Get to Know Mayor Jason Gray
Whether you agree with his politics or not, you should get to know Jason.
The title of “Mayor” shares a linguistic origin with the military rank of Major, both ultimately derived from the French word majeur. The mayor is the highest-ranking official in a municipal government. A mayor’s duties and responsibilities are to appoint and oversee municipal managers and employees, provide basic governmental services to constituents, and execute the laws and ordinances passed by a municipal governing body.
Describing the job of a mayor conjures up images of someone wearing a business suit, sitting in a stuffy office, and posing for portraits all day.
That is not Jason Gray.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Mayor Gray several times and get to know him a little better. We met at his small business, Crowfoot Coffee, where he pulled up a chair and talked with me as if I was the only thing he had going on that day. Really, he had squeezed me in between two other appointments. But ten minutes in, he had put me at ease like we were two old friends just catching up after a long absence.
I didn’t want to talk too much about politics, policies, or the job of running the Town. My goal was to get to know the man behind the title. What I found was a gracious, extremely accomplished, and yet down-to-earth guy that really loves what he does. The following are some excerpts from questions I asked him.
Q:Tell me about your family.
A: I’m married to Kathryn Gray. She works for DCSD. She’s been there about 18 years. We have 2 sons, Aidan 21 and Keagan 19. They both work full time for Crowfoot and Aidan is now the head roaster.
Q: How did you end up in Castle Rock?
A: I was transferred to Colorado in ‘98 from Alaska. Then, when asked to come back to Alaska, I declined. I knew I was going to do a coffee house and roastery. I did my due diligence and decided on Castle Rock. I liked the growth curve and that it was still small enough to become involved in the community and make a positive impact.
Q: What were you doing in Alaska?
A: I worked for a coffee company based in Anchorage for about 10 years. I lived in Anchorage and Soldotna. It was a great experience for me.
Q: You have a passion for coffee; how did that start?
A: I have been in the coffee industry for over 30 years. Started in the late 80’s. I’ve been in wholesale, buying, roasting, etc. If it has something to do with coffee, I’ve done it. I still enjoy the industry. It’s changed so much. Hopefully, I’ve changed with it.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I like to fish and camp. During the spring, summer, and fall. If you can’t find me in Town, more than likely, I am fishing or camping somewhere. I played college soccer and still follow the game. Our family has goats, chickens, bees, and a cat. I have co-written 10 novels, as well as a movie, written, and directed a play. Allan Harris of Castle Rock is the person who I work with and our pen name is Harris Gray. I’ve taken a little hiatus since becoming the mayor.
Q: Where did you play college soccer? Who is your favorite team now?
A: I played at Central Washington University. I follow the Colorado Rapids; they are having a decent year. Also, Manchester City in England.
Q: Are the novels available somewhere to purchase?
A: The books can be purchased on Amazon. Under the pen name - Harris Gray
Whether you agree with his politics or not, if you have the chance to sit down and talk with Jason Gray, I would highly suggest you do it. It is a great conversation and you will get know a dynamic guy. You can catch him (and a great cup of coffee) at Crowfoot Valley Coffee.