Glenwood charter change to elect mayor to be discussed |

Glenwood charter change to elect mayor to be discussed

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – City Council may consider asking voters to change the Glenwood Springs home rule charter to have the mayor’s seat elected by city voters, rather than appointed among council members.

Mayor Matt Steckler, who was appointed to the seat by his fellow council members after the April 2011 election, has said he would like to at least revisit the question.

Council is set to discuss that and another possible charter amendment to do away with term limits for city council members, at a 5 p.m. work session before tonight’s regular City Council meeting.

On one hand, Steckler said there is some merit in having the city electorate decide who Glenwood’s mayor should be.

As it is now, the city charter calls for one of the seven council members to be appointed by the group every two years to serve as mayor.

“What I don’t want is for us to turn into Aspen, where you basically have the same people serving as mayor every few years, and you just shuffle the deck,” Steckler said.

In Garfield County, only the cities of Glenwood Springs and Rifle have appointed mayors, while the smaller municipalities of Carbondale, New Castle, Silt and Parachute have a separate elected mayor’s seat.

The term limits question is being raised by council member Dave Sturges. Currently, city council members are limited to two consecutive four-year terms.

If council sees fit, there’s an extensive process that must be followed to draft any charter amendments. Voters would not see a ballot question until the April 2013 city election.

A second council work session tonight at 6 p.m. deals with a proposal to impose a fare for the Ride Glenwood city bus system, as reported in Wednesday’s Post Independent.

Meanwhile, the regular City Council agenda starting at 7 p.m. includes continued discussion of the proposed 60-unit affordable rental housing project at Glenwood Meadows.

Council first heard the proposal for the Glenwood Green Apartments, a low-income tax credit project, in late January. The public hearing was continued until tonight, when a decision is expected to be made.

One sticking point is a request by the developer, Steele Properties of Denver, for the city to take ownership of the access road into the apartment complex, rather than the developer maintaining it as a private driveway.

The road is eventually intended to serve as one of three access points into the larger residential neighborhood south of Wulfsohn Road at Glenwood Meadows. That area is approved for up to 475 residential units, including as many as 300 rental apartments.

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