Kaup, Rodriguez share what change they want to see in Glenwood Springs during candidate forum
Glenwood Springs City Council candidates both want to see change in their city, with incumbent Shelley Kaup wanting to see more affordable housing while her challenger, Ricky Rodriguez, wants to see more community events.
That was one of the topics discussed by candidates during Monday evening’s virtual candidate forum.
Kaup’s seat is the one contested in the April 6 city election. Ward 5 representative Jonathan Godes and Ward 2 representative Ingrid Wussow are up for reelection but face no challengers on the ballot.
“I think the cost of housing is off the charts,” Kaup said when asked what change she wants to see happen.
Kaup noted how prices have only increased while supply has gotten tighter in the city’s housing market.
Kaup said she wants to find ways to encourage affordable housing to at least ensure the city’s workforce has a place to live in Glenwood Springs.
“I know not everybody can live here but I would love to see that change,” Kaup said.
Rodriguez said he would work to bring more community events to Glenwood Springs.
“I want to do more things in the community so people can get out there more, “ Rodriguez said.
“I would like to utilize our mountain bike trails and utilize the airport a little bit more,” he said adding that Glenwood Springs is more of an adventure community and he wants to emphasize that.
“One of the best ways of bringing people together is an event. Whether we can sell their food, vendors, we could bring music,” Rodriguez said.
When the candidates were asked how they would approach lifting the mask mandate, Rodriquez said his message would promote healthy life choices overall.
“I wanted to put a different message out there. For individuals to start taking into account that they have a lot to do with what’s going on. I want people to be healthier —to feed your body better, move your body more and just more healthy in general,” Rodriguez said.
Kaup would have a different approach that would rely on statistical evidence.
“As more and more people get vaccinated throughout the community and certain percentage of people in the county that have experienced disease, I think if we reach a metric that shows that herd immunity number, that’s something we certainly could consider,” Kaup said.
When it comes to wildfire prevention and control, Kaup said that’s a tough and challenging topic.
“The state’s been in an extended, extreme drought. Our fire department does do work with residents along the edges of town to do fire mitigation and cut the undergrowth back. Long term for me we need to address climate change, because it is a driver of this drought,” Kaup said.
Kaup added addressing wildfire concerns includes ensuring the city’s water system is strong and that the boundary of the city is distinct so the infrastructure is in place to fight a wildfire.
Rodriguez said he would focus on a public campaign that informs travelers of the fine they’ll face for throwing out cigarettes while driving through the area.
“It seems like people are always flicking out cigarettes. I’d make it a priority, so people know if they get caught throwing a cigarette out they know there’ll be a big fine for that,” Rodriguez said.
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Following background checks for 2021 Glenwood Springs council candidates, just one found with misdemeanor conviction
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct information about voting.