Glenwood Springs council member column: Airport discussion deserves more clarity |

Glenwood Springs council member column: Airport discussion deserves more clarity

Tony Hershey
Glenwood Springs City Council member
Glenwood Springs City Council member Tony Hershey.

It would be hard to find a more self-serving editorial than the one written by the mayor of Glenwood Springs supporting the airport tax question 2A that ran in the Oct. 25 Post Independent.

He doesn’t tell you the council’s vote for this tax was split — Mr. Willman, Ms. Wussow and I voted no. The mayor’s math is also wrong. The $57 million South Bridge Project is $37 million underfunded. The most that passing 2A or 2B would save, or that closing the airport would save, is $5 million and close that gap to $32 million. It’s immaterial if the project is underfunded by $32 million or $37 million.

I fully support South Bridge, but wouldn’t it be best to seek $37 million in funding, approach Garfield County (their residents have the most to gain during evacuations), wait for a potential federal $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill for roads, bridges and airports, and then decide if we need to close the airport to save $5 million? The mayor says no.

The fact is, as everyone knows, that this measure is going to fail spectacularly. As I said at the time it is a “poison pill.” Who would vote yes to increase their taxes to support an admittedly, in part, niche activity/amenity?

This council should address the true issues people care about: infrastructure, traffic, higher taxes and real problems like the lack of child care here and real workforce housing.

I do not yet have a solution for the people of Glenwood Springs. I do believe the mayor should be elected by every voter, not the council, so we don’t end up with a mayor who ran unopposed during a pandemic and represents a small percentage of the entire community. What we don’t need or want is a council that is not responsive to citizen’s real needs, governs irresponsibly, disregards the will of the people, and then pretends to listen by placing the nonsense that is 2A on our ballot.

Tony Hershey is a member of Glenwood Springs City Council. He was elected in 2019.

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