Town Trustee Don Keairns announces run for Mayor
Posted in the La Veta Forum
#1 Mar 11, 2010
La Veta Town Trustee Don Keairns announced his candidacy for Mayor of La Veta last Thursday.
In a fairly surprising move, Keairns made the announcement through an exclusive commentary he wrote to The Signature and The Huerfano World Journal, the local newspapers.
In the newspapers, Trustee Keairns stated:
"For the past two years I have sought to represent the best interests of La Veta as a Trustee on the Town Board.
I have learned a great deal about our policies and procedures and feel that I am ready to take a more proactive role in our La Veta's government.
I will be seeking the office of Mayor in our April election.
My wife Mitzi and I moved our family to La Veta eleven years ago to assume ownership of a business that is now woven into the heritage of our town.
Mitzi's dad, Charlie Masinton, first opened the doors of Charlie's Market in 1937.
Our move to La Veta was a conscious choice and, after Charlie's passing, we decided to stay.
Mitzi and I are without a doubt fully committed to this fine community.
In addition to serving on our Town Board, I also serve as Chairman on San Isabel Electric Association's Board and, until recently, served on the Colorado Rural Electric Association (CREA) Board for a period of three years.
Serving on the CREA Board allowed me to work with our elected U.S. and State of Colorado representatives on issues important to Colorado's electric co-ops. Mitzi and I have been supportive of our area's non-profit organizations in countless ways.
I believe our community is at a crossroads.
Our business community is seasonal, distressed and shrinking. Local people are being forced to commute long distances to find employment. Fewer jobs will mean fewer families and ultimately result in a declining "in district" student population in our schools.
#2 Mar 11, 2010
-continued from above-
There seems to be a deep and growing division amongst our citizens and a perception that we must choose to follow one of two extremes. I do not believe this is true. We can collectively take decisive action not in the direction of either extreme, but on a pathway of sensible moderation. I am worried about our future and if steps are not taken to change direction, La Veta as we know it is in jeopardy.
My hands-on involvement as partner and manager of Charlie's Market has provided me with an unique perception and understanding of our community strengths. I am also mindful of the ideals and values held closely by the majority of our town citizens as well as other area residents who make our community special. We are blessed with a great school system, library, museum, theater, art comunity, golf course, excursion train and some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Colorado. We need to capitalize on these wonderful assets to revitalize our valley.
In contrast to our current leadership's well-known position, I strongly believe that one of the vital functions of the Mayor and Town Board is to promote economic sustainability and development. I understand that the viability of doing business in La Veta is directly related to viability of of living in La Veta. Our business community, our town budget, our services and all of the virtues that add to the character of our town are interdependent and one cannot be neglected without neglecting the others.
As Mayor, I will work proactively and urgently with the Trustees in attempting to resolve the current costly conflicts between the business community and the Town of La Veta, because I believe that is what is best for our community.
As Mayor, I will seek guidance for La Veta from experts and professionals who are knowledgeable in growth-related issues, so we can begin moving forward in a controlled, healthy and moderate fashion. I may not have all of the answers, but if you give me the chance and support my candidacy for Mayor, I will lead with an open mind and look for solutions for the betterment of our town.
These are difficult times and we must look to the future with courage, determination and vision. I welcome your support and look forward to talking with you and learning both your ideas and your recommendations.
La Veta is your town. And this is your choice.
Together, we can work effectively to assure a bright future for everyone who calls La Veta home."
#3 Mar 11, 2010
Keairns will be facing current Mayor Mickey Schmidt in the April 6th election.
Schmidt became Mayor when then-Mayor Glen de St. Jean abruptly resigned after a heated Town Board meeting.
There was a petition going around in September of 2007 to recall Schmidt as Mayor. The local media did not report this story and nothing became of it.
Schmidt won election as Mayor outright in 2008 when he defeated former Deputy Marshal Sid Popejoy in a landslide.
Since the announcement of the golf course's closure, Schmidt and most of the Town Board have stated that they do not believe it is their jobs to create economic stability in the Town, which has created controversy and disruption between small businesses and Town Hall so this next election in La Veta is expected to be close.
A meet and greet is to be held featuring the Mayoral and Trustee candidates answering questions from the community on Monday, March 15th at 6:30 p.m. at The La Veta Inn if anyone is interested.
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