With a tumultuous 2019 behind them, which resulted in a recall election that unseated Elizabeth Board of Trustee members June Jurczewsky and Rachel White, outgoing trustees reflect on their time …
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With a tumultuous 2019 behind them, which resulted in a recall election that unseated Elizabeth Board of Trustee members June Jurczewsky and Rachel White, outgoing trustees reflect on their time spent in service, incoming trustees Ron Weaver and Jason Weiss talk about their plans to serve Elizabeth residents, and the mayor weighed in on the days ahead.
Mayor Megan Vasquez
“The town is looking forward to working with the new trustees on many challenges ahead of us, which includes growth that is coming to this area. We also have several exciting projects coming in 2020 to improve our community which the new trustees will get to be a part of, including paving our unpaved roads, the town trail, realignment of County Road 13 with Elizabeth Street, and working with our partners on our community events that bring us all together,” said Vasquez. “I would like to thank Rachel and June for their many years of service and dedication to the town and its citizens. These two trustees have spent countless hours serving their community and I applaud them both for their passion to help bring positive changes to Elizabeth.”
“I've served nearly two terms on the board — I was elected in 2012. I feel we have accomplished quite a bit over the years, but times change and people change, so almost eight years was plenty,” said Jurczewsky. “The main thing I'm proud of: I have been fighting to get the rest of these streets paved for a long time, and now they're being done.”
“As far as the recall election, I understand people were unhappy, but I felt they should have come and talked to us. Plus, three of us were going to term out in April anyway, so I feel like it really was a waste of taxpayer's money. Before I got on the board I had complaints too, which is why I ran in the first place. But once you get on the board and sit on the other side of the table it's a whole different story. There are certain rules and regulations that need to be followed, and I wish the new trustees the best as they learn about their roles.”
“I will still go to all the meetings, and stay involved in my community in different ways,” said Jurczewsky. “I hope town residents continue to be involved with what's happening in the town. They did a good job of coming together when they were upset; now it would be nice to see them attending town meetings and working together to address the growth that is coming.”
“Serving on the board of trustees was a great experience that provided me with the knowledge of how local government impacts our cities/towns, citizens, and the surrounding communities,” said White. “I was privileged to participate with a board and town staff that is ever diligent to research, change, and update town policies, investigate options for growth, and let me be a part of the implementation process by volunteering my time and talents.”
“I am proud that I have played a small part working with the board and town staff to provide several beneficial improvements, including creating the vacant lot at Highway 86 and Main Street converted to local gathering/event space for Farmers Market, Wine in the Pines, and Hops Fest. We finalized the 15-year-old housing development for Gold Creek/Ritoro, completion of the paving of our town roads, and our water and sewer accounts achieving an enterprise fund status.
“From our new trustees, I hope to see sincerity of purpose to help maintain and sustain the Town of Elizabeth for current and future residents, businesses, schools and our surrounding communities. As a trustee you are “entrusted” with creating and maintaining the town policies that provide a framework that will guide, enhance, and provide sustainability. My advice to new trustees is to prepare to spend time learning, be patient with the people and the process, and re-examine personal motives constantly — personal passions should not overrule the purpose of your position.”
“I thank the residents of Elizabeth for opportunity to serve as trustee. I will continue to find ways to serve our town and community and hope that 2020 will be the year that more town residents support our local government staff, board of trustees, and advisory boards. Support and service provide fulfillment and purpose when we seek individually to learn and engage on a face-to-face personal level. Check out the town website, email or snail mail a trustee or staff member, attend meetings, workshops, and community events where you can ask questions and/or offer solutions.
“I decided to run for the position of trustee because honestly, I got real tired of complaining about things and not doing something about it,” said Weiss, who will replace White. “Going forward, what's done is done, that's what this recall election was about. I can't do anything about what's already on the books, but I am going to demonstrate my will on the board voting on upcoming projects.”
“I'm going to make known what the board is doing — there are a lot of things people think are sketchy, and I'm going to check that out for them. I hope to get a motion to record our meetings, and make sure community members can see what's going on through social media and media outlets. I hope I do the job the community has asked me to do, and I hope to get the continued support I've had so far. If you can't make it to meetings, go to the town website, read the minutes, see what's being discussed. If you want to keep this town, you have to be informed. That's a personal responsibility.”
“I ran for this position because hundreds of people turned out for the comprehensive plan and I don't believe they are listened to,” said Weaver, who will replace Jurczewsky. “When they came around with the recall petition I signed it, and said `put me in there, hopefully I can shake some trees and rattle some leaves.'”
“Now it's time to get to work, not time for a celebration. I've knocked on a lot of doors and we need to start working together. We've got to be united and do what's right for everybody, not just one side or the other. Meetings are crucial to get more educated, myself included.”
“My game plan is: first, let's everybody get educated about the water. It's a huge issue for everybody. Who's going to be paying if we have to drill wells? We need to put the brakes on it here and re-analyze everything that's been going on.”
Weaver and Weiss will be sworn in at 7 p.m. on Jan. 14, at the board of trustees' first meeting of the year. Board meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at the town hall.
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