Old-timers day at old City Hall | PostIndependent.com

Old-timers day at old City Hall

They lined up like the pages in a local history tome. On Thursday night, an assemblage of ex-Glenwood Springs mayors took a sentimental journey through the old City Hall’s past.

The collection of city leaders who served at the old City Hall gathered to say goodbye to the soon-to-be-demolished civic headquarters.

Each of the mayors had a story to tell, some lingering memory of the progress made or controversies confronted during their administration.

“It’s amazing when you think how many hundreds of decisions were made here,” current Mayor Don Vanderhoof remarked as he introduced his predecessors.

“It’s held up pretty good. Sometimes it was a little trashy, but it’s held up pretty well,” he said to a laughing audience.

Lyle Beattie, the first mayor to serve at the 806 Cooper Ave. City Hall, shared his memories of moving out of the old Glenwood Light and Power building and into the new edifice.

“Life was simple then. The electric department was an absolute cash cow,” Beattie said.

Not much has changed in that regard. The department funded the City Hall then and the new broadband system now.

Ashton Durrett, who became mayor in the fall of 1972, said it seemed like a whole lifetime away, to which someone in the crowd yelled, “It was!”

The big push in those days was land acquisition, he said.

“We did go through a number of city managers at that time,” he said.

Other stories, such as those of tremendous and dangerous high water, super-late meetings and rowdy citizens, were shared with the capacity crowd at Thursday’s meeting.

“I, unfortunately, did not have as great an experience as mayor,” Bob Zanella admitted. He was the mayor during the 1994 Storm King Mountain fire, when 14 firefighters were killed.

“On the fun side, we left the city in good financial shape. Also, we did the pedestrian mall on Grand Avenue,” Zanella added.

Zanella served on City Council for 16 years, two as mayor.

Marc Adler, another longtime council member in addition to his two years as mayor, reflected on his experiences.

“We really had it pretty easy because the people before us left such a darn good town to work with,” he said. “I look back and it was just a very good time.”

Then the most recent ex-mayor, turned Zamboni driver, Sam Skramstad commented on his own tenure, as well as his predecessors, Adler and Zanella.

“I think you could call us the good, the bad and the ugly. I’ll let you determine who’s who,” he quipped.

The new City Hall, located at 101 W. Eighth St., opens Monday.

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