Long road to becoming mayor
Once a shy child, Buck now running her hometown
By Ellen Miller
Newly-elected Mayor Lori Buck says she was fairly shy, reticent and inclined to stay in the background as she was growing up in Fruita.
Speaking in public, let alone running for office or become mayor, never crossed her mind.
“It was the last thing I could envision,’’ the 40-year-old Buck said in an interview the day after winning election as mayor with a victory over Terry Moss.
“My view of the job is finding consensus, and I need to represent the council — the majority of the council,’’ she said. “In Fruita, we’re just waiting for the economy to bounce back and we’re well-prepared when it does.’’
Buck, the daughter of Donna Ulrich and Gerald Clawson, both of whom live in Fruita with their spouses, is married to Blaine Buck and has two daughters, Ryanne, 14, and Jillian, 8.
She works part-time as an administrative assistant in Blaine’s business, Bighorn Consulting Engineers.
She first achieved local fame playing on Fruita Monument’s girls basketball team, which won the state championship in 1989, a feat the school has not been able to repeat.
Buck won a basketball scholarship to the University of Northern Colorado but her playing days ended with a knee injury. Following surgery and rehab, she transferred to Colorado State University, where she earned her degree and met her future husband.
“We met in college and got jobs over there,’’ Buck said.
She worked as city forester for the City of Northglenn for six years before Blaine found a job back in Fruita.
“So we came home to Fruita and I got a job for the city as a planning tech for four years.’’
Life turned hectic. Buck had a fulltime job with the city, did the administrative work for the engineering firm her husband started and tended to her two daughters.
“It was too much, so I quit the fulltime job,’’ she said. “It wasn’t long before I went on the planning commission and I ran for the council in 2006.’’
She was re-elected in 2010 and she said her election as outgoing mayor Ken Henry’s successor “speaks highly of what we’ve done on the council.”
“We have the Fruita Community Center up and running and the new wastewater plant up and running, she said. “Our community 2020 plan is updated. We’re working on a downtown development plan.’’
Tourism is an important component to Fruita’s businesses, she said, and helps businesses south of the interstate who have been struggling since the initial developer was unable to deliver a promised anchor tenant.
“The downtown brings in tourists, but they’ll stay in the motels and eat in the restaurants in south Fruita,’’ Buck said. “The more people we get to Fruita, we all benefit.’’