Meet the new city council members
Editors note: The Glenwood Springs Post Independent begins a three-part question-and-answer series with the three new Glenwood City Council members. Stephen Bershenyi, Leo McKinney and Matthew Steckler were sworn into office Thursday. Because there were no challengers for the three open seats, this springs council election was canceled. Look for Q&As with councilors McKinney and Steckler in Sundays and Mondays Post Independent.Name: Stephen BershenyiAge: 61Occupation: Blacksmith/artistOriginally from: Glenwood SpringsHow long have you lived in Glenwood Springs: I was raised in Glenwood but was away for about 30 years. I returned in 95.Why is being on city council important to you?I think two things: Its a chance for me to hopefully make a meaningful contribution to this wonderful city we all call home, the city which nurtured me, and it still offers that to people who want to raise a family here. I want to be able to ensure that is the case. The other thing is that I always thought through my working career that I would try to do some type of civil service that I love. And this is my opportunity to do that.In your opinion what is the roll of a city councilor?As a city councilman, we are charged with making the important decisions that the city faces. Those are budgetary decisions and also setting the direction, vision, and the tone that the city will move in and what the city will accomplish.Its a very involved and very exciting position because you are really facing some very important issues with the downturn of the economy and its impact on Glenwood Springs.What will you add or what will you bring to council?I think Ill add a couple of things; I add a longer historical view. Since I was raised here, even though I was away for nearly 30 years, I was always in contact. Ive watched the city grow and change, and I offer that kind of longer historical view. And I think I offer, hopefully, an intellect and willingness to do the job, and that is one of the most important things.That is not something that is unique to me. Its fortunate that we have such a dedicated group of city councilors. I hope to be as equally dedicated.From a city council standpoint, what are the most important issues facing the city currently?Of course the current economic situation and the effect it will have on the budget for the city and the ability to move forward with current plans.The other part is the fact that we are at a sort of crossroads in terms of setting some new direction for the city. By that I mean, we have started work on the wastewater treatment facility; when its complete it will free up the triangle of land where the current facility is. How to redevelop that area and how to make it a vital part of the city, and looking at issues of that nature are the main things.The big thing is carrying forward some of the projects weve started and doing it properly, while at the same time trying to solve any of the problems this economy presents. Those kinds of things are the things we can contribute.
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