Two vie to replace Emery on Glenwood City Council | PostIndependent.com
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Two vie to replace Emery on Glenwood City Council

Two people who have decided to seek the Ward 2 City Council seat of Glenwood Springs Mayor Larry Emery both plan to make solving the citys transportation problems a top priority.Kris Chadwick and Robert Wolfarth have both taken out petitions to run for the seat. They have until Aug. 22 to return them to City Hall.Emery recently decided not to run again for council, citing the need to spend more time with his family.Councilmember Dave Merritt has also taken out petitions to run for re-election to his Ward 5 seat, while city Planning and Zoning Commission member Dave Johnson also is circulating petitions to seek to replace Dan Richardson, an at-large council member who isnt running again. As of yet, no one has stepped forward to run against Merritt or Johnson.Chadwick, 54, and Wolfarth, 80, said they met with each other Monday morning.We agree on all the issues; its amazing, Chadwick said.In interviews, both cited the citys traffic problems as a chief concern. But the issue may be even more important to Wolfarth than to Chadwick.If it wasnt for the transportation deal, I wouldnt really run, Wolfarth said.He would like to see a Highway 82 bypass built, and hopes it even could happen over the next four years of the council term he is seeking to serve. He believes it deserves a higher priority than the south bridge project, which would extend Midland Avenue over the Roaring Fork River and to 82 south of town, and which Congress recently agreed to help fund.Wolfarth said he hasnt gotten into looking at specific places to build a bypass, but the railroad corridor along the river is one of the better ones. Hes also heard of ideas such as building a tunnel.The cost would be exorbitant; you couldnt have that, Wolfarth said.Chadwick said shes a strong supporter of the south bridge project. With a degree in civil engineering, she said she would look at the bypass issue as an engineer would, by stating the problem and then looking at all the alternatives that can solve it.She thinks the rail/river corridor might offer a useful transportation solution, either for a two-lane, controlled-access throughway, or as a city boulevard as traffic consultants Dan Burden and Troy Russ recently suggested to city officials.Either way, she said she thinks some development along the river could enhance it rather than detract from it, and said examples of that can be found around the world.It opens it up to people. It becomes more user-friendly instead of less user-friendly, she said.Chadwick finds a local example of this in Glenwood Canyon, where Interstate 70 was built with a recreational trail beside it. While living in Denver, Chadwick worked with DMJM as an engineering consultant on that project.Chadwick grew up in Seattle but attended Colorado College, earning a degree in economics before going on to study engineering at the University of Washington. At Colorado College, she also met her husband, Glenn, now an attorney in Glenwood Springs.Twenty years ago, the two moved to the Glenwood Springs area so they could raise their two young daughters in a small mountain town while enjoying skiing, hiking and other activities.Chadwick taught math part time at Colorado Mountain College while raising her daughters and being involved in their activities. She is vice president of the board of trustees of Colorado Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale, where her daughters went to high school.She and her husband also own commercial property in downtown Glenwood. Chadwick serves on the citys Downtown Beautification Ad-Hoc Committee and Finance Committee, and formerly served on the city Planning and Zoning Commission.Chadwick said she had considered running for council in the past but decided to wait until her daughters were out of school.Im really interested in the issues. I think Im ready to dedicate some time and really work on the issues, she said.Wolfarth moved to Glenwood Springs from the Chicago area in 1992. But his connections date back much further to 1941, when he skied as a youngster on the old ski hill on Red Mountain.It was the first time I ever skied, and I liked it, Wolfarth said.Wolfarth also got to ski in Colorado with his father while his father served in the 10th Mountain Division. And in later years, Wolfarth would ski at Sunlight Mountain Resort, Snowmass and other area resorts while driving through Colorado to visit his sons house in California.Wolfarth was a professional pilot for 30 years and owned a construction company. He moved to Glenwood Springs following his retirement.He said he also has served on Glenwoods Planning and Zoning Commission, and on a P&Z board in St. Charles, Ill. While in Glen Ellyn, Ill., a Chicago suburb, he headed a large homeowners association.We got a lot of things done, he said.Wolfarth said he also volunteered in a juvenile drug abuse prevention program in Illinois.Despite his age, Wolfarth said he isnt worried about bringing the energy needed to City Council. He says he works to stay both physically and mentally sharp. He still not only skis but teaches skiing at Sunlight.Despite sharing similar views with Chadwick, Wolfarth believes he differs from her in how he approaches issues.I most probably push them a little harder than she does. I will get things done faster; she has too many issues, he said.He said his style is to focus on just a few things at a time until he gets them done.Chadwick believes her background influences her own approach to the issues.As an engineer, I like to draw things, she said, before penning a circle on a piece of paper.Within it, she wrote the phrases economic prosperity and quality of life.She sees those as the two key goals for Glenwood Springs. She then drew arrows pointing to her circle, and by each one listed factors that she believes will help determine the degree to which the city prospers and remains a quality place to live. Besides transportation, they include considerations such as historic preservation, the opening of the Glenwood Meadows commercial project, downtown parking, creating a bike/trail network, and making downtown pedestrian-friendly.All these factors come together, she said.She added, I think that Glenwood has so much to offer right now. I love living here; I really feel part of the community.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. 516dwebb@postindependent.com


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