Robyn Craig sworn in as new Farmington City Council member
Since winning the election in November, Robyn Craig has been getting ready to take her seat as the newest, and only female, member of the Farmington City Council.
"I've been reading a lot, meeting all the staff. I've gone to meetings. I've been calling them a lot and bugging them," she said.
Craig was sworn in at Monday night's city council meeting along with Mayor Todd Larson and Councilmember Terry Donnelly, who were re-elected. Craig replaces Douglas Bonar for the four-year term.
Craig has a total of 35 years working in business development, corporate negotiations, marketing, networking, sales and training. Much of her campaign was centered around bringing new businesses to Farmington and lowering taxes.
"My priorities are still to try to revitalize the downtown," she said. "The reason why I ran is we need to have more businesses. That's still going to be the area I'm focusing on. It hasn't changed."
At her first meeting as a councilmember, she tried to keep that promise by getting appointed to the Economic Development Authority, a board comprised of council members, school board members and residents that promotes the expansion and retention of local businesses. However, two councilmembers already had the job, so she informed them that she would be attending the monthly meetings as an observer in order to stay in the loop.
During her orientation with city staff, she has come to understand the difficulties of working with a general fund that is tied up with debt payments.
The city has about $3 million in debt that it won't get a handle on until 2023 when purchases can again be made in cash instead of on loan.
"We are going to have to be creative in our approach in how we're going to move things forward," she said.
Farmington gets about 74 percent of its annual revenue from property taxes. The city has raised taxes four times in so many years, something Craig hopes to avoid, calling taxes "a sticky wicket."
In the meantime, she's been meeting with area business owners, such as Cheryline Elliott of the new Dollar & Up store and Tim Aylward of BlueNose Coffee.
Craig, who is married to Ethan Craig, has one daughter and three grandchildren. She's recently retired and has been watching the local politics, waiting for a chance to get involved.
"I'm feeling as ready as I possibly can be," she said. "I've been told the first six months there will be a lot of information to absorb. It's a learning curve."
She says she's up to the challenge.
"I feel confident. It's a good fit. It's where I'm supposed to be," she said.