Glenwood Springs Ward 1 City Council seat decided today |

Glenwood Springs Ward 1 City Council seat decided today

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The race for the Ward 1 City Council seat between incumbent councilman Russ Arensman and challenger Ted Edmonds will be decided today.

As of early Monday afternoon, 276 of the 737 mail ballots that were sent to active Ward 1 voters had been cast, Glenwood Springs City Clerk Robin Unsworth said.

Eligible voters who reside in Ward 1 can still turn in their completed ballots until 7 p.m. today at City Hall, 101 W. Eighth St. Election judges will be collecting ballots in the Council Chambers on the first floor.

Voting is by mail ballot only, and there are no election day polling places. It is now too late to mail a ballot in for counting in the election.

Unsworth said judges are allowed to begin counting ballots early, and she predicted results should be known soon after the voting closes.

Arensman, 53, is seeking election to a second four-year term. He was first elected in 2007, and touts his experience in city government, including an appointed term on the city planning and zoning commission from 1997 to 2001.

Edmonds, 59, is a political newcomer with no prior involvement in city government. But he cites his business experience in the ski travel industry before his retirement as the primary quality he would bring to the council seat.

Among the issues Edmonds has brought up in his campaign is the city’s policy of spending from reserve funds during the recent economic downturn on a variety of capital improvement projects.

Arensman has defended spending for such things as the new wastewater treatment plant, road improvements and trails as fiscally responsible, since they have created jobs and were done at a time when construction costs were lower.

As of the April 1 campaign finance filings, Edmonds continued to outspend Arensman in the campaign.

Between March 13 and March 29, Edmonds had spent another $879 on his campaign to unseat the incumbent, while Arensman had spent $261, according to reports filed with the City Clerk’s Office.

The winner of the Ward 1 race will be sworn into office at the April 14 City Council meeting. Two new members who were not contested in this election, Mike Gamba and Todd Leahy, will also be sworn in that evening, as will incumbent councilman Dave Sturges. He also was not contested for re-election.

Leaving City Council after eight years will be Bruce Christensen, who has served as the city’s appointed mayor for the past six years, and four-year council member Shelley Kaup.

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