Get to know the new city council members |

Get to know the new city council members

Compiled by John Gardnerjgardner@postindependent.comGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

(Editors note: The Glenwood Springs Post Independent continues a question-and-answer series introducing the three new Glenwood City Council members. Stephen Bershenyi, Leo McKinney and Matthew Steckler were sworn into office Thursday. Because there were no challengers for the three seats, the spring city council election was canceled. We profiled Councilor Bershenyi on Saturday, and look for a Q&A with Councilor Steckler in Mondays Post Independent.) Name: Leo McKinneyAge: 38Occupation: CFO and owner of Harmony House in Glenwood SpringsOriginally from: Born in DenverHow long have you lived in Glenwood Springs: Five years.Why is being on city council important to you?Its important to me because I want to give back to the community. Going back to the presidential campaign there was a kind of theme that kept coming up that was, there are things that need to be done and if Im not going to do it, then who is? And its that idea that kept coming back to me when thinking about city council, because as you know there isnt anyone else running for it.I also wanted to show the kids that there are ways to be involved in the community.I think Glenwood has such a good future and are in such a unique spot. We are kind of the central location for everything that goes up valley and then everything that goes out toward Rifle. Glenwood is on the cusp of redefining itself. And how we redefine ourselves is going to have huge impacts.In your opinion what is the roll of a city councilor?As Im learning, and I dont think a lot of people know what actually goes on with City Council. Since Ive been inside this process Ive learned that the main role of city council is for the councilor to represent the area and the neighborhood where they live. Most of the people Ive talked to say that they want to talk to me about this or they will say when you get in there I want you to do this. I think the city council gives you an opportunity to get out and get a feel for what most people want. That might be something that is easier said than done, too, but I think I understand that going into it.What will you add or what will you bring to council?If you look at the make up of council, Im the youngest person in the room. I think I bring a younger perspective. One of the things that interested me in running is when my friend Ken Murphy called me to see if Id be interested in running, he thought that the board really lacked any kind of representation from people of our age group. There are a lot of young professionals with young families around and the council doesnt really reflect that.That is probably a very common thing, but Ive lived in several municipalities where people are on council where their family is older and they are a little bit older. So, there is a feeling that Im representing a lot of people on council who have not been represented from their perspective.What are some things that you would like to address or accomplish while on City Council?When I decided to take this on, Id have to say that a lot of it has to center around Midland Avenue and what a cluster that is. The intersection of Four Mile Road, cars come flying through that intersection. To me it seems like we should be able to do something with that intersection even though its right on the border with the county. Something should be done there.There are a lot of the people who Ive spoken with who have been here for a long time, one thing is that Midland Avenue has always been an issue. I dont see it going away, unless there is something that is just drastic. So, with that in mind I think the South Bridge project is pretty much a necessary project and everybody that Ive talked to really sees a need for an alternate route. People really see the importance of that, but they dont want it in their back yard.The other thing I would like to accomplish is to see Glenwood Springs ban the use of plastic bags. You know, like the use of grocery store plastic bags. I dont know if its possible or if there is support for something like that, but its something that I would like to explore.

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