Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Glenwood Springs (GWS) is now embarked on an examination and potential revision of its comprehensive plan. As is usual, consensus is hard to come by. One major theme that does engender some level of consensus is a desire for GWS to retain its “small-town feeling.” While I agree that today GWS has this feeling I suggest that it is on the cusp of losing it.
At the root of any meaningful definition of small-town feeling is simply the issue of size. By size I mean population. From an examination of population flows all else: transportation, building size, open space, retail structure and governmental entities.
Consequently I suggest that the first and most fundamental discussion to have is one which establishes, for citizens and their political leadership, the optimal size of the city. Beyond today, how big does Glenwood wish to become? Does anyone doubt that if GWS were to double in size today’s small-town feeling would be a thing of the past?
Exploring limits to growth is an arduous process. Witness the agonies that Basalt and Carbondale have endured. They must be complimented, though, for the seriousness with which they approached the subject and for the clear-eyed decisions they have made, decisions that will shape their destiny for decades. GWS would do well to emulate their earnest and thorough process.
In days past a no-growth position was almost tantamount to being “un-American.” People, especially politicians and the development community, equated growth with prosperity. And, while there is some truth to this, it does not follow that no growth means no prosperity. Many European towns, particularly those rich in history and natural beauty, have long decided that growth is incompatible with their priorities to preserve their natural heritage and have managed themselves so they prosper in no-growth environments.
Remaining small has consequences, so let’s be honest and frank about the pros and cons. Larger towns, when well planned, can also be very pleasant places to live. The greatest mistake would be to plan for one outcome and then transform into something unforeseen.
Charter amendments will be part of the next city election, on Sept. 8, 2009.
Why am I doing potions for this election? The Rifle City Charter was adopted on Tuesday, July 16, 1963.
Rifle became the city of Rifle and is now governed by home rule.
In Article 11, Elections, Section 2.5 Elective Officers, it states the following:
“After January 1, 1973, the Council shall have authority to provide for election of the Council by Districts, provided that the ordinance is enacted more than one year prior to any election date. Said districts shall be contiguous, compact, and have approximately the same number of registered voters as determined by the number registered to vote at the preceding general municipal election.”
Two years ago, I asked this present council to do this, by an ordinance, as this is stated in the charter.
Five members of this council decided not to do this, as I stated that the mayor should be appointed by council as it is now.
Why? Because if you have two good people for mayor, you would lose one. They used this for not letting you have the chance to vote on this. I believe we the citizens should have a chance to vote on this.
I believe the last election showed you that one incumbent won by only 7 votes over a person from another part of Rifle.
John B. Scalzo
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