Town of Elizabeth eligible voters will soon be voting on a new mayor and the members of the Elizabeth Board of Trustee. There are five of the six …
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Town of Elizabeth eligible voters will soon be voting on a new
mayor and the members of the Elizabeth Board of Trustee.
There are five of the six seats on the board open. Six people
are running for the open positions and the top three candidates
with the most votes will earn a four-year term and the two
candidates receiving the next highest number of votes will earn a
The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day,
April 6 and voters can cast their votes at Elizabeth Town Hall
located at 321 South Banner St.
Clay Hurst is running for the Elizabeth mayor position. He has
lived within town limits for seven years, but has been part of the
community for 13 years. Hurst received his Doctorate of law from
the University of Denver, College of Law and also has his
bachelor’s degree in science.
Clay is the owner and attorney of H. Clay Hurst &
Associates, P.C., and is also a contract attorney for the State of
Colorado and represents indigent families, abused and neglected
children in the 18th judicial district. He also has served as
prosecutor for the Town of Kiowa for the last 12 years. For the
past six years he has served as an Elizabeth trustee, including two
years as the Mayor Pro Tem and has been the vice president of the
Colorado Municipal League’s District 5 and is currently the Elbert
County elected municipal representative on the State of Colorado
Water Board and South Platte Water Roundtable Board.
Why are you running for Mayor?
I believe in supporting your community through public service. I
initially ran for Town Trustee 6 years ago. I have enjoyed serving
the town of Elizabeth in that capacity, working to improve the town
and the services it provides. I am a strong leader with experience.
I want to lead this community into the 21st century with the goal
of being fiscally responsible while providing the best services and
infrastructure we can afford. I want to encourage the citizens of
our town to become more involved and create a real sense of
What are your primary goals as mayor?
I am for fiscally responsible government; to make sure all our
citizens are served with reasonable, safe, up-to-date services that
provide a secure, healthy quality of life. I have chosen to
scrupulously work towards the betterment of our town while
balancing the current needs of our community with our long-term
future. Over the last 6 years I have been a part of putting in a
new wastewater plant that meets the state’s requirements under
regulatory guidelines. This ended the towns risk of continual
sanctions and fines imposed against the town by the State of
Colorado. I want to continue to serve this community and work in
the town’s best interest by making responsible decisions for our
town. I believe we can and should always strive to do our very
What is your position on the medical marijuana issue? I
understand the medical benefits marijuana provides certain people
and appreciate the state’s intent to make use for those people
legal. I have also represented clients who have a legitimate need
for using it and have seen the medical benefits they receive from
its use. With that said I believe it needs to be appropriately
regulated. Currently the State Legislator is working on how to
regulate use and distribution of marijuana. I will support what
they ultimately determine to be in the state and local communities’
Economic development? Our Community struggles to maintain a
competitive advantage in the rapidly changing economy and from
larger competing municipalities like Castle Rock and Parker.
Therefore, we as community leaders must come up with well-informed
economic development strategies to assure the town’s continued
prosperity and survival. By planning for the future by reserving
appropriate rights of way, water rights and parcels of land that
are reasonably anticipated as being future commercial development,
we hope to assure economic development in the future. We must also
have a comprehensive plan, a vision that fosters public and private
investments that can provide employment opportunities for our local
The town budget?
A small town must operate efficiently, economically and
effectively. The town is required to operate on a balanced budget
by state law. Since I have been elected, we have changed the way
the Town is budgeted. We have reversed the budget problems; we have
balanced it so that we are no longer operating in the red but
operating within budget, ending each year fiscally sound. We must
encourage more local retailers to operate in town. In turn our
citizens must be willing to support local establishments. We as
public servants must work in the community’s best interest by
providing responsible, economically feasible services to our
Gary Bégin is running for the position of Elizabeth mayor and
has lived in Elizabeth for the past five years. He is married and
raised five children and is a United State Marine Corps veteran. He
received his undergraduate degree in English Literature and his
graduate public administration.
Previous public service includes former town council member for
Elizabeth, former Board member for the American Red Cross in
Nevada, a former postal worker, former volunteer Habitat For
Humanity, Lions Club, Methodist Mens Club and a former foster
parent and mentor in Elbert County.
Elizabeth government needs a fiscally conservative way of
thinking. I will try to stop wasteful spending and lower taxes,
fees and water bills and eventually have the police interface with
the citizens, not just at traffic stops. I want to eliminate school
resource officers and let the school system or county sheriff
handle it since most kids are county residents, not Elizabeth
What are your primary goals as a mayor?
Stop wasteful spending, sell the Smoky Jacks/Gesins property,
eliminate all wasteful memberships in organizations like the
Colorado Municipal League and associated trips, reduce the police
budget, lower water bills and motivate new residential and business
growth with reduced taxes and fees.
What is your position on the medical marijuana issue? Tax it as
heavily or more as cigarettes and alcohol and enforce DUI laws for
marijuana the same as for alcohol and have enforced age limits on
its use, perhaps 18-21. Keep all dispensaries away from schools,
playgrounds, etc. Have the marijuana growing strictly domestic and
regulated as well. Kick back any “in-town” dispensary’s taxes to
the town for general fund use.
Let the laws of the market dictate natural growth rather than
trying to force the issue by buying dilapidated buildings with
taxpayer funds. Give all new and existing businesses tax breaks,
tap and sewer fee breaks, lower the Elizabeth sales tax and allow
signage that actually is large enough to attract customers from off
of Hwy 86. Eliminate the so-called economic development board meant
to serve just a handful of absentee owners and non-resident
The town budget? Reduce the police budget significantly, put a
freeze on all salary and wage increases, sell Gesins/Smoky Jacks
immediately and use the proceeds to give the citizens free water
for six months or however long it lasts. Sell excess police
vehicles and also have more cops on bicycle and foot patrol to
enhance the small town atmosphere most folks seem to want (in nice
weather). This allows more personal touch between cops and
Cynthia Nunnelee is running for an Elizabeth Board of Trustee
position. She has lived in Elizabeth since 1981. She has a
bachelors’’ degrees in English and a mater’s degree in counseling
and guidance. She had taught English at Elizabeth High School for
19 years and is now retired, but continues to substitute teach and
teach part-time at the University of Phoenix.
She was appointed to Elizabeth Town Council in December 2009 and
has served as a member of the Elbert County Child Protection Team
Why are you running for a position on the Elizabeth Board of
It is too easy to assume someone else will step up and make
decisions about the town in which we live. I like Elizabeth and I
want to do my part to keep this town a good place to live and raise
What are your primary goals as a board member?
I want to encourage others to make their voices heard; I want to
help make intelligent decisions about growth and I would like to
see more opportunities for people to come together in a small town
atmosphere and become a more cohesive town.
What is your position on the medical marijuana issue? This is an
issue that is confounding the state legislature, federal officials
and the town. I believe that we must be careful to not keep those
who legitimately need marijuana from being able to access this
drug. We should abide by the decisions that are made by the
electorate regardless of our personal opinions.
Economic development? Economic growth and development are
necessary to keep our town economy healthy. We need to be open to
development and willing to discuss options in order to keep the
growth in line with the needs of the town residents and the ability
of the town to serve the community entirely, both old and new.
Things are tight in today's economy, and the town is very aware
of spending limits and needs. With that in mind, we do need to
continue to watch spending but spend tax dollars appropriately. My
impression is that our city staff works hard at utilizing the
town's resources carefully
Diana Robins is running for an Elizabeth Board of Trustee
position. She has lived in Elizabeth for 27 years. She is married
and has three sons. For the past 24 years, she has been an employee
for Qwest and she currently works in the IT department as the lead
software development engineer. Diana was appointed as an Elizabeth
Town Board Trustee in January 2009 and was elected in the board in
1998 and served until 2002. She also was appointed as a member of
the Elizabeth Town Planning Commission in 1997 and served until
It is my love for our community and the people in the town of
Elizabeth that made me want to take an active role in our town’s
Cutting town expenses. Tighten the "purse strings" in the town
budget and promote stronger economic base to provide more jobs in
our community while still keeping its rural look and feel.
Encouraging communication between town government, citizens and
business community. Keeping our Town Mission Statement a
What is your position on the medical marijuana issue?
No comment at this time. Town of Elizabeth currently has a 120
day moratorium for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries. Thus allowing
the Town Board the necessary time to gather all additional
information so the best possible decision can be made for our
community as a whole.
Promote a stronger economic base to provide more jobs in our
community while still keeping its rural look and feel
Need to tighten the "purse strings" in the Town budget. I see
several areas where the town could save money, yet still provide us
all a quality place to live.
Susette Frausto is running for an open position on the Elizabeth
Board of Trustees. She has lived in Elizabeth for 11 years and is
married with a son and is to be a grandparent. Her educational
background includes some college and her professional background is
in food and beverage and public relations.
Susette has one year of experience on the Elizabeth Planning
Commission before she was elected to the Elizabeth Board of
Trustees in 2004. She has been a trustee for six years and has
served as mayor pro tem since 2008. For the past two years she has
been a member of the Colorado Municipal League's Executive Board
being the only representative for the Eastern Plains region. She
also serves on six CML committees to stay current on legislative,
water, sewer, energy and municipal issues that impact the
Being a trustee allows me the opportunity to be an active
participant in the legislative process that will shape the future
residential and economic growth of our community. This position
requires a considerable commitment of time and energy and I have
demonstrated that dedication during my past six years as a trustee
and wish to continue to serve my community.
I believe it is vital to serve with integrity and consistency to
ensure that the decisions made are in the best interests of our
community as a whole. I will continue to be accessible to the
citizens and be a good listener to their ideas and concerns. To
that end, I believe we need to focus on maintaining a balanced
budget, encourage economic development, complete the Design
Standards and Guidelines document and to revise some of our current
zoning & planning codes.
I voted to support the town's moratorium on not allowing any
medical marijuana dispensaries within the town limits at this time.
There are too many unanswered questions that need to be addressed
by the state legislature on this issue. Such as, determining what
licensing procedures for both dispensaries and caregivers will be
at both the state and local government levels and what regulations
for such facilities will be required. Also, will local
municipalities and counties have the ability to impose requirements
beyond the state statute through their zoning, health, public
safety and general public welfare authority to ensure that their
community's best interests are protected.
Our goal is to encourage economic development that will provide
necessary services and resources, as well as employment
opportunities to our Community. We need to provide an environment
that encourages businesses to establish in Elizabeth, while still
maintaining our small town atmosphere. We are currently in the
process of developing a Design Standards and Guidelines, which will
enable developers to know what the Town of Elizabeth expects.
The town Budget is one of the toughest issues that the Board of
Trustees deals with annually. Our goal is to determine what the
community needs and wants, what it is willing and able to pay, and
what services it can expect to receive for its tax dollars. We hold
several budget workshops every fall, open to the public, and
carefully scrutinize each department's budgetary requirements and
the town's financial resources. I feel that working as a team is
the best way to provide quality services to our residents while
ensuring that the town maintains a balanced budget.
Dave Yocom, Paul Schwarzkope and Casey Elliott are also running
for an open position on the Elizabeth Board of Trustees. Theses
candidates did not respond with their profile information by press
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