Merritt for mayor of Glenwood

Glenwood Springs residents won’t know until this morning whether there will be a recount in the very close Ward 1 City Council race.

Recount or not, the new City Council will eventually choose a new mayor from among its ranks. And recount or not, Councilman Dave Merritt is the best choice for the position.

Merritt is smart, level-headed and experienced. He has a quirky sense of humor that lightens just about any situation. He is a 20-year resident of the city and has raised three children here.

Before winning a seat on City Council in November 2001, Merritt served on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

With his job as chief engineer for the Colorado River Water Conservation District, Merritt has worked the halls and meeting rooms of the state government in Denver and federal government in Washington, D.C. And he has a clear understanding of complex issues such as water, wastewater and land use.

The other two senior members of City Council, Dan Richardson and Larry Emery, would be good candidates for the position of mayor pro-tem. Choosing Richardson for the post would send a strong positive message to the community’s young people that they, too, have a respected representative on their City Council.

Until Tuesday’s close defeat, many political observers expected Rick Davis to become the city’s next mayor. He has invested lots of time and energy preparing himself for a higher leadership position.

If the vote stands, he is no longer a contender for the city’s top elected position. And if a recount is held and the result changes, he will have won re-election without a clear mandate from Ward 1 voters.

Although Merritt did not face an opponent in 2001, his service on council hasn’t been called into question. And he is closer in his political views on current topics to Larry Beckwith and Joe O’Donnell, who won the election as challengers.

The voter mandate is clear from Tuesday’s election, and Merritt is in sync with the voters who are calling for change.

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