Firefighter focused on water
Mikel “Poppy” Kerst, 42
– Division chief for Eagle River Fire District
– Eight-year resident of Eagle, lives in Terrace subdivision
– Community involvement: board of directors, Greater Eagle Fire District; adjunct fire science instructor for Colorado Mountain College.
– Most important issue: Water. Right now, people think there is plenty. That situation changes with growth. We need to make sure we have adequate water rights and continue to watch the growth impacts. Enough is enough.
– Other issues: Economic development. Sale tax revenues are going down. Concerned about empty store fronts.
Supported location of new town hall downtown. Town should explore tax incentives for small businesses. Upgrades of downtown infrastructure
Also concerned about keeping Colorado Mountain College in Eagle. The college serves working class people.
– Downtown redevelopment: “Let’s help our small businesses to succeed.” We need to work with local businesses and figure out how to get them to stay in town. Find out why people aren’t coming in to set up shop. Town can help with capital improvements downtown. Tax incentives need to be analyzed. “Why shouldn’t small businesses have assistance like big box stores?”
“There are creative ways to play with the budget. You’ve got to get in there and look.”
– Big box store development: Not sure. Big box stores can help a town’s economy, but not in favor of big boxes forcing smaller businesses out. Local stores sometimes offer better service and prices.
“Big box development does have its place. It has to be the right (store) for me.”
– Open space management: Credits the existing open space plan and management effort. Town should continue to partner with developers on acquiring more open space.
Regarding trail access, people were upset when some access was first closed down. We need to educate the public about the purpose of those closures (such as preventing erosion) and find the motor bike riders a place.
Town trail system should make connections with neighborhoods such as Upper Kaibab. Work with the state for pedestrian access along Eby Creek Road, and over Interstate 70.
– Growth policies: Needs more time to study current policies and plans.
“The town itself is going pretty dog-gone good. Let’s keep moving that way.” The growth policies need to stay in place.
– Why I’m a good candidate: “I like to listen to what everybody has to say.” Would take time, before voting, to study the impacts of a decision. “I understand I can’t make everyone happy all at the same time.”