City Council candidate profiles: District E

Robert Noble



Duncan McArthur



Harry Bulter



Editor’s Note: The Daily Sentinel is profiling each of the 10 candidates running for four Grand Junction City Council seats in the April 2 municipal election.

The Sentinel used information from interviews and candidate forums to develop the profiles. Although the races are divided among districts, city residents get to cast votes in all four districts. Today, District E candidates are profiled.

By Amy Hamilton/Amy.Hamilton@gjsentinel.com

HARRY BUTLER

 

■ Age: 69

■ Occupation: Retired in 1994 after 29 years with the Bureau of Reclamation

■ Background: A longtime contributor to Grand Junction’s civic life, Butler is the ordained pastor at Handy Chapel. Since 1977, he has been hosting a prayer service for female inmates at the Mesa County Jail. He served as a city councilor from 2001 to 2005. Butler ran again for Council in 2005 but lost to current Councilor Teresa Coons. Butler has served on a number of boards, including the Coloramo Credit Union Board, the Minority Overrepresentation in the Penal System committee, the Downtown Development Authority and the Grand Junction Housing Authority. He’s served as a Handy Chapel trustee and has been a School District 51 Board of Education member since 2005. He is term-limited in November. Butler is on the Legends of the Grand Valley committee, Strive’s Human Rights committee and the Colorado High School Activities Association board.

“My family has contributed here since 1888,” he said. “I just want to continue in that tradition.”

 

Do you support the amount of money City Council is giving the Avalon Theatre?

Butler has fond memories of going to the Avalon as child. He also believes the theater is an important aspect of the city’s culture and arts scene.

“You need to revitalize downtown,” he said. “I think council did the right thing.”

 

What do you think about the Brady Trucking ballot measure?

“Let the voters make that decision,” he said.

 

Do you support the TABOR override ballot measure? Why or why not?

Butler said he was on the council when city leaders planned the first legs of Riverside Parkway. He said he would like to see the beltway continue on its projected path.

“I would like to see the (Riverside) Parkway go to Interstate 70,” he said. “It’s going to be a benefit to this community.”

 

What should the city be doing to stimulate economic development?

Butler said the city already appears to be doing a good job promoting Grand Junction through one of its departments, the Visitor and Convention Bureau.

“Things, I think, are working well in that area,” he said.

 

Should Colorado National Monument become a national park?

Butler said he approves of a name change because it would bring more business to the area.

“It wouldn’t hurt if it was a park,” he said. “I’m not opposed to it.”

 

At what level should the city fund Colorado Mesa University and why?

Butler said he supported offering some funding to the university when he was a council member previously. Giving money to the university will stimulate more economic development, he said.

“It’s a two-way street,” he said. “I think it’s very important. It all depends on how much the city gives.”

 


ROBERT NOBLE

 

■  Age: 69

■ Occupation: Retired in 1999 after 34 years working in several arms of the federal government, including Social Security and the Department of Human Services. He worked as a law enforcement agent, investigating Medicare fraud.

■ Background: Noble, who had been living in Chicago, fell in love with Grand Junction after he and his wife spent a week here in 2010. The couple so admired this area they moved here the next year. Noble said since he’s been here, he believes Grand Junction has done a lot of things right. He thinks his work on the federal level can be translated into helping local governments. “I learned the art of negotiation, if you will,” he said. “Maybe I can make a positive contribution.”

 

Do you support the amount of money City Council is giving the Avalon Theatre?

Noble agreed with the council’s roughly $3 million contribution to the Avalon. However, if the project to renovate the Avalon climbs above that price tag, the voters should be asked if they agree to additional funding. “I think the Avalon is a project that is well worthwhile,” he said. “Obviously it’s an economic benefit as well as a cultural one.”

 

What do you think about the Brady Trucking ballot measure?

Noble doesn’t think Brady Trucking officials should be penalized by purchasing the riverfront property when it was on the market. “The Brady deal is really a story of lost opportunities,” he said. “The city had a chance to buy that property. It would be nice if it could be resolved in a positive sort of way.”

 

Do you support the TABOR override ballot measure? Why or why not?

Noble said he doesn’t agree that the 29 Road interchange at Interstate 70 should have been included in the ballot language. He thinks the language is misleading because completing the project will require the city to go further into debt and could not be paid off with the current TABOR override dollars. Construction of that project should include participation of the county and the state.

“Spending money on this stage is just premature,” he said. “I just don’t think the time is right.”

 

What should the city be doing to stimulate economic development?

Noble said the city should try to attract “clean” businesses “that aren’t belching smoke.” Increasing tourism to the area is helpful, but it should be just one component of a vibrant community.

“I think oil and gas can help,” he said. “I think it needs to be done in a smart way.”

 

Should Colorado National Monument become a national park?

Noble thinks a name change is in order. When he moved here, he thought Colorado National Monument indicated there was some sort of statue at the park. If it was a national park there would be 10 percent increase of visitors, Noble said he’s heard. “I think of the economic benefit,” he said. “I think a lot of people would stay an extra day.”

 

At what level should the city fund Colorado Mesa University and why?

Noble agrees that the city should contribute to help the university grow. “It’s an economic driver for the community,” he said. “The city is going in the right direction in helping it to grow.”

 

DUNCAN MCARTHUR

 

■  Age: 62

■ Occupation: Owner of Catalina Bros. Inc. since 1993 and involved in government affairs consulting

■ Background: McArthur moved to Grand Junction from the Denver area nine years ago. He said new legislation at the time made obtaining liability insurance impossible for his subcontracting business and he was forced to sell his equipment. McArthur has been involved in a number of city and county committees formed to study housing and development codes. He touts himself as a “fiscal conservative” and is concerned about protecting people’s personal property rights.

“I’m sensitive to what government can do to a business,” he said.

 

Do you support the amount of money City Council is giving the Avalon Theatre?

McArthur said city councilors have should ensured all of the money needed to complete the theater renovation was in hand before approving construction. “The financing on this thing is upside down,” he said. “You know who’s going to pay for it if they (the Avalon Theatre Foundation) don’t make their goal.”

 

What do you think about the Brady Trucking ballot measure?

McArthur said the city and the Riverfront Commission had the opportunity but didn’t purchase the land now occupied by Brady Trucking.

“It’s not a legal issue,” he said. “It’s what’s fair and what’s right and I’m voting yes on (Referred Measure) A.”

 

Do you support the TABOR override ballot measure? Why or why not?

He said he doesn’t agree with the way the ballot measure was written because the measure should include the time when the override expires.

“I’m opposed to (Referred Measure) B but I favor a TABOR override concept,” he said. ” In my opinion it was not correctly done.”

 

What should the city be doing to stimulate economic development?

McArthur agrees that the city should continue to work with its partners, such as the Grand Junction Economic Partnership and the Business Incubator Center. “They should also be careful they’re not putting up roadblocks to new businesses,” he said. “Where we’d like to see redevelopment, they’ve put up roadblocks. There’s a lack of incentive to be there.”

 

Should Colorado National Monument become a national park?

“I think that we’d be better off improving marketing for the national monument instead of making it a national park,” he said. “We should try that first.” McArthur also said he worries about possible restrictions to development if the status is changed.

 

At what level should the city fund Colorado Mesa University and why?

McArthur said he supports funding for the university. “We’re not a bottomless pit for money. We get to a point we may have to wait a bit to take care of our residents. In the interim, the university is a benefit for the city.”

 

HARRY BUTLER

ROBERT NOBLE

DUNCAN MCARTHUR


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