Name: Linda Price
Age: I am of legal age to run for the Oak Creek Town Board. That is not a politically correct question; I thought your mother would have told you that.
Occupation: Prior political experience: No real political experience prior to this endeavor. In my younger years, I was busy raising my family. However, I have always been interested and now I have the time to be seriously involved.
Hometown: My hometown is Haxtun, Colo., in the northeastern corner, near Sterling, Colo.
Years in Oak Creek: I have been in Oak Creek for 34 1/2 years.
Family: I am divorced with six grown children, all of whom were raised in Oak Creek.
Civic involvement: When my family moved to Oak Creek in 1975, Labor Day, this was a pretty rough community, at night anyway! But in the daytime, our seniors were at the post office and walking about town; they were and are Oak Creek. After meeting many of them, I wanted to stay and be a part of this family. At that time there was no kids’ baseball team, so I contacted Bob Adams at the Twentymile Coal Mine, the owner at that time, and he told me he would help the community with a field if I found an organization to help get us going. I then contacted the Babe Ruth Baseball League and went to several meetings in Denver with both Mr. Adams and the league representatives; they did everything after that. A field was put in at the high school, which was eventually moved to its present location and replaced be the parking lot. Many people from the mine and community pulled together to make this a reality, and I stayed on the board for a couple of years, but I was more into the game, not the politics.
Later, as I became more involved in the church, we held many kids’ programs and activities for the youth in town.
1. The town is in the midst of several major infrastructure upgrades, with a wastewater treatment plant, pipes and water tower all being replaced or repaired. Where do you think resources in the town are most needed? The town has struggled to provide water meters and to pave more streets; do you think these items should be a high priority?
I think we need to complete the projects that are under way. We still have water leaks popping up on Sharp Avenue, which the town crew is staying on top of with repairs. Until all are satisfied that all of our mains are as close to 100 percent as possible, paving of the streets in question would not be cost-effective. However, if and when the funds are available, paving on other roads would be good for community enhancement. Water meters would be helpful to budget water usage, but can the town or property owners handle this expense at this time?
2. Supporting the town’s businesses and general economy are more important now than before the recession hit. How do you propose the Oak Creek Town Board develop the town’s economy?
Town businesses and the general economy have always struggled. It is hard for people to spend local, since we all need to get the best buy for every penny. We need to upgrade our main street, Highway 131, and open our doors, flowing out onto the sidewalks, giving the people driving through a reason to slow down and hopefully stop and shop. We as locals need to walk or at least park on the side streets and use our parking lots. If people can't park easily, they won't stop. Also, a local coupon sheet using the town letter and local customer lottery drawings.
3. Several candidates have mentioned a need to increase services for children in town. Do you believe this issue is a high priority? Why or why not, and what would you do?
Kids fall through the cracks; I think we need to find ways to get our young people interested. Go to the schools, ask students, get them involved in the community. Maybe find some grant money to start a department and employ some youth to help grow civic and community projects that their age groups are interested in. Our future lies in our young people, and now is as good a time as any to teach them if they want something they have to work for it. We as community leaders and parents need to help by showing them the way.
4. The Oak Creek Town Board has recently passed regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries, and a moratorium on approving building changes to allow medical marijuana cultivation. Were these appropriate actions? How would you have handled the situation? And what are the next steps?
The medical marijuana issue is a sign of the times. I feel the board has a good grip on the situation and seems to be working through all legal questions as best they can. I do think that commercial cultivation sites should be in the industrial part of town; Arthur Avenue and industrial home growers should fall under the cottage industry ordinance, if possible. Any additional dispensaries should be dealt with on a per capita basis.
5. The town's police department, after many troubles in the past, now has one officer. The community service officer was let go during the probationary period, and there is no talk of rehiring for that position. Are you happy with the current police force? Why or why not, and what would you like to see in the future?
This is another question of what can we as a community afford. Can one officer do the job? How much does our community support our police department/officer? I don't know how well a community watch program would work for us, but since it has never been tried, it is something to think about. After all, in this size of community, we all know a stranger and if they belong here or not. So as good neighbors and citizens, isn't it to our advantage to be just that, a good neighbor and citizen? Support our local peace officer!