When Craig resident Terry Carwile sees a need, he responds.
“I’m not one to sit around or sit on my hands and do nothing,” said Carwile, a Craig City Council member. “When it looks to me like there is something that needs to be done, I want to get busy and do it.”
He said that attitude is propelling him to run for mayor of Craig in the April municipal election.
He announced his candidacy Tuesday.
The 63-year-old Carwile will be running for the position currently held by Don Jones. Jones, who is term limited as mayor, served several terms as a council member and six years as mayor.
Carwile said he could bring a lot to the community as mayor, citing his knowledge and affection for the area.
“I have something to offer to the community, I think,” he said. “I have lived here since the mid-1970s and I have seen us go through the boom and bust cycle, and here we are in another downturn and I’d like to do what I can to help us navigate that thing and do whatever I can to help us pull out of that.”
Carwile said deciding to run for mayor wasn’t difficult.
“People have expressed some support to me and have encouraged me to do it and besides, I think the time is right for that,” he said.
Carwile is in his second term on the city council, approaching six years in the public position. He has lived in Craig since 1976 and is a retired Trapper Coal Co. equipment operator. Carwile also served in the Navy and saw active duty from 1968 to 1970 during the Vietnam War.
Although it is his first time running for mayor, Carwile is no stranger to running for public office.
In 2004, he ran for Moffat County Commission and in 2002, he ran for a seat in the Colorado State House of Representatives.
He lost both elections.
Carwile said he has been an active community member since arriving in Craig and has served on a number of community boards. Serving the community and taking an interest in politics came easily to Carwile.
“With local government and city council, I just feel like I have found a niche with that,” he said. “I just love the rubber-meets-the-road kind of government that it is. You make decisions and you see their impacts the very next day.”
Carwile’s philosophy as an elected official is “a lot about listening,” he said.
“It is a lot of listening and not so much verbalization,” he said. “It’s the old two ears and one mouth thing — twice as much listening as there is talking, you could say.”
If elected, Carwile said one of his biggest goals would be to make sure basic community services — water, wastewater, law enforcement and others — are well-maintained and reliable in the community.
Carwile said he’d also like to see an increase in the promotion of tourism.
“We have a lot going for us in the way of natural resources,” he said. “We have a stunning array of wildlife around here and there is so much potential here. I don’t know exactly what the path is to realize that potential, but I’d like to see us marketed in a more vigorous way, and it looks like we are making some strides in that regard.”
2 contenders emerge for council seats
Two Craig residents said Tuesday they are interested in running for open city council positions.
Joe Bird, service manager for Cook Chevrolet, and Bill Johnston, Craig Fire/Rescue Chief and maintenance superintendent at Tri-State Generation & Transmission’s Craig Station, both said they are interested in running for a council seat.
They would be vying for seats currently held by council members Ray Beck, Joe Herod and Byron Willems.
Beck, who has served on the council for four years, said he plans to seek re-election. Herod is term limited and Willems was unavailable for comment Tuesday.
The 47-year-old Bird ran unsuccessfully for city council in 2009. He served as Craig Chamber of Commerce Board president in 2010.
He said his interest in running for council “boils down” to him caring about the well being of the area.
“I’m not going to sit here and say that I am better than somebody else,” he said. “I think that I am a team player and that with the right attitude and by working together, we can bring around what is best for Craig.”
Bird said he thinks he could also work well with other council members.
“The strength and stability and sustainability of Craig can be maintained with the right people working together to make that happen,” he said.
The 58-year-old Johnston had previously served 10 years on the city council from 1999 to 2009. He has been with Craig Fire/Rescue for 25 years and has served as chief for four years.
Johnston said he was interested in running, but hasn’t completely made up his mind.
“I’m pretty sure that I want to, but I am having to think it through,” he said.
Johnston said he would bring experience managing people and an understanding of risks and benefits back to the council, if elected.
Local government holds a special meaning for Johnston, who said “it’s what our forefathers had in mind when they devised our form of government.”
“We have lost sight of it as Americans at the federal level and at our state level, but it still exists at the local level where citizens are represented, citizens have the opportunity to voice their concerns, their opinions and their points of view, and they can sway the politicians based on logic and reason to vote in favor or against something based on open discussion,” he said. “I love that stuff and yet we have lost sight of it as government gets bigger and you go up the levels.”
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