The 10 candidates running for the four open Palisade trustee positions in the April 3 municipal election attended a “Candidates 101” informational meeting on Feb. 20 at the civic center. The overview of town operations was presented by the town administrator and hosted by the town clerk.
A candidate forum will be hosted by the Palisade Chamber of Commerce on Saturday March 10 at 9 a.m. at the Palisade Veterans Memorial Community Center.
The chamber of commerce, in conjunction with the Town of Palisade, is sponsoring the candidate forum “to give Palisade voters an opportunity to hear Board of Trustee candidates address issues of importance in this election,” the town announced. The meeting is free and open to the public.
The candidates are Jessica Bonds, Dustyn Cipperly, Eric Croy, Alice Dussart, Trustee and candidate Susan L’Hommedieu, Jesse Loughman, Greg Mikolai, Gary Miller, Jamie Somerville, and Andrew West. All attended the one hour and 45 minute “Candidates 101” session.
Town Administrator Rich Sales described topics important to trustees, from the town history, the role of municipal government, the Sunshine Law, Roberts Rules of Order, executive sessions, to personnel matters, e-mail communications, and town officers and evaluations.
Sales outlined services provided by the town, including water, sewage treatment, law enforcement, fire protection, EMS, parks and recreation, festivals, code enforcement, and licensing. Also, the administrator stressed the importance of streets.
Sales also covered economic development, the buffer zone, budgets, sales tax, and enterprise funds. On-going projects include development of the Cameo educational shooting range, the Palisade Plunge trail, as well as the future of the old Palisade High School buildings.
Asked about the biggest challenge facing Palisade, Sales said it is a board that can stay tight knit as town finances and times improve. Sales said tight finances limit board options. He said a priority is “critical infrastructure.”
Sales recently gave two months notice, after seven years with Palisade, and the town has started a search for another administrator.
In his presentation, Sales advised the candidates who are elected that, “Your authority is as a group,” not individuals.
“Have good discussions and arguments. The citizens will respect you more,” he said. “Everyone should be able to walk out at the end of the night and shake hands.”
Candidate Jessica Bonds
Candidate Dustyn Cipperly
Candidate Eric Croy
Candidate Alice Dussart
Trustee and candidate Susan L’Hommedieu
Candidate Jesse Loughman
Candidate Greg Mikolai
Candidate Gary Miller
Candidate Jamie Somerville
Candidate Andrew West