Glenwood Springs election and issues letters
Outside money raises local election stakes
If you’re wondering why so few ordinary citizens choose to run for public office, you may as well start with the often-heavy workload for relatively little pay.
You can also add to that the rapidly escalating cost of getting elected.
When I ran for City Council in 2011 I spent $639, mostly for yard signs and copying flyers. I accepted no campaign contributions, which didn’t seem appropriate to me in a small-town election in which just 336 people in my ward even voted. My fellow Ward 1 candidate, who ultimately won by four votes, spent eight times as much as I did, while raising more than $5,000 — all but about $1,000 of it his own funds.
This year, when I decided to run for the Ward 1 Council seat again, I knew it would cost more to succeed. So I decided to ask for contributions. I raised nearly $800 from friends and neighbors, and kicked in about $1,000 myself for printing, mailing and advertising.
I was shocked this past weekend, however, to learn that a Denver oil and gas executive has donated $4,000 to my fellow Ward 1 candidate. That’s almost four times more dollars than there are voters in the ward. It’s also 20 times the size of the biggest contribution ($200) I’ve received.
When out-of-town high rollers start throwing this kind of cash around, it’s discouraging to say the least. It’s also a clear indicator that big-money politics is further raising the cost of getting elected in Glenwood Springs.
Is this really how we want our local elections decided?
If you believe in electing officials who won’t be swayed by outside money and special interests, the most important thing you can do right now is to cast your vote in the current City Council election.
It’s too late now to mail in your ballot. But you can still drop it off on Monday at the box inside the east entrance of the Garfield County Courthouse, or until 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall (101 W. 8th Street).
Candidate for Glenwood Springs City Council
Williams will listen to the people
We are asking the citizens of Glenwood Springs who haven’t voted yet to vote for Kathy Williams for City Council. She would be a strong asset to the council because of her diverse life experiences: as a parent, town clerk, accountant, small business owner, teacher for RE-1, treasurer for a nonprofit and a cancer survivor. She would also bring her strong personal values and perspectives as a council member, including her passion and care for people, especially those who are marginalized and face great difficulties in life every day. She was very surprised to learn, when she visited Catholic Charities, that no one from the City Council had ever been there. Glenwood, like many cities today, faces the challenging issue of homelessness.
Kathy would also bring her ability to work well with others. She is a good listener, which is critical when in a leadership position. Too many citizens have complained of not being heard by some of the present council members. Some have never had their phone calls returned.
Kathy is a person who is passionate about our democratic form of government: a government of, by, and for the people, but coming into agreement and unity are possible only if peoples’ voices are being heard. It is one thing to listen to someone but a different matter to really hear a person’s concerns. This can only be achieved through effective communication.
Meaningful conversations help facilitate greater understanding, which can move issues forward to much-needed solutions to the problems and challenges facing Glenwood Springs today — one being “The Bridge.” Kathy has always been in favor of a bypass as the only real solution to the growing traffic, noise and pollution on Grand Avenue. She thinks that the new bridge will only make the situation worse and feels that the City Council has made its decision without really acknowledging the voices of the citizens and working together to bring about their vision for Glenwood Springs.
A vote for Kathy Williams is a vote for your voice, your vision, and our community.
Susan and John Gorman
Arensman will represent everyone
I have known Russ Arensman for well over 13 years as a volunteer Ski Patroller at Sunlight Mountain. I have seen him in action, when action is needed as he would rush out the door to aid and assist an injured skier/snowboarder or lost child regardless of the weather or time of day. Believe me, at those moments, there is no time to ponder on what is needed to do.
That being said, I also have had many long discussions with Russ about the past and future of Glenwood Springs. His understanding and memory of the problems Glenwood Springs has faced over the past 15-plus years is truly impressive. Russ is the only one of the two candidates running for Ward 1 who can hit the ground running.
Russ has already given his time and energy to make Glenwood Springs the great town that it is. He has taken the time to learn and understand the issues that Glenwood is facing and will not make quick or hasty decisions without a clear understanding of the long-term consequences of his decisions. Russ will also represent all the people of Glenwood Springs, not just the contractors, business owners — the wealthy 1 percent. More importantly, Russ is not influenced by the mega-wealthy Denver concerns (see Post Independent 4/04).
The voter turnout is low, which means it’s not too late to cast your ballot for Russ Arensman and all of Glenwood Springs. Vote for Russ and a great future for Glenwood Springs.
Trauger’s special interest: Glenwood
Tuesday is the last day to vote in an important local election. The people in Glenwood must understand some very important information about a candidate I support, Kathryn Trauger.
I have served on the Planning and Zoning Commission with Kathryn for several years. Kathryn takes her role as chair of this commission seriously. As a quasi-judicial board, our public hearings operate in much the same way as a courtroom. We are a small town and conflict of interest is inevitable. Each of us has had to recuse ourselves and not take part in a public hearing on occasion. Kathryn is no exception and will step down for any potential conflict of interest.
I am aware that there is some concern that Kathryn may be “backed” by special interests. I can assure you that the only “special” interests she has is Glenwood Springs. When these claims of special interest were first made, she had received and reported several donations from Glenwood Springs businesspeople.
It would seem that her opponent Mr. Hershey would consider Glenwood Springs businesspeople as special interests. Now, he is raising more concern about “special interest” because of a donation made by a new neighbor of Kathryn’s. But here is what you must know: She has lived in Glenwood for a long time and through her work, family, writing and civic interests has developed a network of friends and colleagues who trust and respect her. She has an impeccable reputation.
In my experience Kathryn is a true leader. Her moral character would not allow her to accept any funds that had any expectation of favoritism. That is not who she is, and she expects those around her to operate in the same way. I value her as a colleague and friend. I know she will set the bar for those who serve on City Council very high.
Don’t be misled by this smokescreen put up by Mr. Hershey. Kathryn will work tirelessly for Glenwood Springs. I urge you to vote for Kathryn Trauger by April 7.
Attesting to Trauger’s character
Roaring Fork Leadership (RFL) has been developing leaders in the Roaring Fork Valley for 28 years. RFL is known for developing effective and invested leaders, building community integration and professional connections through personal relationships. Graduates also recognize themselves as a member of a larger social fabric and therefore, consider social problems to be at least partly their own.
Often graduates go on to serve their organizations in enhanced leadership roles, assume positions on civic or non-profit boards, run for and are elected for government positions, or start their own businesses. This year, one member of the RFL Class of 2015, Kathryn Trauger, is stepping up by running for Glenwood Springs City Council.
RFL emphasizes integrity, authenticity and accountability, and I think you will find those strong qualities in Kathryn. During our session last Friday, her civic project teams provided each member with feedback. Kathryn was recognized for her ability to listen to all sides of issues, withholding judgment or decision until she had all the facts. She was also recognized for bringing balance and calm to difficult situations. Over the past year that I’ve known her, she has grown personally, developed and enhanced her leadership skills, and understands a way to approach people and situations that is engaging.
After reading the Post Independent articles, it seems her opponent may be making assumptions that are not based in fact but rather in fear. Mr. Hershey has mentioned special interests without the benefit of knowing the exact nature of the relationships Kathryn has to those who have contributed to her campaign. This is not only a unfair remark toward Kathryn but toward everyone who may have contributed.
I trust Kathryn’s integrity and know her well enough to know that she has worked harder for the benefit of Glenwood Springs than any other candidate. In talking with her about Glenwood’s future, she is excited and enthused about the potential and what can happen if people will collaborate, forge relationships and turn them into positive productive activity.
Executive director, Roaring Fork Center for Community Leadership
Davis goes extra mile
I have known Steve Davis for over 40 years. Steve is an honest, kind, fair and loyal man. I have had the privilege of working with Steve. I can assure you, he is able to make good reliable decisions. Steve doesn’t just get the job done, he goes more then the extra mile.
I know from personal experience the gift that Steve Davis would be to Glenwood Springs. I urge you to vote for Steve Davis and allow Glenwood Springs to prosper with his guidance.
St. Peters, Missouri
Push CDOT to help pedestrians
I note in the upcoming City Council election that both groups of candidates, the Chamber Resort Association and the outsiders all have agreed to let the Colorado Department of Transportation have its way with our hometown, and use our Grand Avenue as the principal route of Highway 82 to the Roaring Fork Valley and Aspen for the foreseeable future.
I expect that outcome pleases CDOT. But I hope as a reward for the use of our city streets CDOT would be happy to accommodate the city’s request, if they were to ask, to place flashing strobe lights at all the signaled crossings on Grand Avenue like the ones they have recently installed on Highway 133 in Carbondale at principle crossings and in the pedestrian walkways of their new roundabouts.
When a pedestrian triggers the walk sequence and receives permission to cross, the flashing lights would alert automobiles that pedestrians are in the crosswalks. The intersection at Ninth and Grand Avenue is our most unsafe downtown crossing for pedestrians because the CDOT signal control box hides pedestrians waiting to cross Grand as well as hides the walk button from pedestrians.
Now, on a more lighter note; spring has sprung, the flowers has riz, I wonder where the city’s clean-up crew is?
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