Aug 22

Time to Vote! Your Ballot is on its Way!

Posted on August 22, 2019 at 9:56 AM by Michael Churchill

You may think of July as the most patriotic time of year. But as the leaves fall and football season begins, the autumn breezes also usher in your opportunity to play a critical role in making decisions about your government. Nowhere do you have more say than with municipal elections. Issues ranging from who governs the town to spending decisions are made by the voters and are often decided in margins as small as a few votes. So yes, your vote really matters!

The City of Rifle Municipal election is September 10, 2019. Not October. Not November. Official ballots were mailed on Tuesday and should be hitting your mailbox any day now. Inside your packet you will find your official ballot, a secrecy sleeve with instructions and an official return envelope. 

Rifle citizens will be voting on who will obtain or retain seats on City Council and two ballot questions. There are seven candidates running for three Council positions:

Brian Condie

John Max Doose

Joe P. Elliott

Ed Green

Clint Hostettler

Raquel Mendizabal

Dana Wood

All Rifle City Council seats are at-large positions and the top three candidates receiving the most votes will be elected to serve four year terms.

The two ballot questions voters will face relate to procedural provisions of the current Rifle Municipal Code. The first is an effort to move the municipal elections to November to coordinate with the State of Colorado elections. 

The exact wording of the question is:

Ballot Question B

Shall Section 2.3 of the City of Rifle Home Rule Charter be amended to read as follows:

Regular City Elections shall be on the State of Colorado Coordinated Election in November in odd numbered years.

YES _____                                                           NO _____

The second ballot question addresses the issue of the commencement time for newly elected Councilmembers. The current Charter provision mandates that the term for each newly elected Councilmember shall begin at 8:00pm on the first Monday following the municipal election. The new language would move that date to the first City Council organizational meeting which is set by ordinance. The question will appear on the ballot as follows:

Ballot Question A

Shall the first sentence of Section 3.4 of the City of Rifle Home Rule Charter be amended to read as follows:

Terms of the newly elected Councilmembers shall begin at the organizational meeting of the City Council following the Regular Municipal Election.

YES _____                                                           NO _____

Election Day is September 10, 2019. Ballots must be RECEIVED by the City Clerk by that date. POSTMARKS DO NOT COUNT AS RECEIVED DATES. Submissions can be made by mail (you will need to put adequate postage on the envelope) or dropped off either at City Hall during normal business hours or by using the new 24 hour drop box located at the Police Department, 201 East 18th Street. 

Remember, every ballot counts! If you have any questions about the ballot or the process, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 970-665-6405.

Rifle Rapport is a periodic article featuring the people and projects of the City of Rifle. If you have suggestions for future articles, please contact City of Rifle Public Information Officer Kathy Pototsky at 970-665-6420 or kpototsky@rifleco.org

Aug 02

WANTED: 50 Years of Pool Memories

Posted on August 2, 2019 at 10:53 AM by Michael Churchill

Were you living in Rifle in 1969 when the pool was built? Did you take part in the planning or construction? Do you have photos from the past 50 years? As the Art Dague Pool heads toward its half-century mark and significant renovations, an effort is being made to create and preserve a record of this amazing amenity. A search through local records reveals surprisingly limited coverage of what must have been a significant event for the town of 2,000 people. 

Parks and Recreation Director Tom Whitmore wants to change that. He is hoping to compile memories and photos of the past 50 years and create a permanent record of the history. A public reception will be held at the Ute Theater on Thursday evening, August 8th at 6:30. Hors d’oeuvres will be available and the concessions will be open.

According to Whitmore, “[w]e are hoping to gather former employees, former Metro Park District Board members and /or their family members, and anyone who has fond memories of days at the pool.” He notes that “the existence of Metro Park was due to the efforts of volunteers and collaboration of community members. It is important to gather history and acknowledge those who contributed. This should be a fun event where we can pass the microphone, hear some history about the pool and hear stories from people who were involved with the pool through the years.” So come out and share your stories and bring your pictures! Help preserve Rifle’s past for future generations.

No New Taxes

During the event, attendees can also view the final images for the renovations scheduled to begin next month. So how are these improvements being funded?  The answer goes all the way back to a very forward-thinking 2005 1% “Penny Working for You” sales tax which led to the creation of the Parks and Recreation Fund. That fund was utilized, in part, to assist in the construction of the Parks Maintenance Facility. A loan obtained for that was paid off in 2018. In 2017, voters approved a ballot question which authorized the City of Rifle to borrow money for the pool project. 

“We are very successful at paying off our loans,” commented Whitmore. Money being used to pay that loan will now be available to make payments on the pool with help from the City’s Capital Fund and other funding sources including a $500,000 grant from Garfield County Federal Mineral Lease District and a Great Outdoors Colorado grant for $217,500. Taxpayers will not be affected.

Citizens are encouraged to come to the celebration on August 8th. It will be a fun evening for the entire family. And of course, don’t forget to bring those old Polaroids or Super 8 films of you in your 1960s swimwear. 


Rifle Pool opening paper cliping

Rifle Rapport is a periodic article featuring the people and projects of the City of Rifle. If you have suggestions for future articles, please contact City of Rifle Public Information Officer Kathy Pototsky at 970-665-6420 or kpototsky@rifleco.org

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Jul 16

Meet Your City Council - Sean Strode

Posted on July 16, 2019 at 1:40 PM by Michael Churchill

After moving to Rifle in 2012, one of the first lessons I learned is that even one person can make a difference in a small town. Feeling an inability to make an impact on national politics, I believe I can help make quality, community-driven decisions on a local level. That is why I chose to run for City Council. 

 

Originally from rural Wisconsin, I made my way to Rifle by way of Chicago, Boston, San Antonio, and Denver. I have worked in academics, public relations, marketing, and community service. Still, my passion for making Rifle a great place to live and my pride for our community are my greatest strengths as a Councilor. My goal for being on Council is simple: to make the best decisions possible, based on longevity, for the residents of Rifle and the surrounding communities. In each meeting, workshop, and discussion I have as a Councilman, I strive to put my personal thoughts and opinions aside and make decisions based on what I believe is best for our citizens.

 

In addition to my role on Council, I am also the President of the Rifle Area Mountain Biking Organization. We are a local trail advocacy group that encourages outdoor recreation. One of our projects was the Morrow Draw trail that runs along 9th/Morrow. In the next few months, we hope to open even more walking and biking trails in-town, near the new water plant. 

 

 It’s an exciting time to be in Rifle. At the time of writing this article, Council is currently working diligently on recruiting a new City Manager, refining the plans for our new Rifle pool facility, and overseeing the city’s month-to-month projects. This year we have also had in-depth discussions and trainings regarding recreational marijuana and the possibility of a private/public partnership for a new city hall. We also currently have construction underway for new businesses by the hospital (across from Megan Avenue) and the new Wendy’s facility, which will redefine our city’s gateway.

 

Over the next 10 years Rifle will most likely see an increase in population, so we need to think about how best to approach this growth. This is our opportunity to approach expansion in an intelligent, well-thought-out manner, while also honoring and maintaining its historical virtues. Smart growth, logical planning, and staying focused on our community culture will be key elements in the coming years.

 

In closing, I am humbled that the citizens of Rifle chose me to be one of their representatives. It is not a task that I take lightly, and will always strive to do the best job I can. As a public servant, I value the opinion of each resident and am always open to your thoughts and suggestions.

Sean Strode
Councilman
City of Rifle, Colorado


Sean Strode Photo

Each week or so for the next several months, we will be highlighting our City Council members. If you have suggestions for future articles or questions you would like answered, please contact Kathy Pototsky at kpototsky@rifleco.org