Election Guide 2016: Richard “Festus” Hagins Q&A
Bio: Known as Festus, Hagins has served Hayden in many capacities such as mayor, councilman and various boards for the last 24 years. He has vast knowledge of the area and cares for the community. Haggis is a gardener, computer geek, mechanic and photographer, who lives with his wife, Sarah, and dog Riddick.
Q. As a town council member, what would be your top three priorities?
A. Top three priorities: To get a new town manager acclimated to his/her position; promote Hayden as a great town that has attainable housing and commercial options; and work on becoming a Dark Sky Community and a food sovereign town.
Q. The Town is forecast to run through its savings by the end of 2017. Do you support asking voters to pay more taxes? Why or why not? Please explain.
A. The town hasn’t raise property taxes for 25 years and have given refunds because of TABOR (Colorado Tax Payers Bill of Rights). The town has made cutbacks and been able to keep services at normal operation. We have delayed needed infrastructure projects and need to get those projects started. New regulations from the state and federal government have driven up the costs to provide services for the town. In light of this, the subject of raising taxes will need to be addressed in the near future to continue normal operation and serve the town of Hayden.
Q. As a town council member, what would you do to encourage economic development?
A. Promote the town as the growing community it is to attract new businesses. Hayden has available commercial lots and businesses so if we can provide incentives it may entice entrepreneurs to locate here and thrive with us.
Q. What do you think are the town’s strengths?
A. Hayden is a quiet town with buildable lots available for single-family homes and commercial industry. It is slowly changing with growing businesses and a new vitality. This is a small, family community that cares for their own and continues to build a family-oriented environment.
Q. What do you think are the town’s weaknesses, and what would you do to address those?
A. A lot of people know that Hayden is where the airport is but haven’t taken the time to explore the town and its surroundings. We have an inadequacy of a variety of industries and support of local businesses. I would change these items by encouraging more promotion of the town, its businesses and events.
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