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Park named to airport advisory board

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In seeking to appoint a representative to the North Fork Airport Advisory Board, Town of Paonia board of trustees sought applicants who either own a business or property within town limits or are a town resident. They also wanted someone with good communication skills who has an interest in aviation and in the betterment of the North Fork Valley Airport. The town is a 75-percent owner in the facility, located southwest of town off of Back River Road.

The appointment is for an ex-officio (non-voting) board member.

At the Sept. 13 board meeting, trustees voted 4-2 to appoint Stan Park. Park, the CEO and board chairman of First Colorado National Bank, stated in his letter of interest that as a business owner, he understands "the importance of municipal assets. They are "important to any new business considering opening its doors in any town," wrote Park.

He told the DCI he applied because he sees the value in the airport and recognizes that it's one of those important community assets.

"I know it has played an important role in people choosing Paonia as a place to live," said Park, a licensed pilot and former airplane owner. "Anything that attracts business and traffic to the area is good and good for economic development."

The town considered four applicants: former trustee and current town treasurer Ross King, trustee Bill Brunner, Stan Park and Larry Peth.

In considering the four applications, town Facilities and Development Committee members Suzanne Watson and Chelsea Bookout recommended Park for the appointment. "First of all we are pleased by the number and quality of applicants," said Watson. She explained that they narrowed the selection down to those not currently involved in town government, "as we believe there is a benefit to engaging more citizens."

Because of the current economic climate, said Watson in recommending Park, they were "swayed by the candidate who has a strong business background, financial acumen, and interest in economic development, as well as North Fork Airport experience."

The nine-member airport advisory board considers recommendations to the Delta Board of County Commissioners on matters involving Delta Blake Field and the North Fork Valley airports. It's made up of three representatives for Blake Field, three representatives for the North Fork airport, and three at-large members.

Because he has no voting power, Park's primary function is to attend quarterly board meetings and report back to the town board in a timely manner.

Park told the DCI he hopes to have a positive impact as a town representative and will "absolutely be able to attend meetings and make reports to the board." Added Park, "I hope I can help improve communications between the town and the advisory board."

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