Glenwood Council selects Jonathan Godes as city’s 53rd mayor
A newly seated Glenwood Springs City Council elected Councilman Jonathan Godes Thursday night to serve as the city’s 53rd mayor.
Outgoing mayor Michael Gamba could not seek re-election because of term limits, after eight years as the city’s Ward 4 council representative.
In accordance with the city’s charter, the people do not elect the mayor of Glenwood Springs, but rather sitting councilors every two years.
After being sworn in, three newly elected council members — at large Councilman Tony Hershey, Ward 3 Councilman Charlie Willman and Ward 4 Councilwoman Paula Stepp — jumped right into the nominating process.
Hershey nominated Ward 2 Councilman Rick Voorhees, Stepp proposed at-large Councilwoman Shelley Kaup, and Willman gave a nod to Godes.
All three accepted their nomination, and the first of three votes was called.
“In this first round we have three votes for Jonathan, two for Shelley and two for Rick,” City Attorney Karl Hanlon read aloud.
With Godes then in the runoff, Council did another round of voting between Kaup and Voorhees to see which of those two would face Godes. Kaup won 4-2.
“I remember a student council election that went this way. I lost,” Hershey quipped.
Some have questioned why the city’s seven-member council elects the mayor as opposed to the Glenwood’s roughly 5,200 registered voters.
“That leaves us with the top two candidates being Shelley and Jonathan. So your next ballot should produce a mayor,” Hanlon stated before the final vote.
As City Clerk Catherine Fletcher collected each councilor’s final vote, all eyes were on Hanlon and City Manager Debra Figueroa as the two counted the white, paper ballots.
“There ought to be jeopardy music playing,” Councilman Steve Davis joked during the final counting process.
Then, at 7:16 p.m., Hanlon announced following a 4-3 vote that Godes was elected the 53rd mayor of Glenwood Springs, and that Shelley Kaup would serve as the city’s mayor pro tem.
Todd Leahy, the city’s previous mayor pro tem also could not seek re-election because of term limits. Ahead of Godes’ being named mayor and Kaup mayor pro tem, their predecessors had a few, final remarks.
“Just make the right decisions for Glenwood. Leave all of your national stuff at home. Leave all of this stuff you see on the TV at home. It doesn’t belong here,” Leahy said.
Added Gamba, “In closing, I would just like to say I am honored and humbled to be the mayor of our city for the last four years, and I wish the staff and the incoming council the best … thank you.”
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Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct information about voting.