Firestone candidates discuss experiences, visions at forum

At the Firestone Candidate’s Forum on March 21, 2012, Mayor Chad Auer discussed the accomplishments that he and the Board of Trustees have gained throughout the past four years he has served. “We have a compelling story in Firestone, and one with a great vision for our future,” said Auer, who is seeking his third two-year term as mayor. “What we’ve been able to accomplish is to work collaboratively with the community.” Candidates Paul Sorensen, Matt Holcomb and George Heath, who are seeking election for the three trustee positions, echoed Auer’s thoughts. Four years ago when Holcomb was first elected to the Board of Trustees, he said the environment was completely different. “Four years later, I’m proud of our board. We have accomplished a lot in a very turbulent time,” he said, adding that he wants to continue serving residents in that manner. Candidates were asked a variety of questions by the Carbon Valley Chamber of Commerce board of directors, who hosted the event at the Carbon Valley Regional Library. All four outlined their vision for Firestone, and the crucial need to pay close attention in the coming years. “This chapter in Firestone’s vision is critical,” Auer said. “What we do in the next few years will be vital to our future.” George Heath, who is a current planning commissioner seeking appointment to the Board of Trustees, wants to see Firestone become a destination town that people want to live and work here. All four candidates agreed, adding that this goal will require Firestone representatives and staff to shake hands with big developers, entrepreneurs, land owners and residents. Questions by residents in attendance at the forum asked for an update on the Central Park project, which is a 272-acre park at the southeast corner of Colorado Boulevard and Sable Avenue. Acquired by the Town of Firestone in 2005, Central Park will surround the current Carbon Valley Regional Library and is planned to be a world class campus to inspire national and international recognition as a civic, cultural and community center. Amenities in the proposed master plan for the park include a recreational center, planetarium and museum, a botanical garden, lake and water features, trails and open space, a community center and a municipal center. Sorensen talked about the goal for Central Park, which is currently on hold until a stronger economic climate emerges. However, he hopes to be able to do some small projects annually with limited available funds. The Parks & Trails Advisory Board will be discussing Central Park at future meetings. The oil and gas industry was also brought forth by residents in attendance at the forum. Auer said Firestone has had a vital relationship with companies to develop oil and gas in the Firestone area. “We have confidence in the oil and industry because of its commitment,” he said. All four candidates are looking forward to serving the Firestone community. “To me, serving on the Board of Trustees is the highest level to be able to serve our community,” Sorensen said. Because petitions were received for the four available seats and no applicants filed affidavits for a write-in candidacy, the Town of Firestone canceled its April 3, 2012, election. Firestone Acting Town Clerk Rebecca Toberman declared candidates elected, who will be officially seated at the April 11, 2012, Board of Trustees meeting.

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