Council Candidates Address Questions & Issues at Citizens Project Forum

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1hour 59min 29sec

Ballots are hitting mailboxes in Colorado Springs for April’s municipal election. Voters are being asked to choose a new mayor, as well as a council representative from the city’s northern District 2 and three at-large city council members.

A sample ballot from the city can be viewed here [.pdf].  Ballots must be returned by 7 PM on Tuesday, April 7. More information on the election, including where to drop off ballots, can be found here.

Citizens Project recently held a forum for the council candidates to talk about issues facing the city and city government. 

You can listen to the full audio here, or scroll down to individual questions for the at-large candidates present.  You can also visit the Citizens Project 2015 Municipal Voter Guide here.  Forum moderator: Craig Coffey, FOX21. 

Sections of the Forum:

In District 2, candidate Kanda Calef was not present at the forum.  Candidate Larry Bagley spoke and answered questions:



There are 13 candidates vying for three at-large council positions.  They are as follows (in order that they appear on the ballot, and also the order in which they sat at the forum):

Al Loma, Longinos Gonzalez, Jr., Bill Murray, Tom Strand, Merv Bennett, Vickie Tonkins, Jariah R. Walker, Yolanda L. Avila, Jesse Brown, Jr., Glenn Carlson, Nicholas Lee, Joe Woyte.

(Candidate Vanessa Bowie was not in attendance.) 

Candidates began with a one-minute opening statement:


Candidates answer questions posed by media representatives. (Note, the candidate who opens the answer session rotates, but the order always follows ballot order.):

Andrea Chalfin, KRCCWhen is the appropriate time to ask residents for a new tax, and what current issue might be leading you in that direction? 


John Hazelhurst, Colorado Springs Business Journal: Those of you who are successful in your campaigns will become board members of Colorado Springs Utilities.  Why are you qualified for that position?  Secondarily:  This is a due-diligence question… Do you know, or do you have an idea of what the cost per megawatt of a new combined cycle natural gas fired plant would be?


Rob Johnson, Colorado Springs GazetteAssuming that you get elected and you can only accomplish one thing in your term, what would it be? Secondarily:  Should city council be a full-time position?


John Weiss, Colorado Springs Independent: Global warming.  Do you believe it’s happening, and if so, are humans responsible?  If so, should Colorado Springs take any responsibility for reducing the impacts of global warming?  Secondarily:  Would you be in favor… of placing a measure on the ballot, either in November 2016 or April 2017, giving citizens the right to vote whether we should have recreational marijuana?


Audience questions, beginning with conflict resolution;  questions include topics like local food and what each candidate thinks would be his/her greatest challenge in the first few months of a new council term.  (Some questions in this section are candidate specific, and thus are not separated out individually):


Closing statements from At-Large candidates: