Town Candidate Introduction – Week 3

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This is a 3-part series. The Grand Gazette is profiling Town Council candidates on March 5, 12 and 19. Mail-in ballots will be mailed on March 16 and will also ask town residents whether or not they wish to lift the ban on marijuana-related business.

Questions this week are –
1. Neighboring towns are developing public transportation systems for their residents and visitors to use. What are your thoughts on a public transportation system for Kremmling?

2. Does Kremmling have a healthy downtown? What could be done to help promote Kremmling business?

3. In light of recent events, many small businesses may struggle. Do you have suggestions for helping them? Does the Town have ways they can provide assistance to struggling businesses or new business?

4. How do you see Kremmling in five years? Ten years? How will you have to prioritize funding to make this happen?

5. Ballots will be mailed this week, please reiterate why you are the candidate for the job. Also feel free to throw in talking points possibly missed by the questions.

Jason Wikberg

  1. Public Transportation is always a great idea in my opinion. It provides a lower cost for people to get around, and lowers the number of vehicles on the road. If Kremmling had some type of public transportation connecting us to neighboring towns, I think it would be a good thing.
  2. I think we have a healthy and inviting Downtown area. Owners of the Downtown buildings and other areas of Town, have done a great
    job over the years improving, and beautifying their places, making it a more inviting place to stop and shop. We have a great park area right in the middle of Town Square, but our gazebo area definitely needs to be addressed. We have had discussions on this, and the Town has plans to work on it.

    Our current businesses staying healthy and profitable is very important, as is promoting new businesses. One direct effort as a Town to promote current and new business on a yearly basis is that we provide funds to the Chamber. That in turn assists in their daily operations and monthly events that bring people into our town and spend money. Along with our residents, shopping locally is one of the biggest things that keeps businesses healthy, as well as capturing tourist dollars. We have substantially increased the Town’s budget on the mosquito war, and have been working more closely with the company that is contracted for this. Less mosquitos makes it more enjoyable for residents and tourist to enjoy our town.
  3. We are definitely facing some trying times right now, and continuing to buy local is the first thing we can do. Keeping our day to day services running smoothly should be the town’s first priority. As we know not how long, or how severe this could get, we have to deal with it on a day to day basis, and deal with the issues when they arise.
  4. I would like to continue to see slow and steady growth for Kremmling. And Reasonable laws enforced without oppression. People want a safe and clean environment to live and raise a family. I would like to see better utilization and maintenance of our current facilities. I enjoy serving the people of this Great Town and would like to continue as Town Trustee in doing so.
    Thank you

Peter Moschonas

Editor’s Note – Peter Moschonas did not submit answers to questions this week. We reached out to him, but we were unable to make contact.

Jim Miller

  1. The neighboring town’s public transportation system is a multi-community effort and not just a service provided individually by the towns. As mentioned in previous weeks, this is a program where Kremmling needs to get involved in the “Grand” projects with the other communities and stop practicing isolationism, these problems aren’t Kremmling’s alone. This is a public discussion that requires research – where are the citizens of Kremmling going and what are the visitors coming for. I am more for empowering the private sector verses getting government involved in matters that will mean tax increases and burden to the businesses generating funds to keep the town operating.
  2. Kremmling is a Sales Tax town, which means businesses that sell products are making the Town of Kremmling thrive and continue to be able to provide public services and upgrades that are required by State Constitution to be a town. Of that 8.9% tax that is required on any product sold in Kremmling, the town gets 4% of it, which means for every $100 spent in Kremmling, the town government gets $4 (Granby is 4%, Fraser’s is 5%, Winter Park is 7%, Silverthorne is 2%, and Metro Denver is between 3-4.3%). So in my opinion, we need more businesses in town in general that generate sales tax. Kremmling had a flag (it was a big red “K”, and perhaps where the town’s monikerK-Town came from) but when it comes to town government their “K” (as in OK) seems rarely used and maybe why Kremmling’s flag has been missing for more than 40 years, because it’s become a No-Sign. If elected as a Trustee for the Town of Kremmling, I seek to use more “K” in my decision making. There is always compromise and negotiation without absolutely shutting the door on prosperity in Kremmling. Kremmling has seen its fair share of businesses start-up and fail, and seen a couple of lucrative big businesses attempt to come to Kremmling and be chased off by impossible regulations and requirements. I am of full belief that if the voters of Kremmling want a marijuana business, that a fast food restaurant must go next door, and it doesn’t need to be a brand name restaurant. I think Kremmling would benefit from more 24 hour establishments, as there are people awake and traveling through this town at all hours of day and night. Marketing Kremmling for new businesses and supporting the existing businesses is the responsibility of the Chamber of Commerce, which needs to have the Town board’s complete support. As a business owner in Kremmling, I appreciate that the Chamber is willing to help where they can, even without a membership. Town Government needs to understand when the economy is booming the town government gets none of the credit, but when the economysags the town government is to blame. Though the town board can’t create business, it does however carry the responsibility of allowing, supporting, and ruining businesses in Kremmling.
  3. Kremmling is still open for business, just not as usual. This is the town where usual is rare, considering Road Kill Chili Supper and Cliff Golf are Kremmling activities. As a small business owner in Kremmling, and thinking contingency plans to get through this crisis, the reality is business in Kremmling is normally at the state of recession. What the town government needs to remember is the money for the budget is from the profit or loss of Kremmling’s retail businesses. The last time Kremmling saw something at this magnitude, it had approximately a population of 200. The best the town government can do right now is get out of the way, be supportive and excuse the extra mess that may be generated. This is the worst case scenario we all stay up at night worrying about, but business owners are smart and intuitive people; they know how to survive. Innovation makes extra blight.

    The town code has a whole section written about what Kremmling is to do in a disaster (8.06), but the budget doesn’t include such a line item, so helping financially is not going to be option as the budget was set in 2019 for 2020. In this code section are the responsibilities of the Mayor, Town Board, Kremmling Police Department, and others about how it is to coordinate to keep Kremmling secure and functional. Not only as a resident of Kremmling, but as a small business owner, the town needs to take the steps to put the police department back together as quickly as possible, not as a show of support to Chief Lucas, but as a support of the citizens of Kremmling and their safety. The sole role of the Kremmling Police Department in such times of crisis is to uphold Kremmling’s code.
  4. Looking back to the past, and the Kremmling I grew up in and the Kremmling people tell me about before the 80’s I find myself asking if Kremmling had something then why can’t it have it now. I would like to be one of those people that change the answer into it can. Kremmling has had a Movie theater (the Ramona), three bowling alleys (though one was in Gore City), an arcade, just to name a few. For businesses, from what I can recall as a kid, Kremmling at one time had 11 gas stations, two grocery stores, two department/clothing stores, five or six restaurants, a bakery, a radio station, a sporting goods store, a drug store, a bank, and a car dealership (that’s just a short list). I am of firm belief, though the economy of Kremmling has changed, Town of Kremmling government got in the way and started causing businesses to close. Granted some mismanagement of those businesses are to blame as well, but they didn’t have a Chamber of Commerce to step in to help. Just recently the Grand Futures gave a presentation to the Town Board and one of the West Grand High student stated “since Kremmling has nothing for the youth to do, we drive around wasting gas, smoke pot, and drink.” An entertainment business would certainly not hurt the town, though it can’t be started by the town government, it can be welcomed and supported. To me, Kremmling is the town of ignoring the opportunities. There are four obvious things, that I see, Kremmling could do to support the economy of the town, and all are relatively affordable to do and are ready to use. For example, Kremmling is home to the “Largest living Christmas Tree west of the Mississippi” and it sits dark during Kremmling Days and July 4 when it could be lit Red White and Blue and be generating tax revenue, and put pride back into town. In the next 10 years, I would like to see some of Kremmling’s history restored, Town Hall needs to be back on Town of Kremmling’s property and back in Town Square, with the possibility of the Police Department being attached. The School board, Hospital board, and Town boards, need to open dialog with each other. West Grand is putting out a work force that Kremmling has little to benefit from, and quite possibly because the school doesn’t know what the Kremmling area economy needs for skills. I believe to make Kremmling stronger in the future, we all have to make decisions in the same general direction together. It’s long over due as a town, to not just ask but listen to the answers of our younger generations, what does Kremmling need to do to give graduating Seniors from West Grand the choice to stay in the area or come back after college? The Hospital district is planning a very impressive upgrade, which will certainly be a boost to Kremmling, but at the same time blindsiding because the town boards of the past where to busy to listen, and now housing becomes an issue. As a town trustee, I will take the time be at least aware of what is going on in the other boards before I read it in the Grand Gazette.
  5. Running to be a Town Trustee of Kremmling has little to do with pride or notoriety for me. I’m not seeking this position to benefit myself and my interests. I’m running because the people of Kremmling, residents and business owners, need a voice and someone that will stand with them. I believe that when mistakes become lawsuits, that we have to change processes immediately, and personnel need to be held accountable, and when that lawsuit costs the town money its time for legal representation that have a real invested interest in Kremmling. By Home Rule Law in the State Constitution, the town government owes its citizens security and safety, but discussion of how that works, who to hire, complaint resolution need to be that of the invested citizens of Kremmling, and the decisions need to be made by the people you elect to have that right. When an outside agency tries to tell Kremmling what to do, who to hire and who to fire, without given the town government a chance to independently investigate, the State and US Constitution rights of its citizens are extorted, and such decisions are allowed, we all suffer from the government we get. I believe the Kremmling Police Department needs to be restored to functional status and within financial reason kept up to date on equipment and training. Kremmling needs a stronger Municipal Court system that works with the Chief of Police to ensure tickets, violations, etc are handled correctly. Every department of Kremmling needs a good Check and Balance, but in the confines of the Town Code. The Town Code is very clear about what every officer, manager, town trustee, mayor etc are supposed to do and what is expected. If the code is being violated by the people in Town Hall, then as a board member, I plan to work on finding out how or why such violations are happening and seek a resolution. I believe too much of the town board’s decision making has been delegated/hired away, and the directives and the decisions made by the Town Board aren’t the same, and it has cost this Town. It’s clear and simple in the town code and backed by the State Constitution, all employees of Kremmling answer to the Town Board of Trustees. Many of the ordinances in the Town Code are outdated and some are in the spirit f being vindictive verses enforceable or in the best interests of Kremmling as a whole, these need to be replaced or removed. I’m not seeking to join the town board to get along, I believe the best decisions are the results of compromise. In business there is one simple rule, when you take care of your people, your people will take care of you. Town of Kremmling Government is a business. As a town board member, my goal is to take care of Kremmling’s people, get the town out businesses ways, ensure that citizen’s rights aren’t being violated, ensure Kremmling’s employees feel empowered to do their duties, and that Kremmling grows with the future instead of against it.

David Sammons

  1. Why would a community spend its (limited) revenue to provide free transportation to its resident to leave the Town and get jobs and spend money somewhere else?
  2. The Trustees vote each year to help fund the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce.
  3. The Town does not have any reserve or a fund for “disaster relief”. This event will also impact Town revenue.
  4. I can’t predict that because in the 30 years I’ve been here, we’ve been on a boom and bust cycle about every 10 years.
  5. We still need to work on mosquitos!

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