Ben Billings: Trustee

1. Why do you want this position?

I’ve made an investment to live here because it’s such a wonderful place to live. I see this as an opportunity to help keep that going.

2. What specific skills or expertise do you bring to the office?

I’d say my most valuable skills stem from my experience working on diverse teams to find solutions to complex problems. My background in science has also afforded me the habits of researching and considering all aspects of an issue to reduce bias in the decision-making process. I’m an effective communicator and strive to leave my emotions at home when working on issues that impact more than just myself.

3. What is your vision & goal for our community?

Like other places in Colorado, perhaps our greatest resource is our access to outdoor recreation. While we have such great access to the recreation, we need to provide the recreation more access to us. We need to build up Del Norte as a place that people come to from other places specifically to stay and recreate and not just stop through for the day. I think a big part of this is continuing to connect the river and our local trails back to downtown, and creating more of a space for people to recreate right in town when they’re done up in the mountains or getting off the river for the day. This not only creates a draw for tourism and folks from other parts of the Valley, but also encourages more use from Del Norte locals and provides something healthy for us to rally around while getting outside more. It’s good for our people and for our local economy. I think we’ve been doing a great job at this in the last few years and we need to keep it up.

4. What specific challenges do you see for Del Norte in the near future? How will you work to overcome those?

All of the things I spoke about above are the kind of things people are looking for in a place to live. Del Norte is already becoming the top choice when people move to the Valley and I think this will continue as more and more people come to Colorado and more folks try to escape the Front Range. Dealing with growth is going to be a challenge, especially in terms of housing. I talk to people all the time that want to move to Del Norte and end up settling for Alamosa or even places outside of the Valley altogether. I think this is a big deal and will be difficult to figure out. This is also going to put more pressure on our local infrastructure and the town’s ability to handle more people in general.

5. What fundamental infrastructure issues are important to you?

The first one I think about here is water. I don’t think this is an unfamiliar concern for many people in the area. We live in a desert and water and everything related to water is going to continue to be more and more critical moving forward. After that, I think our roads and sidewalks are in need of attention. This has been a known issue for a long time and is something we need to keep chugging away on. We also need to work on parking, which plays back into the idea of providing the recreation with access to the town. Anything we can do to promote sustainability and green energy in ways that benefit the community as a whole is also something that will be crucial going into the future.

6. How do you see all the pieces of the community contributing to a great Del Norte: government, business, police, EMT, education, community, recreation?

As I’ve already put out there, recreation is the most important things we have in Del Norte. Our local businesses recognize that and do a great job of promoting it and supporting it as it supports them. Our police and emergency services are crucial, I think as we’ve seen lately, and need to be supported by our government. I think we’ve also seen how much we value education here in recent years with the construction of our new school. When we have a town where all of these components are supported and promoted by each other, and our people are heard and supported by our government, I think then we’ll know we’ve made it as a community.

7. What do you want us to know about you, why should we vote for you, etc.?

Del Norte is an important place for me. I’ve lived in other places, large and small, across the West and this is the first place I haven’t tried to leave. Every time I’m gone, even for just a few days, I can’t wait to get back. I’m not sure it’s something I can explain, but I think it says something about this place and I think that’s pretty special. I think one of the biggest reasons you should vote for me is that I’m constantly seeking the most practical, pragmatic answer to any problem and that I’m not swayed by personal opinions over unbiased solutions. My only agenda is keep making Del Norte a place where people want to be but may or may not be able to explain why.

Joe Archuleta: Trustee

1. Why do you want this position?

I view this position as an opportunity to serve my community in a special way and to address some of the challenges facing this community. I want to see Del Norte be the best town in Colorado with a family community atmosphere.

 

2. What specific skills or expertise do you bring to the office?

I have a master’s degree in public administration.

I am currently on Planning and Zoning Commission for the town of Del Norte and have served for about 3 years. 

I have been the Pastor of New Life Fellowship in Del Norte for seven years and have connections with many citizens of Del Norte. 

I have worked with The City of Commerce City, CO in many ways to promote community during the expansion of the city. 

I was also involved with a brand-new nonprofit that was designed to helped unite town government, schools, nonprofits, churches, citizens and businesses in Commerce city, CO. 

I have served on many boards and committees.

 I also have been a consultant to some nonprofits

 I believe that I can use all this experience if I am elected as a Trustee.

 

3. What is your vision & goal for our community?

Since Del Norte is growing, my vision is to see Del Norte grow into a town that everyone enjoys by helping it grow into a family-oriented community, not too small and not too big. 

 

I would like it to see it grow to where our youth could thrive and have jobs and raise their children here as well.

 

My goals are:

  • To listen to our citizens about their concerns and work on their behalf

  • To assist the Town to get through this present crisis

  • To help develop a contingency plan to get back to normal when this crisis is over

  • To build a greater sense of "community" within the Town 

  • To Help develop a “future growth plan” for the Town, to make sure that growth is balanced.

  • To bring the citizens, businesses, government agencies, churches, nonprofits and schools to the table to assess the needs of the community and develop resources for the community at large and build an even greater sense "community”.

  • To address the drug issue and crime 

  • To help develop some youth activities and programs

  • To gather greater resources for the community

 

4. What specific challenges do you see for Del Norte soon?  How will you work to overcome those?

The first and greatest challenge that we face right now is that of Covid-19 and the impact it has had on us all and the impact that it will leave when it is over. I would like to find ways of keeping our citizens healthy and safe and their needs met through this crisis. I would like to work on a contingency plan to get back to normal after that this virus is over. 

Another challenge that I see, though not so drastic is the way Del Norte needs to grow. This will affect everything. Our land mass is not enough to see an explosion of growth. Some citizens want the town to remain the same while others want major changes. I would like to work toward a “future growth plan” to map where we need to go in the future with what is possible for our size and land mass. 

5. What fundamental infrastructure issues are important to you?

The repair of roads, streets and sidewalks within the town, and the other would be the continuation of the revitalization of the Grand Ave, corridor. 

6. How do you see all the pieces of the community contributing to a great Del Norte: government, business, police, EMT, education, community, recreation?

I see that we as a community of citizens have contributed much to our community. There are many praises to those that have made this Town what it is today. Together we can answer these questions and work toward our goals. By many coming to the table, we can figure it out and begin from there. 

 

7. What do you want us to know about you, why should we vote for you, etc.?

I am married, and my wife and I have two grown children and two wonderful Grandchildren. We have been married for 42 years. My wife's name is Deborah. I lived in Center, CO for the first 7 years of my life (you can take the boy out of the country but you cannot take the country out of the boy) and then our family moved to Denver where I grew up. I spent 4 years in the Marine Corps from 1974-1978. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Colorado Christian College. I now have a master’s degree from Waldon Univ. My favorite hobby is fishing. 

I want to thank the Town and citizens for this opportunity to be considered to serve this community.

Louie Velasquez: Trustee

1. Why do you want this position?
As a home owner and tax payer, I take an interest on how the town is being managed and how our tax dollars are being used. I can also represent others that share these same concerns.

2. What specific skills or expertise to bring to the office?
I have lived in the town of Del Norte for over 70 years and I have been an active community member. I have worked in positions where I was a foreman and by having people working under me, I have learned communication skills that made working as a team successful. I feel this is a good skill to have when you are representing a community.

3. What is your vision or goals for the community?
My goals for the town of Del Norte is to complete the projects that the town is working on now. I would like so see affordable housing and to ensure town growth and stability with a strong police force.

4. What specific challenges do you see for Del Norte in the near future? How will you work to overcome those?
I do see some challenges now and in the near future for Del Norte. But right now the challenge I see for Del Norte is making sure we are safe from COVID-19. It is hard to focus on affordable housing and a safer community with a strong police force when our community and world is dealing with a serious virus that can change a person, family and community in seconds. If and when I am elected to the town board, I will do my best to voice my concerns and work with the board and listen to the community.

5. What fundamental infrastructure issues are important to you?
The up keeping of the roads and parks. Also continuing the infrastructure of the downtown of Del Norte.

6. How do you see all the pieces of the community contributing to a great Del Norte.. Government, Business, Police, EMT, Education, Community, Recreation?
I feel that to make a great Del Norte all of these pieces need to work together to have a goal of making Del Norte the best community in the valley. I will be a voice and keep the communication between all of these groups a priority.

7. What do you want us to know about you? Why should we vote for you?
I was born and raised in Del Norte. My wife Rosemary and I raised our four children here. I am now retired and now have more time to give back to the community by serving on the board. By voting for me, I am ready to give my time by voicing your concerns and representing the community to the best of my abilities and always in truth. I will always put the best interest of the community first from the young to the elderly, from the school to the businesses and from the government to the hospital.