The Crawford Town Council will have a new mayor for 2012. Susie Steckel, currently a trustee, is running unopposed for mayor. The council has four open trustee positions.
Susie Steckel has lived in Crawford for 49 years as of April 5. "My baby boy was five weeks" when she arrived. Steckel has served 4-1/2 years as a trustee. She was appointed to succeed her son Rick when he and his family moved out of town.
As mayor, Steckel wants to make sure the remodeling of Crawford Town Hall gets done. "I have a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of love for this building. My first two kids went to school here. I want to see it stay here.
"I would like to see people slow down in Crawford, pay attention to the 25 m.p.h. speed limit."
Her community service, other than the town council, has included the chamber of commerce, the Delta County Tourism Cabinet, treasurer of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, South West Travel Region, Club 20, Liaison to Rep. Margie Masson of District 58, Cowbelles, Fruitland Mesa Club, chair and co-chair of Precinct 3 through the years.
She wishes there would be more businesses in Crawford. "It's a beautiful place . . . When Pam Cocker had her restaurant here, there were a lot of people who came through. I would like to see something like that happen again. I think the biggest draw to Crawford is the reservoir right now."
Steckel believes the town council can work with the chambers and encourage people to open their business in Crawford.
Christie Young was appointed to the Crawford Town Council last October to fill a vacancy. She is running for her first full-term as trustee.She moved to Hotchkiss in 2002 and then to Crawford in 2006.
Her career was in higher education administration. When she came to the Western Slope she had been off her career path while she cared for her mother and aunt when they were ill. She decided she needed a change and became a resource consultant for the Vision Program in Delta. Later she was the special projects co-ordinator for Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado. From there she moved to KVNF where she was the development director.
"Then I ran off and became a national park ranger," Young said. "I came back here because my house in Crawford was crying out to me," she said. Since she's been back she is the office manager for Coldwell Banker in Hotchkiss and Paonia.
She wants to remain on the town council because she feels she brings something valuable to the council. "I don't have a personal agenda. I feel strongly people need to serve," Young said. "I feel like I bring an impartiality to the council that it needs. The fact that I've been in and out of Crawford the last few years has given me a more objective view of the town. I feel very strongly that citizens need someone to look objectively at the issues . . . That's one of my strengths," She added, "What's important to me is what the people who live in Crawford want and representing what they want."
She has discovered people want more business here, but also want to be left alone. "They want as little outside interference and regulation in their daily lives as they can manage. So the big issue is how to preserve that while at the same time affecting change that we need. We do need economic development."
James Sorensen has lived in Crawford for six years. He was born and raised in Paonia. He has lived in Denver, Aspen and Santa Barbara.
Sorensen did custom house painting in Aspen. Later he would move from Denver to Crawford because he "found the right house for the right price." He has been with Dependable Lumber for five years.
He is running for trustee because of peer pressure to serve on the council. "I think everyone should serve their community."
Issues he is concerned about is formulating a formal noise ordinance in Crawford. He also wants to promote Crawford, its two great restaurants and the lake. "We just need to get people over here enjoying it."
He added, "We need to do everything we can to keep the school here. If we lose that school it would be really hard on this little town."
He pledges to "look at whatever comes before us and look at it from a fair mind and try to see both sides of it," Sorensen said.
Since her last move, Jennifer Ludwig has lived in Crawford for 3-1/2 years. She originally moved to Crawford when she was five years old. She graduated from Hotchkiss High School. She is a stay at home mom with a daughter, Emily, who is just a little over a year old. She is married to Don Ludwig, who works in Crawford's public works department. She and her husband co-own and operate Rocky Mountain Locksmith in Crawford.
Ludwig is the new president for the Crawford Women's Fire Auxiliary of which she has been a member for one year. She has been in Delta Emblem Club for six years.
She wants to be on the council because she thinks it will be "a fun and new experience."
Ludwig wants to work on animal control in some form concerning dogs. "I keep my dogs locked up. Others don't," she said.
Larry Kontour was born at the beginning of the baby-boomer generation in 1944. He grew up on a poor farm in eastern Colorado. He has known hard work and responsibility all his life. He has had many jobs. Among them a dairyman, a farmer, a clerk for the FBI in Washington D.C., an oil field rough neck, a roustabout on a Union Pacific Railroad bridge gang, a breakfast chef and a sign painter, to name a few. He spent 13 months in Viet Nam working in the headquarters company of an ammunition battalion from Dec. 1965 to Jan. 1967.
Kontour started working full time for the Colorado Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation in 1977 and worked as a park ranger at Rifle Gap/Falls for three years, promoted to a senior park ranger at Eleven Mile Reservoir for four years and promoted to park manager at the Crawford/Paonia/Sweitzer Lake complex in 1984 and spent another 19-1/2 years at Crawford before retiring in 2003. He worked 2-1/2 years as the manager/operator of Crawford Mesa Water Company providing domestic water to all the farms and ranches west and northwest of Crawford.
"The first time I saw Crawford was in the spring of '74 when I came into this area from Gunnison on my way to Hotchkiss to help the Raymond family shear sheep. The first thing I though was, 'Where has this been all my life?'"
He is running for town trustee "Mainly out of obligation to the community; There appeared to be too many upcoming vacancies on the council and it appeared that hardly anyone wanted to fill those positions. Well, to continue our form of government, we citizens have to bear the responsibility of continuing the 'government of the people, by the people and for the people.' So I'm stepping up to the plate. I've lived in this town 28 years, so I guess it's time I did my part.
"The most important issues facing Crawford are that we're losing businesses and more people are becoming unemployed. I will do whatever I legally can to turn that around and try to get reputable businesses to locate here, and to help the citizens gain some employment. Whatever we do, we must continue to keep a balanced budget, as have the town councils who have served before us. I bring with me 60 years of the knowledge of work and over 20 years of managerial and supervisory experience. I've done a lot of janitorial and maintenance work in my time and I believe I understand what it takes to maintain a small town."
James Chandler has attended some town council meetings, but has never been in government before.
Chandler grew up in Pennsylvania. He went into the U.S. Army when he was 17. He served three years in Germany and four years in the states. He was discharged in California.
He came to Grand Junction in 1985, later moving to Delta. He then moved to Crawford in 2006.
Chandler is currently retired. His career was being an auto mechanic. He worked for DTS in Delta for about three years rebuilding hydraulic cylinders. After being crushed by a forklift, he left work on a disability.
Chandler says he has the time to serve on the council. If elected, he would learn about the issues presented at the town council and get more information on what is going on in the town.
"I will try to do my best as a trustee on the town council," Chandler said. "I would like to better the town." He said the town needs revenue and one way to add to its revenue is by bringing more events to Crawford. He would like to see more bike tours and fishing tournaments. He felt the recent fishing derby in Crawford was a great success. He believes the town needs something for its kids to do.
Wanda Gofforth has lived in Crawford for 25 years with her husband Argee. She worked at the former First National Bank in Paonia for 17 years. When she left, she was senior vice president and cashier. She has spent five years working as a financial advisor with Tennison and Associates in Paonia.
"Two issues that are important to me that are facing the Town of Crawford are making our community a Drug Free Community and making the right decisions that are now being considered for the oil and gas leasing that effects this community that will ensure that our water remains clean and our citizens are given the advantages of much needed jobs.
"There are many other issues that are on the agenda for the Town and those will become more clear to me should I be elected and I will address each and every one as they come up with proper time and consideration," Gofforth said.
She would like to see more people involved and coming to Crawford Town Council meetings.
Gofforth learned there were very few on this year's ballot, and decided to "step up." "I've been asked several times before."
Gofforth was born in Iowa and moved with her family in 1977 to Colorado. She has lived in Hotchkiss, Paonia and Crawford.
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