Paul Wood is running for City Council seat. The general council member is responsible for representing all of Greeley, rather than just one neighborhood.
At a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters, a non-partisan organization, candidates for mayor and city council in Greeley answered questions from the league and members of the public regarding their position on various issues, what would be their plans if elected, and more.
Some of the main topics included housing, transport, water, diversity and communication. Candidates were also asked about three voting metrics, 2F (also known as Keep Greeley Moving) and 2G and 2H (also known as water voting metrics).
The NoCo Optimist included candidate opening and closing statements, responses (with minimal edits for clarity) as well as questions asked for context. The goal of NoCo Optimist here is to give you an idea of who a candidate is and where they stand on the issues that matter to you.
I was born in Greeley in 1950. I moved for a few years, went to school, and came back. In 1970 I got married and raised my sons here in Greeley. My parents and my grandparents grew up here. I have always loved Greeley. I have always loved coming back to Greeley whenever we get the chance. When I had the opportunity to come back here, I jumped on it.
I worked for a while on the farm as a mechanic. Then in 1978 I had the honor of going to work with a wonderful, wonderful team of guys with the water utility in the town of Greeley.
Since then I have spent 42 years with Greeley Water. I graduated in water treatment and distribution. I was able to go from maintenance technician to equipment operator, then supervisor and assistant superintendent.
Guess the reason I run is because I’ve always loved Greeley. I just can’t get enough and want to serve citizens the best that I can.
Question: As the town of Greeley continues to experience increasing population growth and diversity, moving from a city to a large city, this growth has impacted a number of areas such as housing, transportation and shopping. water to name a few. What ideas or strategies do you have to face the future problems impacted by this growth?
I agree that water is probably the most important thing we have in Greeley, and I think we need to insist on very wise buying and selling of water with a collective group of professionals.
In terms of population and growth, there are currently around 118,000 people in Greeley. This represents approximately 29,000 vehicles. And I know that from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. it is difficult to move around. Projecting 260,000 people or 250,000 people by 2050 would bring about 60,000 vehicles, in fact. We are not ready for this. Our infrastructure cannot handle this.
Along with that, I would also like to say that growth has to be very wisely controlled, very thoughtful. Growing with, you know, good rents, good prices, good real estate costs, that sort of thing, so that we can attract people to Greeley.
Question: Do you think the city communicates effectively with the community about its activities and needs? If so, how do they do this? If not, what needs to be improved?
I will be very direct on this subject. I think we need a lot of help. We don’t get the word out to people, and I think COVID-19 was at one point used as an excuse to have Zoom meetings, which is a wonderful tool, but being able to meet in person and get up and ask. at The questions you need answered are really very important.
If I am elected to the board, I will push for more open meetings. We have to bring the public here. We don’t have a large group here tonight. We could have had a much bigger group if more people knew about it, so I really think we really need to improve our communications. I wish we had a good journal here, that would be really helpful.
Question: Come up with specific ideas for tackling the challenges of growth and housing.
One of my concerns is growing Greeley, and trust me, I’m not anti-growth at all, but I think we’re growing so fast, and I see buildings that look like a barracks to me. type buildings going up everywhere. I’ve had a lot of people come to me and tell me that they don’t like to see this.
I understand there are a lot of people who live in Greeley and work elsewhere, so one of the things we can do is find good jobs in Greeley, have good businesses in Greeley.
I intend to work with the Commissioners and the Chamber of Commerce to learn more about the growth and to learn more about the city codes, an area that I have not been learned about before so to speak. But I am very strong on very healthy growth. I would love to see Greeley grow up but slower and more methodically with good intentions of having the prettiest town we’ve ever had. We have always shared a great city, I would like to continue like this.
Question: About 40% of Greeley’s population identify as Latino or Hispanic. But there aren’t many language services to reflect this. How will you support the Latin American population and other minorities in Greeley, including the undocumented?
Well, that’s a very interesting question. In fact, last night I was at a meeting with Greg Lopez (a prominent GOP member) and the Hispanic population.
We were discussing ways to get more involved with them, and one of the things I heard was that a lot of Hispanics don’t believe they’re welcome in the Republican Party. I’m not arguing whether you should be a Republican or a Democrat, but just knowing that they’re frustrated with this, I intend to work with the Hispanic communities myself to try and let them know who I am and what they are. their needs, what their fears are, what they like and what they don’t like.
I think we need to reach out to them. That’s the very first step, reaching out to the Hispanic people, and you know, finding out what their needs are.
Question: What is your position on Keep Greeley Moving? Why? What is your position vis-à-vis changes to the home rule charter on decisions relating to water? Please explain.
COVID-19 played a big role in what initially happened when this water deal was struck. No one knew about it, even in town we spoke to had no idea what was going on. Even I, working in the water service, had very, very limited knowledge at the start of this issue.
So I think John Gauthiere (the man who wrote the proposed charter changes) in fact probably has more education than a lot of our water specialists in water projects, sales of. water and water purchases. He has been doing this for many years and I would recommend everyone to look at this with an open mind and really, really prepare yourself not to just buy the eggs because someone brought the basket. He could be rotten.
I’m very direct on this, it’s something that is really close to my heart. I think we made a mistake and now that’s one of the reasons I’m trying to be a part of this board. I want to be here to help correct some of the mistakes we have made in the past.
My intention is to act with uncompromising honesty and integrity in everything we do, to work together in an inclusive environment that embraces change, new ideas, respect for our community and all who live here. Hold our municipal government accountable to the citizens of Greeley and for the betterment of this town. Providing a safe and attractive workplace where we can live and retire, and also providing excellent services and reasonable taxes. Found our municipality on a strong fiscal government with a sustainable economy that recognizes the rights of all citizens.
– Kelly Ragan is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of NoCo Optimist. You can usually find it covering the government of Greeley and County Weld. Do you have any advice? Let him know at [email protected] Do you like this report? Notify the Greeley Tribune so they can keep it around. Find more NoCo Optimist content on www.thenocooptimist.com.