Three vie for Glenwood Springs City Council Ward 2 seat
Glenwood Springs City Council Ward 2 applications are due Friday, and three people have applied for the position so far.
City Council will interview applicants the following week, planning to make a decision late that week or early in the last week of October. The appointee’s first City Council meeting would be Nov. 5, Mayor Jonathan Godes said.
Four applications had been received as of midday Monday, but one was withdrawn. Glenwood Springs High School teacher Miguel Hernandez said on Monday that he is not comfortable being involved in politics right now.
“I’m concerned about the national political climate and worried about my family’s safety. With what happened with the governor of Michigan, it made me think twice,” he said.
The remaining three applications are notable given Ward 2 hasn’t seen a contested race since the ’80s, city clerk Catherine Fletcher said.
“It would be nice to have some interest and maybe even get a real election in a couple of months,” Godes said of the April election.
Glenwood last appointed a councilor a couple of years ago.
“We had an opening in 2018 to fill until April 2019,” Fletcher said.
Godes said that there are ways to serve the city other than City Council, like boards and commissions.
“I hope that whoever’s not selected will take it as a challenge to get involved,” he said.
But it would be even better to be selected.
“If they’re selected they’re going to have a real fun six months,” Godes said.
The applicants — who responded to a set of questions by email — are Hanging Lake Inn owner Monica Wolny, 39; realtor and former bakery owner Ingrid Wussow, 43; and retired contractor Ray Schmahl, 68.
Wussow refers to herself as a fifth-generation local; Schmahl has lived in Glenwood since 1984; and Wolny has lived here for 10 years.
Schmahl has Garfield County Planning and Zoning experience.
“My only government experience from the inside was sitting on the County P&Z in the late 1990 early 2000 timeframe,” he said.
Wussow is currently on Glenwood’s P&Z commission.
“I’ve been a Planning and Zoning Commissioner with the city of Glenwood for the last four and a half years,” she said.
Aside from volunteering for political campaigns, this appointment would be Wolny’s first government experience.
“My government experience, if you want to call it that, is more ‘indirect’ than ‘direct.’ My husband and my mother have both worked for the government prior to my family moving to Glenwood Springs. I have spent more hours than I would like to admit helping with numerous campaigns at the local, state and national level back in Illinois, where I was born and raised,” she said.
Small business support is a large part of Wussow’s interest in City Council.
“I care about my community because it’s truly my home. I believe in steering growth and creating opportunities that support the general public as a whole,” she said. “Small businesses in Glenwood are way more than a number to me: They are owned by friends, people I went to high school with and community members who have invested everything to keep their businesses strong. I want to support them and make sure the city as a whole is strong as well.”
Wolny would like to help improve the relationship between City Council and residents.
“My desire to serve the citizens of Glenwood Springs as a potential City Council member comes from my affection, appreciation and deep connection I feel to the residents and many people that I now call friends that I have gotten to know over the years,” she said. “There also seems to be a massive disconnect from the current council members versus our ‘small town main street’ here in Glenwood Springs. There have been too many times our local citizens’ questions/concerns have fallen on the deaf ears of our local politicians, while in turn these same local leaders have belittled, threatened and bullied our local residents and small business owners, a great example being the City Council executive session made public back from May 2020,” she said.
Schmahl said his skills could be beneficial to council.
“I hope that my management experience might add value to the City Council in service to the city,” he said.
Wolny expressed the most interest in running for the Ward 2 seat in April.
“If I am not selected by the current council members, which I probably won’t be, I will definitely consider running, whether being the incumbent or not, in April 2021,” she said.
Schmahl might run for the seat as an incumbent.
“I’m not interested in running for the seat at this time, but if it appears that I’m contributing effectively I may attempt to continue by election,” he said.
Wussow has an interest in serving the city, but that might not mean running for the council seat.
“I intend to continue my service in the community in the future. With an ever-changing landscape and uncertainty like we have never seen, I would hate to commit specifically to getting on the ballot. I have an innate desire to serve my community in a governmental capacity, and it will be exciting to see what that looks like in the future,” she said.
The deadline to apply for the position is Friday. Interested applicants can find the application at http://www.cogs.us/Council. Contact the City Clerk’s Office at 970-384-6406 to obtain a copy of the application.
Applications can be mailed to the attention of Catherine Fletcher, Office of the City Clerk, 101 W. Eighth St., Glenwood Springs, CO 81601; or emailed to Catherine.email@example.com.
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The three incumbents are declared, and challengers have until Jan. 25 to gather nominating signatures to run for Glenwood Springs City Council April 6.