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March 18, 2013
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City Council candidates answer Q&As

GLENWOOD SPRINGS - The lone race for a Glenwood Springs City Council seat in the April 2 election pits Glenwood native and incumbent Councilman Stephen Bershenyi against Lyle Beattie, a challenger with nearly as much history in these parts.Bershenyi is seeking a second four-year term as one of two at-large members on the seven-member city governing board.He faces Beattie, a now-retired longtime area business owner and former Glenwood mayor and City Council member in the 1960s.Theirs are the only names that appear on the mail ballot for the April 2 election, which was sent out to all active registered city voters last week.Two other incumbent City Council members who are up for re-election, current mayor Matt Steckler in Ward 2 and Leo McKinney in Ward 5, were uncontested in their re-election bids. As a result, their names do not appear on the ballot.The April 2 election will be by mail ballot only. There will be no polling places on election day. Any registered city voters who did not receive a ballot in the mail should contact the Glenwood Springs City Clerk's Office, at (970) 384-6403. The Post Independent solicited candidate profiles and answers to the following set of questions from both Bershenyi and Beattie.

Occupation: Retired engineer, and co-owner of the former L-P Gas and Appliance Co., Glenwood SpringsAge: 89Home address: 1611 Cooper Ave. #7, Glenwood SpringsFamily: Wife Patsy (1924-2010), sons Steve and Brent, daughters Lorie (John Courier) and Kerry (Steve Smith), six grandchildren, including Wade Beattie of Glenwood Springs. Education: BS then master's degree, 1948, mechanical engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder; U.S. Navy, WWII destroyer officer in South Pacific.Previous and current civic involvement: Chamber of Commerce president; three terms Glenwood Springs City Council, two years as mayor; Kiwanis Club since 1954, past president; Glenwood Springs Golf Club president through time of lease back to the city; study committees for West Divide and city water; director for 30 years, First National Bank. How long have you lived in Glenwood Springs?Since 1953, with time out in Arizona and wintering in Glenwood. Native Coloradan, born in Boulder. Came to Glenwood Springs to go into L-P Gas and Appliance Co. with brother Hall in 1953, after five years with Douglas Aircraft as aerodynamicist.What brought you back here?Forty years was spent enjoying living and raising a family in a wonderful city, Glenwood Springs. I went to Arizona for year-round golf, and no shoveling snow. After losing Patsy in 2010, it has been a reward to get back to my town among friends and family.What prompted your decision to run for City Council? I was encouraged by the Chamber of Commerce and many friends to bring my business and prior service experiences back to serve the citizens of Glenwood.Do you support the Colorado Department of Transportation's Grand Avenue Bridge preferred alignment and replacement plan? Why or why not?I am not convinced CDOT's preferred plan is the right one. I do believe CDOT has provided the best impetus in 60 years for a final solution to be found and implemented. If a separate Highway 82 bypass is to be studied, what are your thoughts on how best to accomplish that?Council must try to find a consensus among the citizens. This may need to follow the findings afforded by a full EIS (Environmental Impact Statement).What's your position on the Highway 82 Access Control Plan as it relates to Grand Avenue?Formal action on the access control plan can be tabled until the alignment of the bridge replacement, including its affect at Eighth Street, has been established.Besides the above-referenced projects, in what other ways can the city address traffic concerns?I will become familiar with the transportation committee's (Glenwood Springs Transportation Commission) extensive studies.What are your thoughts regarding the potential for redeveloping the confluence area?The confluence area has extreme potential for becoming a part of the overall downtown area. But it must wait for the final bridge solution.Name one other key issue facing the city, and how would you address it?The marijuana issue will be a challenge for a family-oriented, tourism destination town. I believe the state's lead in establishing guidelines for handling Amendment 64 issues will be most useful in formulating Glenwood's policies.

Occupation: Artist blacksmith, school bus driver, city councilor at-largeAge: 65Home address: 109 Park Drive, Glenwood SpringsFamily: Married to Loriann "Jo" Bershenyi, no childrenEducation: BA in English Literature, BA in German language, University of Colorado at BoulderPrevious and current civic involvement: Current City Councilor-at-large; long-time volunteer and supporter of Advocate Safehouse "Mother's Day Mile"; former board member of the Colorado Association of Hospital Engineering Directors.How long have you lived in Glenwood Springs?Native, born here in 1948.Being a native, what has kept you here?I was away from Glenwood from 1966 when I left for college and began life in the metro Denver area. During those years my wife and I made frequent trips to Glenwood to visit my parents and our many friends and extended family. Jo and I relocated back to the valley permanently in 1995, realizing that here is where we most wanted to be.What prompted your decision to run for re-election?In the last four years, I have had a part in bringing the new wastewater plant, the new parking structure and the new library into being. We now face some even more important decisions, which I have spent countless hours studying. I hope to continue to have the opportunity to help make the right decisions for all of Glenwood's citizens and would count another term a great privilege.Do you support the Colorado Department of Transportation's Grand Avenue Bridge preferred alignment and replacement plan? Why or why not?I support the new alignment. However, we are only about halfway through the process to come up with a final bridge design. I have made no decision personally and will not do so until the process is complete. While I believe the alignment will solve some long-standing safety issues, namely the removal of the river pier and the ability to redo the eastbound on-ramp and the westbound off-ramp at I-70, the bridge design will have to be a spectacular addition to our city to win approval.If a separate Highway 82 bypass is to be studied, what are your thoughts on how best to accomplish that?This is another reason that I am running. I have taken to heart the view that a bypass is truly a regional problem. I will ask council to reach out to (the governing boards) of Pitkin County, Aspen, Snowmass Village, Basalt, Carbondale, Garfield County, New Castle, Silt, Rifle and Parachute, to form a working group putting our individual strengths together to lobby for the funds for a bypass environmental assessment. We should enlist our influential valley citizens, our senators, and our representatives to lobby the administration in Washington, D.C. to procure the federal highway dollars necessary for building the bypass.What's your position on the Highway 82 Access Control Plan as it relates to Grand Avenue?I have been very circumspect with regard to this plan, as has council. It is one of the reasons we broke it into smaller pieces in order to study it more thoroughly. I want to be as sure as possible that we have the best access plan that we can craft for Glenwood Springs. It is always difficult dealing with the future. This plan does include the flexibility for modification as unforeseen future events warrant. This is one of the plan's strengths and must remain part of the plan. If we are careful and thoughtful, we can adopt a plan that has been well crafted for Glenwood's future.Besides the above-referenced projects, in what other ways can the city address traffic concerns?Connectivity. We must take into account every possible transportation link that we can design and build within the city to help increase the number of ways that we have to get from one place to another in Glenwood Springs. Some of these may be able to be done by the city, and some may require a partnership with CDOT, Garfield County or other entities to accomplish.What are your thoughts regarding the potential for redeveloping the confluence area?I believe that the redevelopment of the confluence area represents one of the most singularly unique and exciting projects imaginable. I am firmly convinced that if Glenwood Springs is forward-thinking enough to hold an international design competition for the master plan for our confluence, it will attract the very best talent in such urban design from all over the world.Name one other key issue facing the city, and how would you address it?Smart growth. Within the narrow confines of our valley, and being nearly 100 percent built out within the city limits, pressure will mount to approve growth outside of our boundaries and possibly to include that growth in the city by annexation. Long-range vision and policy discussions must address this most important issue.


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The Post Independent Updated Mar 18, 2013 01:14AM Published Mar 18, 2013 01:12AM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.