Gypsum choosing its leadership | VailDaily.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Gypsum choosing its leadership

Eagle Valley Enterprise
Eagle, CO Colorado

GYPSUM, Colorado – Gypsum is holding its first contested election since 2008.

Seven candidates, including three incumbents, are vying for three seats.

The election is by mail-in ballot only. All registered Gypsum voters should have received their ballots by now. Votes are due by April 3.

The incumbents are Tom Edwards, Gary Lebo and Kyle Hall. Edwards and Lebo are both in their third consecutive terms as council members, and Hall is in his first term. Edwards is a retired architect. Lebo owns Alpenglow Property Management Inc. and is also a real estate broker. Hall is a detective with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Department.

The challengers are:

• Beric Christiansen, a former CFO of Eddie Bauer and VP of Payless Shoes.

• Ross Graves, a self-employed real estate developer and land planner.

• Jim Kinser, who is self-employed in insurance management as a recruiter, trainer and supervisor working under contract with Farmers Insurance Group.

• Stanley McElderry, works for the town of Eagle as the lead wastewater treatment operator.

What is your background and experience, and how long have you lived in Gypsum?

Edwards: Retired architect. Owned architecture and construction business. As a business owner, I understand how business operates, and as an architect, I have the ability to help plan a growing community and the amenities necessary to attract residents and businesses. Lived in Gypsum 17 years.

Hall: I’m currently employed at the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office as a detective, 25 years in law enforcement. I have lived in Gypsum for 11 years.

Lebo: I am a real estate broker and worked with various firms in sales until I started Alpenglow Property Management in 1981 with my wife. We are a full-service property management firm and we have had up to 22 full- and part-time employees. We have lived in Gypsum since the spring of 1988 in Eagle River Estates.

Christiansen: Experience in engineering, finance and real estate as an executive with companies in the private sector. Positions held include CFO of Eddie Bauer and vice president with Northern Automotive and Payless Shoes. Education: Chemical Engineering degree and MBA in finance. Retired from Payless Shoes in 2004. Colorado Real Estate license.

Kinser: Self-employed in insurance. Five years in Gypsum, 14 in the valley.

Graves: My educational experience is landscape architecture and urban and regional planning. My professional experience has been primarily land development. I have worked in Gypsum 15 years and been a resident for six.

McElderry: I am currently working as a water treatment operator for the town of Eagle and hold a Class A Water and Wastewater license as well as Collection and Distribution licenses. I have lived in Gypsum 14 years.

Why are you running for Gypsum Town Council?

Edwards: I have the time, interest, ability and concern to work for the good of Gypsum. I want to continue to help bring benefits to Gypsum as I have done over the last 14 years and to create an environment that promotes business, jobs and community.

Hall: I’ve been on Gypsum Town Council for four years. I ran in 2008 because I wanted to be more involved in my community. I have enjoyed the last four years and feel that we have accomplished a lot and still have more to do.

Lebo: There are a few projects I would like to be a part of and see accomplished. As an incumbent, I feel I bring knowledge and experience to the position. The council has made some mistakes in some past decisions but I feel we have learned from them.

Christiansen: I have three basic reasons. First, to utilize my business experience to help develop a marketing plan to attract employers and jobs to Gypsum. Second, to ensure that Gypsum is managed in a fiscally sustainable manner that keeps taxes low. Third, to help develop a long-term plan for Gypsum.

Kinser: I believe that with proper planning and implementation we can improve the economic conditions and the image of our community.

Graves: I am a believer in term limits and generally believe it is important to volunteer time to bring new ideas to the forefront. I have developed properties in Gypsum and have a good understanding of the process that is in place.

McElderry: I am running for Town Council because the town needs to move towards creating more employment.

What is your stance on annexations such as the recent one of Dotsero Station at Sweetwater Ranch, where developers were originally working with the county and became frustrated with that process?

Edwards: Gypsum needs to do what works best for Gypsum. County development of Dotsero means it uses Gypsum’s services but provides no revenue to Gypsum. Gypsum annexation means tax revenue to help support Gypsum and Dotsero annexation gives Gypsum control of development.

Hall: I believe that it is a great opportunity for the town to grow. The annexations will give the town room to grow and provide more opportunity for business.

Lebo: Gypsum has been approached numerous times by developers who became frustrated with Eagle County. Sometimes it is something we can consider and other times not. To a degree, Gypsum sees Dotsero as the “western exit” to our community. Sweetwater Ranch will bring needed services and jobs to this area.

Christiansen: Annexation can be a positive for Gypsum but depends on services required from the town versus benefits. I would need to evaluate the Sweetwater Ranch annexation pros and cons before making a decision. Each decision has unique factors. I do want Gypsum to have a business-friendly image.

Kinser: I’m in favor because progressive communities will win in the current economy. We need to be fostering an environment of fiscal responsibility, ensuring that the town remains solvent while doing everything we can to expand the job base and create a community where people want to live and work.

Graves: I believe it is important to first make sure that businesses in the existing boundaries of the town are financially viable before expanding. A priority for me is to work with existing business to make them more viable in this economy.

McElderry: If the county is not interested in the development and the development can create more sales tax than it cost the town, then it is worth pursuing.

Annexation of the property for a proposed biomass power plant next to the American Gypsum plant will have been decided by the time any new candidates are installed but various development issues are still on the table regarding the plan. What are your opinions about this proposal?

Edwards: The project’s location conflicts with Gypsum’s Eagle River Area Plan. A town-designated industrial area would have been more appropriate. The project is approved, so I will work with the developers to provide the best possible facility with the least possible impacts.

Hall: I like the idea of biomass power as an alternative energy. We are also looking at geothermal energy in Gypsum. The area they are looking at would keep the industry in one part of town. This is a great opportunity and test for biomass power in our town.

Lebo: The biomass plant has some permitting items to complete. This was absolutely a “win-win” situation for our community, which I fully supported. Not only will it provide long-term additional jobs for our citizens, it will help clean up our forests, eliminate wood in the landfill and provide “green” energy.

Christiansen: The power plant has numerous positives. Jobs in construction and permanent employment to support our local businesses. Increased tax base going forward. An example to use of our business friendly environment when promoting Gypsum to other employers. A use for the beetle kill trees that generates power.

Graves: I support the vision of renewable energy development and believe that the approval of this biomass plant will create momentum for additional business and job creation.

Kinser: I am in favor of it. This “green” option is an excellent use of new technology that capitalizes on clean-burning systems and minimizes toxic exhausts. It also creates jobs and can be an excellent example of using local resources in environmentally responsible ways.

McElderry: Annexation is fine if the biomass plant can be built and makes money without costing the town more than it earns. An energy park for whatever energy source makes the most financially seems like a good plan in addition to the “green” energy Holy Cross is obligated to buy.

How would you describe Gypsum’s economic future? What are the top three priorities for Gypsum in the next 10 years?

Edwards: Gypsum will grow as the economy improves. Gypsum’s future is bright with infrastructure and amenities in place. My job, as a council member, is to make Gypsum the most desirable, family-oriented community in the Eagle Valley. Priorities are jobs, commercial development and traffic solutions.

Hall: The town is in a great economic position now and will be for some time. It would be nice to get more business here. Some priorities are business and residential development; ongoing partnerships with library district, school district and WECMRD; continued development for activities for kids and families.

Lebo: Gypsum’s economic future is in an excellent position. We have commercial property ready for development. We are in a great position to welcome new businesses. Our priorities are to consider projects that make sense for our community and create jobs for residents. We must also maintain our current excellent amenities.

Christiansen: Advantages such as the airport, airpark, Costco and lower housing costs make Gypsum a desirable town for the future. Top three priorities: to attract companies to steady the employment base, prudent use of your tax dollars to keep taxes down and develop a retail environment to keep expenditures in town.

Kinser: Gypsum’s economic future is bright. The current town officers and staff have done an excellent job securing revenue streams for the tax base. I want to help us spring board from prior accomplishments and do even more to improve the layout and image of our community.

Graves: I think Gypsum is going to struggle for a few more years until pro-growth policies become institutionalized. One, focus on continued development of an attractive downtown; two, proactively market the available business development opportunities in the Airpark area; three, develop opportunities for better recreational use of the Eagle River.

McElderry: If Gypsum continues to depend primarily on housing development as the source of sales tax, I see a continued pattern of depopulation, more foreclosures and more teacher layoffs. The town needs to expand its sales tax base by adding manufacturing, energy generation and to existing facilities at the airport.

Other comments?

Edwards: I have worked to provide the Sports Complex, Recreation Center, Library and a public golf course. I have worked to provide affordable housing, such as Chatfield Corners and Buckhorn Valley, and businesses such as Costco. I need your vote to continue to make Gypsum an outstanding community.

Christiansen: Gypsum has a unique position of being the bedroom community for the resort areas of Eagle County, a commercial area with the airport, airpark and American Gypsum, great weather and beautiful location. These factors should make Gypsum a growing community as our economy recovers in the area.

Graves: Gypsum has the opportunity to develop a diverse economy that is less subject to the whims of the Vail and second-home construction market. We a have very qualified employee base that is currently under employed. We need to concentrate on marketing the available land surrounding the airport.

By Derek Franz

Eagle Valley Enterprise

GYPSUM – Gypsum is holding its first contested election since 2008.

Seven candidates, including three incumbents, are vying for three seats.

The election is by mail-in ballot only. All registered Gypsum voters should have received their ballots by now. Votes are due by April 3.

The incumbents are Tom Edwards, Gary Lebo and Kyle Hall. Edwards and Lebo are both in their third consecutive terms as council members, and Hall is in his first term. Edwards is a retired architect. Lebo owns Alpenglow Property Management Inc. and is also a real estate broker. Hall is a detective with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Department.

The challengers are:

• Beric Christiansen, a former CFO of Eddie Bauer and VP of Payless Shoes.

• Ross Graves, a self-employed real estate developer and land planner.

• Jim Kinser, who is self-employed in insurance management as a recruiter, trainer and supervisor working under contract with Farmers Insurance Group.

• Stanley McElderry, works for the town of Eagle as the lead wastewater treatment operator.

What is your background and experience, and how long have you lived in Gypsum?

Edwards: Retired architect. Owned architecture and construction business. As a business owner, I understand how business operates, and as an architect, I have the ability to help plan a growing community and the amenities necessary to attract residents and businesses. Lived in Gypsum 17 years.

Hall: I’m currently employed at the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office as a detective, 25 years in law enforcement. I have lived in Gypsum for 11 years.

Lebo: I am a real estate broker and worked with various firms in sales until I started Alpenglow Property Management in 1981 with my wife. We are a full-service property management firm and we have had up to 22 full- and part-time employees. We have lived in Gypsum since the spring of 1988 in Eagle River Estates.

Christiansen: Experience in engineering, finance and real estate as an executive with companies in the private sector. Positions held include CFO of Eddie Bauer and vice president with Northern Automotive and Payless Shoes. Education: Chemical Engineering degree and MBA in finance. Retired from Payless Shoes in 2004. Colorado Real Estate license.

Kinser: Self-employed in insurance. Five years in Gypsum, 14 in the valley.

Graves: My educational experience is landscape architecture and urban and regional planning. My professional experience has been primarily land development. I have worked in Gypsum 15 years and been a resident for six.

McElderry: I am currently working as a water treatment operator for the town of Eagle and hold a Class A Water and Wastewater license as well as Collection and Distribution licenses. I have lived in Gypsum 14 years.

Why are you running for Gypsum Town Council?

Edwards: I have the time, interest, ability and concern to work for the good of Gypsum. I want to continue to help bring benefits to Gypsum as I have done over the last 14 years and to create an environment that promotes business, jobs and community.

Hall: I’ve been on Gypsum Town Council for four years. I ran in 2008 because I wanted to be more involved in my community. I have enjoyed the last four years and feel that we have accomplished a lot and still have more to do.

Lebo: There are a few projects I would like to be a part of and see accomplished. As an incumbent, I feel I bring knowledge and experience to the position. The council has made some mistakes in some past decisions but I feel we have learned from them.

Christiansen: I have three basic reasons. First, to utilize my business experience to help develop a marketing plan to attract employers and jobs to Gypsum. Second, to ensure that Gypsum is managed in a fiscally sustainable manner that keeps taxes low. Third, to help develop a long-term plan for Gypsum.

Kinser: I believe that with proper planning and implementation we can improve the economic conditions and the image of our community.

Graves: I am a believer in term limits and generally believe it is important to volunteer time to bring new ideas to the forefront. I have developed properties in Gypsum and have a good understanding of the process that is in place.

McElderry: I am running for Town Council because the town needs to move towards creating more employment.

What is your stance on annexations such as the recent one of Dotsero Station at Sweetwater Ranch, where developers were originally working with the county and became frustrated with that process?

Edwards: Gypsum needs to do what works best for Gypsum. County development of Dotsero means it uses Gypsum’s services but provides no revenue to Gypsum. Gypsum annexation means tax revenue to help support Gypsum and Dotsero annexation gives Gypsum control of development.

Hall: I believe that it is a great opportunity for the town to grow. The annexations will give the town room to grow and provide more opportunity for business.

Lebo: Gypsum has been approached numerous times by developers who became frustrated with Eagle County. Sometimes it is something we can consider and other times not. To a degree, Gypsum sees Dotsero as the “western exit” to our community. Sweetwater Ranch will bring needed services and jobs to this area.

Christiansen: Annexation can be a positive for Gypsum but depends on services required from the town versus benefits. I would need to evaluate the Sweetwater Ranch annexation pros and cons before making a decision. Each decision has unique factors. I do want Gypsum to have a business-friendly image.

Kinser: I’m in favor because progressive communities will win in the current economy. We need to be fostering an environment of fiscal responsibility, ensuring that the town remains solvent while doing everything we can to expand the job base and create a community where people want to live and work.

Graves: I believe it is important to first make sure that businesses in the existing boundaries of the town are financially viable before expanding. A priority for me is to work with existing business to make them more viable in this economy.

McElderry: If the county is not interested in the development and the development can create more sales tax than it cost the town, then it is worth pursuing.

Annexation of the property for a proposed biomass power plant next to the American Gypsum plant will have been decided by the time any new candidates are installed but various development issues are still on the table regarding the plan. What are your opinions about this proposal?

Edwards: The project’s location conflicts with Gypsum’s Eagle River Area Plan. A town-designated industrial area would have been more appropriate. The project is approved, so I will work with the developers to provide the best possible facility with the least possible impacts.

Hall: I like the idea of biomass power as an alternative energy. We are also looking at geothermal energy in Gypsum. The area they are looking at would keep the industry in one part of town. This is a great opportunity and test for biomass power in our town.

Lebo: The biomass plant has some permitting items to complete. This was absolutely a “win-win” situation for our community, which I fully supported. Not only will it provide long-term additional jobs for our citizens, it will help clean up our forests, eliminate wood in the landfill and provide “green” energy.

Christiansen: The power plant has numerous positives. Jobs in construction and permanent employment to support our local businesses. Increased tax base going forward. An example to use of our business friendly environment when promoting Gypsum to other employers. A use for the beetle kill trees that generates power.

Graves: I support the vision of renewable energy development and believe that the approval of this biomass plant will create momentum for additional business and job creation.

Kinser: I am in favor of it. This “green” option is an excellent use of new technology that capitalizes on clean-burning systems and minimizes toxic exhausts. It also creates jobs and can be an excellent example of using local resources in environmentally responsible ways.

McElderry: Annexation is fine if the biomass plant can be built and makes money without costing the town more than it earns. An energy park for whatever energy source makes the most financially seems like a good plan in addition to the “green” energy Holy Cross is obligated to buy.

How would you describe Gypsum’s economic future? What are the top three priorities for Gypsum in the next 10 years?

Edwards: Gypsum will grow as the economy improves. Gypsum’s future is bright with infrastructure and amenities in place. My job, as a council member, is to make Gypsum the most desirable, family-oriented community in the Eagle Valley. Priorities are jobs, commercial development and traffic solutions.

Hall: The town is in a great economic position now and will be for some time. It would be nice to get more business here. Some priorities are business and residential development; ongoing partnerships with library district, school district and WECMRD; continued development for activities for kids and families.

Lebo: Gypsum’s economic future is in an excellent position. We have commercial property ready for development. We are in a great position to welcome new businesses. Our priorities are to consider projects that make sense for our community and create jobs for residents. We must also maintain our current excellent amenities.

Christiansen: Advantages such as the airport, airpark, Costco and lower housing costs make Gypsum a desirable town for the future. Top three priorities: to attract companies to steady the employment base, prudent use of your tax dollars to keep taxes down and develop a retail environment to keep expenditures in town.

Kinser: Gypsum’s economic future is bright. The current town officers and staff have done an excellent job securing revenue streams for the tax base. I want to help us spring board from prior accomplishments and do even more to improve the layout and image of our community.

Graves: I think Gypsum is going to struggle for a few more years until pro-growth policies become institutionalized. One, focus on continued development of an attractive downtown; two, proactively market the available business development opportunities in the Airpark area; three, develop opportunities for better recreational use of the Eagle River.

McElderry: If Gypsum continues to depend primarily on housing development as the source of sales tax, I see a continued pattern of depopulation, more foreclosures and more teacher layoffs. The town needs to expand its sales tax base by adding manufacturing, energy generation and to existing facilities at the airport.

Other comments?

Edwards: I have worked to provide the Sports Complex, Recreation Center, Library and a public golf course. I have worked to provide affordable housing, such as Chatfield Corners and Buckhorn Valley, and businesses such as Costco. I need your vote to continue to make Gypsum an outstanding community.

Christiansen: Gypsum has a unique position of being the bedroom community for the resort areas of Eagle County, a commercial area with the airport, airpark and American Gypsum, great weather and beautiful location. These factors should make Gypsum a growing community as our economy recovers in the area.

Graves: Gypsum has the opportunity to develop a diverse economy that is less subject to the whims of the Vail and second-home construction market. We a have very qualified employee base that is currently under employed. We need to concentrate on marketing the available land surrounding the airport.


Support Local Journalism


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User