Palisade Paw Post

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Palisade Paw Post

Palisade Paw Post

Local Elections and Why Students Should Care

Keegan Seymour
Greg Mikolai and Bill Carlton on the PHS Theatre Stage addressing residents.

Palisade High School is a crucial part of the small town of Palisade, and that is becoming even more evident everyday as we ramp up to our elections for Mayor and Board of Trustees. Involvement in local government is vital for the young people of Palisade, but I wanted to ask the candidates exactly why PHS student’s voices should be heard. 

The Forum mainly focused on the candidates for Mayor of Palisade, the incumbent Greg Mikolai who has served as Mayor for the past four years, and Bill Carlson, a current member of the Board of Trustees. Both these men have plenty of experience in local government, Bill Carlton, who grew up all over Colorado, served in the military, and served as an accountant to Palisade’s financial issues. Greg Mikolai, who is a professor at CMU, served as the President of the D51 School Board, before serving on Palisade’s Board of Trustees and winning the election for Mayor in 2020. Greg and Bill went back and forth answering questions submitted by locals surrounding small businesses and tourism, affordable housing in Palisade, and community-government relationships. Bill made it very clear that he wanted much more transparency between the Board and the locals, while Greg took a stance of town progressiveness, citing his term as the reason for Highway 6’s beneficial constriction and fiber optic internet in town. 

While all these issues are incredibly important to the town of Palisade, I wanted to ask these candidates why this election should be important to High Schoolers. Bill Carlton told me, “I think it’s important to vote when you’re young, the first time I voted I was 18 and going to Mesa Junior College, and I’ve voted in every election since then. That way you can say you voted and then you can criticize.” When Greg Mikolai was asked the same question he responded, “Well it’s important for everyone to be involved in the political process, our government is as good as we make it as voters. Students need to go out there, figure out what the issues are, figure out what effects them and then vote in a way that’s going to benefit them later on.” 

Palisade High School serves as an integral part of the local community, so I asked both candidates how they would continue to strengthen the bond between us High Schoolers and our regional government. Mikolai told me, “We try to do our best as a town to take into account what happens to our younger people here in Palisade by providing amenities, by providing safe multimobile transportation, so the wellbeing of young people is always at the forefront of our thinking and goal setting.” While Mikolai looked back on prior successes, Carlton seemed to have his sights set on a new future between PHS and the Board of Trustees, saying, “What we wanted to do was have the Palisade Student Council come to our meetings and see how we conduct our meetings and do their presentations, and we wanted to do that but the current Mayor said no. And if I was elected that’s what I would like to do, cause the more that we can get your generation involved, we need people to carry on.” 

It’s clear that by talking to both of these candidates they care deeply about Palisade, and gave their cases as to why the High School is important to them. But at the end of the day, it’s about who is going to represent your issues in the best way possible. Even if you can’t vote in this election, we heavily encourage you to come out to the meet-the-candidates meeting next Wednesday at the Palisade Community Center at 6. And for those that can vote, please use this article on top of your own research to elect someone who you believe will represent Palisade the absolute best. 

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About the Contributor
Keegan Seymour
Keegan Seymour, Co-Editor in Chief

Hi I'm Keegan. I am a Senior, and am the other Editor in Chief for the Paw Post. I'm very excited to continue working on the Paw Post and making sure it can be the best it can be! In my free time I love being outdoors and playing sports like skiing, basketball and soccer. I'm also on the cross country and track team at Palisade, as well as the speech and debate team. My favorite part of newspaper is being able to get out and talk to so many people and see diverse views on a range of interesting topics.

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