? Knowing Erie is where I want my son to grow up, I will always lead with his best interest in mind. I never want to put my family, or yours, at risk. No, I do not want operations in our backyards. Oil and gas in Weld County is a reality, and provides a lot of good paying jobs. Again, it goes back to leadership, working with O&G to create win-win solutions for everyone. I do believe climate change is real, and we have done a lot of good things to work towards combating it, but the reality is oil and gas is still a necessity. I am thankful for the men and women who leave their families to work the rigs to provide you and I the comforts we enjoy at our homes. SB 181 which passed last year gives us as a town more control over the O&G operations that take place in Erie. SB 181 gives us the leverage to make sure safety measures are in place to protect the citizens of Erie. I will look at all proposed operations and make my decision based on the facts from both sides that are presented to me, and safety measures that are set forth. I want to be clear, I have not, and will not take any money from any special interest groups to further anyoneâ€™s agenda. You can visit my facebook page www.facebook.com/jamesforerietrustee to see exactly where my money has come from and how it was spent on this campaign.
Economic Development 4) What is your plan for attracting new businesses such as: restaurants, retail, centralized grocery store, and service, that are not fast food or dental offices, allowing residents to put their money back into Erie, rather than neighboring towns? First, I have to give credit to Ben Pratt, Economic Development Director and Lucas Workman, Economic Development specialist for the town of Erie. They have done a good job working to move economic development forward in Erie by making us more competitive. Their Enhanced Sales Tax Increments Program (ESTIP) will help to attract business to our town. The program helps bring us more competitive and in line with our neighboring cities and towns. They also brought COSOLVE Coworking to Erie. COSOLVE provides a space to start or grow a business with access to a multitude of resources to help them grow and invest in Erie. I think this is a huge win for Erie, 10-12% of our workforce have flexible work environments or work remotely. First and foremost, I will always give our existing businesses priority when they are looking to expand. Town Center does a good job to address the centralized grocer and small business environment. Town Center is not perfect, especially when it comes to traffic issues, which is where I can lend a hand. Funding is another crucial aspect of this project that needs to be addressed. I will do my part to move this project forward with the future needs and population growth in mind. Again, protecting the small-town feel of Erie I would like to drive most of the larger scale businesses to our outlying boundaries such as the Hwy 287 Nine Mile Corner and the I-25 corridor. I specifically will work to move the I-25 project forward. These areas are ripe environments to provide more options in regard to restaurants, industrial, and retail as they provide the visibility and access that these types of businesses need. I will partner with Ben, Luke, The Erie Economic Development Council, and the Erie Chamber to move projects forward that align with high standards in Erie. Being a business owner myself I can help potential businesses navigate the process to bring services to Erie. >>>
Open Space 5) What is your position on Open Space, with respect to allowing developers to pay fees to reduce it and the town purchasing more Open Space? Growing up in Erie I have always loved our open spaces and the country feel. I am definitely not in favor of just continuing to let developers pay fees and continue to build on all of our open spaces. We are behind on addressing our infrastructure as it is, I support impact fees toward developers looking to build, ensuring they are accountable for impacts from their projects on the community. I support the effort to buy open space when the opportunity arises to ensure we keep our town from just becoming rooftops and businesses. I applaud the current leaders for voting to purchase the 169 acres of the Wise Farm property. These types of purchases protect and ensure the beauty of Erie.
Infrastructure 6) What is your plan to grow the townâ€™s infrastructure to support the growing population and resulting increased traffic? We are defiantly behind on our infrastructure. This is not an easy problem to remedy, and it will take a lot of collaboration to ensure we push projects forward. I will lean on my contacts in the transportation industry to help find funding and alternative solutions to effectively move traffic. Funding for transportation projects in Colorado in general is severely lacking. This is another reason why making developers accountable in sharing the cost to provide infrastructure is a priority of mine. We need to prioritize making Erie Parkway four lane all the way to I-25. We need to prioritize an effective solution for the I-25 Erie Parkway exit. This is a safety issue. Engaging the residents of Erie to be part of this conversation is crucial as well. Shannon Dukes, one of the owners of Echo Brewing located in Old Town Erie is an avid cyclist. Shannon has some great ideas for expanding biking trails into Old Town and expanding trails to connect into Boulder, Louisville and Gunbarrel. We should be looking at ride share programs. Erie is a commuter town, a good share of our population work in Denver or Boulder. A ride share program would ease congestion and it is good for our environment. Infrastructure projects take time so we have to get creative while we work on these projects. I will work to deliver short term solutions while pushing the big projects forward.
James Lee FOR
You 1) Tell us about yourself, your family and why you are running? I am running because I care deeply about the future of Erie. My husband (Brian) and I have chosen to raise our family here, and I want to make sure that our town board has a commonsense voice that will help Erie build a thriving future for families and local businesses. We chose Erie because we loved the small-town culture. We love riding our bikes to the library, the grocery store, our rec center and parks, and out to dinner. I am running because Erie is at a crossroads, where we must thoughtfully balance our growth with cultivating community. As Erie grows, we must by ensure that our roads and infrastructure meet the needs of our community and keep our neighborhoods safe. We must bring a commonsense and welcoming approach to encouraging new small and local businesses throughout our town; and we must protect our parks and open space, while conserving our natural resources (like water) and putting health and safety first when it comes to oil and gas. I am the daughter of a South Vietnamese refugee and a Midwest preacher’s daughter. My parents instilled in me the values of hard work, service to my community, love of the environment, and democracy that works for its people. For almost two decades, I have worked as a community organizer create positive change by empowering community residents. I am now the Executive Director of the League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans, a non-profit organization, dedicated to making sure that Coloradans living with oil and gas have a seat at the table when it comes to policymaking. I am running for the Erie Board of Trustees to bring people together and make sure that our town takes action with common sense policies that plan for a thriving future; celebrate and preserve Erie’s history and character; and protect our beautiful landscape and our health and safety.
2) Why should the community put their trust in you and what will you do to unite the community, stopping the disrespect towards those with different opinions? For almost two decades, I have brought people together to create more affordable housing, protect the natural resources in our communities, and connect residents to their local governments. I have built a career on bringing people together from across diverse backgrounds and elevating the voices of community members to make sure that their local and state government works for them. I believe that our town needs leadership committed to responsive and accountable listening, and I want to be that voice on our board. I pride myself on the ability to listen to all sides and work across diverse perspectives to bring people together to find solutions that work for people. I will bring that same commitment to the board. As a mom, I know the importance of building community and the role that responsive government plays in ensuring a thriving future. I have worked hand-in-hand with residents, business owners, local governments and faith communities to bring about positive change in their communities. I have helped local residents navigate and have an effective voice when it comes to oil and gas and to bring about the health and safety-first policies they’d like to see, and I know what it’s like to found a community-focused non-profit business and keep it running. >>>
O&G 3) What is your plan for putting health and safety first, related to Oil & Gas operations in neighborhoods and near schools? Erie currently has 162 active oil and gas, 167 inactive oil and gas wells, and 115 abandoned oil and gas sites. Prior to April of 2019 and the passage of Senate Bill SB19-181, Erieâ€™s ability to ensure the public health and safety of its residents was limited to negotiations with the operator that were heavily slanted, by law, in favor of the operator. Our state laws, prior to 2019, left local jurisdictions fundamentally handcuffed and only able to negotiate marginal protections for public health, safety and quality of life with operators who regularly ignored their agreements. That all changed on April 16, 2019, with the signing of SB19-181 into law. SB19-181 fundamentally changed the legal framework for oil and gas regulations for local governments. Under SB19-181, local governments now have the authority to exercise their land use and enforcement authority to both deny individual oil and gas permits and to implement regulations, such as setbacks, air quality restrictions, and enforcement mechanisms to protect public health, safety, welfare and the environment when it comes to oil and gas. Additionally, SB19-181 allows local governments and the state to consider the cumulative impacts of current and potential oil and gas sites along with their impacts and risks to public health, safety, welfare, the environment and wildlife resources. Erie is currently in the process of revising its oil and gas regulations accordingly. If elected to the town board, I would work to ensure that Erie begins its regulations by asserting its right to deny oil and gas proposals, so as to protect public health, safety, and welfare. I would continue by ensuring that Erie enacts regulations, such as at least a 2,000foot setback from homes, schools, high occupancy buildings, public water sources, and high trafficked areas and other such policies so as to protect public health, safety, welfare, the environment and wildlife resources.
Economic Development 4) What is your plan for attracting new businesses such as: restaurants, retail, centralized grocery store, and service, that are not fast food or dental offices, allowing residents to put their money back into Erie, rather than neighboring towns? When I talk to local business owners, their first complaint is how complicated and expensive it is to open a business in Erie. We must focus on attracting and supporting local businesses must become our focus, if Erie is to move toward a thriving economic future and to build community. As a trustee, I would work with current local businesses to examine our processes for starting a business in Erie and look to find ways to streamline the process and make it affordable for small business owners. Furthermore, I would work to partner with Erie business associations and existing businesses to identify tools cut costs for current and potential small businesses in our commercial corridors. With important new developments like Erieâ€™s proposed Town Center, Nine Mile, and priorities like bringing a centralized grocery store, retail and a broader range of restaurants, we must make sure that we are doing everything we can to continue to incentivize startups, foster growth and development of local businesses, and partnering with our business associations in pushing awareness campaigns so that our local businesses have a partner in working to compete in our economy. >>>
Open Space 5) What is your position on Open Space, with respect to allowing developers to pay fees to reduce it and the town purchasing more Open Space? The ability to play outdoors with our families, is inherent for so many Coloradans. I believe that as Erie grows, we must ensure that we continue to do so intentionally and with open space that allows families to continue to enjoy our beautiful landscape and the outdoors. While the policy allowing developers to forego open space designations by paying a fee is necessary, I believe that we can strike a balance by always ensuring that when new development is approved, open space plans (whether within the new neighborhood, adjacent to it or elsewhere) are always a required complimentary plan. Furthermore, it is important that comprehensive planning for the use and utility of our open spaces is also always a part of our planning processes to guard against waste.
Infrastructure 6) What is your plan to grow the townâ€™s infrastructure to support the growing population and resulting increased traffic? In Old Town, our gas lines, electric grid, telecommunications systems, and water systems are at capacity. Our growth rate means that we must continue to expand our water rights and make efficient use of our resources. Our growth also means that we must be smart, responsive, efficient, and effective when addressing our increased traffic on main arteries and throughout Erie. With an audit of the Old Town infrastructure due to be released in April of 2020, as a trustee I would begin with an evaluation and prioritization of projects that must be improved and assess the capital needs for the improvement of gas, electric, telecommunications, and water lines. I would look for efficient, cost effective ways to mitigate traffic in neighborhoods, so as to keep them safe; and I would work to make sure our upcoming Comprehensive Plan revision includes efforts to bolster regional cost-sharing partnerships that allow for added capacity to our main traffic arteries, such as Hwy 7, Arapahoe, and Erie Parkway. I would also work actively with the Regional Transit District to expand and promote expansion of bussing services in and through Erie.
Sara Loflin FOR
You 1) Tell us about yourself, your family and why you are running? I was born in Irving, Texas and my mother and I moved to Colorado in 1972. I attended Texas Tech University and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in the field of Landscape Architecture. I proceeded to introduced myself to the working world…. and I landed a job with a concrete construction company based in Longmont. After laboring through a couple of scorching summers and frigid winters, I was offered an opportunity to work for the City of Westminster as a Landscape Architect- I jumped at the prospect. I spent almost 20 years working in all aspects of land planning, landscape architecture, and land development. Having spent a majority of my working career with local homebuilders I was blessed to receive guidance and mentoring from some of the most accomplished in the field. Throughout my varied work experience, I collaborated with many city and county boards to achieve planning goals, managing budgets, and assisting in maintaining overall master plans. I created and sat on HOA boards and addressed homeowner concerns on a daily basis. As a site manager, I scrutinized developments every day and recognized certain details that, if done slightly different, would have a positive influence on the final project. I’m now a self-proclaimed critic. I have lived in Erie with my wife, Hope, for 4 years. We have two adult children, one who currently also resides in Erie. I have met outstanding people within our community. I love living in Erie! My main concerns are the ineptitude and lack of transparency of the current board. Instead of continuing to get frustrated, I am choosing to act. I feel the lack of communication and compromise within the current BOT is detrimental to the Town of Erie. I want to see a panel of people who truly want what’s best for the town and its community, otherwise, we are the ones that continue to suffer. Erie is at an exciting time in its history and I really look forward to being a part of it. The people of Erie are as passionate about its success as I am. Together, we can make this Town even better.
2) Why should the community put their trust in you and what will you do to unite the community, stopping the disrespect towards those with different opinions? In 1995 I had the opportunity to work as a Reserve Officer for the Aurora Police Department. I can tell you that experience taught me that compromise, although difficult at times, can be attained. You have to listen. A leader will be that person who listens to all points of view and assists in fostering a compromise, and that’s the type of leader I am.
O&G 3) What is your plan for putting health and safety first, related to Oil & Gas operations in neighborhoods and near schools? My plan for putting health and safety first is to put health and safety first. This is true for all Erie citizens. Cooperation between land owners, oil & gas and the Town will be imperative going forward. I believe workable solutions can be attained and benefit all parties involved. One sided cessation will not solve the issues. It will, however, close valuable lines of communication. >>>
Economic Development 4) What is your plan for attracting new businesses such as: restaurants, retail, centralized grocery store, and service, that are not fast food or dental offices, allowing residents to put their money back into Erie, rather than neighboring towns? The Town has some great plans in the works. The Town Center project will be a welcome addition, but it will come with a price tag. My hope is that the current Board takes the time required to create a workable Master Plan for this area and not rush it because of false time constraints. There is a lot of potential available throughout Erie that will be exciting to work with as commercial development plans come to the Town.
Open Space 5) What is your position on Open Space, with respect to allowing developers to pay fees to reduce it and the town purchasing more Open Space? The Town should take an inventory of available open space and determine those areas that are special to the culture and history of Erie. Developers could choose to pay fees in lieu for open space or an Open Space fee could be included on development applications. There may be several ways to set these monies aside strictly for open space, but I do believe it can be done. Erie should begin a designation process for properties we’re interested in. Again, these preserved open spaces should have cultural and historic significance to the Town and everybody should be able to enjoy them.
Infrastructure 6) What is your plan to grow the town’s infrastructure to support the growing population and resulting increased traffic? We must have the backbone available to continue the current expansion of Erie. We won’t be able to depend solely on developer fees and their service expansions. Erie will have to “foot the bill” at some point and maintain what has been built. As our population increases, we will have to pay close attention to the details of new subdivisions and commercial applications. Traffic studies will be required and we need to pay close attention to those recommendations that they provide. Further, this not only includes those things underground (i.e. water, storm sewer, etc.), but also our emergency services. We will need to expand the Erie Police Department and have officers in place as we grow. Mountain View Fire will also need to continue expansion. As a Reserve Officer for Aurora, I know that keeping the best officers and fire personnel here in Erie will be crucial throughout the Town’s development and growth.
Jim Luthi FOR
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You 1) Tell us about yourself, your family and why you are running? Iâ€™ve spent all of my life in northern Colorado. I was born and raised in Longmont, and came to Erie upon my marriage in 2017. I hold music education degrees from CU and UNC. I teach in Thornton. My older children live in Denver and are finishing degrees. My wife, Kelly, practices dentistry in Aurora, and my step-daughter, Emily, attends Erie Middle School. Kelly and Emily come from Texas. We met on E-Harmony. I have had an interest in good governance for quite some time, and decided to throw my hat in the ring to ensure Erie would hang on to the friendly, neighborhood, small-town feel that makes it so special.
2) Why should the community put their trust in you and what will you do to unite the community, stopping the disrespect towards those with different opinions? If elected, I will work to be a responsible trustee, informing myself before making decisions, getting input from stakeholders, and always keeping the American success story of limited government and personal liberty in mind. As to respect: I can be vigilant to control my discourse and attitudes toward others, and encourage others to do the same. I can make amends when I fail in these efforts. I can encourage people to vigorously debate ideas and policies, but respect people.
O&G 3) What is your plan for putting health and safety first, related to Oil & Gas operations in neighborhoods and near schools? Health and safety are, of course, first. Property rights must be honored, and solutions must be found between competing interests. Drillers and frackers should be as considerate to their neighbors as possible. The town can write contracts and enforce penalties for bad behavior, but endlessly renewed moratoriums are not the answer. Oil and gas have brought wealth and jobs to our community, and they are the lifeblood of our economy. Their benefits to our society are hard to overstate. Establishment of setbacks should be based on reasonable risk through scientific studies.
Economic Development 4) What is your plan for attracting new businesses such as: restaurants, retail, centralized grocery store, and service, that are not fast food or dental offices, allowing residents to put their money back into Erie, rather than neighboring towns? Erie must lower barriers to business development. The updating of the town building codes may help. Businesses are facing moving targets when it comes to establishing in Erie. This raises their costs, raises rent for tenants, and makes businesses unviable. Residents and businesses dealing with the town deserve a fair shake, with clear rule of law. >>>
Open Space 5) What is your position on Open Space, with respect to allowing developers to pay fees to reduce it and the town purchasing more Open Space? Open space is a wonderful idea, and developments that incorporate open space in their plans look inviting. Erie has varied topography that often lends itself to open spaces. Developers should be encouraged to include open spaces. As for the town, Open Space should not be the top priority. The town should not go into debt to provide open space. Right now, getting our infrastructure in shape and reducing our debt should be first priority.
Infrastructure 6) What is your plan to grow the townâ€™s infrastructure to support the growing population and resulting increased traffic? Infrastructure should be high on Erieâ€™s priority list. Whenever possible, new development should help pave the way. This is where true health and safety should be our first consideration, and worthy of our investment.
Todd Sargent FOR
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You 1) Tell us about yourself, your family and why you are running? My name is Andrew Sawusch, and I am a candidate for Trustee in the upcoming Town of Erie election. Originally from the Chicagoland area, I have been a resident of Erie since 2016, previously a resident of Broomfield for 7 years. I graduated from CU Boulder in 2009, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with dual concentrations in Management and Marketing. I am a business operations and marketing professional, with experience growing businesses from the ground up. As a solutions-driven individual, I use a holistic-view approach which looks at all aspects of a problem, in order to identify and resolve issues that deliver results, which are both effective and efficient. I have over a decades’ worth of experience in growing organizations, developing organization-wide goals and strategies, managing operational alignment between budgets and projects, reducing costs and minimizing waste, as well as redeveloping departmental procedures to increase effectiveness and efficiency. I am married to my amazing wife, Gabrielle, and am the doting father of my two husky fur-babies, Kaia and Koda. I am running for Trustee because the proper planning needed for Erie’s future has been overlooked. Previous decisions made on our behalf, have created negative effects for the Town’s residents and future. These decisions have grown the Town to a population of almost 30,000, without addressing the strain it has caused on infrastructure, the debt that has been accumulated, or a path forward to properly facilitate this rapid growth. I am running for Trustee because I believe the Town of Erie needs a leader who can create solutions that will be positive and Forward Thinking for Erie’s Future!
2) Why should the community put their trust in you and what will you do to unite the community, stopping the disrespect towards those with different opinions? If given the opportunity, I would use the experience and understanding that I have gained over the years to provide positive change for the Town. As someone who is a natural problem solver and leader, I would utilize my skills in organizational operations to serve the town in the best way possible that leads to success for the Town and all of its residents. However, this can only be done from my remaining transparent and open to feedback, listening to the residents, and then determining the best way in which to support the community through action. Real change happens when everyone comes together and works collaboratively. I want to bring people together and hear from all sides. In order to do this, I want to create an environment where people feel comfortable voicing their opinions. In this respect, my campaign is about positivity, without any negativity or calling out of others. In the past, there have been many individuals who have disrespected others, which is something I do not stand for. We should all respect varying views, regardless if we disagree with them or not. I personally believe that opposing views are wonderful, because it allows for discussion of a topic to develop. I am always open to learning new ideas, different ways of doing things, as well as constantly learning from others’ experiences to make better decisions. Listening, hearing, and understanding different perspectives is the only way that we can all grow and create positive change - by learning from others, and delivering ideas that push the needle. >>>
Town Hall must do a better job of creating an open dialogue with community members. There must be a better line of communication, openness, and transparency provided to residents. Currently, there are very important items where we have been kept in the dark, and only told about these major issues months after the fact. This is not public service, but rather a public disservice.
O&G 3) What is your plan for putting health and safety first, related to Oil & Gas operations in neighborhoods and near schools? We all want to live in a community where health and safety are at the forefront of our decisions. We as a town have the responsibility of taking ownership for the health and safety of our fellow residents. My position on oil and gas is that I am not for, nor against oil and gas. I believe that we should not have oil and gas operations so close to our homes, schools, and population. I also believe that they are a business which should be regulated, and should be responsible for their actions, just like any other industry. I believe that if oil and gas operations are going to be done in our community, it should only be within an area where there currently is not, nor will there be in the future, a current or planned development, or any other environmentally sensitive area. I acknowledge that there are many health and safety concerns related to oil and gas operations, as well as the operations from other various industries. While the scientific evidence has varied regarding the long-term health risks between distances of 500-2000 feet, I do acknowledge that there is a general consensus that there are in fact health risks within a distance of 500 feet. I do also acknowledge that almost every one of the studies has indicated that the results are not “definitive” and there is a certain amount of “inconclusiveness” associated with them. For that reason, I do agree that there should be further studies done to determine a finality to the discussion of distance. As well, I also acknowledge that this topic is one which contains many different factors, relating to both surface land use and sub-surface land use. Surface land use can be regulated as allowed by State and Federal Laws, but sub-surface land use does not have as many of these same allowances for regulation. Due to the technology available today, oil and gas operations do not have to solely be on top of a mineral deposit, but can be done from a greater distance away, and over a mile below ground. Based on the Town of Erie Comprehensive Plan Map, the Town of Erie Zoning Map, and using it in conjunction with the Town of Erie Residential Activity Map, we can see exactly where there is currently, or will be in the future, a planned development. Based on this information, we can create provisions where we mitigate potential risks to residents, and where residential or population areas, or other types of sensitive areas, are well beyond the reach from any harmful effects. To do this, the Town could create an additional zoning map, one that starts out with a clean slate. This would not be based on “structural use”, “industry”, or “type of use”, but rather specifically designed for the health and safety of residents, as it relates to the conditions created from any industry, regardless of what that specific industry is. The zones would be mapped out, and could be something to the effect of “Prone Areas”, “Susceptible Areas”, and “Non-Susceptible Areas”. “Prone Areas” could include areas such as native areas, rivers and creeks, environmentally sensitive land, wildlife or conservation areas, parks and recreation areas, as well as current residential developments as defined by the Residential Activity Map. “Susceptible Areas” could include future residential developments, as defined by the Residential Activity Map. “Non-Susceptible Areas” would be any other area that is not falling within a “Prone Area” or “Susceptible Area”. >>>
“Prone Areas” would disallow the inclusion of any industry that creates a health or safety risk for residents and the surrounding community. “Susceptible Areas” would allow for any industry, as long as the health or safety risks have been properly resolved prior to becoming a “Prone Area” at a later date. “Non-Prone Areas” would allow for any industry as there would be minimal to no effects on the community in terms of health and safety. The Town’s Municipal Code would need to also indicate that it could provide variance to these zoning laws, as deemed fit on a case-by-case basis. As well, the Town would need to revise the current Municipal Code so that the current Town laws related to the types of “use” zones (ie. Industrial, Commercial, Planned Development, etc.) are overridden or supplemented by these zoning areas. As well, various setback distance provisions would need to be included based on the type of industry, and the distance measurements based on CDPHE and EPA limits.
Economic Development 4) What is your plan for attracting new businesses such as: restaurants, retail, centralized grocery store, and service, that are not fast food or dental offices, allowing residents to put their money back into Erie, rather than neighboring towns? After speaking with countless business owners and developers – both current and prospective – the question isn’t how to attract new businesses: the question is how to remove the barriers to entry that are prohibiting businesses and developers from entering the Town. These include the tap fees, impact fees, infrastructure fees, permit fees, the UDC municipal codes, the amount of time that it takes, the roadblocks from Town Hall staff, parking requirements, and the list goes on and on. It isn’t that business owners and developers aren’t looking at Erie – they have already been trying to enter the Town! But once they start digging into how much it would costs – either from a lease standpoint, or the cost to build on a piece of vacant land – the costs outweighed the benefits. Many also said that once they started the process of applying and pre-approval, the rules kept changing. As they worked with Town Staff from one department, another department wanted something different, and then another wanted something else. While the UDC municipal code said one thing, they were asked to provide items completely unrelated to what was seen in current code. In order to remove these barriers to entry, the Town must first become “business friendly.” They must make it more cost effective, easier to receive permits, expedite requests, adjust the UDC municipal code, and maintain a proper timeline. Town Hall only just recently started tracking the amount of time that it takes from application through acceptance. Starting with the Board of Trustees and moving through every staff member at Town Hall, the entire process from application through final occupancy must be outlined and addressed, with the intention of moving the process along in an expeditious fashion. As well, the Town must work with developers and business owners, instead of giving them the run around. In the business world, time is money. When projects are delayed – in some cases by 2 years – and when the rules change, or additional application materials and adjustments are required, this increases the up-front costs for the business, even before it ever opens. It has reached a point where some businesses and developers have simply said they will not do business with the Town again. Until these items are addressed, we will continue to lose these businesses that are already trying to come to the Town. They have instead been opening in surrounding communities because it is cheaper and easier to work with the various departments, where they know exactly what the process is and that is followed through with. Until these items are addressed, we will continue to lose these businesses that are already trying to come to the Town. They have instead been opening in surrounding communities because it is cheaper and easier to work with the various departments, where they know exactly what the process is and that is followed through with.
Open Space 5) What is your position on Open Space, with respect to allowing developers to pay fees to reduce it and the town purchasing more Open Space? The limitation when it comes to “open spaces”, “natural areas”, or “conservation areas”, is funding. Since land is at a premium these days, it would require the Town to have the funds on-hand to purchase the land, or receive land from developers directly. Most importantly though, after speaking with staff members, the major issue for the “Parks and Recreation” department is not necessarily adding land to their portfolio. Instead, their major concern is being able to properly maintain these areas with the current funding available. In fact, they have begun to decline tracts of land from developers since they would have been difficult for the Town to properly maintain in the future. The Town already has a 4 mill levy applied to property taxes for open spaces. They could initiate an increase to the sales tax rate in order to provide additional funds, which are restricted in their use, devoted solely to open space. This would require a ballot initiative, voted on by the residents. The Town could also increase the percentage reserved and devoted strictly for open space from the current sales tax rate. However, this would mean that other aspects of the Town’s operations would be affected. The “Trails and Natural Areas Fund” account was depleted to purchase Wise Farms, and currently has a negative balance. The other account, the “Conservation Trust Fund,” receives its funds from the Colorado lottery proceeds, but does not have enough in it to effect any real substantive “acquisition purchases” of additional land. So unfortunately, unless the town were to somehow find funding for additional acquisitions of land, it looks like the Town won’t be in a position to purchase any more land for at least a year or two. Alternatively, the Town would require grants, endowments, contributions from developers, or other private funding mechanisms to add to its open space. But when developers provide land, it doesn’t include fees for future maintenance, which the Town must figure out how to handle and pay for in the future.
Infrastructure 6) What is your plan to grow the town’s infrastructure to support the growing population and resulting increased traffic? The Town must reduce the strain placed on our infrastructure, ensuring that the proper planning necessary for our future is outlined. The Town must encourage responsible and equitable development for both Erie and those we enter agreements with. Most importantly, we must become proactive instead of reactive. The Town must first start by issuing a plan that is guiding the steps which Erie takes. The Comprehensive Plan is already outdated, and does not create the full “Master Plan” that should be used. If you would like to see what I mean, check out the Town of Erie Comprehensive Plan’s section on “Growth Management.” It was not well thought out, and does not properly outline how the Town will manage their growth. In fact, there was only one “policy” noted for the “Provision of Facilities and Services” section, which was a single sentence. The Town must first start by understanding where our capacity thresholds and limits are, and monitor them constantly. Once these levels meet a certain threshold, this is when the plans that have already been made should be enacted. Currently, the Town is approximately 7.5 years ahead in the amount of growth we have received as compared to what they had originally projected. This has in fact resulted in an increase in usage, capacity issues, and the funds to properly expand our infrastructure are not currently available. This means that the Town will be forced to extend debt to pay for these improvements. >>>
The Town should work with developers, tell them our vision, define our needs, what we would like to have done, and be able to set a path forward which is equitable and positive for both parties. If they are building a new road specifically for their new community, and we also have needs to widen a road that the new road would be intersecting, the Town should work with them so we can “cross two ‘Ts’ with one stroke of the pen” by completing both at the same time. It becomes more efficient, and would save time and costs associated than it would if each project were done separately on their own.
Andrew Sawusch FOR
H E A & B E A
L T H & U T Y
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INTERVIEW WITH MARGARYTA SCHWERY, OWNER OF CHATEAU DE BEAUTE SALON ELIFE: Tell us why permanent makeup is buzzing now? Margaryta: Permanent makeup is a great solution for maintenance- free mornings. You literally wake up all made up. Powder Brows, Lash Enhancement and Lip Blush are most commonly offered services. The intention is to accentuate the natural beauty and reduce the time getting ready on a daily basis.
Powder Brows is a great solution for cancer survivors, people with alopecia, and anyone who is permanently losing brow hair. As we age we tend to lose a lot of pigment on our lips and that’s where lip blush is a great option to give more definition. There are a lot of contradictions about the permanent makeup procedures and clients must have a thorough consultation prior to scheduling a service, not everyone is a good candidate for it. There is a huge difference between Microblading and Powder Brows that people often mistake. Powder Brows is a modern, less invasive and less damaging option to achieve beautiful brows. We always advise clients to conduct thorough research between the two before they commit to the procedure. Microblading can lead to scarring, pigment turning blue and permanent hair loss.
Margaryta Schwery Award winning Make-Up Artist and Esthetician Margaryta is a licensed esthetician and incredible makeup artist. Her passion for skin care starts with getting to know the clients well, their needs and expectations. Not only does she love to make people beautiful on the outside, but make them feel confident and great about themselves. Every skin care treatment performed by Margaryta is individualized based on the client`s concerns. Chateau de Beaute is a second home for Margaryta and
ELIFE: How long does permanent makeup last? Margaryta: The longivity of permanent makeup is very individual and depends on multiple factors: artist’s skills, client’s aftercare, age of the client, skin condition and lifestyle. However, on average, people will need a second touch up anywhere between 8 and 18 months.
ELIFE: How long does it take to do lips? eyeliner? lash-line? Margaryta: Initial application of each procedure takes
she is very proud to be a part of the salon`s family.
ELIFE: Is there any downtime with this procedure? Margaryta: Aftercare is crucial after initial application.
The healing process is 4-6 weeks and the client is expected to follow the instructions given by the artist precisely to ensure good retention of the pigment. Two sessions is a minimum that a client should expect to get done before they achieve the desired look. The process is very individual and hard to predict, therefore more applications might be necessary.
about 3 hours.
ELIFE: Tell us what the average cost for these procedures? ELIFE: What’s the right age range to have permanent Margaryta: The procedure cost varies based on your makeup applied?
Margaryta: Adults of any age can get permanent makeup done. Age is a factor when it comes to skin texture, collagen presence and overall skin condition, however, client’s health history is what will determine whether or not he/she is a good candidate for permanent makeup.
location, artist and skill level. On average for Powder Brows you should expect to pay anywhere between $250 and $800.
HEALTH & BEAUTY
Whatâ€™s all the Buzz About Permanent Makeup?
Chateau de Beaute Salon is a state-of-the-art salon located here in Erie that offers permanent makeup services along with many other top-notch services. 3160 Village Vista Drive Erie chateaudebeautesalon.com
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2020 INTERVIEW WITH MARCELLA NEVERMANN AT 2020 EYEVENUE IN
At 20/20 EyeVenue (at the Orchard Towne Center), they put your vision and well-being first. With over 30 years of combined experience in the optical and optometry fields, they’ll ensure your sight is well taken care of for the long haul. They’re honest with their clients and go out of our way to pair them with their ideal frames. By offering such a wide range of eye-related services including exams and screenings, full-service optical, and contact lenses, they’ll have you seeing better than ever within your first visit. ELIFE interviewed owner, Marcella Nevermann in this issue. Read a bit about Marcella and her inspiration behind 2020 EyeVenue.
ELIFE: Tell us a bit about yourself and your family: Marcella: I have lived in Colorado for almost 23 years. I moved here a few years after college because I loved the mountains, the same reason many people migrate to our great state. I had only been in Colorado once before for field school in Geology and fell in love. I married a Colorado native about 10 years ago and we have two children. Francesca is 10 years old and Orion is 5. We moved from the Denver suburbs to rural life almost two years ago to have more room for my husband to fuel his passion of building beautiful things. Since our move out to the country we have added to our family, already having fish and three cats, with addition of two black labarador girls - Zoey and Aspen, about 50 chickens, a few turkeys, 2 African geese, 11 ducks of various species, and a toad. This keeps us very busy in the time that we have outside of running a small business that is open 7 days a week.
HEALTH & BEAUTY
ELIFE: How did you get started in the eyewear world? Marcella: I started wearing glasses at the early age of 2 because my parents figured something was amiss when I could memorize long books and verses but couldn’t keep myself from running into a wall. I always hated that the people helping select glasses weren’t honest about fit and style when I was unable to see myself in the glasses…yes before the wonderful use of camera phones, selfies and social media. Also, the first friend I made when I moved to Colorado just happened to be an optometrist so we bonded over eyes and I would help her with her practice on my down time at my full time job. I fell in love with the science of optics and the melding of use of my right and left brain in the industry. It can be so science based when it comes to lenses and the anatomy of the eye but also very creative and styled with eyewear selection. I have been fascinated with learning new aspects of my craft ever since and seek out the newest technology and latest worldwide trends in styles. ELIFE: What’s the most important thing that people need to know about their eyes? Marcella: I think the vast majority of our population take our eyes for granted. In surveys about senses people rate their vision the most precious but do very little to ensure that their eyes are healthy and working at their optimal level. Also, even if you think you see clearly, eye exams are not just about your visual perception they are the windows to your overall systemic health. Often times, eye doctors, through routine eye exams are the first to notice conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, various cancers and other disorders. It is a great way to possibly catch these diseases and disorders early so that you have a head start on addressing them.
INTERVIEW WITH MARCELLA NEVERMANN AT 2020 EYEVENUE IN ELIFE: Tell us about 2020 Eye Venue: Marcella: 20/20 EyeVenue was born out of a passion for eyewear and EYES but also because we wanted to offer something different. We aren’t your run of the mill optical and practice, our location described by those who visit us as: open, inviting, contemporary and comfortable, features a HUGE children’s area with ample toys, books, a television and more so you can bring your children with you and not have to worry. We also are known for our unique, vast and carefully curated selection of eyewear that is unsurpassed in the Denver Metro market but most importantly our white glove approach to customer/patient care. We do accept most vision plans and medical benefits. ELIFE: What makes 2020 Eye Venue different? Marcella: 20/20 EyeVenue is different in so many ways than the big box stores, chains or most private’s opticals The look, feel, service and selection. Open 7 days a week we offer Sunday eye exam appointments. We can see you for your routine eye exam or urgent eye health issues. We also offer mobile vision care for the persons that are unable to come to a facility for their eye care. We carry an inventory of lenses for a large array of single vision prescriptions and are able to offer 30 minute to an hour service for urgent glasses needs! ELIFE: Tell us about the different organizations you support: Marcella: I have a passion for helping, as does my team. We are involved in Project Homeless Connect where we fit nearly 200 homeless people in glasses in one day each year. The pride and instant change in a person when they feel special, beautiful and can see clearly for the first time in a long time is truly life altering and astounding to be a part of. We also help at Impact Humanity regularly through their various efforts with homeless outreach. We work with veterans suffering with PTSD through Patriot Anglers. We sponsor various youth fishing organizations across the state by helping them protect their eyes while out in the sun and with supplies to master their passion. We sponsor various fundraisers for the American Cancer Society throughout the year and participate in a local Quarter Auction for their benefit. We collect donations and match them for Almost Home in Brighton. We donate raffles to various schools for fundraisers, auctions, etc. We donate to Wreaths Across America, Von’s Vision and many other organizations. We do community outreach to children group homes, nursing homes, youth detention facilities and developmentally disabled homes. I am also a huge advocate of mentoring other small businesses women entrepreneurs.
HEALTH & BEAUTY
ELIFE: What are your plans and goals for the next year. Marcella: We are looking at streamlining our new software for patient communication to even further enhance our white glove approach to customer care. We are also revamping our website for a more interactive approach to looking at our current inventory even when you are not able to visit us in the store. We hope to bring in another new â€œup and comingâ€? product line each year and we have our eyes on a few new fabulous ones. We will probably be remodeling some of the furnishings and fixtures to give a new fresh vibe to the showroom.
14676 Delaware St. Suite 400 Westminster
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Better Bond, Better Behavior by Jaime Bessko
Take a moment and think about the relationships in your life that are meaningful to you. We are naturally drawn to those that enjoy similar interests, communicate clearly, take an active role to relate to our point of view and can appreciate and accept us for who we are. All solid relationships have a common foundation of trust, understanding, clear communication and mutual interests. When looking to improve your relationship with your dog, we rely on these same principles. Because let’s face it -- your relationship with your dog has a direct influence on their behavior.
The first step is to actually be present with your dog, which is easier said than done! Being with your dog means that you’re not thinking about anything else. Your mind and focus is with your dog.
We build trust with canines through clear communication with intent and by being predictable in our actions and routines. We must offer dogs trust before we can offer them affection.
It is best to communicate with a dog using their language, which is definitely not English. Dogs communicate with their body positions, movement, proximity, speed and very clear intentions. When dogs make verbal noises, it’s really to say, Hey!!--Pay attention to what my body is signaling! To strengthen your bond it is imperative to understand canine language.
Jaime Bessko lives in Erie, Colorado with her husband, 2 boys, 2 dogs and 2 cats. She is the owner of ERIE DOG CO, LLC, specializing in behavior modification for dogs through immersive overnight board and train programs. She has always had a way with animals and made a great impact training service dogs at International Hearing Dog in Henderson, Colorado. Jaime’s philosophy on working with dogs is to communicate clearly, be consistent, praise your dog and HAVE FUN! Some of her favorite pastimes are hiking, snowboarding, painting, reading and enjoying Phish. If you want help enjoying your dog more, reach out at eriedogco.com.
Only when we begin to see the world from our dog’s perspective can we truly understand and have respect for their essence and intelligence.
And lastly, all solid relationships share common interests. If you don’t know what your dog likes, then attach a 6 foot leash and follow their lead at a park. This activity of role reversal will give you great insight to your dog’s motivators and interests, and I bet you’ll be surprised what you learn about your dog! Yes, I know we all want our dog to follow us and that will happen naturally once they understand you, trust you, and you start taking an active role to join in their interests with pure intentions and delight.
Sometimes when you think you've rescued a dog, it turns out that they have rescued you.
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We rescue unwanted and stray dogs and cats from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and other Reservations in South Dakota. We are a 501c3
TIME FOR SPRING CLEANING
Our mobile salon unit is equipped with a generator, water heater, air conditioner, Â fresh and grey water tanks. We provide a safe and clean environment to keep your pet calm with one on one attention while being at home.
WHERE PASSION FOR EYEWEARÂ MEETS FUNCTION FOR EYES
Read about our Erie candidates for the 2020 election..