Glenwood City Council candidate Q&A |

Glenwood City Council candidate Q&A

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Editor’s note: The Post Independent will run question & answer articles from the Glenwood Springs City Council through next week. The Candidates are: Bruce Christensen, Shelley Kaup, Russ Arensman, David Blazier, David SturgesName: Bruce Christensen Age: 61 Birth place: McHenry, Ill.Occupation: Executive Director, Mountain Valley Developmental ServicesYears in Glenwood Springs: 28

Running for: Ward 4, the southeast portion of Glenwood Springs, unopposed.Why do you want to be on the city council? I have been very involved with our local government through participation on numerous boards and commissions for many years. I feel strongly that, although we have many challenges, our community is one of the best places to live. After serving one four-year term on City Council, I find that there are many ongoing issues and projects I would like to be involved in. What would you hope to accomplish by being on the city council? Work to assure ongoing fiscal stability for the City. With the help of the community and other Council members, develop a vision for what our community should look like in 15-20 years. Continue to work collaboratively with other Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valley governments. Expand the tools that are available to provide housing opportunities. Implement steps to assist with controlling traffic congestion and noise. Explore means to increase economic diversity within the community, particularly with regard to tourism, the use of technological resources to attract small business, and the expansion of retail business within the downtown. Complete the construction of the whitewater park, skate park and trails system.What do you like to do in your spare time? Bicycle, travel.Name three important issues facing Glenwood Springs: Traffic congestion and related adverse impacts, economic security and workforce housing.What jobs or experiences would lend themselves to your success on the city council? I have worked for boards of directors for over 35 years as well as served on many boards. As a result, I have a good understanding of the varied roles and responsibilities of board members and staff members. I am also responsible for the oversight of an organization with 120 employees and a large budget and, as a result, have an understanding and sensitivity to the challenges of management and the needs of our customers.Have you been involved in any government positions or community leadership positions before? Yes, I have served on the Glenwood Springs City Council for 4 years and been mayor for the past two years. I have also served on many boards and commissions at both the local and state level.

What are your thoughts on a Highway 82 bypass? We need to complete the COS and review its findings to assess the feasibility and cost of the identified alternatives. In the meantime, we should work with CDOT to develop means to improve traffic flow, control speed and noise, and minimize the impact of the current route. We also need to continue to actively support public transit and build upon the success of Ride Glenwood. Would you support condemning private land to use for public trails? Only as a last resort. We have found that it has been possible to successfully negotiate agreements with land owners, particularly in conjunction with development and changes in land use. Does the municipal airport serve a valuable purpose or should the space be considered for other uses? Technological advancements create a possibility that the airport can provide an important contribution to economic diversity in the future. On the other hand, land within Glenwood Springs is both limited and extremely valuable, a final decision must be based upon an assessment of the potential within both areas. What do you think of the latest version of Glenwood Springs High School? Although I and many others would have preferred some modification to the design and land use decisions, the High School is an important part of our community and the new building is definitely a needed upgrade to the prior facility.How would you like to see the remaining land at Glenwood Meadows developed? I feel strongly that the residential and mixed use parcels need to be developed as initially planned. Although I supported increased retail on lot 10, we will need to work toward a compromise that is acceptable to the community. I am hopeful that a creative alternative will be provided, possibly in conjunction with the other mixed use development that is currently planned for Wulfsohn Road. What’s the most important thing to keep in mind with redevelopment plans for the confluence area? The confluence provides one of our greatest opportunities for positively shaping our community’s future. We need to assure that the area is developed in a manner that maximizes a variety of uses – residential, commercial, retail, office, etc. as well as promoting public access to the river corridor. What can the city do to develop workforce housing and how can it be accomplished in light of the fact that other types of development will often net more money? We need to work in partnership with both residential and commercial developers to find resources that will allow more of the people who work within Glenwood Springs to live in Glenwood Springs. This will need to involve a number of components including subsidized rentals, some deed-restricted housing, and down payment assistance programs.

What’s the best thing about Glenwood Springs? Its people and sense of community.The worst? The fact that the cost of housing is making it difficult for people of diverse socio-economic position to reside here. Traffic congestion and noise pose an additional threat. Who is the greatest historical figure and why? I do not think that it is possible to select a “greatest” person. I do feel that those involved in the arts, sciences, and government that have worked to promote the preservation of our environment, health, human rights, and, most importantly, peace between people and countries have contributed the most to the history of mankind.Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611 pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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