I am a retired Chief Financial Officer of several healthcare organizations, including hospitals and Managed Care Plans. I have also worked for many years as an auditor and audit manager for a major regional auditing firm. I have negotiated many agreements, written numerous contracts, managed hundreds of employees. I have a long record of success in my work endeavors.
How long have you lived in Palisade?
I have lived in Palisade since the beginning of August, 2008.
Why are you running for a position on the Town Board, or for Mayor?
I am running for Mayor of Palisade because I want to bring sound management and administrative skills to the town’s operations. A successful mayor should be able to understand the internal workings of town government, should be able to work with the Town Administrator and other professional staff to ensure that the town is operating efficiently and effectively. I am able to do that.
Are you willing to commit to attending a majority of the Town Board meetings, missing meetings only in extreme cases?
I will commit to attending Town Board meetings, missing meetings only in extreme circumstances. The only town board meeting that I missed in my eight years as a Palisade Town Board Member was an occasion when I had shingles. I offered to the mayor that I could come in any case, if he thought it necessary, but that December meeting had very little on the agenda, and nothing that was controversial
Are you ready to put the time in to read and understand the packets prior to meetings and doing the other work that a Board member should do?
As Mayor, I will work with the Town Administrator and the Town Clerk to review and compile the information that goes into each board packet. The Mayor meets with these two town officials the week before the town board meeting to finalize the board packet. This involves asking and analyzing questions and answers that arise from the content of the packet. The Mayor goes into the town board meeting ready to lead discussions of the agenda items.
How many Town Board meetings have you attended to date?
As a Palisade Town Board Member, I attended 183 board meetings as well as other committee meetings, budget meetings, joint meetings with members of other town and city boards and the county board. (There are 23 official board meetings each year.) I also attended scores of other Palisade Town Board meetings prior to running for office, as an observer. I commented on occasion on matters before the board. I have also attended scores of meetings of the Town of De Beque and Town of Collbran town boards, some meetings of the City of Grand Junction and a couple meetings of the board of the City of Fruita.
What do you think are the big issues Palisade is presently facing?
Immediate drafting of a new Palisade Comprehensive Plan
Review of Economic Growth plans, incentives, opportunities
Creation of a Small Business Incubator, possibly working with the one in Grand Junction, as has been done in Fruita
Create plan for making downtown Palisade viable and vibrant
Highway 6 improvements
Sidewalk construction and repair
Replacement of the town sewage treatment plant
Removal of asbestos from the old high school
Reuse of the old high school
Construction of police facilities
Remodeling of town administrative space
How are you presently involved in the community of Palisade?
I am President of the Palisade irrigation Pipes and Laterals.
I am on the board of Grand Valley Catholic Outreach, where I help serve the needs of scores of Palisade residents facing economic hardship and/or personal challenges.
I serve the Jewish community in Palisade and the Grand Valley as a religious leader, and work with most other religious organizations in the Grand Valley through the Western Slope Table of Together Colorado as well as serving as Vice President of Grand Valley Interfaith Network.
What would you do to promote economic development in Palisade?
To create economic development in Palisade, I would try to bring a branch of the Business Incubator to Palisade, or create our own business incubator.
I would open the community discussion to what economic opportunities might be attracted to Palisade, what opportunities might be home grown, what current businesses could be encouraged to branch out into new endeavors. I would work closely with Robin Brown of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership to ensure that Palisade is on the national map for entrepreneurs. All of these efforts would involve including the Palisade Chamber of Commerce as an essential partner. Some of these efforts will involve the Tourism Advisory Board, which concentrates on the tourism industry.
What intrigues you about Palisade’s history? How does it apply to Palisade’s future?
Palisade was started as part of an intense flowering of entrepreneurial endeavors. The building of the canals, the Roller Dam, the Grand Valley Drainage District, the building of thousands of acres of irrigated farmland, most of it concentrated in growing fruit, was the dream of a thousand capitalist builders and farmers. Early Palisade flourished, sending refrigerated peaches to London and other parts of the UK, among other places. For years, you could buy Palisade Peaches at the premier Knightsbridge shopping emporium Harrods. That‘s perhaps the first place I saw mention of Palisade. Palisade Peaches were featured on the luxury parts of the inaugural and only cruise of the ill-fated Titanic. People in New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, London and Paris knew about Palisade long before they had heard of Aspen, Telluride or Vail.
Palisade is widely known and respected to this day for the excellence of its fruit, and increasingly as well, for the excellence of its wine, beer, and spirits.
Palisade is gaining international recognition for both the Palisade Plunge as well as the Cameo Shooting Sports Area.
What puzzles me is what caused the stagnation of the period from the Depression to the early 70’s, when there were few new enterprises begun or carried out in Palisade. The Mothers and Fathers of this community were formidable. Only with the introduction of wine grapes by Bennet Price in the late 1970’s did the new, exciting feel of entrepreneurial capitalism reawaken.
Capitalism is not a zero sum game. What grows is not at the expense of what already exists. What grows with the creativity and enthusiasm of new ventures are scores of new jobs, an atmosphere of possibility, experimentation.
We should welcome these new endeavors.
What is new will refresh what is already here. The new will widen our appreciation of what we already have.
What do you see in Palisade’s future?
We are surrounded with possibility. When I came to Palisade, some saw these possibilities. Others felt comfortable with their perceived decline of Palisade into a moribund economic box canyon of Grand Junction and Clifton. We have begun to raise our eyes to the possibilities of the millions of acres of open land that surround us on nearly every side. Our success and our destiny is in embracing the connections and opportunities that the Grand Mesa, Powderhorn Ski Resort, the biggest and best cross country skiing in the world, trails for ATV’s, mountain bikes, hikers, 150 excellent lakes for fishing, and the hundred thousand ever changing, breathtaking views afford us.
We should not be afraid of the legacy of our founding Mothers and Fathers. We should take heart from them and awaken the spirit of growth and possibility that they championed. Their legacy is our destiny.
What would you do to guide/direct it?
As Mayor, I would invite a community wide, ongoing discussion of how our little Palisade can become a recreation powerhouse, improving the quality of life for our residents while affording boundless opportunities for visitors to join us in our praise of life in Palisade.