Uncontested Glenwood Springs City Council candidates respond to PI questions ahead of Monday night’s candidates’ forum | PostIndependent.com

Uncontested Glenwood Springs City Council candidates respond to PI questions ahead of Monday night’s candidates’ forum

Two candidates running in the April 4 Glenwood Springs City Council election are uncontested in their neighborhood wards.

Mitchell Weimer is running for his first term in Ward 4 to replace current Councilor Paula Stepp, who is stepping down after one term. 

And, current Councilor Marco Dehm, who was appointed in February 2022 to the Ward 1 seat that was vacated by Steve Davis, is running for his first term in Ward 1.

The Post Independent last week featured Q&As with the candidates in the two contested races, incumbent Charlie Willman and challenger Sumner Schachter in Ward 3, and incumbent Tony Hershey and challenger Erin Zalinki for one of the two at-large seats.

Ballots have already been sent out for Election Day, which is April 4. The Second FCPA Report of Candidate Contributions and Expenditures is due to the City Clerk’s Office on March 31. 


Mitchell Weimer, Ward 4
John Stroud/Post Independent

Mitchell Weimer (Ward 4)

I grew up in Wiggins, Colorado, and attended CU Boulder with an ROTC scholarship. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geology and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Army, Field Artillery. I was stationed in South Korea and Washington State before separating as a Captain and pursuing my MBA from the University of California, Davis. I have spent most of the last 20 years as a management consultant, essentially helping large companies make big decisions. I met my partner, Cole Buerger, in Washington, D.C. in 2008 and we lived there and in Jersey City, N.J. before returning home to Colorado in 2021. We live in a wonderful neighborhood with great neighbors and friends and we’ve become incredibly comfortable in the valley. I joined the Planning and Zoning Commission in 2022 and also volunteer with Extended Table here in town. Glenwood Springs is an exceptional place to live and work and play, and I think our collective future here is really bright.

I’m running for Council, representing Ward 4, as Paula Stepp has decided to not run again. She’s been a very strong leader and advocate for our ward, and I appreciate what she’s done for us as Councilor. I will work hard to continue that leadership and advocacy; I believe strongly in public service and in helping to shape the future of our community. I am eager to bring my background and experience to this opportunity and am excited for what’s ahead.

Marco Dehm, Ward 1
John Stroud/Post Independent

Marco Dehm (Ward 1)

I moved to the Roaring Fork Valley from my home country of Switzerland in 1991, settling in Glenwood Springs in 1993. My wife and I are busy running our own companies and raising three daughters. I have been actively involved in the community since 2003 as a Planning and Zoning Commissioner with multiple terms as chairman. My focus laid heavily on finding solutions for the greater good of Glenwood Springs.

I earned a degree in woodworking and design in Switzerland and am also a seasoned traveler with many explored locations under my belt. Like many Swiss natives, I am fluent in German and French. In my spare time, when I’m not found working on my train layout, I am most likely watching a funny movie or cooking up a delicious meal.

What do you think about the plans Roaring Fork Transportation Authority has for mass rapid transit, and traffic issues in Glenwood Springs?

Weimer: RFTA is a great asset to the valley and has shown to be a committed partner with Glenwood Springs. Their updated and expanded maintenance facility here in town will bring needed improvements to the system and economic and employment benefits to GWS. The Grand Avenue traffic issue is a top priority for me. I think the South Bridge project will help a bit, but I’d also like to explore additional traffic calming measures and ways to improve neighborhood access to bus routes.

Dehm: I am a huge proponent of mass transit but the current options for the routes through town, from a future west Glenwood transit center to the 27th Street transit center, concern me. I think we need to look a little harder and explore other possibilities that present less impact on neighborhoods or our downtown. Traffic volume needs to be looked at on a regional basis, therefore the traffic movement study was very helpful to understand traffic patterns. It seems to me, creating workforce housing within city limits could be advantageous to reduce congestion on our streets.

What is your perspective on workforce or affordable housing? Do you have any initial plans or ideas that could benefit the need?

Dehm: The voter approved 2.5% accommodation tax is a huge step forward to finally being able to create a needed workforce/affordable housing program. We are currently in the process of creating a new housing board/commission that will be charged with identifying parcels and for workforce housing projects. To further assist the process I would like to see a housing manager to oversee progress and vet potential development partners. As we know time is of the essence, so the sooner we can get this implemented the better.

Weimer: Affordable housing, in general, is the top issue in Glenwood Springs but also up and down the valley. It’s a complex, regional problem that requires a coordinated, regional solution. People want to live here and we need to think of that as a good thing so that we don’t shy away from it as a problem but instead proactively manage it as an opportunity — while preserving the things that make this place special in the first place. Tactically, I will say I think Accessory Dwelling Units are underleveraged. More strategically, we must ensure that any housing solution is holistic to address impacts on infrastructure, walkability, multi-modal transportation and fire safety.

Do you like how the Glenwood Springs Airport is run? Do you have improvements to suggest?

Weimer: Paula Stepp was the Council Liaison with the Airport Commission, and I’d be interested in filling her seat because the airport is an important topic. I will freely admit that I don’t yet know enough to have a grounded opinion on how it’s being run or around its future, but I do know that it has become a contentious subject — which means its value proposition isn’t clear or widely understood. As first steps in getting involved, I want to understand how it’s being used, the financials, and what’s needed for it to become less of a debatable asset for the city.

Dehm: The Glenwood airport is, as we call it, an enterprise fund, meaning it should run like a small business, with revenue and expenses. As far as I know they are currently breaking even. Increasing landing and takeoff fees as well as tie down fees and hangar rents could help to actually move them into the black. As far as improvements are concerned, I’m not sure a huge investment makes sense due to the limit the runway presents. Maybe more hangar spaces and/or some light industrial businesses spaces, but again this would be something the enterprise fund would have to be able to build and repay.

How do you feel about parking downtown? Do you have any suggestions or solutions for parking?

Dehm: One way to help out the parking situation downtown is to create a paid parking plan that would ultimately pay for additional parking structures. The north side of town and possibly in the confluence area come to mind as possible locations. As we know, parking structures are very costly and would have to be paid for with parking fees. Structures would allow us to rent monthly spaces as well as hourly. I was just made aware that the parking structure on Ninth was closed overnight. We should make most spaces available for daytime usage for patrons and visitors and rent out monthly overnight spaces for residences. I also think shared parking should be mandatory and I am very opposed to additional surface parking lots. 

Weimer: Parking is one of the holistic elements I was referring to when talking about growth and housing. First, we must enforce the system that’s in place. There is a parking enforcement program in development and I’ll be interested in its specifics to ensure it benefits residents. Enforcement is of course only one element. The current residential parking permits approach is another element, and I would want to ensure that the process is effective for everyone and that the program evolves as it needs to.

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