Trenary Cites Housing and Special Events as Prime Focus
Current Mayor Melissa “Missie” Trenary, who was recently appointed to this position, following the resignation of Milford Ashworth, is the sole candidate among the three contenders for the four-year mayoral seat that has previously served on the council.
As a result, Trenary has cited her experience with the city as one of her prime assets.
According to Trenary, running for mayor has been a plan since she started her stint of serving the public on the historical preservation board around 10 years ago. She successfully ran for council in 2017 and then was voted into her second term in 2021.
Her plan from the beginning was to run for mayor when she was at the halfway point of her second term on council. If she wins the campaign, she will remain mayor, but if she loses she will stay on the dais as the city’s Ward 5 Councilmember for another two years.
She cites housing as the main issue facing the city. Trenary explained that she was involved with the housing issue since the council changed a city ordinance, allowing tiny houses on single lots a few years ago.
She said that the council is working on solutions to the housing issue and there is one development in the works now that is working on qualifying for state grants. “There are options that we can look at for acquiring property and then do the public/private partnership,” Trenary said. “So that is in the works and something I want to be involved in.”
She also said that she wants to get back to Cripple Creek having more events, especially in the summertime. She explained that the city is finally returning financially from the hit it took during the pandemic, and funding for events could be back on the table.
“I’d like to see more events on the weekends that we don’t have anything,” Trenary said. “Years ago, under a former marketing director, we had an event going on almost every other weekend up here. Some of them were just small events just in the 300 block and it is possible to do those small events again.”
She has already explored the possibilities of adding more events. One idea she wants to explore is bringing a brew fest to Cripple Creek.
Contrary to certain concerns by area officials, she believes the impacts of more events won’t be harmful. These potential traffic concerns were recently raised by Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesell, especially with the advent of Ice Castles. Trenary said that she has discussed the issue in detail with city staff. “I have talked at length with (Police Chief) Bud Bright as far as the law enforcement aspect of it,” Trenary said. “He’s confident that it’s not going to add any additional stress to our police department.”
Trenary said that after hearing the sheriff’s concerns she asked Cripple Creek Police Chief Bud Bright if he has noticed an increase in crimes like car break-ins during events. “Bud said that we have never really had a huge uptick in any crimes like that,” Trenary explained. “So, he is not real concerned, which makes me feel better.”
Trenary also has reviewed the infrastructure implication, with the huge amount extra water Ice Castles would use from their attractions. She was assured by the director that there would not be any issues with the slow draining of the eight million gallons of water used by the ice castles.
At the same time, the mayoral candidate agrees with the sheriff that more money for public services is needed. She said that law enforcement is underfunded in Cripple Creek as well as other place across the state and nation.
She mentioned that the city recently conducted a salary survey to examine how Cripple Creek’s wages compare to other tourism-driven cities similar in size. “We have written into the budget increases in salaries based on that salary survey,” Trenary continued. “There is more funding and we are attracting more recruits for both fire and police.”
As far as other first responder matters, the candidate believes the city has had success with the fire department’s reserve program, and that many firefighters have moved up to full time first responders since the system was put in place. “In last year’s budget, we funded paying for the academy for PD which also makes it a lot more attractive to get law enforcement officers up here when they know that we are going to pay for the academy,” she explained further.
Overall, Trenary said that she is running for mayor as a part of her 10-year plan and feels that she can utilize her past experience in public service to succeed in the town’s top political position. “I love this community, I have been a part of it for 28 years,” the current mayor stated. “I have been involved with all aspects including gaming and non-gaming. I have been involved with a number of nonprofits over the years. First and foremost, with nearly four years on the historic preservation committee, and now six years on council, I have the experience it takes to step in as mayor.”