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Meet Mayor Karen Sheek

Join Brian's interesting conversation with Mayor Karen Sheek of the City of Cortez, CO.

Karen Sheek is a retired educator, former business owner, volunteer, mother of two and has been the mayor of Cortez since 2016, a role she sought after serving on the City Council. She moved to the area with her husband, John, in 1975 after he was hired as a park ranger at Mesa Verde National Park. “We liked the area and it was close to my family that lived in Phoenix, so we stayed,” she said. “Cortez became our home.”

She taught thousands of students at Cortez Middle School over 30 years, and was co-owner of the catering company Seas’nings, LLC, and the Seas’nings at 319 venue for private parties and full-service afternoon teas. To relax, Sheek enjoys reading and gardening.

SHOW SCRIPT:

Karen Sheek  
You know, visiting with our law enforcement people it was kind of the consensus that we'd be better off allowing it and regulating it, because it's here. As it is probably in every other community throughout the world I would guess, marijuana's there, and you can either choose to legalize it and regulate it, or you cannot, but that's not going to result in it going away. If you say no, we're not going to allow it. It's just going to be there.

Brian Ondrako  
Welcome to another episode of the Gov Gab Podcast. I'm your host, Brian Ondrako. Thanks again for being a part of this show. And excited to introduce our guest for today, Mayor Karen Sheek in the city of Cortez, Colorado. Really had a great conversation with Mayor Sheek. And she has just, you know, just like a lot of the other mayor's, I've talked with on this podcast, a very interesting story of how she got into local government, how she started to, you know, get involved and ultimately get in the seat of mayor. So she's actually going to be at her term limit come April of 2020, that's the way their government is set up. So she's excited about, you know, the next opportunity, but also you know, it's one of those things, she loves what she's doing and helping out the community. So we're getting a lot of different discussions throughout this interview, and I think you guys will absolutely enjoy it. And really, really be able to glean some perspective on again, a different route that you could go in terms of getting involved in your local government. So I hope you guys enjoy this episode. Without further ado, let's jump into our chat today with Mayor Karen Sheek.

Brian Ondrako  
 Mayor Sheek. Welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining today.

Karen Sheek  
Thank you for inviting me. I'm really, really pleased to be visiting with you today.

Brian Ondrako  
Yeah, well, I know we have a mutual friend and Mayor Marbury have mentioned due to reach out to you guys are doing some cool things over there in Cortez so I was excited to get a chance to speak with you and learn a little more about your journey. But also things that are going on in the in the city over there. And that's maybe where I wanted to start if that's okay. You know, I'm always curious with a lot of the mayor's I talked with, obviously, it's an elected position. So I'm curious when the idea of actually getting involved in in any form of local government crossed your mind, was that earlier in your life? Or was that something that happened later on? Can you start there? And then we'll kind of kind of go down a tangent with a few different things.

Karen Sheek  
Sure. Actually, I probably it the thought just kind of slid into my mind probably back in the in the early 90s. We have a program here in Cortez called Leadership Montezuma. And I think it's probably it's probably part of a larger program that's designed to bring members of the community in and educate them about their communities about public service opportunities. And I had the chance, I can't remember the year now, but it was back in the early 1990s. I was teaching it at the middle school here in Cortez, and they were opening applications for the Leadership Montezuma program, and I went to my Superintendent and said, you know, I'd really like to be able to do that I it would entail me being gone One day, a month, because the meetings were monthly. And is that something that the district would be willing to let me do? And fortunately, they said yes. And so at that time, the program, each month was a different topic. One month, they focused on education, another month, they focused on health care. And of course, one month, they talked about the municipal government. And I can remember thinking at the time, that, gee, that might be something that I would be interested in doing. I have been interested in politics, probably all my life, not necessarily in an active sense, but I pay attention to what's going on and consider myself reasonably knowledgeable. And I think the one big takeaway from participating in the Leadership Montezuma program was the realization that there were lots of opportunities for people to get involved that often went vacant because there just weren't enough folks who were willing to step up and, and do it. So that was, that was probably the first time I'd ever even considered the possbility of serving in a public office position. And then in 2011, we had a rather devisive recall election, we had some people in the community that were not happy with some members on our city council, and they launched a recall. And it was, it was a number of these people that were being recalled when people that I knew that I taught with and that were friends. And though I thought we're doing a really good job. And so, you know, I took it upon myself to actually kind of get involved in the sense that I reached out to city staff to kind of get a handle on some of the issues that were being bandied about. And the reasons for the recall, and fortunately, it turned out that, none of the people were recalled but when there was an opening later that fall for a vacancy on city council, I thought, you know, I think I kind of would like to do that. So I submitted a letter, and they chose me to, to fill out the term. And it was it was interesting, I, it was one of those one of those situations where you kind of find yourself, literally jumping into the deep end of the pool and thinking, Oh, my gosh, what I've gotten myself into, can I really do this, but the longer the more meetings I attended, the more involved I got, I thought, you know, I really liked this. And, I'm learning a lot and it's been nice to work with staff. Well, the term was up in in April, which meant that if I were interested in continuing to show up on Council, I would have to run and needed to get my position app and get it signed beginning in January. And at that point, it was like, Okay, well, I've enjoyed doing this. I've learned a lot. I'm not ready to be finished. And so I chose to run and I won a four year term in my own right. And then four years later ran a second time, and won a second four term. And here I am.

Brian Ondrako  
What was the gap between you know, finishing up that Leadership Montezuma program? And then you said it was 2011? So what was that? Was it like a 10 year gap? Or more? Like, were you just kind of sat idle for a lack of a better term? Or was that right there? But

Karen Sheek  
We're looking at 20 years. 

Brian Ondrako  
Okay, almost 20? Okay. So what was it? Was there any appetite during that time where you had some sparks of like me, and maybe I want to get involved, or we just so busy with, you know, with work and family and other stuff where you just didn't have the time? Or what was the reasoning there?

Karen Sheek  
Well, I was busy, I had a family, I have two kids. And I was a full time teacher and was pretty involved in things that I was doing with my teaching position. And then at the end of 1998, a business partner and I opened a catering business. And so I was still teaching full time, and then going from my teaching job to my catering job. And it was just at that at that point, I pretty much had my hands full. By 2011, I had retired. I was still on the catering business and so deeply involved in that, but I was no longer teaching. And it just reached the point where with all of the other things that I was involved in I mean, it was it was time to retire. I had been in education for over 30 years and needed to have a little bit more time to devote to my business. And then I was serving on city council or thinking about. Well, I backtrack there. I was not serving in city council at that time. But I was looking at getting more involved in other community activities. And I just couldn't do both. So what had happened was that earlier in 2011, the city had put out a request for applicants to serve on a marijuana committee to kind of research and investigate whether or not we want to whether or not this city should allow medical marijuana businesses to operate within the city limits. Colorado had had passed legalized medical marijuana, but they had also left that to individual municipalities to decide whether or not they actually wanted to allow the businesses or just leave it within the hands of private caregivers providers. And so they commissioned this committee to research to advice council as to whether or not you know, we should allow this. And so I was serving on that committee when the opening on city council came up. And I was already involved with the city level at that point with a city committee and figured the serving on Council was just the next step. And fortunately, I there were a number of people that had applied for the position. But I was the one that was chosen. So yeah. Which I had been really grateful. It's been a wonderful experience.

Brian Ondrako  
Well, and I'm excited to hear about that a little bit. I'm curious to go back to if you don't mind, if I can go down a different path for a second. 

Karen Sheek  
Sure.

Brian Ondrako  
 Obviously, with the with the research with medical marijuana, it's a hot topic nowadays, right, you know, depending on which which state you're in. And so I'm curious, what were would you remember the findings of that? Like, what what was the outcome for Cortez and what you guys decided to maybe what's going on there today?

Brian Ondrako  
Well, I, one of the things that we did was we actually brought in some folks from the state at the state level, just to kind of give us a sense of what it was going to mean if we decided not to legalize it. And if we decided to legalize it, what were the pros and cons of that. And you know, I can't remember how many people were on that committee. But by the time we were finished, researching, talking with people at the state level, did a lot of research I did a lot of online research. The decision was made that we would be better off allowing businesses to operate in the city and licensing man, they had to be licensed both through the state and at the city level, because that would allow us to have more control. If we, if we said no, we don't want this here, then what happened was would be that caregivers would be the source of marijuana for those people that had gotten their permits to be able to purchase marijuana for medical uses. Remember well you may or may not be aware, it was kind of a two-step process for Colorado, the first step was legalizing medical marijuana. And then several years later, Colorado voters legalized recreational marijuana. And so this was this is at the very beginning of that whole process. And I can remember when we first got started, by the time it was to come up for council vote, I was on Council and we had a lot of people that came, you know, many were very concerned about allowing medical marijuana here in the community, because, you know, they were worried that it was a gateway drug, it's going to create a lot of problems. But, you know, visiting with our law enforcement people, it was kind of the consensus that we'd be better off allowing it and regulating it, because it's here, as it is probably in every other community throughout the world, I would guess marijuana is there. And you can either choose to legalize it and regulate it. Or you cannot, but that's not going to result in it going away. If you say no, we're not going to allow it, it's still going to be there. So that was the decision that that city council made. And then when, when the Colorado voters legalized recreational marijuana, we made the same decision that we would be much better off regulating the heck out of it and making sure that we knew that we provided stringent oversight, rather than saying no, and then having having folks bring it in from the outside because it was going to be here. And I think it's worked well for us.

Brian Ondrako  
That's what I was going to ask kind of having the hindsight, right. You can you can look backwards, you know, whatever that eight years or so it's been pretty successful, then you would say, legalizing it and regulating it. 

Karen Sheek  
If I would say that there had been a glitch, the one glitch was that when we first talked about allowing recreational marijuana to come into feeling was? Well, I think it was probably too with the medical as well. Part of the regulations were that we put in place was to control the number of establishments that would be businesses that would be selling was zoning, and the state had some regulations in place, the city had the opportunity to we had to be we couldn't be, we couldn't be more lenient, but we could be more restrictive, in the cities, the city decided is that we would not allow businesses to be any closer than 1500 feet, which means that if you have two marijuana businesses, they can't be closer than 1500 feet of one another, they can't be within 1500 feet of a school of any kind, they can't be within 1500 feet of a child care facility. And by putting a spatial limitation on that, that helps to limit the number of businesses that you can have. Well, we were kind of under the impression that that would probably limit us to four maybe five businesses and what's happened over time, is that people have looked in areas that probably initially we didn't consider areas that marijuana businesses might want to locate. So at this point, we have six marijuana businesses within the Cortez city limits, and there have been some of our citizenry to say, you know, that's enough, we don't want to have any more. And it's at this point, we're, we're still looking at it in terms of distances, and to a certain extent too, you know, what are the feelings of residents in the community in that area in which they, the business wants to open. It's worked pretty well for us.

Brian Ondrako  
So I want to go back, again, getting to a council and putting your name in the hat for that, what was there anything you were nervous about, or maybe some preconceived notions that were like, you know, that you're, you're thinking or worrying about, during that little time there?

Karen Sheek  
Well, you know when I sent the letter and to fill out, the position for the slot that became open, you know, I didn't worry too much about it either I get it, or I don't and, my thought at the time was that, you know, I've been thinking about doing this, I've been interested in it, this might be a really great opportunity for me to find out if, I'm a good fit. And if this is something that I really enjoy doing, because it wouldn't have been for a full term. And so, you know, if I got into it found out that it didn't work, or for whatever reason, then, you know, I had a fairly limited amount of time that I would be serving on Council. And then once I got there and found that how much I enjoyed it. And it was just, it was intellectually stimulating. And I love working with the council members, and it was really enjoying the contact with the staff and learning about what it takes to operate a city. I guess the greatest fear that you have when you get ready for public to run for public offices, not getting elected, you know, what, if nobody votes for me? How do I go about doing this? And I was really fortunate because two of the council members who were friends of mine, and they, they were still on Council, you know, we're really very helpful in visiting with me and giving me some suggestions for you know, how I might launch my campaign and then how to proceed. And then they endorsed me as well, which was I most appreciated. I was most appreciative of and I was quite excited and elated when I found that I was one of the people that had garnered enough votes to win one of the four year terms. The way it's set up and Cortez is that we've got, it's a staggered election so that people run for both two and four year terms. And so those that garner the most votes get the four year terms and those, that garnered the the lesser number of votes get the two year terms. And you can serve on the city council in Cortez for two terms. So it doesn't make any difference whether they're four year terms or two year terms. It's two terms. That's nothing to do with a number of years. And I'm very pleased that I had the opportunity to be able to serve for two year terms.

Karen Sheek  
In our community, it's you're voted on to Council. And then the council is the one that elects or chooses the mayor. And so my first full year term, we already had a mayor in place. And he continued in that position he was he was reelected by the Council to fill that position. And then at the next election he was term limited he and the mayor Pro Tem were term limited. And so at that point I thought well, I might as well throw my hat into the ring and see if council would be interested in putting me in the in the mayor's position and and others please. So I was chosen mayor and I've been mayor since that second election.

Brian Ondrako  
So it's one thing obviously to be on the city council and there's a there's a group of y'all, right, becoming the mayor, right, and kind of being the face of the city, if you will. What was it? Was that an extra level of stress or nervousness or anything? Or were you were you just now you had enough experience? You're like, Hey, I can do this. I've seen it done before. And now I'm ready. What were your thoughts? Kind of the self talk? kind of putting your?

Brian Ondrako  
Yes, I mean, I it's exactly what you said, I had a little over two years under my belt. At that point, I had developed relationships with city staff and other council members. And I thought, wow, I can do this, I think I would be good at it. To me being on city council has never just been showing up to the council meeting. I have taken it upon my self to you know, to reach out and engage staff, I've been really fortunate in that city staff when I've asked questions or, you know, raise concerns that they have always been very gracious and sitting down and explaining things to me and visiting and talking over things. And so, you know, by the time that position came open, I really felt like I had to develop some relationships and I had the time. I was interested and had the time to be able to do it. And so it was just kind of a natural progression. And I've been very pleased and honored that by the time I am turned limited this April and by the time I leave office I will have the eight years so I eight plus years I'm that I've been on council six of those I have served as mayor

Brian Ondrako  
What's probably the hardest part of the job of Mayor that most people don't even think about?

Brian Ondrako  
This may and this may seem strange, I think probably for me. It's the social part I love meeting with people one on one I've enjoyed meeting the staff, I felt really comfortable and sitting out in committee meetings. But I'm a fairly reserved person. And so I think probably the hardest part for me has been just getting, you know, just getting out and not so much. You know, I campaign and I literally went door to door to talk to people and I love that part of it. That wasn't a problem. But it's but it's having to get out and be in social situations. Sometimes this is difficult for me. And I know that that may seem strange, because a lot of times I think people believe that oh if you're a person, you know, in the public eye that you must love that kind of thing. But for me, that's that's always been the social part, that's always been a little bit more difficult than maybe it is for other folks.

Brian Ondrako  
Yeah, I get that, you know, and that's and I've heard, you know, having different mayor's on the podcast here I've heard, you know, some folks, you know, again, this the public speaking side of it, others Yeah, going out and kind of being involved in a lot of things, it's something to get used to, if you haven't done it before. So give me an idea, you know, obviously being and you could take from the council as well, as you know, the time is mayor, what are one or two decisions, you've been a part of that have you know, you're kind of proud of, I guess, you know, things that have been impactful for the city that you've been proud to be a part of.

Karen Sheek  
A number of years ago, we had a really active group of citizens, that worked very hard to get a bond passed to build a new high school. And part of the way that that project was promoted by merely by the new superintendent who had come in just prior to this whole thing taking place, was that the old building would be cannibalized for whatever could be used. And then yet the billing that we raised. The campaign was that it's an old outdated building, it's not safe. We need to have an updated facility that supports the technology that we need to know as well as a place that is safe for our kids not only from building safety issue, but also safe in this day and age from, you know, from from potential active shooter scenario, sadly, that's become the norm anymore with education these days. So that was the way that the bond was promoted. And so the community passed us, we said, Yeah, we'll vote for it. And during the construction process, even though they had factored in as part of their budgets, the demolition of that building, when it came time to get that part of it taken care of, they ran into some glitches with it was an older building, and there was asbestos around, I don't know how familiar you are with perils of asbestos. But if you have a if you have a building that is found to have asbestos it exponentially increases the cost of demolishing such a building. And so we ran into some difficulties, suddenly, now the school district didn't want to demolish the building, they were going to repurpose it. Well, that wasn't you know, they they had made an agreement with the city as well, that the the city was going to, was going to provide them with water cap and some services at at a reduced cost. With the understanding that that building would be gone so that we wouldn't have an eyesore in our community. And so, anyway, push comes to shove long story short, it wound up being a rather long drawn out process. And eventually what happened was that the school district actually went back to the voter, they had set aside some money to build a new athletic stadium. And when all of this happened, the only way that they were going to be able to take care of the old high school building was to divert some of those funds towards demolishing that. And which they did. And the city told them that, you know, you get this taken care of you will be following through on the promise that you made to this community to demolish that building. And we will purchase that land and use it for some park. And that's what we've done. And I'm very, very proud of the parts that I played and, and moving that demolition process along. And then actually taking us to where we are now, which is hopefully within the next few months, actually beginning the construction of that park. We we elicited community input we hired a firm that develops city parks, and they worked with us to come up with a program for garnering public input on what the community would like to see in this new park. And I think we've come up with a lovely plan that over time, it will be a phased process that over time, we'll be able to have a beautiful park on the South side of town where we were we have no city parks at this point. So that's a project that I've been very pleased to be involved in and and it's going to be something that will be a wonderful addition to this community for years and years to come.

Brian Ondrako  
That's really neat little rainbow at the end of the story.

Brian Ondrako  
Exactly, exactly.

Brian Ondrako  
If someone hasn't been to Cortez or doesn't know the area well, what would you say is like the biggest strength of the of the city? What do you guys have going for you that's maybe different than others even around you in the state or across the country?

Karen Sheek  
Yeah, I will tell you when people come to this community we are a small agricultural community in southwestern Colorado, we're in an area called high desert. I think lots of times when people think of Colorado, you know, they think of the mountains and they think of grain and they think of the picturesque towns like Durango, for example. We're in ag. community, we're a little bit more desert. But when people come here, they are struck by the beautiful parks that we have in this community. For a town of about 9000 we have got a beautiful public parks. So I would, I would say would rival, even larger metropolitan areas. We were quite fortunate years ago to hire a gentleman who came to head up our parks and rec department and he had a vision of beautiful parks. And and that's what we have. We've got a lovely rec center that's located in one of those parks. And it was interesting, we had a convention here last year, Rural Philanthropy Days, which is a gathering together of nonprofits in the area to meet, tell their story and have a chance to talk with granting foundations. And so many people that came especially folks that had never been here before and even and even some of our neighbors down the road that came and said, Oh my goodness, we didn't realize that Cortez had so many beautiful parks and what a lovely, lovely part of the state it is. So that's I think probably one of the things that most surprises people when they come here. We've got some world class biking here. Phil's world is is known all over the United States. And apparently we've even had bikers from out of the country that have come to, to bike on that course. And and we've done a really good job of developing the biking in this community as well. So we've got some great things going for us.

Brian Ondrako  
Yeah, that's really neat. And on the other side of the coin, I guess, what do you anticipate? You know, and I know I think you said, you know, your your term is up next April. But whether it's over the next year, next couple of years, what are you guys looking at as a council as some of the challenges maybe that you guys are anticipating coming up? Is there anything particular you guys are looking at and making sure you get ahead of?

Karen Sheek  
You know, I'm sure probably any Mayor that she would talk to, you would probably say the same thing. Economic Development is a real issue for us in this community. For probably as many years as I've lived here, and we moved, we actually moved to this area in 1975. The conversation always focuses around the fact that we don't have jobs for our young people, they go away to school, and then there's nothing for them to come back to unless they're interested in agriculture and, you know, can have a foot in the door in that particular area. I think one of our big challenges, we have talked about it for many years, I feel like I've hopefully helped move the conversation a little bit down the road on this, but we need high speed, reliable, affordable broadband in this community. We have a gentleman that has been very forward thinking for many, many years and in getting the process started. But now we kind of need to finish that. Broadband is terrifically expensive, the infrastructure is quite costly to install. But in this technology driven age in which we live, having an excellent broadband and infrastructure in this community, I think would go a long way in helping us to be able to attract people whose jobs aren't location specific, if they've got really great broadband connectivity, I think we've got lots of we've got a laid back lifestyle, we've got a beautiful environment, we don't have earthquakes, or floods or tornadoes or hurricanes. And so we've got lots of pluses going for us, but you have to be able to make a living too. And so I think that's, you know, that's, that's one of the things that we're going to have to work on. And, and I think another issue that we have in our community, too, is our educational system. Like a lot of smaller rural communities, we are having a really difficult time recruiting and keeping teachers it's we just are not in a position to be able to offer the kinds of salaries, some of the larger metropolitan areas can offer. And although there is a real value in living here, if you have a family to raise, you also want to be sure that you've got, you know, quality educational system. And we've struggled with that for a number of years, not for lack of trying and not because we don't have wonderful, wonderful educators in our community. But recruiting and keeping them has been very difficult. And and that's the drawback.

Brian Ondrako  
Have you found any ways to get around that? Or is that still the struggle is kind of scratching your head of how do you manage that and, and still keep good teachers?

Karen Sheek  
Well, I think that's been a struggle. I know that we you know, we've tried to implement programs where we have mentoring, so the brand new teachers that come in, have a support system. Not only supporting them in the classroom, but also individuals that can kind of support their integration into community and sales. We've tried doing that we It is my understanding that they are going to have a valid issue this coming fall that to increase in bill Levy, and those funds would be dedicated to be used for teachers salary. So, you know, we're hoping that we can get that passed. And with the idea that if we can that'll hopefully make make this area a little bit more appealing. So we'll see. It's like I said, we're we're not the only community that's facing these kinds of challenges. And education is just, speaking as a former educator, education has taken a real beating over the years, the public perception of education in the United States is, is I believe and I realize I'm biased. Is a little bit more negative than it needs to be. Are we perfect? No. But I but I think we're not. I think that the US educational system isn't as bad as everybody seems to think it is the truth lies somewhere in between those two extremes?

Brian Ondrako  
Well, so what are you going to do? So you after your terms of next year, you're going to just run off into the sunset? Are you going to stay involved somehow? What's the plan?

Karen Sheek   
Well, I will tell you, I'm already having fears of withdrawal. I, you know, I tell people, you know, I'll be when my term is up, I'm going to be looking for something to do because I don't have the kind of personality that just wants to not do anything. I know that some people look forward to retirement because it allows them to not have to do anything if they don't want to. But I know myself well enough to know that if I don't have something organized and something to be involved with, it would be very easy for me to sit at home in my pajamas all day long. And I don't want to do that. Like I love being intellectually engaged. And I think I've learned a lot of things over the years, not only in my teaching career, but in my city council career and my business career. I think I still have something to offer. So I'm, hoping to be able to find a niche for myself after I am off of City Council.

Brian Ondrako  
Yeah, well, maybe you can lead the special task force from an education side. And maybe you know, it's solved that problem. That's a seems like an issue you're passionate with. That's awesome. Well, so let's end on this. I'm curious. Because again, someone like yourself that, you know, you were fortunate to have the leadership Montezuma, I'm not sure all communities have that type of thing. But what advice would you give to, you know, citizens, and it could be younger folks. It could be folks that are you know, fully in a career and maybe getting near retirement, but in order to get involved more in their community, is there any advice you would share anything that was helpful for you early on, or things you've learned over the years that might be impactful to others?

Karen Sheek  
I think the most important thing that I did that I would have to offer is that don't step back thinking that you're not qualified or nobody would be interested in having you serve. Because I think if there's one thing I've learned over the years is that there are lots and lots of more positions and jobs, that go begging looking for people who have a passion for the work. The truth is that you can learn what you need to go what you need to know to do a good job. I certainly I mean, if getting on council required me to have been able to check off a sheet of qualifications, then I'm sure that position would have gone to somebody else. But I have the passion for it. I think that there were people that were on the council that that knew me that felt that I would do a good job. And if if you're interested in something, then go for it. Too many times too many times, positions don't get filled, or maybe sometimes don't get filled with the right people because somebody that has the passion for the work thinks that what do I know? Surely there must be somebody more qualified. Now I think the primary qualification is that you have a desire, and you want to do it. And if you have that, then I say more power to you. Step right up there. And my guess is that you'll be welcomed with open arms.

Brian Ondrako  
Yeah I appreciate you sharing those words. I think that you're right on point with that. So glad you were able to share some of that insight there. And I appreciate the other stuff, a lot of good stories and really cool see what's going on in Cortez and the growth there and hopefully will continue going forward. Mayor Sheek this was fun. Thank you so much for joining today and appreciate the time.

Karen Sheek  
Well thank you so much. I love getting to talk about this community and to let people know what a really lovely place it is. We've got great people that live here and Cortez is a really nice, a nice little place to live for sure. So, thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to visit with you today.

Brian Ondrako  
Everyone, just one more quick thing before you run along on your day, please head over to iTunes, leave us a quick review, give us a rating. Let us know how we're doing so we can make this podcast better each and every episode. And really put out a good product here for you guys to listen in and learn a little bit more about your local communities and some of the folks that are running them. We certainly appreciate you sticking in listening through these and providing that feedback and hope you guys will join on the next episode. Take care and have a phenomenal day.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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