‘Thinking Existentially’ is the Luxury of Running Unopposed, D2’s Candidate Geislinger Says
District 2 in Colorado Springs is located in the northernmost part of the city. It borders the Air Force Academy, moves north past Interquest Parkway, and hits the eastern border at a portion of Powers and Black Forest Roads. Current seat-holder Larry Bagley is not seeking re-election, and the district has only one candidate.
David Geislinger spent 27 years as a lawyer in Colorado Springs, including serving as a Deputy District Attorney from 1986-1996. He says decided to run for the District 2 City Council seat when he realized there were no candidates in the district as the filing deadline drew near.
Takeaways from the conversation:
On what he sees as the biggest issue facing Colorado Springs:
Since I'm running unopposed, I have the luxury, I think, of characterizing the issue in a more existential approach then a, quote unquote, "issue." Existentially, I think Colorado Springs has an identity crisis. I think Colorado Springs tends to have been identifying itself as a homogenous city comprised of frankly, a much smaller population than it is, of people who think alike.
Colorado Springs is roughly the 40th largest city in the United States. From a city population standpoint, it is as large as Atlanta. And when you think of Atlanta, you don't think of a homogenous city. Now I understand the Atlanta metro area is much larger than El Paso County, but Colorado Springs is a large city. It has been a large city. But since I have lived in Colorado most of my life, I grew up in north Denver, the north Denver perception of Colorado Springs was frankly a small community that dealt with things locally, responded to issues frankly an approach I would say is a whack-a-mole. The issue arises. Colorado Springs takes a look at it from a small city perspective and whacks it down until the next issue arises.
On planning as part of 'acting like the 40th biggest city':
Planning, financing, having a steady stream of income. Colorado Springs has TABOR, which other cities do not have. I think that the city, the city leaders, the private partnerships who have a vision for the city on all sides, we have done, until recently, not a very good job of persuading our citizens of the need to invest in our own future. We cannot expect other people to invest in our future if the city doesn't.
On his vision for District 2 and the city as a whole:
I think that Colorado Springs' biggest single attraction that … very few other cities of our size have to offer is the open space and the outdoor attractions. … When my family comes to visit me… they're shocked that in the middle of a city, we have such wilderness. So planning needs to include enhancing and preserving that which makes Colorado Springs Colorado Springs, which is open space.
To see all districts and their candidates, visit our 2017 municipal election page. Content will be updated daily until all district interviews are posted.
Southern Colorado is changing a lot these days. We can help you keep up. Sign up for the KRCC Weekly Digest here and get the stories that matter to Southern Colorado, delivered straight to your inbox.