Hello, I’m Joe Carpenter. I was elected to the Rifle City Council last fall. I came to Rifle in 1973 to work for my dad, Joe Senior, who owned an auto parts store across from the fair grounds. I had enlisted in the Navy at 17 and was lucky enough to see most of the world, some parts friendly and some not. I experienced everything from being on the crew that picked up the Apollo 7 astronauts, to being catapulted in our squadron’s aircraft off of four different Aircraft Carriers.
After the military, I got into financial services with Citi Bank and Transamerica Financial Services. This led to my being approached in 1978 by the owners of Glenwood Industrial Bank who asked me to manage a new bank in Rifle. I managed Rifle Industrial Bank until 1982, the year of the big bust. I then went into the insurance business and operated my agency until 2013 when I retired.
One of my primary goals has always been advocating on behalf of other veterans. I was the Garfield and Pitkin County Veterans’ Services Officer for 19 years. Additionally, I served as the spokesperson for Senator Bennett for rural veteran’s health care issues at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and was on Congressman McGuiness’s Service Academy Selection Committee. I used a back office at my insurance agency to interview my vets.
I ran for Council after being encouraged by several folks around town. I was very much humbled by the response from the voters. I thought that perhaps I could help Rifle. I believe that we have a good base to build on. Our downtown is a jewel that we need to expand on. I would like to see Rifle be more self- sufficient, meaning not relying on the upper valley for the bulk of our jobs. We have the tools for light industrial growth which I would think we could utilize to lure more businesses. Rifle is sure not the place it was in 1973, but it’s still a great town to live in. I was fortunate to have raised four great kids here. They have given me eleven grandchildren, all but two of which live on the western slope. I am indeed fortunate.
Each week or so for the next several months, we will be highlighting our Rifle City Council members. If you have suggestions for future articles or questions you would like answered, please contact Kathy Pototsky at firstname.lastname@example.org.