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Jane Templeton Councilwoman for Ward 1 in Salida. (Photo by Taylor Sumners)

As part of our “Conversations with the Candidate-elect” interviews, Ark Valley Voice spoke with Jane Templeton, the Salida City council-elect representing Ward 1.  The five Salida candidate-elects, who ran unopposed, will take their positions following the Nov. 5 general election.

Jane Templeton has been the Council representative for Ward 1 since filling the vacated seat of Rusty Granzella, following his election to the Chaffee County Board of Commissioners last November.

Templeton has resided in Salida for 14 years and since arriving, has been a contributing resident, playing an active role in volunteering and stepping up to represent Ward 1 as Councilwoman.

  1. What is your favorite part about Salida?

“My favorite part of Salida is walking down the street and seeing every other person you know.”

  1. What has been your role in the community (jobs/occupations, volunteer positions, committees, etc.)

“I have been a very active volunteer in many kinds of volunteer jobs. For me, that helps me stay active and involved. A couple of my favorite activities are fiber related. So those are sort of solitary, and it’s nice to have things that I can do to keep me involved and get me out of the house.

“I’ve been on the board of the Fiber Festival since the beginning. I am not a vendor, but I help set it up and run the event. It’s such a fun festival! We made the decision early on to diversify the festival, because like with the Taos festival, for example, they only want animal products, and that’s it. We wanted to be inclusive and more diverse by including all the fiber arts.”

  1. What do you hope your new role (or continuing in your role) will do for the community?

“I was appointed in December 2018. I have had not quite a year to get up to speed. I still feel like there is a lot to learn. I think some continuity by having three members continuing, [plus] myself continuing, and Alisa Pappenfort, who already has experience with a lot of these things in her capacity, [will help a lot].  There is only one member who is totally new to the job. That, I think, will make a big difference. This will mean everybody can jump right in feet-first and keep working on the things that are already in progress.”

  1. The Envision survey highlighted community desires. Please pick one (housing, workforce, short-term rentals) and tell us about your ideas and strategies to better resolve the issue in the community.

“I think that the whole issue [of housing] is going to be always a work in progress. It will be something we are still tinkering with and working to find solutions all the time. I don’t think that there is one solution. We have the inclusionary housing ordinance already, and that has already made a difference.

“When you have this issue happening all over the country, you can look at other places and see that other communities are dealing with similar issues. Information sharing is going on regularly. There is not a one size fits all solution to that, and it will be something that will never be solved because this is a desirable place to live. When you have a desirable place to live, you’re going to have that problem. It is one of those issues that I think this council is very aware [that] it’s a constant issue.”

“We are looking at more options and land that the city owns that can be given to the Land Trust or Habitat for Humanity. There are all kinds of different things we can do. But all of that is in our consciousness all the time.”

  1. Also, from the Envision survey was the topic of newcomers. What are your thoughts on welcoming newcomers and how can you connect them to the City of Salida’s history?

“I don’t know if the city has ever had anything called a ‘welcome wagon.’ One of the things we are in the process of starting now is our communication plan. I think…one of the ways is to look for a very comprehensive approach to connect people with the citizens in many different ways. Again, it’s not one size fits all, because people are getting their information in lots of different ways these days. Not everyone gets the paper or is online. Not everyone has access to the internet.

“There’s a lot that happens here, and you have to find ways to connect with people and figure out what their interest is and try to get them engaged.”

6. What does collaboration mean to you?

“Collaboration means listening, walking in with an open mind, and trying to find workable solutions.”

     7. What keeps you up at night?

“Very little. Pains and aches,” Templeton said jokingly. “I don’t stay up thinking about too much, really. Maybe having said something without thinking through it too much and maybe regretting how it appeared even though that’s not what I meant — just some overthinking, more than anything.

I am definitely not obsessed with decisions that the council has made. I think we have done a great job of hearing people. Not everyone is going to like our decisions — that’s a given. I don’t obsess about that. I think we are on a good path with excellent leadership both in city leadership and on the council. We have some very professional people on staff and a very happy staff.”