Rusty O’Neal for Frederick Mayor
As a long-term resident of Frederick, I have made the decision to run for the position of Mayor in the upcoming September 5th special election. Frederick’s Comprehensive Plan states, “The Town of Frederick enjoys access to Rocky Mountain vistas and maintains a unique small-town charm.” This statement is a core value of mine and will be the basis of my decision making process.
Finances – It may be necessary for a town to spend more money than it is receiving; however, any deficit spending would need to have clear reasons that are communicated to the residents of the community. These reasons would have to be based on public safety or infrastructure. There has been some discussion of a small tax increase to improve our police department. Such a tax increase may seem necessary; however, if the priorities of the budget could be shifted from advertising and cosmetic improvements to public safety and infrastructure, it would not be required. Infrastructure such as storm sewer and streets are another vital role of government. Deficit spending may be necessary in lean years to rectify flooding issues in old town Frederick and to widen or replace roads that do not meet the needs of the community. Tax increases are sometimes needed. I have supported and voted for bonds and mill levy increases such as the bond issue to build our new high school and K-8 school.
Land Use – Frederick has a strong growth plan. As Frederick grows, there will be more and more controversial projects brought to the town. Any major waiver or variance that deviates from the Land Use Code should only be granted on the basis of public safety and welfare. It should not be financially based for the town or the developer. As a resident in Firestone, I supported a multi-story apartment complex adjacent to our home after the developer adhered to the Land Use Code and addressed the concerns of residents. Minor waivers are a necessary part of growth. I would support minor waivers that have the support of residents that it affects directly. As a member of the Frederick Planning Commission, I have voted for minor changes to developments that did not adhere to the Land Use Code, but had the support of the neighboring residents.
Transparency and Public Awareness – As the community grows, it will become more and more necessary for the town to communicate with its residents before, during, and after items are brought to the Board. A lack of transparency by town staff and Board members has been the root cause of many of these issues. Other neighboring communities have a strong Planning Commission that residents use to voice concerns on projects that are going to be presented to their Board. This provides the opportunity for developments to be refined to suit the needs of the community. I have had a town staff member tell me directly that providing full Planning Commission agendas to the residents is a “waste of money and the people don’t care.” Unfortunately, this is the current attitude towards many of the concerns of residents of Frederick by town management.
I have lived in Frederick for 11 years and in Colorado for 21 years. I have been involved in land use issues in neighboring communities and have witnessed how effective and ineffective Boards function and communicate with their residents. There has been a lot of misinformation from Donna Hudziak, Fred Skates, Tony Carey, and their supporters. I am not anti-growth, anti-apartment, etc. I am Pro-Frederick. Please look for your ballot in the mail and vote Rusty (Richard) O’Neal for Mayor.
Rusty (Richard) O’Neal