It looks as if council gadfly Tim Leigh may have some serious opposition in District 1, which includes most of northwest Colorado Springs.
Longtime Colorado Springs resident and community leader Joe Barrera announced his candidacy for the district seat this morning. He included a specific, district-centered platform. Here’s the partial text of an email he sent to supporters and members of the media.
“1) In regard to District 1, I want to begin the serious work of burn scar mitigation ASAP. Working with the Mayor, the City Emergency Management Office, the County, the Forest Service, the Mountain Shadows neighbors and homeowners, Colorado Springs Together, and building on what has already been done, I want to push for the best possible mitigation effort, and soon, before next year’s summer monsoon.
2) I want to develop and implement a much more complete program of economic development and job creation in Colorado Springs. We have made some good beginnings, but it’s not enough. I will be a leader in terms of creating a really effective public/private partnership to bring professional and middle-class jobs to Colorado Springs.
3) I want to revitalize our parks and our recreation assets. We need to maintain the amenities which make our City a good place to live.
4) I want our Police and Fire departments to grow as our City grows.
5) I want to review the whole “fracking” permit issue for wells inside the City limits. I am not satisfied with the present Council’s willingness to overlook serious problems with this controversial technique. At this point, I want to keep all options open.
6) I will listen to you, my constituents. Right now, there is not a single Council person who holds regular town-hall meetings. At least not to my knowledge. I will hold regular town halls. Or just simple meet-and-greets. You can tell me what’s on your mind and what you feel the City should be doing.”
It’s interesting that Barrera declined to weigh in on the battles that Leigh has fought with Colorado Springs Utilities and Neumann Systems. It may be that Barrera believes that his potential constituents are tired of the fight, and would just as soon move on.
Meanwhile, longtime local businessman Ed Bircham, undeterred by his 2011 defeat as a member of Doug Bruce’s ultra-conservative slate, has announced as a candidate in District 6. That makes three candidates for the District so far – Gary Flakes, Dennis Moore, and Bircham. None of the three are exactly “establishment” candidates, so it’s possible that another candidate could join the fray.