Candidates outline plans
FRISCO – Candidates for the Aug. 10 primary election jumped on ample opportunity to discuss their plans for two county elected positions at a candidate forum Tuesday night.Jennifer Pratt-Miles, moderator of the event, set ground rules that questions on personnel issues would not be allowed, so Sheriff candidate Mike Phibbs’ January termination by his opponent, sitting sheriff John Minor, was not discussed. The audience of about 40 listened to the candidates’ positions on items pertaining to their platforms. Two Democrats, incumbent Bill Wallace and challenger Barb Crandall, are vying for the party’s nomination for the District 2 county commissioner seat. The winner will face Green Party candidate Tom Castrigno on Nov. 2. There is no November challenger in the sheriff’s race, so the winner Aug. 10 will take the seat.Minor’s message was that he is a communicator. He named a citizen’s advisory committee he formed since being appointed to the office seven months ago as an example of his aim to reach the community. He talked about an employee survey at the Sheriff’s Office and promised to address concerns within the department. On Latino outreach, Minor discussed forming a soccer league designed to get kids’ grades up and a meeting held with parents to begin dialogue with the community.An advocate of community policing, Minor emphasized his accountability to the community. “You are our customers,” he told the audience. “And the Sheriff’s Office exists to serve you.”Phibbs emphasized his education and technology know-how in supporting his run for sheriff. He presented ideas to improve staff time by implementing computerized records within all local law enforcement departments to free up patrol time. On management, Phibbs said while human nature plays a part in leadership, his master’s degree in criminal justice allowed him to study how to manage both personnel and budgets. “Administration is a large part (of the job),” he said. “I encourage people to consider who is in the best position to do that.”Commissioner Bill Wallace, running for a third term, emphasized his accomplishments and had to be politely interrupted by Pratt-Miles on time limitations when outlining his goals if elected again.In looking ahead, Wallace named a recycling facility, community care clinic, launching a biomass project, new water storage and continuing to protect open space.He said he brought common sense decision-making to the county’s operations and wants to continue to do so.Both commissioner candidates named land use the most important issue facing the county.Wallace is a big supporter of private property rights, but said that can be balanced with planning regulations. Crandall, on the other hand, suggested aggressively downzoning property that doesn’t fit with surrounding neighborhoods by purchasing density from developers with open space funds.She apologized for not knowing details on several questions, but Crandall Tuesday demonstrated a good understanding of county issues.Crandall’s message was cooperation. She wants to see the county reach out to town governments through the Summit Leadership Forum and other platforms to define development boundaries and form agreements on annexations.”If we want to maintain the rural character of Summit County, we need to work with the towns and say, ‘Where are our boundaries?'” she said.- Kim Marquis
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