A formal welcome to “madam mayor” of Glenwood Springs, Ingrid Wussow, and farewell to now ex Mayor Jonathan Godes
Glenwood Springs finally has its second-ever female mayor.
The newly-appointed “madam mayor,” Ingrid Wussow, stepped up after Jonathan Godes stepped back from two terms as the appointed Glenwood Mayor.
“The community, the staff, I thank you all for trusting me, and I hope I’m able to serve this community that I love so dearly,” Wussow said after being voted in unanimously by the new sitting City Council as the city’s 54th mayor.
The sixth-generation local to the Roaring Fork Valley, with grandparents who ran a sawmill up in the the Flattops, she has seen the valley through many lenses from her own youth, to a mother and a wife, an entrepreneur, a broker and a politician.
She has also dedicated more than a decade of time to her local community, volunteering in everything from parent teacher association, a judicial mediator, a member of the Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Commission and a vice chair for Garfield Clean Energy.
“The idea that you trust me to do this position means a lot,” she said right after her appointment at the April 20 council meeting. “We will do it together; your voices all mean as much as mine.”
The last “madam mayor” of Glenwood Springs was Marian Smith in 1980-1981.
Wussow was asked to apply for former Ward 2 council member Rick Voorhee’s vacancy when he resigned in September 2020. She recalled that she ran unopposed after saying she would bow out in support if anyone ran against her.
She joked with the Post Independent that she will be the second woman mayor, but she might be willing to be the last appointed mayor.
She mentioned interest in making some possible charter changes that would include giving residents the ability to vote for their mayor instead of having them appointed.
The Glenwood Springs Mayor has very little authority over the rest of the members on Council, but they do organize and run the meetings, sign all of the important documents and act as a figurehead for the community.
These roles are why the previous mayor, Jonathan Godes, said Wussow would do so well as the new mayor. He said her prior experience, organization, enthusiasm and temperament all seem to fit perfectly for the role.
Councilor Marco Dehm was nominated and approved unanimously to become Mayor Pro Tem for his second term on City Council.
The newest councilors sworn in at last week’s meeting were Erin Zalinski, Sumner Schachter and Mitchell Weimer.
Farewell to the legacy of Mayor Jonathan Godes
Although Godes is continuing his final term as a City Councilor, he chose to step back from seeking reappointment as the mayor just before the April 20 meeting.
Instead, he wanted to clear the way for someone else to be appointed. He served two two-year terms as the Mayor of Glenwood Springs. A lot happened in that time.
While he was mayor, council authorized the city to replace the 27th Street Bridge, completed the Midland Avenue reconstruction, made Glenwood utilities 100% renewable energy, recovered from the impacts of the 2020 Grizzly Creek Fire, dealt with the 2021 flooding in Glenwood Canyon and the canyon shut down, along with helping to ensure long-term water resiliency following the burning of the canyon’s watershed from the Grizzly Creek Fire, he said during the Council meeting on April 20.
Under his term, he and Council worked to keep residents and businesses safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they began the fight against the Rocky Mountain Industrials rock quarry expansion and the proposed Uinta Basin oil trains.
Godes noted that he and Council also instituted a moratorium on vacation rentals and new licensing rules to preserve workforce housing and banned vaping flavors along with introducing aggressive tobacco taxes. They also led the ballot measure 2C for workforce housing, which was approved by voters last fall.
“I have advocated for our environment, economy, vitality and diversity,” he said. “I’m proud of the work this council has done.”
He thanked the efforts of both the prior and most recent councils, and the city staff, with which he said none of his efforts would have been possible.
“(City staff) are the unsung heroes we often take for granted, and the number one reason that serving in the position of mayor for the last four years has been so rewarding,” Godes said. “I’ve been deeply privileged to serve, and I’m excited to continue to serve for another two years with everybody seated up here.”
Right before Wussow was motioned in for the next mayor, he finished his speech by welcoming the next mayor.
“I know that the next mayor is going to continue to make Glenwood Springs with this council and this community and this staff a vibrant, sustainable and more inclusive community,” he said.
Other members of Council who exited after a single term on April 20 were Charlie Willman and Tony Hershey, while Paula Steep chose to not run again.
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