Former councilor, past candidates file for Trauger’s Glenwood Springs seat
The slate of applicants to fill the at-large Glenwood Springs City Council seat vacated by Kathryn Trauger earlier this month includes some familiar faces from past city elections and volunteer roles.
Council members will interview the six candidates during the morning and afternoon work session portions of today’s regular meeting, with an expected appointment by March 3. The appointment will run for the remaining 13 months of Trauger’s term until the April 2019 election.
Filing by the Monday deadline this week to fill the seat were former city council member and city board volunteer Ted Edmonds, past council candidates Jonathan Gorst, Amber Wissing, Sarah Gordon and Tony Hershey, and current city board volunteer Jim Ingraham.
Trauger was elected in 2015 to one of two at-large seats on the council, winning a three-way race over Hershey and the late Kathy Williams.
She announced at the Feb. 1 City Council meeting that she was resigning immediately due to work conflicts, after taking a job with Pitkin County government administration. Trauger was appointed mayor pro tem last April and previously served as chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission for four years.
Edmonds served as the Ward 1 representative on City Council from 2011-2015 and is a current member of the city’s Financial Advisory Board. He has also volunteered in numerous other capacities as a former YouthZone board member, Pals mentor and Literacy Outreach tutor, among others.
“I have a particular interest in the financial affairs of the city and having served on the council and [FAB], I believe that I can bring some [perspective] and experience to the position of city councilor,” Edmonds wrote in his application letter.
Gorst ran for the at-large seat now held by City Councilor Shelley Kaup in the April 2017 election, while Wissing and Gordon were also candidates in that same election for the Ward 5 seat to which Jonathan Godes was ultimately elected.
Gordon, who is a Glenwood Springs native and environmental consultant by trade, suspended her campaign before the election due to family obligations at that time with a new baby and toddler. She has, however, continued to serve on the city’s River Commission.
“Now, a year later, my family life is significantly more mature and can support my commitment to serving our community in this capacity,” Gordon said in her application letter.
“The entire town and adjacent region defined my childhood and youth,” she said. “There are very few places in town that do not fit into a sentimental piece of my past, and I intend to honor and celebrate Glenwood as a whole if I am selected to fill this important role.”
Wissing indicated in her applicant letter that her passion for serving has not waned since her run at the ward seat last year, as evidenced by her appointment to the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
“I have remained very active in community leadership serving in my Planning and Zoning appointment, as well as creating a popular community event in South Glenwood called SoGlow during the [Grand Avenue] bridge closure,” Wissing wrote.
“I am confident that my dedication to a rich, vibrant community partnered with my skills as a business leader will make me an asset to this team,” she concluded.
Gorst is the owner of the Riviera Supper Club and Piano Bar and was recently appointed to the city’s new Arts and Culture Advisory Board.
“I appreciate all of the support you have given me in my initiatives, and I feel that we already have seen that we work together well to do good things for our city,” Gorst wrote in his application letter. “I want to be an advocate for our entire community and would guarantee that my focus will not just center on our downtown core, but look at the entire picture as we take on the future.”
Hershey is a current deputy district attorney in the 9th District Attorney’s Office, under DA Jeff Cheney. He previously served on the Aspen City Council in the early 2000s before moving to Glenwood Springs.
He made an unsuccessful run for the Glenwood Council seat in the election ultimately won by Trauger.
“I am applying to fill the seat because I know I can contribute to this great community,” Hershey wrote in his application. “I want to work to make Glenwood Springs successful … as a tourist destination, as an environment friendly to local businesses, and as a great place to live and work.
“I am particularly interested in ensuring we meet our transportation needs and goals that need to be met as we sit at the confluence of two major highways serving several ski areas and tourist amenities,” he said.
Ingraham, like Edmonds, also currently sits as an appointed member of the city’s Financial Advisory Board and is a financial executive by trade.
“I believe that the experience and qualifications I developed over my career would be an asset to the council,” Ingraham wrote. “… More important, my energy, creativity and ability to develop relationships and work with others should benefit the City Council and the citizens of Glenwood Springs.”
Council is set to interview Edmonds, Gorst and Gordon during the morning session from 10:30-11:40 a.m.; and then Wissing, Ingraham and Hershey in the afternoon from 4:30-5:40 p.m.
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Basalt town government and its consultants have been working on an update to the 2007 land use master plan since April. The process has entered a critical stage. Residents can help determine density on key land parcels and other important issues at a meeting tonight.