Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Candidates respond to questions regarding their views on the future of Berthoud

March 09, 2018 | Local News


The following response is from Pete Tomassi:

  1. Why are you running for town trustee/mayor?

I’m running for trustee because I live here and because I care about my fellow Berthoud residents. I can either sit back and hope all goes well with our town or I can step into the arena and get involved.

  1. What do you believe the role of a trustee should be?

A trustee is just what the name implies, someone in whom the best interests of the residents and the community’s assets are entrusted. Ours is a representative government. There is no place for personal agendas and ego-driven pride at city hall. Elected officials are the guardians, servants, and standard bearers of the town.

  1. What do you believe are the three most important issues facing Berthoud?

Quality of life for Berthoud residents

Financial health of the town

An intentional vision and plan for the future of our community

  1. What is your vision for downtown Berthoud?

I’d like to see us model downtown Berthoud after a scaled-down version of Old Town Fort Collins and the rejuvenation occurring in downtown Loveland. Those destinations have year-round appeal for adults and children, both residents and visitors alike.

The TPC golf tournaments will attract thousands of visitors to our region. I want them to play golf in Berthoud and do business in downtown Berthoud rather than heading off to Loveland, Johnstown and Ft. Collins.

Retail sales drives sales tax and sales tax pays for all of the amenities we want as a community.  If we want downtown to remain as it is, then we can’t expect to enjoy the benefits of the revenue retail sales generate or demand the local leadership provide us with the amenities of neighboring towns and cities.

  1. How can the town improve recreational opportunities?

With its $30 million price tag and $1 million annual maintenance and operational expense, we can stop chasing after the unrealistic dream of a full recreation center. With the increasing number of metropolitan districts in our zip code, there aren’t enough voters who are willing to approve of a recreation district to pay the tax to finance the project, and our resident population isn’t numerous enough to cover the annual expenses through membership fees.

Instead, let’s concentrate our efforts and resources on completely rebuilding Town Park to include a new swimming pool, improved playground amenities, and a dog park. We’ll expand the gardening operations at Pioneer Park and work toward building new ball fields at Waggener Farm Park. We’ll create a walking trail system around Berthoud Reservoir and complete the integrated trail system throughout Berthoud that connects all of the parks. A future goal is to connect our trail system with the trail system of Loveland.

The following response is from Maureen Dower:

  1. Why are you running for town trustee/mayor?

I am running for trustee out of a love of this great small town, with all that it offers, and the possibilities that exist for its future. After watching our town’s progress over the past 10 years, I feel compelled to give of my time to improve our local quality of life. By working with the mayor, trustees and town staff, I believe we can pursue the next level of recreational facilities and programs, improve upon our positive small business environment, and set standards for new development that maintain the unique character of our small town.

  1. What do you believe the role of a trustee should be?

Elected trustees must maintain the confidence of the citizens. As such, I believe the role of a trustee should be to gather all of the available information on a given subject, evaluate the benefits and risks to the community, and make the best decision with the will of the citizens in mind. The decision then becomes an ordinance, regulation, or law the town staff is directed to implement. The trustees and mayor are the decision-making body, and the staff is the means by which to accomplish these goals. That being said, the town employees are the “boots on the ground” and have important input, observations, and real-world experience that must be considered as part of any decision. Ultimately, however, the mayor and trustees decide on policy.

  1. What do you believe are the three most important issues facing Berthoud?
  2. Commitment and investment in parks, trails and recreational amenities. An investment in this type of infrastructure provides opportunities to all our citizens, young and old, and supports quality of life. The ripple effect of keeping residents of the town and surrounding areas from traveling elsewhere for these amenities allows us to further support our local businesses. This could help prevent Berthoud from slipping into a “bedroom community” status where people travel elsewhere for shopping and recreation.
  3. Maintaining a sense of community in this era of growth. If newer developments that are farther from the core of downtown have no connections, we will have Berthoud and Berthoud North (or South or East). We need tangible connections, including roads, trails, bike paths, and community events to bring us together.
  4. Supporting small businesses downtown in order to grow in our ability to provide for our citizens the retailers and restaurants they want and need.
  5. What is your vision for downtown Berthoud?

My vision of downtown Berthoud is one of a “destination” where people congregate, share experiences, interact with others and enjoy the unique culture of our town. I picture businesses stretching down Mountain Avenue, all with architectural nods to our historic roots, supported through community events hosted by the town and community groups.

  1. How can the town improve recreational opportunities?

The town can improve recreational opportunities by following through with improvements for 2018 recommended by the PORT (Parks, Open Space, Recreation and Trails) committee and adopting the finalized PORT Master Plan. The town needs to support the implementation of the PORT Master Plan by allowing the residents of Berthoud to vote on funding, either through a recreation district or via increased sales tax. Either of these options needs the buy-in of the town, its citizens, and the community as a whole. We need to let our citizens, not solely town officials, decide on whether to move forward with a project this large.

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