In no more than 8 sentences, tell us about yourself, your family, your profession, etc.
My name is Adam Haid and I would like to earn your vote for Trustee. I have lived in Erie with my family for 13 years. I am husband to Christina, father to Noah and Austin, and daily walker of Emmet and Oliver. We live in the Vista Pointe neighborhood. I graduated from Centaurus High School in 1994, received my Bachelors degree in Computer Science from Metro State University, and studied for my MBA at CU Denver. I currently work as a software engineer and product owner at NetApp in Boulder; a career I have been cultivating for 20 years. I am also the founder of Erie Singletrack Advocates; the organization that created the mountain bike trails you love to ride on the open space in Erie. I started this project in 2013 and, with the help of many volunteers, have worked hard to build a place for runners, walkers, and mountain bikers to flourish.
How do you plan to reduce the town’s debt of 82 million dollars?
Debt is a tool to help governments, businesses, and individuals increase their capabilities and credit rating. I use it in my personal finances and the town of Erie does too, but obviously the amounts involved are scaled in relation to revenue. The $82M debt the town currently holds was used to make long term investments in infrastructure improvements and, to a lesser degree, build the community center. It would not be good if the town forced taxpayers to foot the entire bill for a large water works project or amenity when those assets will be available and enjoyed by future generations. Debt was employed to spread the burden evenly and keep taxes at an acceptable level. The town of Erie manages its debt very well. Its credit rating has been raised by S&P and Moody’s multiple times in recent history and Erie has taken advantage of that by refinancing; going from 100 million down to 82 million in just five years. As Trustee, my contribution to this effort will be to place emphasis on servicing our debt payments first during annual budget reviews and to make sure staff takes every opportunity to restructure debt when more opportunities arise.
A project is already approved to widen I-25; how will that impact Erie and what do you plan to do about it?
I will work with town staff to hit the gas pedal on preparing the I-25 area for commercial and industrial development. We need to start courting new activity such as big box stores, car dealers, employers, and office developers to move in there and we need the infrastructure to support them as soon as possible. The sales tax we can realize from non-Erie residents in that area will go a long way toward helping our quality of life. If people spend money in Erie without moving in and using our services it is a boost for our cash flow which will increase the capital and operating power of our town. Our neighbors to the north and south are already taking advantage of the traffic and market opportunity on I-25. As Trustee, I plan to get moving on this project right away.
Would you support a moratorium on O & G activity in the Town of Erie?
A moratorium may become a necessity if the town needs to press pause and work out the kinks on the terms of operator agreements or some other contractual issue with oil and gas companies. Erie used a six month moratorium for exactly this purpose in the past. We would have to identify the problem to be solved and a timeline to solve it in before a moratorium is legally plausible. I will listen to the arguments for a moratorium from all sides and evaluate the legal risk before supporting it. Under the right conditions, I would support a moratorium. However, there are other ways to approach the challenges we have with oil and gas activity in this area. I will ask town staff to work in conjunction with representatives from neighboring towns and bring a united voice to the state capital to change the operating freedom of the oil and gas industry. As Trustee I will advocate immediately for this coalition and I will personally attend important legislative sessions where my voice can be added to those who are requiring change.
How will you address the impacts of residential growth on the town’s infrastructure including roads, water and quality of life?
For infrastructure, it is important for us to stay the course set out in the Unified Development Code. The town has checks in place to protect it from the impact of residential growth on the water, roads, and utility needs of its new neighborhoods. New developments are not approved if they would “cause an undue burden on existing Town utility systems or community facilities” – UDC 10.5.5 paragraph C. Developers are required to pay impact fees so Erie can make the infrastructure changes needed to handle the growth. To keep and maintain our quality of life, I will focus on ensuring every neighborhood has a selection of complimentary services such as retail, parks, and schools to provide for resident’s daily needs and to encourage strong communities throughout town. I also believe our trails and open space differentiate Erie from surrounding neighbors and contribute greatly to our quality of life. As Trustee, I will preserve and grow our trail options and open space inventory.
What are your plans to increase tax revenue from commercial businesses?
King Soopers was a big win for us but it is just the beginning. We need to encourage development that will bring more businesses to town. The Nine Mile, Four Corners, and I-25 areas are all prime real estate for future commerce. As Trustee, I will evaluate all available options to entice businesses to locate there. These might include an incentive in the form of tax increment financing, endowment, or other creative plans. I will also make it as easy as possible for small businesses to open up in Erie so there are minimal roadblocks or suprise fees during their startup activities. Once the commerce ball is rolling we are going to see businesses beating down our doors to serve the Erie area.
What makes you the best candidate?
Over the last five years I have made a solid impact in Erie’s recreation and cycling communities by advocating for and building trails on open space. Those singletrack trails made Erie an outdoor recreation destination bringing folks in from all over the metro area; adding to their enjoyment of our town and increasing our retail tax revenue. The community I cultivated behind this grassroots effort enjoys volunteerism because of the healthy and rewarding experience for all involved. I will continue to increase my impact in Erie and show the entire town what is possible when we work together towards being the best place to live in Colorado. My passion for our town is boundless and I am looking forward to making it a healthier, growing, and balanced place to live as your next member on the Erie Board of Trustees. You can read my platform positions and get to know more about me on my campaign website adamhaid.com or Facebook fb.me/adamhaiderie.