GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - There were no election-night parties for the two candidates vying for an at-large Glenwood Springs City Council seat Tuesday. Just politics as usual.
As the ongoing debate over traffic-related issues continued to rage inside a meeting room at the Glenwood Community Center, challenger Lyle Beattie stepped into the lobby to congratulate Stephen Bershenyi for winning a second term as councilman.
Bershenyi came out on top in the lone contest for a City Council seat in Tuesday's mail-ballot election, 761 votes to Beattie's 734, according to unofficial final tallies.
The Glenwood Chamber Resort Association-sponsored town hall meeting to discuss the proposed replacement of the Grand Avenue Bridge, the Highway 82 access control plan and renewed calls for a bypass, served as an appropriate backdrop to the election.
Both candidates spent the evening in listening mode at the forum, attended by close to 200 people, while the ballots were being counted back at City Hall.
Given the close contest, Bershenyi said he'd be glad to listen to Beattie's ideas on how to reach consensus on some of the critical issues now facing the city, bridges, bypasses and otherwise.
"I'm very humbled," Bershenyi said upon learning that he'd won re-election to a second four-year term on council.
"This just points out the fact that I need to do my level best to represent all of the citizens of Glenwood Springs," Bershenyi said of the close contest. "I pledge to continue to listen to all of the dialogue, and to work to build a political consensus that will help us move forward."
Beattie, a former Glenwood Springs mayor and councilman for six years in the 1960s, was seeking to return to City Council five decades later at age 89.
"I have to feel pretty good about my showing," he said. "I appreciate the committee I had working for me, and the effort they put into this for me."
Beattie said he would like to stay involved in city issues in some way, and may consider seeking appointment to one of the many city advisory boards and commissions.
"I still would like to be involved in things," he said.
City voters also passed the single ballot question before them, authorizing the city to sell or otherwise convey two publicly owned parcels in the 700 block of Colorado Avenue.
The measure passed with 938 votes in favor to 507 opposed.
Garfield County has expressed interest in acquiring the parcels to combine with adjacent county holdings for expanded parking in the area.
"This just allows us to begin that conversation," City Manager Jeff Hecksel said. The ballot question did not specify a particular buyer.
A total of 1,495 ballots were cast in the election, out of 4,411 ballots sent to registered active voters in the city, for a 34 percent turnout.