Nederland Mayoral and Trustee Candidates speak out

Mayoral Candidates:

Kristopher Larsen & Chris Perret

[NOTE: The Mountain-Ear has sent questionnaires to each candidate for Nederland Mayor and Board of Trustees. Stories about the candidates will appear in the paper as the questionnaires are returned.]

bot kris larsenKristopher Larsen looks for public involvement

John Scarffe, Nederland.  A Nederland resident and planetary scientist has qualified as a candidate for Town Mayor in the April 2016 elections. Kristopher Larsen, 400 Coulson Street, has served on the Nederland Board of Trustees and two other Town boards.

If elected as mayor, Larsen’s first priority would be greater opportunities for public involvement. “We’ve made great strides every year with increasing the opportunities for public involvement in our town governance, and I want to continue this trend,” Larsen wrote in a Mountain-Ear questionnaire.

“The budget charrettes held by the town this year were a great opportunity for public comment, and education and should be continued,” Larsen wrote. “One goal of mine is to increase and broaden digital communication and discussion between the town and public, should I be elected mayor.”

Larsen’s second priority will be continued progress to fulfill needs of the Master Infrastructure Plan. Beginning with completion of the town shop project (including the clean-up and transition to affordable housing of the current site), town infrastructure needs to continue to be upgraded and maintained.

“I want to see this done with an eye towards minimizing our use of resources, both in construction and operation, while maintaining a balance with the capabilities of a small mountain town,” Larsen wrote. Improved support for town staff will be Larsen’s third priority.

“Nederland is fortunate to have incredibly talented and dedicated staff, from public works to the police to Town Hall, and we need to continue to do what we can to attract and retain the best. As a Trustee, I developed the budget plan to ensure that all our Town employees are making a living wage within the next two years, and I want to see that plan completed.

“While I think all the pieces of Vision 2020 are important to remember when making decisions at the Board level, particularly policy issues that will have impacts for years after the decision is made, it is the paragraph regarding our elected leaders that I think is particularly important,” Larsen wrote.

“In particular, the ‘open and clear communication’ and to ‘actively encourage connections’ are the most important roles I see for the mayor. Without a focus on these, the town government will be limited by disagreements and fall short of our goals because of a lack of communication and cooperation, both within the town and among our neighboring constituencies.”

Donahue has lived in Nederland since 2005, except for 2008 to 2010 when he lived in Washington D.C. for work. Born and raised in Boulder, Larsen went to Fairview High School, the University of Colorado, and Washington University, in St. Louis, for graduate work. He then spent almost a year as a postdoctoral researcher at Cal-Tech/Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, before returning to Boulder and Nederland in 2005.

Larsen spent just more than two years working on the Hill in Washington D.C. as a policy analyst and science education specialist for the American Physical Society (professional society of physicists). Now he is a planetary scientist at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at CU and part of NASA’s Magnetospheric MultiScale (MMS) mission.

When not working or attending town Board meetings, he is attempting to write and publish various pieces of fiction and non-fiction, or riding his bike on the roads and trails around Nederland. Larsen served on the Nederland Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2008 and from 2014 to the present, on the Open Space and Trails Board from 2005 to 2006, as well as on the Planning Commission from 2011 to 2014, as chairman from 2013 to 2014.

The Board can play a role in improving the Town’s environmental health in two major ways, Larsen wrote. “First, we can enact policies that make a better use of our resources, be that through updated building codes, encouraging more opportunities for employment in town, or zoning updates to take advantage of new building models and techniques.

“Secondly, as the town pursues its own major projects, we can do all we can to maximize their efficiency and minimize their impact on the environment. As we continue to work on the
Town projects identified in the Master Infrastructure Plan, the latter will be increasingly important.”

The Town has done a wonderful job of meeting the needs of families in town through programs at the community center and by supporting the incredible non-profits in town. Further cooperation and coordination with the school district should be a goal of the new Board to ensure meeting, and even anticipating, future needs, Larsen wrote.

“The Town has identified a long list of infrastructure projects that will require work in the coming years,” Larsen wrote. “The size of the list, and the associated costs, will require creativity on behalf of the Board and careful planning to accomplish. We’ve begun work on some of these projects, NedPeds and the Town Shop, and will continue to emphasize the most critical infrastructure projects in the coming years.

“The Board needs to support our local businesses both because a significant portion of our operating funds come from sales tax revenue, and because of the importance of local jobs. I would like to see the Board do more to encourage a more diverse mix of local businesses to provide further opportunities for local employment that doesn’t include commuting to Boulder.

“Marijuana is one piece of a diverse and thriving economy for Nederland. Unlike some other industries, it is yet a new opportunity, legally speaking, and will continue to present new questions and challenges as it matures,” Larsen wrote. “Nederland has a great tradition of cultural events, from our long-running festivals and local music scene to non-profit organizations like the Backdoor Theater.

“The Board needs to continue to do what we can to assist these groups, as we have done recently, while at the same time not overwhelming the town so that we also maintain some of the small-town quiet and nature that many of us live here to enjoy.”

Larsen wrote that the Board needs to continue to work with the Nederland Police Department to develop clear and open policies and procedures that are evenly applied in order to eliminate confusion and conflict between the officers and community.

BOT Chris PerretChris Perret plans to encourage small business

A long-time Nederland resident and automobile mechanic has qualified as a candidate for Town Mayor in the April 2016 elections. Chris Perret, 224 W. Pine Street, Box 968, has been active as a Trustee, mayor and hockey coach.

If elected as Mayor, Perret’s top three priorities would be constructing an emergency access bridge from Snyder Street over to Lakeview Street, creating a walking loop from the B&F Market to the rest of downtown, creating an emergency egress out of Big Springs in case of fire and inviting more small businesses to Town, especially family businesses and service industry businesses, Perret said in response to a Mountain-Ear questionnaire.

Perret also would like to produce a solar garden somewhere and encourage more solar in Town facilities since the area has so much sunshine. The Nederland Vision 2020 document is important because it will help the Town maintain its sustainability goals for itself now while also keeping the Town sustainable for our children and reducing our carbon footprint. Perret said.

Perret was born in 1960 and has lived in Nederland for 34 years. He lived in Greenwich, Connecticut, until he was 17 years old, attending elementary and high schools there. After moving to Colorado, he attended the Denver Automotive and Diesel School from 1978 through 1980. He moved to Nederland in 1982.

Perret owns Dr. Fix It and the Second St. Garage and has been an auto mechanic here for 24 years. He has two children attending Colorado State University. Perret said his son, Torin, is in treatment and doing well. “I would like to say thanks for all the Town’s support in our time of need,” Perret said.

Perret has coached hockey in Nederland and for the YMCA in Boulder. He enjoys skating, skiing, hiking and auto racing.

Perret was on the NedSk8 Board, which built the skate park for the Town of Nederland and served on the Nederland Board of Trustees for four years from 2010 to 2014 and as Nederland Mayor from 2004 to 2006. He also sat on the Marijuana Task Force and on the Sustainability Advisory Board.

Regarding The Town’s environmental health, Perret said it is important to “make our town safer and cleaner through whatever ways we can by recycling and composting, etc., and have everyone buy in to it. We need to keep the reservoir and trails clean.”

To meet the needs of families in the Town, Perret said the Board should look to the future and have a nice town for people to move into and live in. The Town should attract enough local businesses to keep dollars in town instead of going down the hill.

Perret said: “The Town should conserve water anyway we can, stop leaks and things like that. We should make sure the sewer plant is not overloaded when it rains heavily, continuing to reline the sewer pipes, which we have already been doing.

“We need to keep working on cleaning and relining the lines and start tying Big Springs into the sewer system, a few pieces at a time.” This is Boulder’s water shed, and it would help to have more people for buy in for the new sewer plant,” Perret said.

The Board should encourage mom and pop business shops, Perret said, and “marijuana is part of economic development because it’s now an industry in Colorado, and we have to abide by the laws already in place and not change them.”

Perret would like to encourage more cultural events in Town. “We could use more family related events and not more alcohol related events,” Perret said, explaining that he is fine with events in Town now but doesn’t want to see more events featuring alcohol as the main event.

Regarding the Board interacting with and monitoring the police department, Perret said the Police Department needs to interact with the Board and needs more community policing of the people of town and listening to the people of town about their concerns.” Perret said. Perret also thanked The Mountain-Ear for the interview.

Board of Trustees Candidates

 

 

Roger Cornell, Topher Donahue, Julie Gustafson, Dallas Masters, Stephanie Miller, Eugene Smith

 

roger cornellRoger Cornell hopes to restore working relationships

A North Side Nederland resident and retired University of Colorado employee has qualified as a candidate for the Nederland Board of Trustees in the April 2016 elections. Roger Cornell, 998 SH 72 N, has been involved with Nederland Town government for 30 years.

If elected as a Trustee, Cornell’s top three priorities would be working with the newly elected Board to restore a good working relationship with Town staff, working with the Nederland Police Department to put into place the plan for community involvement for the level of police enforcement, and working with the Planning Commission on planning and zoning to increase our Work Force Housing in town, Cornell wrote in a Mountain-Ear questionnaire.

“The need for affordable housing is a major issue, especially for young families.”

Regarding the Town’s Vision 2020, Cornell wrote that there is not one most important part. “It is the foundation that links all of our efforts together. The environment, our schools, our businesses, our utilities, and our families and homes all need to be supported together.”

Cornell has lived up the hill on the north side of Nederland since 1980 and moved to Colorado from Philadelphia. He attended high school and served in the U.S. army. Cornell retired after 30 years at CU in Boulder as a maintenance supervisor.

Cornell has been married to his wife, Karen, for 45 years, and they have raised two daughters, who both went through the Nederland School System, Cornell wrote. “We have enjoyed every moment of life here in Ned.”

Cornell has been active with Town government since 1986. He served for 12 years as a trustee and for 25 years on the Planning Commission. He also served on the Community Center board.

“The Town has a very strong plan in place with a recycling and compost program, and each department has a sustainability plan,” Cornell wrote. “I would like to see us get a hazardous waste program here, so we could drop off items such as electronics and batteries.

“We should continue working with the county to increase these programs. I would especially work on protecting the areas along Middle Boulder Creek and the areas on the west side of Town.”

The Board can help meet the needs of families by working with the schools. “The Town has an accessory role to play with the schools, but we should support all the school programs and the Teen Center. One of the biggest things the Town can do is helping to create more affordable, work force housing.”

Cornell would give the Town’s infrastructure needs the highest priority. “Having the knowledge and background and understanding of our Town’s utility systems is one of the most important roles of the Trustees.”

“We should encourage and support all business,” Cornell wrote, “but give a priority to businesses that would cater to the needs of the full-time family residence, so that we don’t have to travel down the hill for basic services.”

The Community needs to continue discussing marijuana as a part of economic development to find the right fit for Nederland. “I believe that the marijuana business belongs in a commercial zoning district, and not in residential areas. I also think that we need a discussion on the number of retail outlets we will permit in town.

“I have always supported a calendar of events for Nederland. The only issue that needs more community input is when there is a conflict caused by long hours or noise at an event.

Sometimes it is a balancing act to try to respond to everyone’s concerns,” Cornell wrote.

Regarding interaction with the Police Department, Cornell wrote that the Town Marshal has spent more than a year surveying the community for input on what and how residents want the police to respond. “The new Board will need to work in a constructive way with the Marshal to make a policy that the community can support that will give everyone involved the guidelines needed for the Police to do their job.”

topher donahueTopher Donahue plans to help business

A Nederland town resident, writer and photographer has qualified as a candidate for the Nederland Board of Trustees in the April 2016 election. Topher Donahue, P.O. Box 1d462A, currently serves as a member of the Nederland Board of Trustees.

If elected to the Board, Donahue’s top three priorities will be helping the town’s business run smoothly, facilitating infrastructure repair and improvement, and improving downtown walkability and aesthetics. The Board should encourage business development by supporting the redevelopment of the blighted areas of downtown and providing a desirable area for tourists to stop, get out of their cars and enjoy Nederland, Donahue wrote in a Mountain-Ear questionnaire.

Regarding Nederland’s Vision 2020 Statement, Donahue wrote: “2020 is only 4 years away, but I’d say we’re largely there except for a few things, including the most important part – the reduction of fossil fuel dependency. We’re a driving town, putting far more than average miles on our cars and burning far too much carbon.

“If anything, this is the place we could use the most improvement. So many people should be using the Ecopass that RTD ends up running additional buses.”

Donahue has lived in Nederland for 14 years and previously lived in Wild Basin, near Allenspark, since he was born. He attended kindergarten through 12th grade in Estes Park schools and went to Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

A father of 9 year old twins, Donahue is a writer and photographer. In addition to the Board of Trustees, he has served on the Nederland Planning Commission as Board liaison and on the Ecopass Board.

Regarding the environment’s health in town, Donahue said, “We need to keep this as a fundamental consideration in every decision the Board makes.” Adjusting building codes would make it easier to have multi-family dwellings and encourage lower-income housing development.

The Town should develop standard safety systems like crosswalks and safe routes to the schools, Donahue wrote, and the Board should support town staff in seeking grants to replace aging and dysfunctional infrastructure. Treat marijuana no differently than alcohol – no better and no worse.

Donahue would like to see the Board approve cultural festivals as well as the development of cultural businesses and building proposals, provided they fit with the fabric of town. The Board should “maintain an open discussion that will allow the police to handle the pressures of modern policing while communicating with them unique aspects of our mountain community.”

bot julie gustafsonJulie Gustafson hopes to strengthen community relationships

A Barker Road resident and Nederland school supervisor has qualified as a candidate for Town Trustee in the April 2016 elections. Julie Gustafson, 32 Barker Road, has been active with the Nederland PTA and Community Clothing Closet.

“My top priority if elected as a Trustee is twofold, but in my mind, inextricably linked –to strengthen relationships between the Board of Trustees and other community leaders and reinvigorate community volunteerism,” Gustafson wrote in a Mountain-Ear questionnaire. “Strengthening relationships between the Board and community leaders is important, and the time is now.

“The Board has in recent years dedicated Trustees to working with specific organizations and agencies local and regional. The myriad benefits of this have included learning from other mountain communities, connecting to new resources, and building a larger network; however, with limited Trustees this also spreads our people resources very thin,” Gustafson wrote.

“I would like to see Trustees prioritizing work with our local Boards and Commissions. This is not meant to exclude our role on important Boards and Commissions at the Regional or State level but to ensure we carefully evaluate what the top priorities are for our community and make sure the support is there first.

“For example, if the DDA Debt Authorization ballot passes, as I hope it does, it would be in the community’s best interest for a Trustee to be privy to the DDA’s project proposals as they develop and to synthesize the information for the rest of the Trustees. This would allow for concerns and challenges to be addressed prior to specific project proposals being presented to the Board for approval. By establishing that communication stream and regularly relaying information — we can mitigate unexpected challenges, avoid unnecessary conflict and progress more efficiently.

“Reinvigorating community volunteerism is crucial. So many community members and volunteers over the years have given their time, knowledge and skills to make our town the unique, eclectic community it is. A few challenges have arisen that have led some incredibly talented and resourceful people to step away from community volunteerism and I want to create an environment where those folks and new volunteers and staff choose to work together.

“Nederland has tackled planning for our future, from Vision 2020, to the DDA Master Plan and the Master Infrastructure Plan just to name a few. We are at a crucial time for uniting around the work ahead of us. I’d like to work with the town and one of the available online volunteer tracking databases (e.g., Volunteermatch or Volunteer Connection) to connect people in our community with the plethora of opportunities available to serve our community.

“Whether your interest is volunteering with your kids one weekend a year or finding a leadership position on a local board-as a town we should be able to facilitate this connection. If we are better able to link people to the work that interests them, more volunteers are likely to give more and we will all benefit.

“My second priority is to improve communication between the town government and the community. While being aware of the limitations imposed by Sunshine Laws, I’d like to identify communication avenues for the exciting happenings in town.

“I think this is especially important for community members who may work outside of town and miss opportunities to connect locally. For example, as the DDA advances its plans for traffic and non-motorized travel around town, and plans for signage improvements, is there an app the town can develop that displays our current events via community calendar? I want to make it easy for people to engage and be excited about town happenings.

“My third priority may be the most important; I want to promote efficiency in town governance and operations. I’ll come prepared to the Board meetings so the efficient operations can start there. I will be available to the Nederland community for voicing concerns, sharing ideas and connecting people to resources. I’ll also be available to Town staff to ensure that the Board is meeting its obligations and fostering a successful atmosphere for town operations.

“The most important part of The Vision 2020 document that is used to guide the Nederland Board of Trustees is the Nederland Vision 2020 statement. The statement demonstrates the shared values of our community — as identified by our community. In addition to informing the Board, the Nederland vision statement depicts our town, its make-up, direction and values, which is vital information for any person or business with interest in working in or with Nederland successfully.”

Gustafson has lived in the Big Springs community since the summer of 2006. Before that, for about a year and a half, she lived in an old miner’s cabin on Cold Spring Road. Born in Erie, PA, she grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and as a young adult lived in Georgia before moving to Colorado. Once in Colorado, she lived briefly in Federal Heights, Denver and Boulder before moving to Nederland in January of 2005.

Gustafson attended kindergarten through eighth grade at Holy Spirit School (K-8), Whitehall, Ohio, and Walnut Ridge High School, Columbus, Ohio. She received a bachelor’s degree in natural resources from Ohio State University and attended the Front Range Community College in Westminster with a pottery focus.

Gustafson works as Campus Supervisor at Nederland Middle/Senior High School. “I bring my experience working in conservation and education to NMSHS by supporting outdoor learning and identifying and pursuing related funding opportunities to support the school, educators and learners,” Gustafson wrote.

“Last year, I applied to Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) for funding to support the development of a natural play yard and outdoor learning area for NMSHS middle school students. While that funding did not come through, GOCO’s encouragement and student excitement led me to The Colorado Health Foundation, which is currently reviewing our application to fund these projects for our middle school students.

“Though I have lived here for 11 years, this is the first time I have gotten to know the kids in our community that are 12-18 years old. They are an incredible bunch! While most of my time is focused on supporting their good decisions (and deterring questionable ones) I also use the opportunity to try to advance environmental education and connection to the outdoors.”

Gustafson is happily married to an educator at heart who is also a Park Ranger, and they have two daughters attending Nederland Elementary School. She has served on the Nederland Elementary School PTA and as PTA Secretary during the 2014 2015 school year and is a volunteer for the Community Clothing Closet.

Gustafson also started the Halloween Candy Collection to support old time residents who show our youth the best Halloween trick or treating she has ever known. “As a full-time working parent, I recognize my time to volunteer in the community has been somewhat limited; however, as my children have gotten a little older and the opportunity to serve on the Board of Trustees has come, I am excited to combine my interest in the community, policy and volunteering by serving on the Board, if elected,” she wrote.

“The Board should have or develop an understanding of the overall environmental health of our community using not only local resources and expertise but those afforded us by entities such as Boulder County and Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment. Information gleaned from this knowledge should be used to inform local policies developed and adopted by the Board,” Gustafson wrote.

“In addition, the Board should be kept aware of what emergency response plans have been created for the Town of Nederland, identify if there are gaps in available plans and lead the work to develop comprehensive plans to address the myriad environmental health challenges that could arise in our community. Lastly, the Board should ensure the community has access to the plans and the information they can use to protect their families, neighborhood and property.”

Regarding meeting the needs of families in the Town, Gustafson wrote that the Board should continue to provide an opportunity at each meeting for community members to be heard relative to their concerns. “In addition, community members and families need to know they can reach the Board by email or phone call.

“Town staff should remain the first primary contact for families — to address their needs as they are aware of resources to meet those varied needs; however, the Board should recognize, acknowledge and appropriately address needs trending through and affecting the community. For example, if one family is unable to find housing that meets their needs and budget, it is not a Board issue, but when many families, month in and month out, cannot find housing that meets their needs, it becomes a Board issue as it affects and alters the community as a whole.

“When an issue reaches this level, it is imperative the Board collaborate with Town leaders (Planning Commission, developers, investors and others) to identify an array of possible solutions, including policies to ease the burden on families, and support our community as a whole. The Board must then choose which avenues to take in addressing this challenge and communicate effectively with those impacted and the entire community, what solutions are being employed and what the expected outcome is.

“Nederland’s Master Infrastructure Plan identifies and prioritizes the town’s infrastructure needs by neighborhood and category: water system, sewer system, roadways, storm water and drainage. It also provides cost estimates for planned improvements and funding opportunities available to offset costs that will be incurred by town.

“The Board of Trustees must take the plan from the 50,000 foot level (or planning level) and bring it down to 10,000 foot level (mapped out for implementation). The Board must choose which projects to undertake immediately and oversee the implementation phase of those projects.

“The Board also must continue to recognize the importance of sustainability in our approach to this work, without letting it become a barrier to its completion. Lastly, the Board must be sure to communicate with the community what projects are undertaken, the budget, the expected impacts to the community during construction, and, of course, the benefits of the project completion.

“The Board of Trustees should work closely with the Downtown Development Authority to encourage and support business development. The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) will plan for improvements, projects and programs in the downtown area to benefit the businesses as well those they serve.

“Their work will only be able to advance with the Board’s support. The Board liaison to the DDA must ensure a clear line of communication between the two entities so that as proposals come before the Board for a vote, there aren’t surprising obstacles that make it difficult for the community to advance work toward common goals. The Board should also consider how its support of events in our community can support our local economy, enabling business to not just survive but thrive year round.

“The Board of Trustees needs to address marijuana as it does liquor and beer. The Board must ensure that decisions regarding retail marijuana and related cultivations are in line with the current state regulations and our town’s existing ordinances.

“Well-planned and executed cultural events in town can and should provide an inviting atmosphere for locals and tourists. The Board’s role in cultural events being hosted in town is to provide a place for discussion and consideration of such events and their impact on the community. As necessary the Board must vote to provide required permits for such events.

“I expect the Board to consider the feedback of all people and businesses impacted by proposed events and make an informed decision regarding each event based on that community input. Beyond the potential for economic development, I would like and expect the Board to consider such questions as: Is this event family friendly? Does it adversely impact a particular neighborhood? Can the event mitigate those impacts? Is it congruent with the community in which it is being hosted? Does it highlight the community? Does it make sense for it to be here? Will it support our existing local businesses?

“Will it impact the land where it is held? What will the cost be to the town – in staff and resources? Will this be an annual event? Will it grow over time and how will that change its impacts? In weighing these questions and the community feedback the Board will best be able to support events that fit our community and support our local economy.

“The Board of Trustees’ role moving forward should be to work with the Nederland Police Chief and Police Department to identify areas of focus for the Nederland PD to serve the community. The focus areas need to address both where the need for patrolling and enforcement is, and what the challenges are. The PD focus will then reflect the concerns of our community.

“The Board and Ned PD must maintain avenues of communication to revisit focus areas and make adjustments according to the community’s ever changing needs. The Board’s role in this process is especially important as most of the Nederland PD officers live outside our community.

“While they spend significant time here, they may not have a full understanding of our community,” Gustafson wrote. “By working together to identify and address the safety challenges in our community, we can be a safe and welcoming, as well as an exemplar in community policing.”

bot dallas mastersDallas Masters hopes to engineer cost savings

A Sundown resident and an aerospace engineering scientist has qualified as a candidate for Town Trustee in the April 2016 elections. Dallas Masters, 30 Sundown Trail, has been active on Town boards and with sports activities for at least 12 years.

If elected as Trustee, Masters’ first priority would be maintaining the town’s positive financial health by identifying cost savings and streamlining as well as pursuing opportunities for increased revenues and grants. His second priority will be continuing improvements to critical infrastructure and town services, such as streets, public works, water and sewer costs, and police and community relations.

Thirdly, he would like to make policies for the long-term health of the community to insure viable schools, a stable local economy, and adequate housing for all demographic groups, Masters wrote in a Mountain-Ear questionnaire.

“The Nederland Vision 2020 process and document should serve as a guide for how the Town staff and Board of Trustees operate and plan for the town. The two-page Vision Statement is a very good summary of what the town residents desire now and moving forward, and it should be used as a lens through which to view and make decisions for the town,” Masters wrote.

“I would like to see the transparency of the Vision 2020 process emulated in our Board meetings and will propose a progressive hybrid online/physical meeting format that allows trustees and citizens to openly discuss agenda items online prior to a physical meeting so that we can make the best decisions going forward.”

Masters has lived on Sundown Trail in Nederland since 2004, except for 2010 to 2011 when he spent a year in France. He lived in Boulder from 1998 to 2004. Masters earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering science at Trinity University and a master’s and Ph.D. in aerospace engineering sciences from the University of Colorado.

Masters works as a research scientist in aerospace engineering sciences at the University of Colorado. “I use satellites to monitor global sea level and climate change and develop new remote sensing techniques for Earth science missions,” Masters wrote.

Masters married Laurence Delaunay Masters. They have two children, Paul, sixth grade at Nederland Middle/Senior High School, and Loic, a fourth grader at Nederland elementary.

Masters has served on the Nederland Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2010, as chairman of the Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Advisory Board from 2008 to 2010, chairman of the Sustainability Advisory Board from 2012 to 2013, president of the Nederland Elementary PTA (NESPTA) from 2013-2015 and organizer of NESPTA Winter Adventure Days since 2012, Board member with RINK from 2004 to 2008 and 2012 to the present, and a board member of

Mountain Tennis & Pickleball Association since 2011.

The Board of Trustees has an impact on the Town’s environmental health by its policies and priorities, Masters wrote. “By enacting policies that safeguard and improve our environment and directing staff that these are priorities, as voiced throughout Vision 2020, we insure environmental health.

“The Board can address the needs of families by advocating and making policies that improve the local economy, maintaining sound zoning policies for increased and affordable housing, and supporting local schools and social services/educational non-profits that provide essential services.”

Regarding the Town’s Infrastructure needs, Masters wrote that recently completed improvements to the water and sewer systems should be followed by other improvements, such as sorely-needed street repair, replacing the dilapidated town shop and addressing drainage issues. “The Board affects these by setting and measuring goals for the Town administrator.”

“The Board can encourage business development and a stable local economy through its allocation of discretionary budget resources and through its partnership with the Downtown Development Authority (DDA),” Masters wrote. “By working with the DDA and through the lens of Vision 2020, the town can still adhere to its principles and improve the local economy for the benefit of residents.

“Although marijuana may have had an initial positive economic impact on Nederland and other Colorado communities, it’s not something we should expect to create future windfalls for the town as marijuana becomes more commonplace. We should view it like other businesses, neither overly promoting it nor obstructing it.

“Cultural events have a long history in the town, and events celebrating our music, environment, history and quirkiness are now a large part of the local economy,” Masters wrote. “We can continue working toward maintaining a balance between the economic benefit of the events and their impacts on people, the environment, and scarce town resources.”

Regarding the Board’s interactions with the Police Department, Masters wrote: “Like all Town departments (public works, police, town hall, etc.), the Board can affect their operations by making sound policies and clearly communicating priorities and expectations. Each department requires resources to fulfill its obligations, and the Board should continually review (using goals/measurements and the power of the budget) if resources need to be rebalanced among the departments.”

 

 

 

bot Stephanie MillerStephanie Miller hopes to improve housing

 

A Sunnyside resident and senior environmental planner has qualified as a candidate for the Nederland Board of Trustees in the April 2016 election. Stephanie Miller, wife of Nederland Elementary Principal Jeff Miller, has been involved as a manager and coach of Nederland soccer and hockey teams as well as served on an affordable housing committee.

If elected to the Board, Miller’s top three priorities will be housing and community development, maintaining and improving existing infrastructure, and enhancing collaboration and developing partnerships to support funding for community projects identified in Town planning documents.

“The Board should always be working to support efforts to meet the needs of its residents,” Miller wrote in a Mountain-Ear questionnaire. “Current issues in Nederland include providing opportunities for affordable housing; supporting our schools; providing enrichment opportunities for youth (such as dance, theatre, sports, etc.); enhancing opportunities for parks and recreation; and continuing to provide services such as the community closet, food pantry, senior services, library and the community center.”

Regarding Nederland’s Vision 2020 Statement, Miller wrote: “I consider the Vision statement as the most important piece of work that came out of the Vision 2020 process, since this statement should be used to guide the work of the Board and the Town. As a Town Trustee, in addition to the Vision statement, I think the Envision Nederland 2020 Process Report is an important document and something that I would use as a reference to help guide decision-making. The report documents the many questions and responses that were part of the community forums, so it provides important insight into citizen views on town issues such as recreation, environment, government, business, education and community service.”

Miller, 35 Sundown Trail, has lived in Nederland for 4.5 years.  Previously, she lived in Puyallup, Washington, about 40 minutes south of Seattle. She attended elementary and high schools near Salem, Oregon, and received a bachelor’s degree from Pacific LutheranUniversity in Tacoma, Washington.
Miller is

a senior environmental planner for Parametrix, an engineering, planning and environmental sciences firm. For the past 20 years, she worked with mostly public clients and communities to effectively navigate complex environmental and decision-making processes for transportation, energy and natural resource projects.

“I have been recognized nationally for my work to create clear and engaging decision-making documents that are understandable to the public and meet the needs of local, state and federal decision-makers,” Miller wrote. She is currently developing a Highway Design Manual for the New Mexico Department of Transportation and recently managed an Environmental Impact Statement for the construction of a new 65-mile, 230kV transmission line between Farmington, New Mexico, and Durango, Colorado.

Before moving to Nederland, Miller was the assistant environmental manager for the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project and worked for an environmental organization in Washington State that focused on estuary cleanup, restoration, and public outreach.

Miller is married and a mother of two children. She and her husband, Jeff Miller, have two children attending Nederland Elementary School. “Like most Nederland residents, we feel very fortunate to live here, and we enjoy all that the mountains offer,” Miller wrote.

Miller has been a soccer coach for Peak to Peak Soccer, team manager for Nederland Youth Hockey and YMCA Jr. Buffs Hockey, and assistant hockey coach for Nederland Youth Hockey. She is involved with the New Horizons Affordable Housing Communications Committee with the Trinity Lutheran Church.

“Part of the Board’s work is to see that Vision 2020 is implemented,” Miller wrote. “Vision 2020 placed a strong emphasis on preserving and enhancing the environmental health of our Town. This includes working toward a more sustainable future, where we aim to minimize the effects that we have on the natural environment. I believe that our Town works hard to move toward a more sustainable future, and the Board should support these efforts and consider ways to avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts associated with proposed projects.”

Trustees should support the Town staff’s work to address Nederland’s infrastructure needs systematically, through implementation of the Town’s Master Infrastructure Plan. “I think it is important for the Board to monitor progress toward implementing the Town’s Master Infrastructure Plan, look for ways to leverage outside funding sources to meet infrastructure needs, ensure that our existing systems receive the funding they need for proper maintenance, and guide infrastructure planning efforts.”

Miller thinks it is important for the Board to review and thoughtfully respond to viable business development proposals, including marijuana-related enterprises, and to support cultural events that bring people and revenue to businesses. “I believe that the Trustees’ role in reviewing proposals will be particularly critical over the next few years, if funds are made available for downtown revitalization as part of the 2016 Debt Authorization,” Miller wrote. “If the Debt Authorization is approved, the Board will be responsible for reviewing and approving development and improvement proposals from the Downtown Development Authority that will shape our town for years to come.

“I believe that supporting a viable, and sustainable environment for businesses is important for our town as we work to realize the vision set forth in Vision 2020. I also believe that it is important for Trustees to support existing businesses in the community and understand what they see as opportunities and challenges for businesses in Nederland. Board members should also look for opportunities to promote the Town in an effort to support our business community.”

Regarding the Board’s role with the Nederland Police Department, Miller said Trustees should review, propose revisions (when necessary), approve and monitor proposed annual budgets. Similarly, it is the Board’s job to provide input to important police planning endeavors, such as the Policing Strategic Plan that is being developed by the Police Department with public input.

“Once adopted, I believe it is the job of the Board to support the implementation of the Policing Strategic Plan,” Miller wrote. “I also think it is important for the Board to understand the work the Police Department is doing in our Town and discuss how we can support police endeavors to prevent crime.”

 

 

 

 

BOT Eugene SmithEugene Smith wants to improve infrastructure

 

A Wildewood Drive resident and a retail sales associate has qualified as a candidate for Town Trustee in the April 2016 elections. Eugene Smith, 85 Wildewood Drive, supports community gardening and has attended agriculture sub-committee meetings.

If elected as Trustee, Smith’s top priority would be the Town’s infrastructure, including roads, parking, proper drainage, the parks, etc. “I was awed by the presentation of our public works department and their responsibilities. I feel we’re a little short of being ahead,” Smith wrote in a Mountain-Ear questionnaire.

Smith’s second priority would be seeing that business community needs are met. “A healthy business environment will bring in the revenue this town needs for infrastructure and meeting the goals of Vision 2020,” Smith wrote.

His third priority would be affordable housing. “Our teachers, police, etc., have difficulty finding affordable homes in our community and have to travel great distances to provide us the services we need. At times this causes us to lose talented people.”

Regarding the Vision 2020 process and document, Smith wrote that it’s good to set goals, and it’s healthy for the community to have them, “but I wouldn’t put noxious weeds on top of the list. Fire mitigation should trump that if you want to be specific. The document is vague in places and specific in others, but in general, there are good objectives in it.”

Smith has lived in Nederland for the past 35 years. Previously he lived in Boulder. “My Irish Setter pointed west and said go west young man, go west,” Smith wrote. He graduated from Northglenn High School and attended the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and the University of Colorado in Boulder, majoring in earth science education and environmental engineering.

Smith works in retail sales in Boulder full time. “Being single, my free time is divided by home chores and enjoying the great life Colorado has to offer,” Smith wrote. “My passions are good friends, skiing, travel and good music.

“I haven’t been involved in much because of my work schedule and issues with aging parents,” Smith wrote about his Nederland activities. “I recently attended the agriculture sub-committee meeting and was impressed with the number of people volunteering their time. I definitely support the community garden, and the wonderful job the town does with the flower planters.”

The Board should play a role in the Town’s environmental health by promoting green technologies but be hesitant to mandate them. “I’ve seen where government had good intentions, but it was wrong in the end,” Smith wrote.

“The families in this community deserve clean, well-kept parks. Chipeta Park, at times, seems over used. The pull-off at Barker, across from the Post Office, could offer more than a parking lot and a dirty bathroom.

“Continued support of the Back Door Theatre is a must,” Smith wrote, and “the Community Center is a great asset as well as our library. Again, I must bring up ‘affordable housing.’”

The Town needs to get ahead on its infrastructure needs. “A lot of volunteers put good work in our committees, and when their recommendations aren’t heeded by our Board of Trustees, and we lose hard to get grant monies — what a shame,” Smith wrote. “Compromise seems to be missing at times — accountability of dollars spent such as the biomass plant that was supposed to heat the Community Center. Although that was years ago, the tax payers lost big on that deal.”

To encourage business development, Smith wrote that putting a bag tax on merchants is a burden. “Paper bags come from a renewable resource. They are recyclable and compostable. Plastic bags also can be made out of recycled plastic. They can be re-usable.

Regarding marijuana as a part of economic development, Smith wrote that we have enough. “I’m not against it. It’s hard to believe someone would want to grow it at this elevation, and having two dispensaries in town is enough. I know that this is a marijuana friendly area and I’m okay with that. Anything proposed should be open for discussion but I currently don’t see it.”

The Town’s current calendar of events is great for business, Smith wrote. Cultural events bring in necessary tax revenue. “I believe there is room for expanding this list but we should be careful with too large of an event.

“When Big Springs drive is turned into one lane due to event parking, I see safety issues.  Can a fire truck pass by? Ambulance? People walking in the middle of the existing lane? I don’t think that’s right.

“Although the law is the law, we should abide by it or change it,” Smith wrote about working with the Police Department. “Generally speaking, most people in this community don’t want a police state. Discussion, compromise and warnings can settle many issues. I like our police chief and I think he understands this.”

The 2016 Candidate’s Forum will take place on Tuesday, March 8 at 6:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Nederland Community Center. The public is now being asked to submit questions that they want the candidates for Nederland trustee and mayor to answer. Questions will be consolidated by subject into 14 representative questions by moderators Hansen Wendlandt and Janette Taylor. Please submit your questions to: JanetteKeeneTaylor@gmail.com.