Q&A with Lynda Hoskinson, candidate for Oak Creek town trustee
Occupation: Routt County Facilities.
Civil involvement: Proud parent of SOROCO FFA student; school fundraisers and benefits; Routt County Core Values Executive Committee; Citizen Washington Focus 4-H Interview Committee.
List your top three priorities as a town council candidate and talk about how you would go about accomplishing them.
My top priority would be to ensure that we, the board, adhere to the rules of our own Municipal Codes by having a trustee represent the best interest of the people by holding a seat on the Planning Commission. Community involvement, I believe this can be obtained if we treat all citizens as though they are stakeholders and collect comprehensive feedback. I would like to see items of more importance that will have lasting effects on the town come to the ballot. Contracted and purchasing practices, I have personally witnessed these questionable practices of sole sourcing and unfair bidding practices. The town needs to advertise and source different bids so there is no misconception of these issues.
The COVID-19 outbreak has had unprecedented impact on our county. How has it impacted Oak Creek and what role do you believe the town needs to play to navigate those impacts?
I think the town will need to continue to do community outreach as to what resources and programs are available for help. We will need to put all nonessential projects on hold until a healthy revenue returns to the economy. Be creative with jobs and man hours to ensure that the government will continue to work for the people even through this crisis.
What goals do you have in terms of economic revitalization of some of the empty commercial spaces on Main Street?
Operating under a new administration provides us a fresh opportunity to mend broken relationships with local property owners. We could provide some incentive to sell or reopen their business/properties.
How do you want to see Oak Creek change, and how do you want to see it maintain its unique small town identity?
The change I would like to see most is change in our infrastructure. I know this will be gradual and something that we will have to continually work on. The thing I want to hold on to most is I want to make sure we don’t become a lodging bedroom community to Steamboat Springs. If we fill our neighborhoods with short-term rentals, we take away from bringing new families into town.
There are very few options for early childcare in Oak Creek, what would you do to address this?
We have a great community center and library located close to the schools where it would be perfect to turn that into an Early Childhood Learning Center. Last year the town created a job for recreation coordinator in which we were lucky enough to hire someone that holds a masters degree. Having this is a huge asset and enables us to run a child care program. As a single mom in Routt County, I always imagined a co-op style childcare, volunteering work hours in exchange for care hours to make it more affordable. We then could build a new modern community center in the lot owned by Library Board on Sharp Avenue.
Many residents in Routt County struggle with affordable housing, both in and out of Oak Creek. How would you address this issue?
Unfortunately the market sets the housing cost, but we still have several buildable lots located around town for infill. The town has had conversations in planning and board meetings for tiny home developments. I am not opposed to these ideas and hope to bring in more affordable homes for younger families. We need to put laws into effect on short-term rentals, so the houses that hit the market aren’t purchased with the intent of operating a short-term rental.
How has your experience and background equipped you to serve Oak Creek as a town council member?
Working for Routt County and serving on the Core Values Executive Committee has given me an ongoing learning experience how government is working for the people. Over the last year I have attended and actively participated in more board meetings than some of our current trustees. I have read the Comprehensive Plan, Rec Plan, Municipal Code and town ordinances and have a strong understanding of liquor codes and ethical business practices having been in the service industry for so many years.
Honest, dedicated and hardworking are some of the words I would use when describing myself. I believe in community and the power in loving your neighbor and the importance of supporting your local business and keeping your monies within your town. I have a voice, it is loud and proud. We should all be held to the same set of rules no matter who or what they have done. I want to reach out to everyone in the town using multiple methods of outreach, not just Facebook. Represent for those who cannot represent for themselves. If elected, I will bring these values to the seat with me and continue to stand up for what I believe is the right thing.
Editor’s note: The town of Oak Creek will be holding an election Tuesday, April 7. Voters will be able to drop off their ballots from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Oak Creek Town Hall, 129 Nancy Crawford Blvd., if they haven’t already mailed them in. There are seven candidates running for four open trustee positions, and two candidates vying for mayor. Trustee candidates include Wendy Gustafson, Charli Hollingshead, Rhonda Crawford, William “Bill” Auer, Kelly McElfish, Lynda Hoskinson and Benjamin Turati. The two mayoral candidates are Bernard Gagne and Nikki Knoebel.
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