Avon candidates explain their campaign strategy | VailDaily.com

Avon candidates explain their campaign strategy

Sarah Mausolf
Vail, CO Colorado

AVON, Colorado – Each week, the Vail Daily is doing a Q-and-A with Avon town council candidates to help voters get better acquainted with their views. Six candidates will be competing for four seats in November’s election.

Incumbents Rich Carroll and Dave Dantas are both vying to keep their jobs. The seats belonging to Brian Sipes and Ron Wolfe will be opening up because both have reached their term limits.

Challengers include Chris Evans, a local builder and longtime planning commission chairman in Avon; Todd Goulding, Avon’s current planning commission chairman and owner of a development consulting company; Jim Benson, a former town councilman who owns an insulation company and, formerly, Box Office Video; and write-in candidate Paul Siemonsma, senior estimator at the Gallegos Corp. and president of West Lake Village’s Home Owners Association.

Question: What is your campaign strategy?

Todd Goulding: The focus of my campaign is first to manage the town’s business so that we can survive the current economic hard times. This includes maintaining our current level of service in critical areas such as police, transit and snow plowing, while reducing our expenditures in other non-critical areas. This will allow us to match our expenditures to our revenues over the coming years.

Beyond this, we need to remain positioned to expand the services we offer our residents when the economy starts to recover. This means retaining key employees and developing new streamlined processes to better serve our population more efficiently at a lower cost.

I think we also need to improve our relationships with other entities in the valley, the ski company, real estate developers, special districts, other communities and county government.

Chris Evans: My campaign strategy consists of the following:

• Keep it simple and answer questions honestly and in a straightforward manner.

• Utilize local resources for signs, decals, etc. to let people know that I am running. It’s important to support the local businesses here in the valley. While it is important to get one’s name out, I do not intend to put up a lot of signs. In past elections, they’ve always irritated me and, frankly, tell me nothing about the person.

• Capitalize on name recognition. I hope that after 13 years of service to the town through the Planning and Zoning Commission, people recognize my name and understand the type of person I am.

I hope that they make the connection to Evans Chaffee Construction and thereby understand that I am local business owner in addition to Avon resident. I hope that people recognize the commitment that I have made to Avon.

I hope that everyone will take the time to understand the issues and to evaluate each candidate on where they stand on those issues.

Jim Benson: My campaign strategy is to knock on doors and meet people, to let them know who I am. I am trying to not spend any money campaigning; I want to be fiscally conservative, to let people know you can represent people without spending money. I do have some old signs from 14 years ago (when I last ran for Town Council) that I might put up, if they don’t look too bad.

Also, I think this forum the paper is putting on is allowing people to get an insight on the candidates. So I am just keeping it simple.

Rich Carroll: The foundation of my campaign strategy is to listen, be fair, and work hard for the residents of Avon every day. Your vote, trust, and confidence are earned based upon my competence and efforts during the last four years. This is more than a strategy. This is the minimum behavior required to serve on your town council.

During the three weeks leading up to the election I will be knocking on doors, seeking your thoughts, asking for your vote and continued support. If you see me please let me know what you think.

The voters of Avon placed a great deal of trust in me when I was elected four years ago and I thank you for this faith. I am confident my hard work and fair decision making is recognized. When re-elected, my plan for the next four years is simply to continue these efforts and strive to do a better job each week.

Paul Siemonsma: I am concentrating my efforts on reaching out to people who are in the same position as me. This is anyone who lives in a condominium complex in the heart of Avon. I have been very hands on with my homeowners association and have a good feel of what issues we have to deal with. It was not long ago that I learned how large an impact the Town Council can have on how associations deal with their internal issues and how they can enforce their rules and regulations. I want to give Avon residents who live in these condos a voice at the table. I understand that this demographic is not Avon’s largest voting pool, but I hope that getting the word out will encourage those who do not normally take the time to vote to realize they get a say, too.

Dave Dantas: For the election I am informing citizens of my goals and values for the town of Avon. Avon will continue to provide the high level of road maintenance, road work, snow plowing and transportation services in an efficient manner. I will work to bring these cost down.

Any town projects and expenditures will be looked at very closely to make sure the taxpayer’s money is not wasted. Main Street and the pavilion designs both will be reworked to make the projects financially feasible. By continuing with these projects we are committing to improve the vibrancy in our town. Increased special events at these venues will benefit both residents businesses and guest.

Avon should become a place where its citizens and businesses can succeed. We can offer short term sales tax rebates, very limited attainable housing requirements and permitting discounts for the development that is wanted in the Town Center.

Staff Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.

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