EDITOR’S NOTE: Each of the candidates for town council and mayor in Rangely were asked the same set of questions. Here are their responses, in alphabetical order.
What is your occupational background? 1980-1981: Rio Blanco Schools Federal Credit Union; 1981-1988: Rio Blanco County Road and Bridge Department, cost accountant; 1989-2007: Rangely Police Department; 1990-1991: Rangely Insurance Group; 2001-present: Rio Blanco County Department of Social Services, eligibility specialist.
Please list any relevant experience, including if you have held elected office or served on a board: “RE-4 Board of Education during the construction of what was then the middle school; worked to start the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC). Western Rio Blanco Recreation and Park Board during the construction of the golf course and the transition from Rick Simmons as director to Matt Grenfell. Fire board during the construction of the training facility. Currently, I am on the Rangely Cemetery Board and serve as the treasurer. 1991-present: Advocate/volunteer/treasurer/board member for Rangely Victim Services/Safehouse; worked to obtain 501(c)(3) for the organization. 1989-present: Foodbank volunteer/treasurer; worked to obtain 501(c)(3) status. 2005-present Rangely Human Resource Council. 2007-present: WARM Committee to provide assistance to the needy, elderly and handicapped for their heating and cooling expenses. I have written grants to obtain funding for each of these organizations’ continued operation. I also wrote grants to obtain computers, software, recorders, radio equipment, and other operating equipment for the Rangely Police Department.”
What are your reasons for running? “I would like to represent the interests and concerns of the citizens of the town of Rangely. I don’t have any axes to grind or personal agendas to pursue. I am here to serve the people in Rangely.”
What are the most pressing issues you see facing the town? “Housing: The results of the county housing survey struck me to the heart. We have so many families struggling to keep a roof over the heads of their children. Either they pay way more than they can afford on rent or house payments or they live in some pretty sub-standard housing. As a community, we need to find away to encourage landlords to take better care of their units or encourage development of some new rental units. We have good landlords who should be commended for treating their tenants right, taking care of their properties, and keeping their rent reasonable. But the majority of our rental units have major problems. We can’t break the bank and go into the housing business, but there must be a way to improve this situation. Maintenance of our basic infrastructure: Something needs to be done with our aging buildings and facilities. The town cannot expect people to keep their homes and business to a certain level of code and ordinance requirements while their own structures are falling apart. In the last one to two years they have replaced the heating/cooling system and the roof at Town Hall. I have worked in that building for over 20 years and have froze in the winter, roasted in the summer, and watched the water run through the ceilings when the snow melted. It is now much improved, but why did it take so long to address these issues?
“Growth. We will never be as big as Grand Junction or even Vernal, but the census figures creep up every time there is a count. The town needs to actively pursue and attract any business they can, whether it is energy or light manufacturing. We should always be open to the possibility of anything that would enhance our town. Many people will chose to live here because they like the small-town atmosphere. But they need places to live, a variety of stores to shop at, and family activities. The town needs to go back to encouraging things like the farmer’s market, ranch rodeo, mud races and working hard to promote Septemberfest, Holidayfest and the Crab Crack.”
If elected, how would you see your role as mayor? “The mayor should be the head cheerleader. The one that is always out in front representing and promoting our community. The mayor needs to be accountable to the people and do everything possible to keep a healthy level of participation by the town trustees. The mayor of Rangely was never meant to be a full-time job. The board of trustees should hire and retain quality people to manage and head the departments. They, in turn, should hire and retain quality people. That creates an organization that runs smoothly.”
What is your occupational background? “I spent many years employed in the oil industry: Drilling, workover and production. I have owned and operated several small businesses, including a trucking company and computer business. I worked in law enforcement for 13 years and have been with the Rio Blanco Water Conservancy District a total of 13 years with the last three and a half years as district manager.”
Please list any relevant experience, including if you have held elected office or served on a board: “I have served on the town of Rangely Board of Trustees for five years, the last two as mayor pro tem.”
What are your reasons for running? “The town has set a course of sustained growth, fiscal responsibility and fairness. I am committed to continuing in achieving those goals.”
What are the most pressing issues you see facing the town? “The most pressing issue facing the town is the budget. The downturn in our local economy, coupled with the reduction in monies received through severance and mineral revenues, will make the next years challenging.”
If elected, how would you see your role as mayor? “As mayor I will work closely with the Board of Trustees, town administrator and citizens to provide services and maintain infrastructure critical to the operation of the town, allocating the taxpayers’ dollars wisely and cautiously to achieve the best result from every dollar spent.”
Edward L. Ballegeer
What is your occupational background? “I am a Colorado native born and raised in Denver. I retired from Conoco Transportation as a terminal supervisor. I worked and lived in Walden, and we did a lot of oil field work here in Rangely.”
What are your reasons for running? “First off, I have the time to devote to doing the job as I am retired. I have lived in Rangely for three years and come to be very fond of the town.
What are the most pressing issues you see facing the town? I know we have some very serious money issues concerning our water treatment plant and disposal plant, and a lot of our streets are in sad condition. I don’t know what the answers to these problems are but see it as a challenge to be solved. I also would like to see more new business come to Rangely, as this will attract more people. Our town has had its ups and downs, depending on the oil companies and due to (Gov.) Ritter and the current administration’s restrictions. Our town has lost a large part of its revenue. We need to find a way to bring new and stable businesses here and help the oil industry progress.
If elected, how would you see your role as council member? We have had the benefit of a good town council and I would like to add to it. Our town manager is by far one of the best and I would like to lend him my support. This election is by mail, so voting is easy. Please get your vote in and I hope you vote for me.”
What is your occupational background? “Greenville Public Schools Community Education six years, including two years as assistant director; Colorado Northwestern Community College Community Development director two years; Western Fuels Association Inc. Deserado Coal Mine Community Development director 10 years; Rio Blanco Water Conservancy District 16 years, 10 years as manager; currently, small-business owner.”
Please list any relevant experience, including if you have held elected office or served on a board: “Elected to town council in the late ’80s and then appointed to fill out a term in 2003; elected mayor in 2004 and served three two-year terms; elected to CNCC Board of Trustees twice and served eight years; elected to Western Rio Blanco Recreation and Park District and served 10 years; appointed to Library District Board and served six years; appointed to Rangely Development Corporation and Rangely Development Agency and have served over 15 years; Rangely Area Chamber of Commerce Board member for several years, member for 30 years; appointed to CSU Advisory Committee; elected to serve as Club 20 Board alternate and have served for eight years; appointed to Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado and have served for four years.”
What are your reasons for running? “I strongly believe in community service and have the time, energy and dedication to serve on the town council. I believe my experience and background are a strong foundation for serving on the council.”
What are the most pressing issues you see facing the town? “The present state of our economy and our ability to get grants and outside funding to assist with our budget and capital projects. Jobs, housing and better relationships with our energy companies and other governmental agencies are also issues we must address.”
If elected, how would you see your role as council member? “Rangely has a manager/council form of government with the town manager handling the day-to-day operations and personnel. My role is to serve as the elected representative of the Rangely taxpayers, and the council sets policy and procedures for the town. Council members are there to listen to their constituents and address both sides of all issues.”
What is your occupational background? “I have worked at Deserado Mine for the last 25 years. I guess that would show longevity.”
Please list any relevant experience, including if you have held elected office or served on a board: “I have been on the Rangely Town Council for the last four years and have worked in the Boy Scout organization for several years.”
What are your reasons for running? “My biggest reasons for running are to help keep the town of Rangely in good financial standing. I personally cannot take credit for the many years of hard work and financial planning that have helped town of Rangely to weather the storms that we have gone through, but I have tried to make good choices for the good of the community for the last four years.”
What are the most pressing issues you see facing the town? “The most pressing issue that I see the town of Rangely facing is to make the best of the down-turned economy. Most of the issues are being brought to us from the state and federal levels and we need to make sure that town of Rangely will remain in solid financial standing.”
If elected, how would you see your role as council member? “As a council member, every decision made on behalf of the taxpayers should have a solid reason to improve the lifestyle of all members of the community. There have been decisions made for the American people recently that I feel have not been made for the betterment of the nation. But I believe that I can be a help, if only in a small way, and the best way to do this is in our town. Thank you for this opportunity.”
What is your occupational background? “Business administration or management.”
Please list any relevant experience, including if you have held elected office or served on a board: “BSA in business administration, minors in military science and math, 24 years in health care with 14 years management, 20 years military service as an officer; Desert Storm veteran, president of the Gulf War Veterans Association of Utah four years, then four additional years on board; president of 3M Club two years, vice president two years and four years on board; chair of multiple committees and task forces facing a variety of issues from product development to human resources to building usage.”
What are your reasons for running? “I want to serve the people of Rangely because I truly love this little town. I want Rangely to live on — not just be here; to continue to be known as “A Great Place to Live!” I have a God-given talent to lead, prioritize and organize that I desire to put to good use by serving on the town council. I know there are complex and/or difficult issues to be resolved — it will take a strong diverse team to tackle these. I feel I can make a difference as a town council trustee — that I will take the right risks for Rangely — that with the help of the people, together we can make Rangely an even greater place to live.”
What are the most pressing issues you see facing the town? “Other than needing money, the issues I see as most pressing are: Affordable housing, quality education for our children and those attending CNCC, growth (small growth) and job stability through incentives for new businesses, new attractions, beautifying and repairing existing buildings and property, and health-care facilities that meet the needs of the people.”
If elected, how would you see your role as council member? “Listening to the people of Rangely and having a collaborative and respectful attitude toward the mayor, town manager, council members, business owners/managers and the citizens of Rangely. With the other council members, provide a ‘checks-and-balance’ for the town budget and input on capital expenditures, and assist in prioritizing work or projects, enforcing ordinances and planning/zoning for growth.”
What is your occupational background? “First, I am Steve Urie’s wife — twice — the mother of Brian and Alex Urie, the mom-in-law of two beautiful ladies — Anne and Krystal, the step-mom of Axel-Austin and sweet Rachel, the nanny of my special boys — Will and Caleb, and a child of the King. These positions I hold in the highest regard.
“I have opened and operated numerous Rangely businesses, starting in 1973 to 1988, which include a trucking company, beauty shop, automotive garage and leased a bar and restaurant. I moved to Washington state in 1988, where I worked as the executive secretary/bookkeeper for Coldwell Banker. I continued my job at Coldwell Banker and started taking classes at Olympic College in Bremerton, Wash., received my AAS Nursing Degree in 1992 and graduated on the Dean’s List. In Washington, I spent seven years as a geriatric and pain control nurse for the terminally ill and as an MDS coordinator at Belmont and Ridgemont Terrace Convalescent Centers. I moved to New Mexico in 1999 and worked as staff nurse and fill-in charge nurse. After a back injury, I worked for a short interval as a home health nurse and then on to the love of my life, an oncology nurse at the Cancer Treatment Center in Farmington. I returned to Rangely and did a second-time-around marriage to Steve, the first love of my life. Since then, I have been partnered with him and our boys, Brian and Alex, in Urie Trucking Inc., and have expanded the business with heavy equipment operations. Currently, we are in the process of opening a gravel pit for gravel sales. And, oh yes, I have been serving the people of Rangely for four years as a council member, learning the ropes of trustee.”
Please list any relevant experience, including if you have held elected office or served on a board: “I served and worked on the original board that started what is now Giant Step, the 911 Board, Rangely trustee for four years, town of Rangely Finance and Public Works Committee and helped start the CNCC Christian Fellowship Club.”
What are your reasons for running? “My purpose is be a servant to the community and help the council make wise decisions for the town as a whole. My main reason is to keep government in its place, to serve the people.”
What are the most pressing issues you see facing the town? “We are once again in a bust cycle with the oilfield. The main issue is going to be maintaining our status financially, especially since severance/impact funds may be in shortfall. I believe that financially we must tighten our belts and monitor things closely. We still need to continue balancing our budget. While maintaining that we have constant financial needs for maintenance/upgrades by law on our water and wastewater plants, which are challenging all by themselves.”
If elected, how would you see your role as council member? “My role is to be a servant to the people of Rangely, bringing issues to them and asking their opinions and doing my best to make wise and honest decisions that are in favor of the community.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Each of the candidates for town council and mayor in Rangely were asked the same set of questions. Here are their responses, in alphabetical order.