Council taps Paige to replace Heimlicher

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City Council this afternoon chose Sean Paige, former editorial page editor of The Gazette, to replace District 3 Councilman Jerry Heimlicher.

Paige was selected after five ballots.



At the beginning of the meeting, Mayor Lionel Rivera announced that because there appeared to be no consensus among council members, the selection would be conducted by vote.

Rivera said that council would use the method of voting employed by the International Olympic Committee in choosing a host city for the 2016 Games.  The ballots would be secret, with each council member writing the name of candidate, and passing the folded paper to the city clerk, who would tabulate the ballots. 

The low scorers would be eliminated, and the top three would move on, until one candidate received five votes.

Only four candidates received votes during the first round: Janet Suthers (one), Paul Johnson (two), Phil Lane (two) and Paige (three).

During the next round, Paige received four votes, and Johnson and Lane each received two. Johnson was eliminated during the next round.

In the penultimate round, Lane and Paige each received four votes. The mayor then called a 10 minute recess.

During that time, Councilman Bernie Herpin asked Paige whether he could be a cooperative and collegial member of council. Paige assured Herpin that he would be easy to work with.

Council reconvened and Herpin said that although Suthers had been his first choice, he was supporting Paige.

Paige prevailed in the final vote by a 5-3 margin.  He will be sworn in during Monday’s informal City Council meeting.

In supporting Paige, Darryl Glenn, Scott Hente, Tom Gallagher and Randy Purvis sounded a common theme.  Council, Hente said, should not fear dissent, but welcome it.

“As some of you may recall,” he said, “Sean Paige and I got into a very public argument at a downtown restaurant a couple of years ago.” 

But, Hente said he learned that being exposed to different points of view led to better decision making, citing his interactions with Glenn.

Paige, who had said with evident disbelief prior to the meeting that, “I’ve been told that I have three votes-can you believe it?” was clearly delighted to have been chosen.

 “I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

One Response to Council taps Paige to replace Heimlicher

  1. What about choosing someone who actually represents the people of the District? There has been almost no discussion, and certainly no consideration, of the will of the people of District 3.

    Sean Paige absolutely does not represent even a large minority of the residents of the District. Council had no regard for our right to representation in choosing this radical reactionary. It was yet another disgusting act by a Council that has no regard or respect for the people they were elected to represent.

    We have had what is essentially one-party rule in our city and county for more than 50 years. There is no dissent, no competition, no sense of urgency to provide the best to the electorate when only one party runs everything – and it doesn’t matter if that party is Communist (Cuba), Socialist (Mexico) or Radical republican (El Paso County and Colorado Springs( – the result is the same: Corruption, sloth, contempt for the voters.

    This slap in the face should be a final wake up call. It is time for a change.

    john koury
    October 9, 2009 at 10:02 am