Colorado Springs City Council Election 2021, District 6: Garfield Johnson And Mike O’Malley On The Issues

This April, all six Colorado Springs City Council districts are up for election. District 6 can be loosely described as the north and east part of town. Roughly, Woodmen Road serves as a northern border, with some areas north of Woodman part of the district as well. Dodge Road to the east and Highway 94 to the south.

Two people are running to represent District 6. KRCC used social media to solicit questions from the public to see what issues are important to voters. We then used those responses to create a survey, which was sent to all candidates. Their answers as submitted are here.

Ballots must be returned by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6, either by mail or through the use of a ballot drop-off box. If returning by mail, the City Clerk recommends mailing the ballot at least nine days in advance of election day. Proper postage is required.

The candidates appear here in the order they are set on the ballot.

Candidate Elevator Pitch

Garfield Johnson: Candidate did not respond to the survey.

Mike O'Malley: It became really clear to me serving on City Council and on the Board of Colorado Springs Utilities that my background is unique to anyone currently on Council or anyone on the ballot. My undergraduate degree in Marine Engineering allows me to contribute to the Board of Colorado Springs Utilities with the knowledge and experience to successfully maintain, operate, and manage ships which are in essence cities at sea. My master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies, Navy Reserve Captain, and experience as a Senior Transportation Advisor to two military Combatant Commands will serve to support our most vital customers' interest – the United States military. I have served as a Volunteer Fire Fighter with National and State certifications. My average run rate of 42% putting me in the top ten first responders meant I managed to make 420 calls out of the typical 1000 calls each year made by the department – all during my nights, weekends, holidays and vacation days, which is why I’m endorsed by the Colorado Springs Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 5. In addition, I have received endorsements from Mayor Suthers, Councilmembers Wayne Williams and Tom Strand, and County Commissioner Carrie Geitner.

Advertisement

What purpose does city government serve for its citizens?

Garfield Johnson: Candidate did not respond to the survey.

Mike O'Malley: The City of Colorado Springs has an inherent responsibility to provide for the safety and security of its citizens. The City also has a responsibility to provide an infrastructure which supports its residents and commerce. In addition, unique to Colorado Springs is its vital interest to preserve its national treasures - Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, and other parks, trails, and open spaces.

What are your Top 3 priorities?

Garfield Johnson: Candidate did not respond to the survey.

Mike O'Malley: Continued strong support for Colorado Springs' current City and Utilities’ leadership, which have been doing a phenomenal job of managing the growth of the City and the challenges of COVID-19. Enhance the leadership team by putting my engineering, military, and National Security training and experience to work for the future of Colorado Springs.

District 6 will be a landing zone for the estimated 230K people to call Colorado Springs home in the next decade. We must welcome them with the infrastructure and services of a world class city. The City has the corporate knowledge to manage significant growth, but it needs to consider alternative funding streams in addition to the current use of Special Districts. We should keep our standards high and manage the growth in a responsible manner. Another focus area needs to be the Major Thoroughfare Plan, which should include the widening of Marksheffel Rd. The math is simple… think big and make it beautiful.

It is extremely important that we have a prioritization on the funding for parks and open spaces. Our City identity is inextricably linked to the beauty and grandeur of our parks and open spaces and for this reason we need unequivocal support.

Candidate Comparison

Where do the candidates stand on the issues? We've lined up a comparison below. For more in-depth information, click on either "Yes," "No," or "It's Complicated."

On The Issues

As Colorado Springs continues to grow, development has increased and rents and housing prices have gone up. What are your ideas for balancing growth with supporting that which is already here?

Garfield Johnson: Candidate did not respond to the survey.

Mike O'Malley: We need more affordable housing.

Should Colorado Springs continue to spread out and grow to the north and east, or should the city focus on more and denser infill projects within city limits?

Garfield Johnson: Candidate did not respond to the survey.

Mike O'Malley: PlanCOS is excellent.

What should be the city's infrastructure investments over the next 10-20 years?

Garfield Johnson: Candidate did not respond to the survey.

Mike O'Malley: PlanCOS is excellent.

What do you see as priorities or gaps in efforts for economic diversification?

Garfield Johnson: Candidate did not respond to the survey.

Mike O'Malley: We need to attract more manufacturing and support training and education to keep them successful.

As the city celebrates its sesquicentennial, what do you see as the number one success of the city in the last 150 years, and what is the number one issue the city has not gotten right, either through lack of trying or some other reason?

Garfield Johnson: Candidate did not respond to the survey.

Mike O'Malley: Water, water, water.

Is there anything specific you'd hope to prioritize on the council?

Garfield Johnson: Candidate did not respond to the survey.

Mike O'Malley: My background is unique to anyone currently on Council or anyone on the ballot.

Editor's Note: We originally misspelled Woodmen Rd. The post has been altered to correct the spelling.

You care!

You are one of the KRCC readers who wants to know what is really going on in Southern Colorado these days. We have got just the thing for people like you: the KRCC Weekly Digest. Sign up here and we will see you in your email inbox soon!