A meet-and-greet for Cripple Creek mayoral/city council candidates has been tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Double Eagle Hotel and Casinos. Milford Ashworth and Meghan Rozell are running for mayor.

The Courier asked each mayoral candidate to field the same a series of questions. Each hopes to replace Bruce Brown, who has been Cripple Creek’s mayor since 2010 and is term-limited.

Ashworth served two terms, from 2009 to 2017, on Cripple Creek City Council.

Elected in November 2017, Rozell is a current member of the council. If she loses the race, she will retain her seat. If she wins, the council will appoint a replacement.

Ashworth owned a construction company in Indiana, retired in 2003 and moved to Cripple Creek. He is president of the nonprofit organization, the Victor Ag and Mining Museum and is a member of another nonprofit, Top of the World Rodeo, an annual event he co-founded in 2012. “We give 50% of the gate receipts to the county fair board,” he said.

Rozell worked for the City of Cripple Creek for two years in the development department and today works for a cleaning company.

She has lived in the city for five years

Her election website is envisioncripplecreek.com.

MILFORD ASHWORTH

Q. Why are you running for mayor?

A. I want the city to progress forward and not have any conflicts or personal agendas. I’d like to see the town grow and become more of a destination by promoting our rich history of mining. I think Cripple Creek has an opportunity to get into more sustainable situation than it did when gaming came in. This would be something that wouldn’t be dependent upon one industry supporting us. I think there’s huge opportunity to make this a recreation destination. I think the expansion of the hotels will enable us to draw more people for overnights and weekends. That, in turn, will build a stronger economy for small businesses and for more recreational businesses.

Q. What are the issues facing Cripple Creek?

A. We need support up here with better grocery stores; we have an excellent hardware store but we need a full-service grocery store. We have infrastructure needs; in my opinion, the city has not budgeted enough in the past few years.

Q. What do you think about sports betting, a question that will be on the November ballot?

A. It’s limited to the three gaming towns and if they don’t expand it to the Front Range, then I’m for it. I think it’s an opportunity to bring in additional funding for the city. It provides revenue for the casinos but it trickles down to the city with additional taxes.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish if you’re elected?

A. I want to make this a more viable town for the residents and tourists with proper vision. You can’t just go for the sky and promise everything; you have to look at reality and pursue that. I’d like to have more events on a regular schedule but sponsorship for those is huge.

MEGHAN ROZELL

Q. Why are you running for mayor?

A. After two years on the city council, I learned a lot about municipal government. I see it’s a good-ol’-boys-club here operating in silos; there has not been a lot of momentum but a lot of status quo and stagnation. That’s why our housing crisis hasn’t been solved for 20 years. We’ve known this was a problem when gaming came in and nobody did anything until just now.

Q. What are the issues facing Cripple Creek?

A. Housing. And we don’t have family-oriented services; we have a lot of quality-of-life lacking. We don’t have diversified business.

Q. What do you think about sports betting, a question that will be on the November ballot?

A. The city passed a resolution affirming our support of sports betting. It’s not going to bring in a ton of revenue, not through the taxation, but we all see the opportunity for bringing in more tourists and expanding the casinos.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish if you’re elected?

A. I think we have to start with prioritization. It’s been over a decade since we’ve reviewed our master plan and we have not implemented a lot of that. There was not any accountability. A little bit of it is antiquated, but by and large it’s a great plan; the community was involved and the process was great. But what good is it if it sits on a shelf and collects dust? So I want to have that conversation with the staff and the community.

From there I want to put in place a policy that ignites an annual goal-setting process right before the budget session. We have goal-setting meeting where we add on our goals for the next, 3, 5, 10 and 15 years. And have check-and-balances throughout. So the biggest thing I hope to accomplish is accountability and community cohesion whether it’s open-forum meetings, whether it’s taking a badgering once a year — people need to feel that their elected officials listen. As well, I want to talk to the other entities in Teller County. We have multiple aligned interests.

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